Expanding Your Watchlist: Ranking Recent A24 Films


Stella Thrift, Staff Writer

Even as an indie studio that’s only 10 years old, A24’s poignant, stylistic, and creative films have become increasingly popular within the last few years. The studio has earned its place in teen pop culture thanks to its dedicated Gen Z fanbase, and this past year has been no exception.


A prequel to the movie XPearl is a psychological horror film that follows the story of a young woman living at the height of the 1918 Spanish Flu. The protagonist, Pearl, resides on her parents’ isolated Texas homestead. On the brink of madness, Pearl attempts to pursue her dreams of becoming a dancer while her husband is off at war, all while caring for her sick father and trying to meet the insurmountable expectations of an overbearing mother. 

The movie came out this year and was by far the best movie I saw in 2022. It placed #1 on the list because of the incredible cinematography, the stunning performance given by lead actress Mia Goth, and the rigorously well-written character Pearl. To fully enjoy the movie, watching X is vital, but even as a standalone, the film remains remarkable. Just go watch it. 


Another horror film, Midsommar, is horrific as it is intelligent and thoughtful. A couple visits Sweden with a group of friends for a midsummer festival, only for chaos to ensue as they soon find themselves residing amongst a Pagan cult. These dramatic circumstances are the conduits of the protagonists’ emotional journey dealing with traumatic grief and liberation from a dysfunctional relationship. It does so in a tastefully crafted and insightful manner, creating an atmospheric and haunting movie. Like most A24 films, Midsommar plays heavily on its symbolism and has various foreshadowing details throughout, which makes for a great rewatch.

The Florida Project 

The Florida Project is depressingly realistic, perfectly capturing the life of a six-year-old girl growing up in the midst of poverty, an uncaring mother, and child-like ideation. While much of the movie is focused on the protagonist’s view of the world, it’s easy to see how her naivety disguises what would otherwise be a bleak life and gives the audience a glimpse into an experience of a decent margin of the American population: lower-class, dysfunctional families. The movie is rarely hopeful but plentiful in its realism, and the performance given by child actress Brooklyn Prince who plays six-year-old Moonee is exceptional.

Everything Everywhere All At Once 

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a beautifully filmed movie with mesmerizing special effects and endless bounds of creativity. The plot is complicated, but in simple terms, it centers around the relationship between a Chinese-American immigrant mother trying to save the multiverse and evade IRS taxes while also repairing her relationship with her daughter. 

Although far from perfect, the movie never failed once to capture my attention. There was definitely potential for more, considering the extensiveness of effects used which somehow felt lackluster despite so much going on at once. At times the movie seemed too focused on creating the next shocking moment rather than ruminating on each individual idea for further expansion, but it still delivered in many ways. And even if the film is flawed, it’s also evocative and touching, regardless of its relatability to whoever may be watching. 


The plot of Mid90s very much lies in the name. In 1996, a 13-year-old boy with a troubled home life decides to start skateboarding with a group of older friends. 

The soundtrack is amazing, the cinematography is meticulous, and the actors all deliver great performances, but there’s one major problem: the movie should have been longer. With all of the ideas presented in Mid90s, 85 minutes is not long enough for a movie like this. The resolution felt rushed compared to the rest of the movie. Yet, it still gave great insight into the time and featured a plethora of creative elements–like the grainy 16mm film it was shot on–giving the movie a retro feel and capturing the essence of its title.

A24 has produced some of my favorite movies, and I enjoy seeing what the studio continues to offer. I encourage you to keep A24 on your radar, watch these films, and form your own opinions.