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The 35 Best Movies at SXSW 2024




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From March 8th to March 16th, 2024, South by Southwest (SXSW) will continue the immersive festival experience it began way back in 1987. Austin, TX has become bigger than ever, and as such, SXSW has inflated to be a major event for film, television, art, video games, comedy, music, politics, and more. Simultaneously unpretentious yet brimming with the hottest new titles, monitoring SXSW is a great way to test where the cinematic wind is blowing for the year at hand.

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There are a ton of excellent films coming to SXSW this year (several of which seem set to become some of the best movies of 2024), and we wanted to spotlight the 35 that we think any cinephile should keep an eye on. Check it out below.

35 Arcadian

Nicolas Cage and kids in a jeep in the movie Arcadian
Arcadian

Nicolas Cage continues the renaissance stage of his career with a bevy of interesting indies (Pig, Dream Scenario) by lending his talents to the upcoming film, Arcadian. In the near future, ‘normal’ life on Earth has been essentially decimated. Paul and his two sons, Thomas and Joseph, have been living a half-life – tranquility by day and torment by night. One day, Thomas doesn’t return home on time from a visit to his crush, the nearby farm girl, Charlotte.

Paul chooses to leave the safety of their fortified farm, risking his life to find Thomas. Just as he finds his boy, a nightmarish battle ensues. Back at the house, Joseph is scared and all alone to defend himself against the nightly attack. Written by Mike Nilon and directed by Ben Brewer, the film stars Nicolas Cage, Jaeden Martell, Maxwell Jenkins, Sadie Soverall. Learn more about Arcadianhere.

34 Audrey

Jackie Van Beek holds a parking sign in the movie Audrey
Audrey

Forgotten soap-star and self-appointed Mother of the Year, Ronnie Lipsick is living the life she never asked for. Her acting career was derailed due to an untimely pregnancy 18 years earlier, and her dreams of stardom replaced with a suburban performing arts school. Her husband, Cormack, hos lost is lust and love for life. Her youngest daughter, Norah, appears to have no use for her. And finally, there’s the ungrateful eldest, Audrey, who Ronnie has given the best part of her parenting time to mold into the success she always wanted to be.

But when an accident lands Audrey in a coma, Ronnie gets her second chance at the life she actually wanted by taking on her daughter’s identity. Written by Lou Sanz and directed by Natalie Bailey, the film stars Jackie Van Beek, Josephine Blazier, Hannah Diviney, and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor. You can learn more about Audreyhere.

33 Azrael

Samara Weaving bloody in Azrael
Azrael

Many years following the apocalypse, a devout cult of mute zealots hunts down a young woman, Azrael, who has escaped her imprisonment. Recaptured by its ruthless leaders, Azrael is to be sacrificed to pacify an ancient evil that resides deep within the surrounding wilderness – yet she will stop at nothing to ensure her own survival. In what follows, Azrael makes a savage bid for freedom as her escape accelerates towards a vicious, revenge-fueled showdown.

Written by the great Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire) and directed by E.K. Katz, Azrael stars Samara Weaving, Vic Carmen Sonne, Katariina Unt, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Sebastian Bull Sarning. You can learn more about Azrael and its screening times here. You can check out our interview with Samara Weaving for the film Chevalier below:

32 Babes

Michelle and Ilana Glazer in Babes, directed by Pamela Adlon
NEON

The beloved Ilana Glazer co-writes and co-produces Babes with Josh Rabinowitz, trusting their script in the excellent hands of the great Pamela Adlon (Better Things, Louie). Glazer stars alongside Michelle Buteau, John Carroll Lynch, and the recently controversial Hasan Minhaj in a comedy in the vein of Knocked Up and Obvious Child. After becoming pregnant from a one-night stand, Eden leans on her married best friend and mother of two, Dawn, to guide her through gestation and beyond. Find the screening time and more information for Babeshere.

31 Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts

Ben and Suzanne discuss their relationship on a balcony in Sri Lanka in the SXSW movie in 4 parts
Molly Scotti

In Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts, Ben Santhanaraj journeys to Sri Lanka to rekindle his relationship with Suzanne Hopper, an American NGO worker, after a long separation. But when Suzanne’s boss demands she work during their vacation, their love is tested by a dilemma: desire versus duty.

