Studio A24 has earned credibility with a string of highly successful films, made recognizable by what fans call ‘A24 vibes’ – their special brand of visual style, quirky tone, and creative expression. Just a decade ago, this small, indie studio took some big risks on unknown writer-directors that made a big impression. Today their films can rival tent-pole productions, with cinephiles keeping a keen eye on the A24 calendar.

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Viewers looking for slick, thought-provoking, unusual films do well to check for the A24 logo. Though known for breathing new life into the horror genre, A24 is the studio behind a wide spectrum of films, including Moonlight and Lady Bird. It is the cool kid among film studios, and its fans are particularly cult-like in their admiration. HBO Max has shrewdly picked up on this trend and hosts a large swath of their film catalog. A recent update has added yet more A24 movies on HBO Max that are particularly worth checking out.

Updated on December 23rd, 2022, by Hannah Saab:

Fans wondering where to watch A24 films can still turn to HBO Max for some of the studio’s best movies. The A24 movies streaming on the platform include international hits and underrated instant classics from the beloved studio, which continues to gain more attention from both fans and critics thanks to recent releases like The Whale (December 9, 2022) and highly-anticipated films like This Place Rules (December 30, 2022).


‘Locke’ (2013)

a24 movie on hbo max lock tom hardy tom holland calls from car

Among the must-see A24 films on HBO Max, Locke was easy to overlook upon its 2013 release because it boasts a single character and takes place entirely in that character’s BMW. Ivan Locke, masterfully played by Tom Hardy, is meant to be driving home after a long day of work to watch a big football match with his boys. As a construction foreman, he’ll also spend the night preparing for the most important day of his career, Europe’s largest concrete pour, taking place under his supervision the very next day. His night’s plans, however, take a back seat when he gets a call informing him that the woman with whom he had a brief affair is going into labor in London, a two-hour drive away. He hits the highway immediately.

This is the story of a man and his Bluetooth, driving on a dark highway, placing a series of important and often uncomfortable calls: to his wife (Ruth Wilson) confessing his infidelity, to his second in command (Andrew Scott) ensuring work gets done, to his son (Tom Holland) explaining why his mother is having a meltdown, to the hospital where a one-night-stand (Olivia Colman) is prematurely giving birth to his baby. The success of the film is entirely due to Hardy’s astounding performance. With raw intensity, he fields 36 phone calls and makes the viewer experience each one viscerally. A film with a single character in a single location sounds boring, but Hardy’s immense talent guarantees that it’s magnetic.

‘Ex Machina’ (2014)

Ava looking at an A.I. prototype face in Ex Machina.

Genius billionaire Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a reclusive CEO, summons lowly programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) to his isolated home to introduce him to his latest invention – a highly advanced artificial intelligence in the body of a beautiful robot (Alicia Vikander). Caleb is tasked with performing a Turing test to see if ‘Ava’ could pass as a human despite her outward robotic appearance.

First-time director Alex Garland blew critics and viewers away with his provoking take on artificial intelligence, which is inevitably a mirror held up to the best and worst of humanity. Garland’s ground-breaking sci-fi film is driven by ideas rather than effects. Ex Machina is dotted with cerebral Easter eggs, referencing Frankenstein, Shakespeare, Greek mythology, and the Bible. It’s a gripping psychological thriller and a potent warning. It’s both must-see and must-see-again.

‘How To Talk To Girls At Parties’ (2018)

'How to Talk to Girls at Parties' starring Elle Fanning was adapted from Neil Gaiman's 2006 short story
Image via A24/StudioCanal

Despite a title that suggests the self-help genre, this movie is about a young punk named Enn (Alex Sharp) partying in a London suburb in the 1970s. He and his friends stumble upon what appears to be a sex den of beautiful exchange students. Enn is particularly drawn to Zan (Elle Fanning) and worries about how to lure her away from this strange suicide cult, only to find that the truth is even stranger: Zan is an alien, anxious to experience Earthling culture with Enn.

Truthfully, the film is hit-and-miss, but it’s also bold and daring and when it works, it’s a lot of fun. DJ James Murphy developed a new kind of punk-EDM hybrid for this film, which he describes as “extraterrestrial dance music” that still shares a kinship with the Sex Pistols. Director John Cameron Mitchell stages an ambitious film that’s lovably sloppy and more than a little unhinged. It’s a punk rock Romeo & Juliet featuring Nicole Kidman looking like David Bowie in Labyrinth. Based on a short story by Neil Gaiman, this campy film goes for broke and deserves to find an audience.

‘Amy’ (2015)

Amy Winehouse from her titular documentary 'Amy'
Image via Altitude Film Distribution

Amy Winehouse died at the peak of her promising career, at the age of 27. As a song about her refusal to go to rehab earned her millions, the paparazzi documented the songstress’ battle with addiction. This documentary about Amy Winehouse accesses home videos, archival footage, and interviews with many of the major players in her life and crafts a narrative that tells of trauma and abuse.

