The best movies of 2024 (so far)

The best movies of 2024 (so far)
  • 2024 has already been chock full of great movies.

  • Big spectacles like "Furiosa" and "Dune: Part Two" captured viewers' and critics' attention.

  • Smaller dramas like "Civil War" and "Challengers" also packed a punch and prompted discourse online in the process.

Giant sandworms! Crazy car chases! Horny tennis players! The best movies of 2024 so far have offered a wide array of cinematic pleasures — and a double dose of Zendaya.

As we close in on halfway through the year, we round up the best movies of 2024, so far.

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga”

Anya Taylor-Joy driving the war rig
Anya Taylor-Joy in "Furiosa."Warner Bros.

George Miller's latest trek into the Wasteland may not be as jaw-dropping as his magnum opus "Mad Max: Fury Road," but the auteur of action still dazzles with breathtaking shots of desolate sandy vistas and ultra-violent car chases.

The major highlight is Anya Taylor-Joy as Imperator Furiosa (originally played by Charlize Theron in "Fury Road"). With very little dialogue, Taylor-Joy must use facial expressions and a multitude of stunts to convey her character's origin story and complex emotional arc. It's well worth the ride.

“Dune: Part Two”

Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler fighting
(L-R) Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler in "Dune: Part Two."Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

"Furiosa" isn't the only hit this year that is set in a sandy locale.

Denis Villeneuve's continuation of his adaptation of Frank Herbert's beloved sci-fi novel takes us back to Arrakis, where Paul (Timothée Chalamet) goes from the hunted to the hunter as he teams with the Fremen to fight his enemies and becomes a Messiah in the process.

Like the first movie, the visuals are stunning, but the sequel also features more Zendaya as Paul's love interest, heightening the stakes by the end.

“Bob Marley: One Love”

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley
Kingsley Ben-Adir in "Bob Marley: One Love."Paramount

A biopic about Bob Marley's life has been in the works for years, and director Reinaldo Marcus Green ("King Richard") was finally able to make it a reality.

Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, who also impressively portrayed Malcolm X in "One Night in Miami…", the movie is a powerful examination of the political turmoil that fueled Marley's music.

“Civil War”

Kirsten Dunst as Lee in "Civil War"
Kirsten Dunst in "Civil War."A24

In one of the year's most polarizing movies, director Alex Garland showcases a United States that has been ravaged by civil unrest.

Kirsten Dunst is magnificent as a hardened war journalist in an existential crisis while traveling from New York City to Washington, D.C. to cover the story. The war scenes are brutal and devastating, but that's the point.

“The Fall Guy”

Ryan Gosling standing next to Emily Blunt
Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt in "The Fall Guy."Universal

Though "The Fall Guy" underperformed at the box office, David Leitch's love letter to stunt performers is one of the most enjoyable movie-watching experiences of the year.

A big reason for that is the performances from Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, whose chemistry as they navigate an on-and-off relationship while coping with movie-making madness is off the charts.


Zendaya as Tashi Duncan in "Challengers."
Zendaya in "Challengers."Niko Tavernise/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Zendaya is back again, but this time she's on the tennis court for Luca Guadagnino's sporty, steamy drama.

But these characters are playing plenty of games off-court, too. As a former tennis great thrust into a love triangle with two other players, her now-husband Art (Mike Faist) and her ex-boyfriend Patrick (Josh O'Connor), Zendaya delivers one of the most layered performances of her career as she navigates love, lust, and mind games.

“The Greatest Night in Pop”

We Are The World Musicians smiling
The legendary musicians involved in "We Are The World."Netflix

The song "We Are The World" brought together the greatest musicians in pop and rock, but the story of how it came together makes the song even more remarkable.

This Netflix documentary from Bao Nguyen features never-before-seen footage and candid interviews recounting a single evening in Los Angeles that would become a defining moment for pop culture in the 1980s.

The documentary is replete with fascinating details about how the song and its ensuing celebrity spectacle came to be. From seeing how Michael Jackson created the hook to watching musicians like Cyndi Lauper and Huey Lewis give it their all recording long into the night, "The Greatest Night in Pop" is a must-see for anyone who lived through or loved the '80s music scene.

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