The 10 Best New Movies (Right Now)

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The 10 Best New Movies (Right Now)

When searching for the latest and greatest cinematic offerings, the shifting distribution landscape makes one thing abundantly clear: No matter how badly we’d like for the big screen to be the place for the best movies, it’s simply not the case. Sure, the theatrical experience claims plenty of worthy films, but with on-demand video rental and the overwhelming number of streaming options—two areas where indie and arthouse cinema have been thriving as theaters shove them aside for more and more Marvel movies—alternative viewing methods bear consideration if you’re after a comprehensive list of the best new fare.

This list is composed of the best new movies, updated every week, regardless of how they’re available. Some may have you weighing whether it’s worth it to brave the theater. Some, thankfully, are cheaply and easily available to check out from your living room couch or your bedroom laptop. Regardless of how you watch them, they deserve to be watched—from tiny international dramas to blockbuster action films to auteurist awards favorites.

Check out the 10 best new movies movies right now:

10. Monkey Man

Release Date: March 11, 2024
Director: Dev Patel
Stars: Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley, Pitobash, Sobhita Dhulipala, Sikandar Kher, Vipin Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar, Adithi Kalkunte, Makarand Deshpande
Rating: R
Runtime: 113 minutes

Despite the desires of the internet, Dev Patel clearly never wanted to be James Bond. He wanted to be Rorschach. Patel’s directorial debut, Monkey Man, fashions its Hanuman-based action hero after the big, brash mythologies of Indian epics and comic book vigilantes. Delicate moralities have their faces smashed against toilet bowl porcelain, and nuance has its bones cracked by a kitchen-sink adoration of grisly action styles. The result is an unwieldy flurry of blows, unleashed by a whirling dervish filmmaker battering us with his influences. It’s a familiar chaos, and one that threatens to get away from the person trying to contain it, but with the extra sauce of a passion project. From John Wick to Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee movies to the Ramayana, Patel poured his fascinations into his frenetic fable. Monkey Man finds itself in the final round, however, landing combo after bloody combo as it ascends towards actually reaching its wild-eyed ambitions. And those ambitions are shared by Kid (played by Patel), who we meet as a living, breathing Chumbawamba song. He gets knocked down and gets back up again, professionally. When not spitting blood as the fall guy in an underground MMA match (overseen by peacocking ring announcer Sharlto Copley), he’s scraping for stolen dollars with his network of impoverished peers. This is all in service of his ultimate goal: Revenge on the men who destroyed his idyllic rural life and family. Kid is a being of endless energy and rage, an underdog driven by a baked-in action-movie assurance: If he just beats the hell out of enough people, he’ll have fixed things. Grounded in Monkey Man’s fictional Indian city of Yatana, it’s a position of desperate anger, exacerbated by its setting, where injustice fills the air and inequality is at its most extreme. Hopping between slums, kitchen-dumpster alleys and black-tie brothels, polarized disparity is as much a target as the crooked powerbrokers the film stands up as its symbols. Monkey Man’s violent disillusion with the corrupt three-way handshake between religion, business and politics (not to mention men in general) coincides with India’s increasing turn to the right. The Bharatiya Janata Party and its highly conservative Hindutva haunt the action film broadly, but specific snippets of news footage interspersed make sure that nobody can miss its real-life ties. The dripping-wet violence and exertion of Monkey Man make you feel like you’re watching someone tear a film from their flesh. Patel establishes himself as a filmmaker with bountiful style and dedication, and as someone whose work transforms and personalizes his influences. But with that excruciating artistic surgical procedure comes mess. With first-time filmmakers, mess is a guarantee. But despite making a film that lives between worlds—walking its litter-strewn asphalt as easily as its lush hallucinated jungles—and that often feels at war with itself, Patel has earnestly straddled the highest myth and the grittiest realism to make a raw, exciting combination that feels all his own.–Jacob Oller

9. Late Night with the Devil

Release Date: March 22, 2024
Director: Colin Cairnes, Cameron Cairnes
Stars: David Dastmalchian, Laura Gordon, Ian Bliss, Fayssal Bazzi
Rating: R
Runtime: 86 minutes