As Suzanne struggles with the responsibilities of her job, Ben tries everything to revive their intimacy, leading to candid conversations and chaotic twists as New Year’s Eve — and Ben’s departure — looms ahead. Written and directed by Shaun Seneviratne, the film stars Sathya Sridharan and Anastasia Olowin. Find out showtimes for Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts and more here.

30 Birdeater

Irene and Sam close-up in the SXSW movie Birdeater
Blue Finch Film Releasing

In Birdeater, a bride-to-be is invited to join her own fiancé’s bachelor party on a remote property in the Australian outback. But as the festivities spiral into beer-soaked chaos, uncomfortable details about their relationship are exposed, and the celebration soon becomes a feral nightmare. Written by Jack Clark and directed by Clark and Jim Weir in their feature debut, the film stars Shabana Azeez, Mackenzie Fearnley, Ben Hunter, Jack Bannister, Clementine Anderson, Alfie Gledhill, Harley Wilson, and Caroline McQuade. You can find showtimes and more information about the film here here.

29 Black Box Diaries

Director Shiori Ito in the SXSW film Black Box Diaries
Tsutomu Harigaya

Black Box Diaries is positioned to be a powerful autobiographical film and emotional documentary thriller. The movie follows director and journalist Shiori Ito’s courageous investigation of her own sexual assault in an improbable attempt to prosecute her high-profile offender. Unfolding like a thriller and combining secret investigative recordings, vérité shooting and emotional first-person video, Shiori’s quest becomes a landmark case in Japan, exposing the country’s desperately outdated judicial and societal systems. You can find showtimes and more information about Black Box Diarieshere.

28 The Black Sea

Two people hug in The Black Sea movie from SXSW
Jackson Hunt

Khalid, a charismatic big dreamer from Brooklyn, with no follow-thru, gets stuck in a small town on the Black Sea after chasing an opportunity for money that goes wrong. Being the only Black guy in the town, he quickly becomes the center of the town’s attention. His New York City street bop is all he has to survive. In his pursuit to get home, he finds a connection in a way he never expected with a local woman. Together they make their small dreams big.

Inspired by star and co-director Derrick B. Harden’s own travels to Bulgaria, The Black Sea is a personal and transformative journey of an isolated man. The film stars Derrick B. Harden, Irmena Chichikova, Samuel Finzi, and Stoyo Mirkov, and is directed by Harden and Crystal Moselle. You can find screening times and more about The Black Seahere.

27 Cheech & Chong’s Last Movie

Cheech and Chong flexing muscles
Chech and Chong’s Last Movie

Bursting onto the comedy scene in the early 1970s, Cheech and Chong brought drugs, sex, and rock’n’roll into the oeuvre, transforming them into stand-up-icons, counterculture rock stars, and Hollywood legends. Explosively funny, their irreverent stoner humor has translated into sold-out concerts, platinum-selling records, and box-office-smashing films. How did Cheech & Chong ignite the imaginations of a global audience and maintain their relevance through 50 years (and counting) of pop culture?

The first ever fully authorized Cheech & Chong documentary takes you on a poignant and hilarious journey into the lives and partnership of one of the greatest comic duos of all time. Directed by David Bushell and produced by him and Tommy Chong’s daughter, Robbi Chong, you can find out more about Cheech & Chong’s Last Movie and its screening times here.

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26 Cuckoo

Hunter Schafer hides in the SXSW movie Cuckoo
NEON

On a trip to the German Alps with her father and stepmother, Gretchen (Hunter Schafer from HBO’s Euphoria) discovers that the resort town where they’re staying hides sinister secrets, as she’s plagued by strange noises and frightening visions of a woman pursuing her. Soon, Gretchen finds herself pulled into a conspiracy involving bizarre experiments by the resort’s owner that echo back generations. Written and directed by Tilman Singer, the film stars Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick, Marton Csókás, Jan Bluthardt. Find more information and showtimes for Cuckoohere.

