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The 10 Best Movies of 2024 (So Far)

Some might say that March is too early to begin a "best of the year" list, but to those people I say [Bene Gesserit voice], "Leave me alone." I have drunk the water of life, I have tasted the spice and I am ready to proclaim which films of 2024 are worthy of the Maud'Dib's viewing. (And I apologize if you haven't watched Dune: Part Two yet and that paragraph seemed like the ramblings of a lunatic).

Related: Zendaya's Chani Takes Center Stage in the Cleverly Adapted 'Dune: Part Two'

ANYWAYS, despite the first quarter of the year usually being thought of as a cinematic wasteland devoid of quality content and used as a dumping ground for studios to jettison movies of ill repute, there are gems to be found if you know where to look.

In the first three months of 2024 we not only bore witness to a massive blockbuster and what will certainly be an Oscar juggernaut in a year's time, but also delightful straight-to-streaming comedies, moving international documentaries and a sublime rumination on scrubbing toilets.

While some of these movies have been floating around on the festival circuit or had extremely limited releases in 2023, they've all become widely available this year and are worth your attention. So quick, before you fall behind and the weather gets nice, catch up on these fantastic flicks from 2024.

The best movies of 2024 (so far)

1. Drive-Away Dolls

If the idea of a lesbian road trip comedy involving a severed head is something that thrills you, then the latest caper from Ethan Coen and his wife Tricia Cooke should be up your alley. Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan star as a pair of sapphic 20-somethings in 1999, who decide to take a road trip after each striking out at love. However, when their rental car is mixed up with one intended for the mob, they are pursued by a band of thugs to Florida. Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Bill Camp and Matt Damon all make appearances but it is Beanie Feldstein as Qualley's scorned ex-girlfriend who steals the show.

2. Dune: Part Two

The sequel to Dune was supposed to arrive in theaters last fall, but due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, the release was pushed back to 2024, where it has quickly become the year's biggest box office success (not that beating out Bob Marley: One Love presented much of a challenge). Denis Villeneuve's sandy sci-fi epic has earned nearly universal praise and garnered Oscar attention for 2025 before the 2024 Oscars even aired. While Timothée Chalamaet, Rebecca Ferguson and Javier Bardem return with solid performances it's Zendaya (upgraded from her five minutes of screentime in the original) and Austin Butler (finally not talking like Elvis) who are the real breakouts.

Related: The 15 Best Movies on Peacock Right Now

3. How to Have Sex

How to Have Sex has been on the festival circuit for almost a year, but finally arrived to U.S. theaters in February. The movie follows three British girls taking a spring-break-gone-wild-type debaucherous vacation to Crete. A weekend of clubbing, however, quickly goes wrong for Tara (Mia McKenna-Bruce in one of the best performances of 2023 and probably 2024) when a flirty encounter with a boy on the beach becomes something she doesn't want. Never has a movie shown the moment where being drunk at the club goes from great to awful so acutely.

4. Mean Girls

Is Mean Girls (2024) better than Mean Girls (2004)? Absolutely not. Is it dragging along its fare share of problems? 100%. Does Lindsay Lohan in her three minutes of screentime ooze more charisma than Angourie Rice does in the entire film? Sure. BUT there is no denying that this musical version is fun (and dare I say, fetch?). It's a light, frothy, pastel-hued bop of a movie that isn't aiming much higher than a half dozen zippy musical numbers and some witty jokes. The Plastics, played Renee Rapp, Avantika and Bebe Wood make it worth the watch by themselves.

5. The Monk and the Gun

In 2006, the King of the Asian nation Bhutan voluntarily abdicated his throne, to pave the way for a democracy with the country's first parliamentary elections held in 2007. However, without much influence from the outside world, the Bhutan had to teach its citizens what democracy was and how to vote. Pawo Choyning Dorji's latest warm-hearted comedy is set during the mock elections held in Bhutan with an aged monk and an American antique collector racing to find a valuable rifle.

6. Perfect Days

In delightfully quiet rumination, Wim Wenders' Perfect Days is a portrait of a man who works as a public bathroom cleaner in Tokyo. And while it was technically released in 2023 and was nominated for this year's Oscars, it didn't have a wide release in America until 2024. Much of the film is spent following around Hirayama (Kōji Yakusho) as he drives his van from one restroom to the next, picking up trash, scrubbing toilets and wiping down mirrors, all while listening to his cassette collection. While small, the humane celebration of life is incredibly touching and has earned nearly universal raves out of its festival runs. If you are thinking, "I don't want to watch a man clean toilets for 90 minutes," I'm here to tell you, "Yes. You actually do." Perfect Days also features perhaps the best final shot of the year.

7. Pictures of Ghosts

While the Brazilian Oscar submission for 2023 went largely unnoticed and didn't open in the US until 2024, this documentary from Kleber Mendonca Filho is a nostalgic tribute to cinema-going that is a must-watch for anyone who loves movies. A documentary in three acts, the film focuses on Kleber's hometown of Recife, Brazil. In act one, we see Kleber's childhood apartment through years of his own filmmaking. Act two is a loving portrait of Recife's movie theaters of the past, the ones he frequented growing up and that are no longer standing. Act three is a more personal rumination on the significance of the passage of time (just ask Kamala) and how Brazil has evolved over the years. I've never seen archival footage wielded so masterfully.

8. Problemista

Rising comedian Julio Torres wrote, directed and stars in this whimsical sci-fi comedy about an aspiring toy designer who takes on a job as an eccentric artist's assistant. Tilda Swinton, armed with her iPhone light perpetually on, is of course the bonkers New York artist, brimming with ego and perhaps less so artistic vision or realism. The movie is weird, weird, weird and certainly not for everyone, but if you like surrealist comedy that includes an Isabella Rossellini voiceover, then you'll quite enjoy this odd little flick.

9. To Kill a Tiger

While To Kill a Tiger has been on the festival circuit since 2022 and was nominated for a 2024 Oscar, the documentary didn't arrive on Netflix until the day of the Academy Awards. The movie follows the legal case of a teenage girl in India, who was brutally raped by three different men. While custom dictates that she simply be married off to one of her attackers, her father undertakes the arduous and highly unpopular task of taking the attackers to court on his daughter's behalf. At once both a legal search for justice and a heartwarming portrait of a father's love for his daughter, To Kill a Tiger is one of 2022, 2023 and 2024's best docs.

10. Upgraded

Between Do Revenge and Upgraded, I'm willing to declare Camila Mendes the queen of the streaming comedy. This modern retelling of Cinderella set in the world of luxury auction houses is certainly goofy, but Mendes somehow makes you invested in in the wacky, outlandish plot (as the great rom-com queens before her did). Marisa Tomei is perfect as a kookier Miranda Priestly, Lena Olin is a delight as an aristocratic art seller and Rachel Matthews is evil step sister perfection. If loving Upgraded is wrong, then I don't want to be right!

Next, The 25 Best Movies of 2023