The brothers behind Aussie cult horror-comedy 100 Bloody Acres, Colin and Cameron Cairnes return to the uneasy balance of genres for Late Night with the Devil — and they throw in a new one for good measure. Not content to simply be charmingly hacky or tightly gruesome, Late Night with the Devil is also a great movie about (and existing within the form of) talk shows. David Dastmalchian was born for the role of an underdog late-night host, occupying the uneasy space between slick smarm, hungry entitlement and genuine empathy. His piercing eyes and faltering smile persist through the patter and the cue cards, so when it’s clear that he’s brought something he could never hope to understand — let alone control — onto his program as a ratings ploy, we’re plummeting on the roller coaster right alongside him. The Cairnes’ dedication to their set and its stagecraft envelops you in the exploitative environment, ready to see a variety show of oddballs trotted out for America’s perverse pleasure. Add in some no-holds-barred gore and a few guests chewing the scenery, and you’ve got yourself a winning midnight staple – no musical guest necessary. Also, c’mon. If you throw in the owl mask from Stage Fright, I’m basically yours to lose.–Jacob Oller

8. Love Lies Bleeding

Release Date: March 8, 2024
Director: Rose Glass
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, Dave Franco, Ed Harris
Rating: R
Runtime: 104 minutes

Love Lies Bleeding is, in actuality, a far more effective horror film than Saint Maud. Filmmaker Rose Glass excels at crafting horrific images, moments of pure grotesquery and terror, and she pushes the boundaries of an otherwise grounded thriller-crime drama into something that resembles a gorgeous night terror. Sensuality oozes from every frame for a film that isn’t even terribly gratuitous during its sex scenes. But the physical act of sex between bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brian) and gym manager Lou (Kristen Stewart) equals otherwise non-sexual scenes, such as Lou jabbing a syringe into Jackie’s butt cheek, or Lou Sr. (Ed Harris) whispering in Jackie’s ear before she fires a gun—or even Jackie’s roid rage-fueled murder of JJ (Dave Franco), which plunges Jackie and Lou’s passionate neophyte romance into an explicitly gay Thelma and Louise, where the two lovers must flee the wrath of Lou’s criminal family. The connection between the two women is desperate, carnal and overwhelming, if simultaneously toxic and even a little superficial. Suddenly, nothing matters to Lou quite as much as her ripped new girlfriend, whom she’s more than happy to continue supplying with body-enhancing drugs that cause Monstar-like eruptions under her skin in sequences of heightened surrealism. As the walls close in on Jackie and Lou, Glass amps up the tension with tight, suffocating shots, propulsive editing and an absorbing score by Clint Mansell. At the center of it all is Jackie and Lou’s cacophonous romance. By all accounts, the gay Romeo and Juliet were doomed from the start. Stewart and O’Brian have incredible chemistry, and Stewart’s understated naturalism really shines. Love Lies Bleeding is easily one of the best of 2024 so far: A thorny, thrilling narrative about two fucked-up women that is—most importantly—genuinely, scintillatingly hot. The film is also very obviously about the myriad, terrifying ways human beings express love to one another, and on the surface seems to question which ones are more or less valid.–Brianna Zigler

7. The First Omen

Release Date: April 5, 2024
Director: Arkasha Stevenson
Stars: Nell Tiger Free, Tawfeek Barhom, Sônia Braga, Ralph Ineson, Bill Nighy
Rating: R
Runtime: 117 minutes

Unless it’s something like the Evil Dead franchise, I generally don’t give horror sequels or prequels a passing thought other than “obvious insta-garbage.” How wrong I was about The First Omen, the feature debut of writer/director Arkasha Stevenson. Her film immediately struck me not as a franchise cash-in, but as the work of someone who deeply understands what makes good horror tick and who made this installment almost completely their own. The small handful of Marvel-esque Easter eggs are entirely negligible for how well the film succeeds at being an affecting and stomach-churning work of modern horror. The First Omen kicks off with a queasy conversation between two English priests, Father Harris (Charles Dance) and Father Brennan (Ralph Ineson), over the conception of an unknown cursed child, a girl (Damien is a boy, yes—but I’ll keep this review spoiler-free) whose birth will bring forth an all-powerful evil. Kept elusive and told via a collage of disturbing yet striking images, we leave this scene and cut to the arrival of a young American nun-to-be named Margaret (Nell Tiger Free). She befriends her new roommate, the free-spirited Luz (Maria Caballero), who is determined to use her remaining days of secular freedom spent as the hedonistic young woman she still is. One night, Luz gets a reluctant Margaret all gussied up and drags her to a disco, where Margaret meets a nice Italian boy with whom she shares an intimate moment. The next day, she wakes up in a puddle of her own sweat, the memory of the previous night already erased; Luz assures her that she got Margaret home safely. A grave encounter with Father Brennan portends impending doom, and Margaret begins to see and experience strange, diabolical things. Stevenson, aided by co-writers Tim Smith and Keith Thomas, makes The First Omen remarkably fresh while utilizing old tricks. Pans and zooms give the filmmaking a throwback feel (cinematography credited to Aaron Morton), jump scares function as earned accoutrement for a well-crafted atmosphere instead of supplanting actual horror filmmaking, and there are images that are genuinely difficult to look at—not just because they make the audience look at something particularly visceral, but because of the way the shot is blocked, the way the lighting is lit, the way a body is not quite as it should be. Not overtly gory but just off, which is often far more skin-crawling than blood and guts ever are. The First Omen is an exceedingly successful first feature, and an invigorating film within a genre’s increasingly limp mainstream.–Brianna Zigler

