Founded in 2012, A24 is an American independent film studio which also specializes in TV production. Since bursting into the indie scene, they have slowly accumulated fame and popularity (not to mention high-profile Academy Awards victories), to the point that they have nowadays become one of the most important representatives of Hollywood independent cinema.
The studio is characterized for granting its filmmakers with artistic freedom, yet most of their movies share some hard-to-explain similarities—A vibe, if you will. As such, it’s always fun to discover films that may feel like they were produced by A24, but actually weren’t.
Updated on January 25th, 2023, by Hannah Saab:
The Daniels‘ Everything Everywhere All at Once exceeded expectations by getting eleven Oscar nominations, propelling A24 studio to new heights. As both newcomers and long-time fans watch the Academy Awards front-runner, it’s the perfect time to re-discover artsy, creative and unique movies that capture those « A24 vibes. »
1 ‘Mandy’ (2018)
Mandy, starring Nicolas Cage in one of his best modern roles, is like a slow descent into hell and a bloody, grueling climb out of it. It’s about Red Miller (Cage), a broken man who chases after the cult that killed the love of his life. Be warned, the clip below contains graphic content, prevalent throughout Mandy.
A24 loves to produce visually stunning horror films full of color like Midsommar and Climax, as well as endowing these stories with a sense of mystery and a slow-burn rhythm. Mandy checks all those boxes and more, delivering a thoughtful and contemplative but also loud, gory, and over-the-top movie about doomed love.
Watch on Shudder
2 ‘The Favourite’ (2018)
Known for his absurdist writing and bizarre style, Yorgos Lanthimos and A24 are pretty much a match made in heaven. The Favourite, one of his best-known films, follows the rivalry between a pair of cousins (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) as they compete to become the favorite of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).
The film has a strangely pleasing visual aesthetic, an engrossing story, fascinating performances, and sharp humor that’s more than eccentric, qualities that you can see in many A24 productions. The fact that this isn’t one is as weird as the movie itself.
3 ‘The Neon Demon’ (2016)
Nicolas Winding Refn‘s The Neon Demon is a riveting horror film about an aspiring model who, after moving to L.A., has her youth and vitality devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women.
Many A24 films seek to redefine the boundaries of cinema as an art form, and to bring traditional conceptions of beauty into question. As such, it may come as a surprise that this movie, which is a study and critique of beauty and aesthetics, was not produced by the famous independent studio.
Watch on Prime Video
4 ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ (2019)
Yet another famous Hollywood independent film studio, NEON has for years been producing countless movies that give off strong A24 vibes. But if one had to pick only a handful that did so most prominently, then Céline Sciamma‘s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, about a female painter who has to do the wedding portrait of a young woman, would definitely be up there.
The film is a gorgeous and contemplative LGBT romantic drama with cinematography as beautiful as its protagonist’s portraits, a deliberately slow pacing, and a character-focused narrative that often bends its own limits, reminiscent of A24’s Oscar-winning film Moonlight.
Watch on Hulu
5 ‘Titane’ (2021)
Titane is another NEON production, without a doubt one of its weirdest. It’s a stylish and surrealist drama about a former firefighter (Vincent Lindon) who’s reunited with his son (Agathe Rousselle) after he’d been missing for 10 years. Then again… Is he his son? Or is there something much stranger going on?
Titane is an experience that simply must be seen in order to be believed. It’s about two lonely, fractured souls who come together to ease each other’s pain; it’s about fatherhood, sexuality, and femininity, and it’s an absolutely mind-bending film that’s simply impossible to forget.
Watch on Hulu
In this Oscar-nominated film, a drummer begins to lose his sense of hearing, and he has to come to terms with the silent future that lies ahead of him.
Sound of Metal is a film as empowering as it is heartbreaking, which can be said about many A24 movies as well. It definitely has that cozy indie feel, along with marvelous performances (led by Riz Ahmed), a complex story, and a pushing of cinema’s boundaries as an art form in the shape of one of the best sound designs in any film of the 2000s.
Watch on Prime Video
7 ‘Her’ (2013)
Spike Jonze‘s beautiful sci-fi romantic drama is the story of Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely man who begins to fall in love and start a relationship with a newly developed operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
A24 movies love to ponder on themes like human nature and the characteristics of love, so Her feels like a film that’s right up their alley. It can sometimes get a bit bizarre, which is perfectly fitting for the studio in question; but, at its core, it’s a bittersweet little movie about loneliness, comfort, and love.
8 ‘Call Me By Your Name’ (2017)
Yet another LGBT romantic drama that would feel right at home among A24’s lineup of movies, Call Me By Your Name chronicles the fleeting romance that blossoms between a teenager on the border of adulthood (Timothée Chalamet) and an older man (Armie Hammer) hired as his father’s research assistant.