Director Asif Kapadia’s documentary features many famous faces, including Tony Bennett, Yasiin Bey, Mark Ronson, Russell Brand, and Pete Doherty, as well as the two toxic male figures in her life, father Mitch Winehouse and husband Blake Fielder-Civil. Amy’s talent is overshadowed by a foreboding sense of doom. The fame-industrial complex takes its lumps as the film’s voyeuristic tendencies complete an act of mourning.

‘Enemy’ (2014)

Image via A24

In 2013’s Enemy, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a mild-mannered college professor who spots his doppelganger while watching a movie. The actor appears to be an exact copy, and Adam becomes obsessed, seeking him out.

Director Denis Villeneuve is the Oscar-nominated mastermind behind Dune, Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, and Sicario. Before those, there was Enemy, a dramatic thriller that establishes itself as an unusual watch from its very first shot and confirms its cult status with its very last. With the help of Gyllenhaal’s confident dual roles, Villeneuve crafts a waking nightmare that explores hidden desires through a morbid veil. Enemy will haunt you.

‘Lean On Pete’ (2018)

lean-on-pete charlie plummer chloe sevigny a24 hbo max

Fifteen-year-old Charley’s life has always lacked stability. Hoping for a fresh start, he and his father move to Portland, Oregon, where Charley takes a summer job with a has-been horse trainer and befriends a racehorse on its last legs, called Lean on Pete.

This film is unrelentingly bleak. Charley would have no luck if not for bad luck, and he’s not the one about to be turned into glue. This coming-of-age story features a character arc with true depth, honesty, and vulnerability, thanks in large part to Charlie Plummer, who establishes himself as a real player, holding his weight against the likes of Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, and Steve Zahn. Lean On Pete gets very dark, but there is something redeeming in Charley’s resilience.

‘Remember’ (2016)

remember movie christopher plummer max landau nazi hunters a24 hbo max

Zev, an elderly Holocaust survivor and widower, follows directions from fellow Auschwitz survivor Max to embark on a cross-country trip to hunt down the former Nazi responsible for the deaths of both their families in the camp. Zev’s advanced age is challenge enough, but he’s also battling memory – and memory loss – along the way.

Tonally dissonant, Remember is both a story of love and loss, and a gimmicky tale of vengeance. Director Atom Egoyan draws out an astonishing performance by Christopher Plummer. Plummer gives a masterclass as an improbable Nazi hunter with dementia, but Zev’s struggle to reconcile the past with the present is relatable and heartbreaking.

‘The Spectacular Now’ (2013)

The Spectacular Now - Feature Photo
The Spectacular Now – Feature Photo

Sutter (Miles Teller) is a popular, hard-partying high school senior who gets dumped by his girlfriend (Brie Larson) and starts dating Aimee (Shailene Woodley), a shy and serious girl from a very different social clique. It shouldn’t work, but he’s charismatic, and she thinks she can help him. Unfortunately, Sutter continues to get in his own way. Growing up means realizing that cutting Aimee loose might be the kindest thing he can do.

Director James Ponsoldt defies expectations. The protagonists are nuanced, the story-telling candid. The Spectacular Now is a gritty, atypical young adult romance. Teller and Woodley have great chemistry, the film doesn’t flinch from hard realities, and happy endings are relative.

‘Room’ (2015)

room brie larson jacob tremblay a24 hbo max

A young woman (Brie Larson) has been held captive since she was kidnapped seven years prior. She shares a 10×10 foot space with her 5-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who was born inside that room and has never seen outside of it. Realizing he is their only hope, she trains her young child in a daring escape. But once they’ve been rescued, they face an even more daunting reality: the outside world.

Room is quite simply a fantastic film. With such darkness at its heart, it never strays into maudlin territory but is almost unbearably taut with emotion. This movie pinches the heart, wrecks the nerves, and leaves viewers in a cold sweat. It’s a visceral experience and a heavy watch that’s made palatable by a skillful vein of hope that runs through it.

‘A Most Violent Year’ (2014)

A Most Violent Year is a grossly underrated crime drama from director J. C. Chandor. Starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain as a competitive couple in the oil business, it’s centered on what the characters are willing to do to get ahead in the industry. Their small company is caught in the middle of mafia-like competitors, violent henchmen and corrupt government officials.

Isaac’s performance as Abel Morales is particularly remarkable, as it’s easy to feel invested in the story thanks to the ambitious, morally questionable and intense protagonist he effectively plays. The entire film is a bit of a slow burn, but there’s a rewarding and unforgettable ending for viewers who stick around.

‘Under The Skin’ (2014)

under the skin scarlett johansson a24 hbo max

An alien (Scarlett Johansson) disguises herself as a beautiful human woman and drives around Scotland luring lonely, unsuspecting men into her van for harvesting. Under The Skin is one of those weird and wondrous films that will alienate casual viewers but fascinate true film buffs. Director Jonathan Glazer takes on the fear of female sexuality using fantasy to provoke and unnerve, probing and dismantling gender identity.

This arthouse horror isn’t so much a story as a subversion. Its hypnotic score, composed by the brilliant Mica Levi, will haunt you. The audiovisual experience is seductive and disturbing, a confusing kaleidoscope that needs to be seen to be believed, if not understood.

NEXT: Best A24 Horror Movies, According to IMDb


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