6. The People’s Joker

Release Date: April 5, 2024
Director: Vera Drew
Stars: Vera Drew, Lynn Downey, Christian Calloway, Griffin Kramer, Kane Distler, Nathan Faustyn, Phil Braun, David Liebe Hart, Scott Aukerman, Tim Heidecker, Maria Bamford, Bob Odenkirk
Rating: NR
Runtime: 92 minutes

A feat of parody so outrageous that its legend (and strongly worded letter from corporate) precedes it, The People’s Joker is an endlessly amusing, deeply personal, wildly inventive collision of genres all bent to the will of filmmaker Vera Drew. Her queer coming-of-age is filtered through the language and imagery of Batman media, her transition and alt-comedy leanings all given hilarious reflections in the Rogues’ Gallery of Gotham. But it’s through the combination of DIY greenscreen work and effervescent, scrappy animation captured in populist media like Minecraft and VR Chat that the film’s indie production wins you over. The resulting collage is like visiting your childhood bedroom, and relating the sticker-covered walls to your adult life. Also, all the stickers are voiced by people like Maria Bamford, Scott Aukerman, Tim Heidecker and Bob Odenkirk. Drew herself is a charismatic performer, as is Kane Distler, who plays her romantic foil (who is also a Joker), but it’s Phil Braun’s ridiculous Batman that always steals the show. The riotous, anarchic result is everything the corporate use of the Joker isn’t, and everything it could be. The People’s Joker is a deftly assembled reckoning of how we use art — ranging from the cribbed comic aesthetic to the film’s Lorne Michaels-skewering comedy scene — to craft ourselves.–Jacob Oller

5. Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World

Release Date: March 22, 2024
Director: Radu Jude
Stars: Ilinca Manolache, Nina Hoss, Uwe Boll
Rating: R
Runtime: 164 minutes

Radu Jude’s literalized mouthful Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World depicts, perhaps, the most accurate representation of the dystopia we live in, and the supposed impending dystopia that we’re in the process of arriving at. Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World largely centers on a day in the life of young Romanian woman Angela (Ilinca Manolache), an overworked, underpaid film production assistant, driving around Bucharest to cast for a work accident film. The film has been commissioned by a major company obviously attempting to cover the tracks left by lax safety precautions for their workers, fronted by a suit named Doris Goethe (Nina Hoss)—funnily, a direct relation to the influential German writer. Between meetings, Angela films intentionally provocative and popular TikToks playing the character of an Andrew Tate wannabe named Bóbita. Throughout the black-and-white cinematography of the present day, where we follow Angela around and find ourselves lulled to sleep by the rhythmic movements of her hands on the steering wheel and the changing gears, Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World slips in and out of the story of another Angela: The 1981 Romanian film Angela Goes On. Directed by Lucian Bratu, the older film chronicles the seemingly humdrum routine of the eponymous woman (played by Dorina Lazar) working as a taxi driver. But it was, at the time, a quietly subversive work depicting the reality of life under poverty, having been made during the oppressive and censoring regime of Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu. Jude considers the films of both Angelas in conversation with one another: Two films about two women doing similar jobs during drastically different political periods in the same country. Jude even slows down parts of the older film for audiences to catch what the Romanian censors at the time did not. Jude’s film is hypnotic, patient and playful, bending the rules of filmmaking, overlaying fiction on top of fiction, blending mixed media—even interjecting a surprise and charming cameo from notorious German director Uwe Boll, whom Angela convinces to appear in one of her Bóbita TikToks while he shoots an inane green screen action sequence on a backlot. In the reality depicted by Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, the world will not end with a whimper or a bang, but as work accident victims idle, filming an insurance video in the rain; while the crew bickers among themselves; while the film’s PA risks crashing their car due to loss of sleep out on field work; while young people make TikToks displaying a tenuous grasp on the concept of satire; while nothing is being done to improve the lives of the people who still very much live on this planet.–Brianna Zigler