The setting of northern Italy makes for a beautiful backdrop for this sweet but ultimately sad love story, where the characters move poetically around the story and help the themes slowly develop.
9 ‘Captain Fantastic’ (2016)
Captain Fantastic may sound like a superhero film, yet it’s anything but. It’s actually a film about a father raising his six children in isolation in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and the troubles that arise when he has to assimilate them back into society after a tragic event.
Viggo Mortensen gorgeously plays the lead role, and the supporting cast is fantastic. The movie feels like one of A24’s quirkier, less overwhelming outings. It’s a super endearing film about fatherhood, masculinity, and learning to move past trauma.
Watch on Prime Video
10 ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ (2018)
What, if not a NEON film, could have been worthy of being considered the most A24-like movie that wasn’t actually produced by the studio? Julian Schnabel‘s At Eternity’s Gate follows Vincent van Gogh (played by Willem Dafoe) as he spends the final years of his life in France, painting masterpieces of the world that surrounds him.
The movie is as hauntingly beautiful as one of Van Gogh’s paintings, an absolutely enrapturing and stylishly poetic exploration of the deepest corners of a man’s fragmented soul. It’s a love letter to Vincent, to art, and to cinema itself. Although it isn’t an A24 movie, it’s more than worthy of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the studio’s best films.
Watch on Tubi
11 ‘Nightcrawler’ (2014)
Nightcrawler is a crime thriller directed by Dan Gilroy and starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The plot revolves around Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a determined, ambitious and morally corrupt individual who begins working as a freelance camera operator for a small news station. As the sociopathic Lou Bloom, Gyllenhaal gives a genuinely scary and compelling performance in Nightcrawler. He manages to make the character both menacing and weirdly sympathetic, making for an engrossing viewing experience.
With its brilliant storyline, breathtaking photography and outstanding pace, the film is also a true standout in the crime-thriller genre. A24 is no stranger to such dark, gritty, and ethically complex character studies, with films like Uncut Gems and Enemy demonstrating the dangers of obsession.
Watch on HBO
12 ‘It Follows’ (2014)
It Follows is a horror film that focuses on the story of Jay (Maika Monroe), a young woman who is stalked by a supernatural entity after having a sexual encounter. The creature can assume any form and only moves when it is spotted; it persistently pursues its victims, and the only way to escape is to pass the curse on to someone else through sexual intercourse.
The film, directed by David Robert Mitchell, is a true standout in the horror genre, thanks to its original premise and great use of tension and atmosphere to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The movie is also aesthetically gorgeous, with a nostalgic style and dreamy cinematography that can fit right into A24’s filmography. It Follows is a remarkable film with a novel premise and excellent execution that’s worth watching today.
Watch on Netflix
13 ‘Raw’ (2016)
Raw is a French-Belgian horror film directed by Julia Ducournau about Justine (Garance Marillier), a young woman who enrolls in veterinary school and develops a newfound desire for flesh. Justine, a vegetarian, is forced to consume raw rabbit kidney as part of a hazing ceremony, and this is when her desires for meat begin to emerge. Justine’s difficulties as she tries to manage her newfound urges and the repercussions of her actions are explored in the film.
Raw is not for the faint of heart, but it is a must-see for fans of gripping horror films that are also thought-provoking. The movie, like many A24 horror films, is visually stunning, with a vintage style and ethereal cinematography that gives the film a distinct look and feel.
Watch on Netflix
14 ‘Whiplash’ (2014)
The legendary drama Whiplash tells the story of Andrew (Miles Teller), an ambitious jazz drummer who enrolls in a prestigious music conservatory and finds himself apprehensive about his tutor, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), who is ruthless and demanding.
With its heart-pounding performances and electrifying soundtrack, Damien Chazelle‘s film is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Actors Simmons and Teller deliver mesmerizing, memorable performances that make the film engrossing, perfectly complementing its story that explores the cutthroat world of music conservatories and the pressures that come with it. Furthermore, the film is visually stunning, capturing the music’s intensity and energy perfectly through stylish cinematography. All of these elements mean it would seamlessly fit into A24’s filmography.
Watch on Showtime
15 ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ (2022)
With nine Oscar nominations, The Banshees of Inisherin has caught critics’ and fans’ attention through its dark humor and compelling story. Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, the tragicomedy features the abrupt end of a long friendship between two locals – Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson – which soon leads to disastrous consequences.
Pádraic and Colm’s messy friendship is explored in a way that’s reminiscent of the complex relationships featured in A24 movies like The Lighthouse and Good Time. The film’s slow pace (and sudden shocking escalation) is set against spectacular sweeping shots of the bleak yet beautiful setting in Ireland, which only makes it an even more obvious contender as a movie with glaring A24 vibes.
Watch on HBO
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