25 Dandelion

Dandelion sings in the SXSW movie Dandelion from IFC Films
IFC Films

Dandelion, a struggling Cincinnati singer-songwriter in a downward spiral, takes a last-ditch-effort gig at a motorcycle rally in South Dakota where she meets Casey, a guitarist who walked away from his dream long ago. As Dandelion joins Casey’s nomadic group of struggling musicians, the kindred spirits make music together and strike up a whirlwind romance.

The experience moves Dandelion from a narrow view of success to a deeper appreciation of her artistic journey, and the discovery of a voice that is authentically her own. Written and directed by Nicole Riegel, Dandelion stars Kiki Layne, Thomas Doherty, Melanie Nicholls-King, Brady Stablein, Jack Stablein, and Grace Kaiser. You can find the showtimes and learn more about Dandelionhere.

24 Dead Mail

Imprisoned keyboard engineer, Josh Ivey (Sterling Macer, Jr.), escaping in Dead Mail
Dead Mail LLC

On a desolate, Midwestern county road in Dead Mail, a bound man crawls towards a remote postal box, managing to slide a blood-stained plea-for-help message into the slot before a panicking figure closes in behind him. The note makes its way to the county post office and onto the desk of Jasper, a seasoned and skilled “dead letter” investigator, responsible for investigating lost mail and returning it to its sender.

As he investigates further, Jasper meets Trent, a strange yet unassuming man who has taken up residence at the men’s home where Jasper lives. When Trent unexpectedly shows up at Jasper’s office, it becomes clear he has a vested interest in the note, and will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Written and directed by Kyle McConaghy and Joe DeBoer, the film stars Sterling Macer, Jr., John Fleck, Susan Priver, Micki Jackson, Nick Heyman, Tomas Boykin. Find out more about the film here.

23 The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy
Universal Pictures

Far from the usual ‘cinema’ that generally comes to SXSW, The Fall Guy is nonetheless set to be a very entertaining diversion. Ryan Gosling stars as Colt, a stuntman who, after a near-career-ending accident, is drafted back into service when the star of a mega-budget movie — being directed by his ex, Jody (Emily Blunt) — goes missing. Now, this working-class hero has to solve a conspiracy and try to win back the love of his life while still doing his day job. What could possibly go right?

Written by Drew Pearce and inspired by the hit 1980s TV series, The Fall Guy is directed by the blockbuster director of Bullet Train and Deadpool 2, David Leitch. The film also stars Winston Duke, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Hannah Waddingham, Stephanie Hsu. Find out screening times and more here.

22 Family

Demon hand and woman's hand touch in SXSW movie Family 2024
Elisha Christian

11-year-old Johanna’s world is falling apart in the creepy new film, Family. She’s just moved across the country for her father Harry’s medical treatment, and as her father declines and her mother Naomi is consumed with caring for him, Johanna feels horribly alone. In desperation, she makes a call out into the universe for a good spirit to save her family.

But as the long summer days wear on, and a series of increasingly disturbing events rips through her home, she begins to fear that something else has come instead — a terrifying presence from some dark corner of the universe that has latched on to her family and is now eating them from the inside. Written and directed by Benjamin Finkel, the film stars Ruth Wilson, Ben Chaplin, Lucinda Lee Dawson Gray, and Allan Corduner. Find showtimes and more information about Familyhere.

21 Gasoline Rainbow

Tony Abuerto, Micah Bunch, Nichole Dukes, Nathaly Garcia, Makai Garza sit atop the van in Gasoline Rainbow
Turner Ross / Bill Ross

With high school in the rearview, five teenagers from small-town Oregon decide to embark on one last adventure. Piling into a van with a busted tail light, their mission is to make it to a place they’ve never been — the Pacific coast. Their plan, in full: “F*ck it.” Their improvised odyssey takes them through desert wilderness, industrial backwaters, and city streets.

The group encounter outsiders from the fringes of the American West and discover that the contours of their lives will be set by trails they blaze themselves. They are forgotten kids from a forgotten town, but they have their freedom and they have each other, hurtling toward an unknowable future — and The Party at the End of the World. Bill and Turner Ross serve as directors, editors, and cinematographers on their film Gasoline Rainbow, which features Makai Garza, Micah Bunch, Tony Aburto, Nichole Dukes, and Nathalie Garcia. You can find screening times and information here.