4. The Taste of Things

Release Date: February 9, 2024
Director: Trần Anh Hùng
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Benoît Magimel
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 136 minutes

While ASMR is most heavily associated with the pleasures of sound, it would be nothing without the aesthetics. The way a cake spatula smooths a dollop of buttery frosting; the way egg noodles gleam under a coating of soy sauce. It might sound reductive to compare Vietnamese-French director Trần Anh Hùng’s lyrical work with a social media fad, but there is now an entire micro-industry dedicated to the way human beings have always lusted after the sensual impressions of food, an idea which is as much in conversation within The Taste of Things as that of the romance between its two leads. If there were no plot at all, The Taste of Things could still very easily coast on the visual and auditory pleasures of its subject: The culinary arts, to which Trần’s camera and microphone dedicate sumptuous displays of rich textures and decadent sizzles of in-process cookery, much of it spearheaded by veteran kitchen cook Eugénie (Juliette Binoche). Taking place in late 19th century France at the estate of the so-called “Napoleon of Culinary Arts” Dodin Bouffant (Benoît Magimel), The Taste of Things focuses on its residents. For Dodin and Eugénie, cooking is an erotic, romantic, intimate act. After the first meal of the film is enjoyed by Dodin and some colleagues, they all bemoan Eugénie’s welcome yet absent company at their dinner. Eugénie assures them she is speaking to them through her food. While Eugénie prepares a lavish spread for Dodin and his friends, she momentarily loses herself, seemingly to the understandable exhaustion that comes with dancing and careening through a hot kitchen. DP Jonathan Ricquebourg glides the camera around Eugénie and co., giving the banquet preparation a sense of precise choreography akin to ballet, all the way to the angle at which a wooden spoon slips through a pan of rich, creamy sauce. Throughout the narrative’s drama, the chemistry between Binoche and Magimel is as palpable as the food that their characters prepare together. And while the film remains free of explicit sex or nudity (though, one scene cheekily parallels Binoche’s nude silhouette with the curvature of a poached pear), the insinuations and implications carried by the appearance, sound and intent behind the cooking are far more sensuous. The Taste of Things is abundantly, if maybe overwhelmingly, accessible; it’s not particularly challenging to watch a film that’s quite literally as gratifying as a home-cooked meal.–Brianna Zigler

3. Drive-Away Dolls

Release Date: February 23, 2024
Director: Ethan Coen
Stars: Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Vaswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Bill Camp, Matt Damon
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy

Ethan Coen’s solo fictional directorial debut Drive-Away Dolls is an end-to-end comedy, a road film about two twenty-something lesbians unwittingly ensnared in someone else’s caper, dodging a couple of criminals while growing as people. Margaret Qualley is Jamie, a free spirit of uncertain employment who we meet while she’s stepping out on her partner, police officer Sukie (Beanie Feldstein). Geraldine Viswanathan is her upright and uptight friend Marian, who works an ambiguous office job where she’s tired of her coworkers as well as the big city (Philadelphia in 1999). After Sukie catches Jamie cheating, gives her a black eye at a bar, and kicks her out of their shared apartment, Jamie tags along on Marian’s road trip to visit her aunt in Tallahassee using Curlie’s (Bill Camp) driveaway service. Their journey of self-discovery is eventually impacted by two goons (Joey Slotnick as Arliss and C.J. Wilson as Flint) working for The Chief (Colman Domingo), who are on their trail to recover some sensitive objects hidden in the car. Drive-Away Dolls is funny all the time. There is a goofiness of circumstance, fools and jesters brought together because of their employment and other people’s decisions. It’s never stiff or stuffy, but often very smart. The dialogue is terrific (written by Coen and his wife/frequent editor Tricia Cooke) at distinguishing the personalities of each character, big and small, making them feel like real (sometimes real odd) people rather than just archetypes (and every archetype presented is fleshed out for maximum value). On top of that, Drive-Away Dolls is a sometimes tender, sometimes thrilling, tightly-paced comedy that, despite clocking in at under 90 minutes, feels downright luxuriant at times. With Drive-Away Dolls, Tricia Cooke and Ethan Coen channel their influences and experiences into a tight, satisfying, humorous road movie. A knowing and humorous tone never loses its flair, with an artistic touch and commitment that makes you buy into the jokes in the first place. It is a refreshing comical experience threading together the absurd and the authentic.–Kevin Fox Jr.

2. Dune: Part Two

Release Date: March 1, 2024
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Léa Seydoux, Souheila Yacoub, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 166 minutes

Set aside the complicated calculus of food, shelter and family needs. It’s time to shell out the big bucks and head to the local IMAX. To borrow from Kidman’s AMC commercial more explicitly, though you might not be “somehow reborn,” there will be “dazzling images,” sound you can feel and you will be taken somewhere you’ve “never been before” (at least, not since Dune). As befits a Part Two, Villeneuve’s film picks up in medias res, with Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and the Fremen encountering and dealing with a murderous Harkonnen hunting party while trying to reach the Fremen stronghold. From this encounter, Villaneuve nimbly guides the narrative from one key moment to the next, a veritable dragonfly ornithopter of plot advancement (with a few slower moments to allow the burgeoning relationship with Paul and Zendaya’s Chani to breathe). If the outcome of each narrative stop feels very much fated, that in turn feels appropriate given the messianic prophecy undergirding the entire tale.  Dune: Part Two’s production design is as much center stage as its star-studded cast. Villaneuve pummels the viewer with the sheer scale and brutal, industrial efficiency of the Harkonnen operation—well, it would be efficient if not for those pesky Fremen—yet all of it is engulfed in turn by Arrakis itself. Meanwhile, the sound design and throbbing aural cues evoke the weight and oppressiveness of a centuries-spanning empire, the suffocating cunning of “90 generations” of Bene Gesserit schemes and the inescapable gravity Arrakis and its spice-producing leviathans exert on both. For those torn on whether it’s worth venturing forth to the multiplex, consider Dune: Part Two a compelling two-hour-and-forty-six-minute argument in the “for” column. And that “indescribable feeling” you get when “the lights begin to dim?” That’s cinematic escape velocity, instantly achieved. Next stop, Arrakis.–Michael Burgin

1. Hundreds of Beavers

Release Date: January 26, 2024
Director: Mike Cheslik
Stars: Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, Olivia Graves, Wes Tank
Rating: NR
Runtime: 108 minutes

Hundreds of Beavers is a lost continent of comedy, rediscovered after decades spent adrift. Rather than tweaking an exhausted trend, the feature debut of writer/director Mike Cheslik is an immaculately silly collision of timeless cinematic hilarity, unearthed and blended together into something entirely new. A multimedia extravaganza of frozen idiocy, Hundreds of Beavers is a slapstick tour de force—and its roster of ridiculous mascot-suited wildlife is only the tip of the iceberg. First things first: Yes, there are hundreds of beavers. Dozens of wolves. Various little rabbits, skunks, raccoons, frogs and fish. (And by “little,” I mean “six-foot stuntmen in cheap costumes.”) We have a grumpy shopkeeper, forever missing his spittoon. His impish daughter, a flirty furrier stuck behind his strict rage. And one impromptu trapper, Jean Kayak (co-writer/star Ryland Brickson Cole Tews), newly thawed and alone in the old-timey tundra. Sorry, Jean, but you’re more likely to get pelted than to get pelts. With its cartoonish violence and simple set-up comes an invigorating elegance that invites you deeper into its inspired absurdity. And Hundreds of Beavers has no lack of inspiration. The dialogue-free, black-and-white comedy is assembled from parts as disparate as The Legend of Zelda, Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, JibJabs, Terry Gilliam animation, Guy Maddin and Jackass. Acme is namechecked amid Méliès-like stop tricks and Muppety puppetry, while its aesthetic veers from painting broad violence upon a sparse snowy canvas to running through the shadowy bowels of an elaborate German Expressionist fortress. Guiding us through is Tews. He’s a wide-eyed mime with a caricatured lumberjack body, expertly gauging his expressions and sacrificing his flesh for the cause. His performance takes a little from the heavy-hitters of the form: The savvy romanticism of Harold Lloyd, the physical contortions of Buster Keaton, the underdog struggles of Charlie Chaplin, and the total bodily commitment of all three. You don’t get great physical comedy accidentally. Just as its intrepid idiot hero forges bravely on despite weathering frequent blows to the head, impaled extremities and woodland beatings, Hundreds of Beavers marches proudly towards the sublime transcendence of juvenilia. In its dedication to its own premise, Hundreds of Beavers reaches the kind of purity of purpose usually only found in middle-school stick-figure comics or ancient Flash animations—in stupid ideas taken seriously. One of the best comedies in the last few years, Hundreds of Beavers might actually contain more laughs than beavers. By recognizing and reclaiming the methods used during the early days of movies, Mike Cheslik’s outrageous escalation of the classic hunter-hunted dynamic becomes a miraculous DIY celebration of enduring, universal truths about how we make each other laugh.–Jacob Oller

Jacob Oller is Movies Editor at Paste Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at @jacoboller.

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