20 The Greatest Hits

The gorgeous Lucy Boynton in a crowd in SXSW film The Greatest Hits 2024
Searchlight Pictures

The gorgeous and fascinating Lucy Boynton stars in the upcoming film, The Greatest Hits, which is enough for us to be interested. In the film, Harriet finds art imitating life when she discovers certain songs can transport her back in time – literally. While she relives the past through romantic memories of her former boyfriend, her time traveling collides with a burgeoning new love interest in the present. Written and directed by Ned Benson, the film also stars the great Justin H. Min, David Corenswet, and Austin Crute. Find showtimes and learn more about The Greatest Hitshere.

19 The Gutter

Shameik Moore and Susan Sarandon in the 2024 SXSW film The Gutter
The Gutter

When frequently fired Walt lands a position tending bar and de-roaching shoes at his local bowling alley, AlleyCatz, he feels like he finally found a home. When money issues threaten AlleyCatz, Walt is pressured by former pro-bowler and current champion drinker Skunk to accept his role as the greatest bowler ever put on this earth.

While Walt’s love of big checks and in-your-face style of play dominates the pro tour, his detractors, including “Bowl Lives Matter” host Angelo Powers and fresh-out-of-retirement bowling-legend Linda “The Crusher” Curson, furiously attempt to snuff out Walt’s flame before it burns too bright. Written by Yassir Lester and directed by him and Isaiah Lester, the film’s excellent cast features Shameik Moore, Susan Sarandon, D’Arcy Carden, Jay Ellis, Jackée Harry, and Paul Reiser. Find out more about The Gutter and its showtimes here.

18 I Don’t Understand You

Nick Kroll and Andrew Rannells light a match in 2024 SXSW movie I Don't Understand You
Lowell Meyer

An American couple, on the verge of adopting a baby, goes on an Italian vacation — an opportunity to reconnect before the new addition arrives. Everything is picture-perfect; the epitome of a European baby moon, when things begin to spiral out of control. On the way to dinner, they get their rental car stuck in a ditch and are stranded in rural nowhere in a downpour. These two Americans, who are used to being catered to, are now in a foreign land without service, an Italian language comprehension of about zero, and clear relationship turmoil that could explode at any minute. Fear obviously takes over.

Written and directed by Brian Crano and David Craig, the film’s very funny cast features Nick Kroll, Andrew Rannells, Nunzia Schiano, Morgan Spector, and Eleonora Romandini. You can find more information about I Don’t Understand You and its showtimes here.

17 I Love You Forever

Sofia Black-D'Elia in a hoodie in the SXSW movie I Love You Forever
I Love You Forever

Sofia Black-D’Elia has quickly become one of the most radiant and watchable stars to emerge in the past few years, largely thanks to her work in Skins and the great Single Drunk Female, which means her headlining role in the film I Love You Forever is a must-watch. The current dating landscape is bleak at best and no one is more aware of this than Mackenzie, a disillusioned 25-year-old law student whose love life consists of non-committal hookups and situationships from hell. When she has a “real life meet-cute” with Finn, a handsome and charming journalist who isn’t afraid to show affection, she starts to believe true love may actually exist.

When Finn’s dark side begins to emerge, Mackenzie finds herself trapped in a tumultuous and depleting cycle of emotional abuse, and must confront whether her true love is too good to be true after all. Written and directed by Cazzie David and Elisa Kalani, the film also stars Ray Nicholson, Jon Rudnitsky, Cazzie David, and Raymond Cham Jr. Find showtimes and more here.

16 I Saw the TV Glow

Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine in I Saw the TV Glow movie from SXSW 2024
A24

Writer-director Jane Schoenbrun made big waves with her creepy and intimate debut feature, the internet culture film We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, so their next movie, I Saw the TV Glow, should be on your radar, especially since Schoenbrun is teaming up with indie all-stars A24. In the film, teenager Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack.

Like their first film, Schoenbrun has Alex G doing the score here, which should be immaculate. Emma Stone also serves as a producer, so that’s another win for her. The film stars Justice Smith, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Ian Foreman, Helena Howard, Lindsey Jordan (of the great band Snail Mail), Danielle Deadwyler, and, yes, Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit fame). You can find showtimes and information about I Saw the TV Glowhere.

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