New year, new you, and new films. 2024 is set to be a good year film-wise. In the first few months of the year, the Oscar contenders will be unleashed upon UK cinemas, and films like Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things will deliver a dose of trippy existentialism. On the streamers, there’s gems like Hit Man, in which star Glen Powell not only acts, but has a go at writing. Towards the end of 2024, it’s all about the most unhinged festive double-bill, with both Robert Egger’s Nosferatu and Jordan Peele’s untitled project set to release on December 25th. Ultimately, it’s certainly going to be a mad year. This is what HUNGER reckons will be the cream of the crop.
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Monster – which looks at a few eventful days in two young boys’ lives – is one of the most affecting films we saw at the London Film Festival. Never spoon-feeding its audience, it offers explorations of boyhood, burgeoning sexual identity and the pitfalls of politeness. While you wait for the Japanese director’s latest feature to hit the silver screen on the 15th of March, we recommend watching his 2022 feature Broker, which stars Parasite’s Song Kang-ho.
While we can’t speak on the films on this list that we haven’t seen yet, The Beast is surely going to be one of the most memorable yet divisive films of next year. Intrinsically uncanny in quite literally everything it does, Bertrand Bonello’s epic starring Léa Seydoux and George Mackay jumps back and forth between three different timelines, and touches on everything from AI to incels. Though you’ll need a good few days to let it digest after your first watch, it will definitely stick with you, and is well worth seeing on the big screen. It’s due to be released on the 19th of April.
The fact that the UK won’t get to see The Holdovers before Christmas honestly keeps us up at night. Alexander Payne’s latest offering – he’s the director that previously gave us Sideways – is the sweetest film to come out in a long time. What’s so brilliant about it, though, is that it’s not too sweet: it’s anchored by brilliant performances from newcomer Dominic Sessa, legend Paul Giamatti, and the magnetic Da’Vine Joy Randolph, all of whom prevent The Holdovers from ever becoming too sickly. Mark our words: this will become your new festive favourite. It feels like Christmas-ified The Squid and the Whale, and it hits UK cinemas on the 19th of January.
Hitman is going to put actor Glen Powell on the map. Not only is he starring in the film – which follows a college professor that moonlights as a hit man – but he penned the script with director Richard Linklater, the guy behind the Before Sunrise trilogy, Boyhood and classics like Dazed and Confused. Hitman was, without a shadow of the doubt, one of the funniest films to come out of the London Film Festival, and we think you’ll feel the same (as well as fancy the pants off its leading man) when it arrives on Netflix some time next year.
Though it’s bound to prove controversial, Poor Things is not only director Yorgos Lanthimos at his best (and Emma Stone at hers) but cinema at its best. It uses special effects as they should be used – evoking some kind of dream-like fantasy world – and it’s basically a masterclass in acting. Featuring Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youseff and Christopher Abbott, we’d describe it as a cross-between Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. In fact, it’s essentially Barbie for people with issues. Poor Things comes out on January 12th.
The Zone of Interest
While director Jonathan Glazer doesn’t make films much, when he does they’re more than memorable. Under the Skin, which starred an unrecognisable Scarlett Johansson, explored the pain of womanhood using some of the most hallucinatory visuals in mainstream cinema. His 2024 film The Zone of Interest doesn’t promise to be a much easier watch, meditating on evil with a film based entirely around the domesticities of a Nazi family that lives right next to Auschwitz. It will be released in UK cinemas on the 2nd of February.
Tennis, but make it sexy. In what might seem like an odd choice for director Luca Guadagnino – the guy behind Call Me By Your Name and Bones and All – Challengers will see him take on the world of sport. Starring Zendaya and Josh O’Connor, what we can glean from the trailer of Challengers is that it’s like a toned down Passages (throuple alert) with the added bonus of tennis rackets. And with Euphoria and Dune proving that Disney alumni Zendaya has some serious acting chops, we can’t wait to see it. It should hit cinemas on the 26th of April.
Marking Bong Joon-ho’s third English language film (he also gave us Snowpiercer and Okja) Mickey 17 follows an “expendable” who’s sent to colonise a new planet. It’s based on a 2022 science fiction book by Edward Ashton, and has Robert Pattinson at the helm. While the teaser trailer certainly doesn’t give much away, we reckon a good way to prep for Mickey 17 would be by watching not only Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho’s other sci-fi offering, but Duncan Jones’ Moon, which is based around a similar premise. Also starring Steven Yeun, Toni Collette, and Mark Ruffalo, Mickey 17 is set to hit US cinemas on March 29th. Hopefully, it will land in the UK not much later.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
To the untrained eye Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga could look like just another Marvel-esque CGI fest. But fans of Mad Max: Fury Road will know that couldn’t be further from the truth. If it’s anything like director George Miller’s last entry into the franchise, it will be nearly all practical effects on show in Furiosa, which will see Anya Taylor-Joy reprise Charlize Theron’s role for an action-packed yet wildly trippy prequel. Also starring Chris Hemsworth, it’s set to release in UK cinemas on May 24th.
Though Lily-Rose Depp’s acting skills were seriously squandered by Sam Levinson’s awful HBO series The Idol, we’re thinking that Robert Egger’s Nosferatu will be the thing to put the nepo baby on the map. Essentially a remake of the 1922 German silent film of the same name, Nosferatu will see It’s Bill Skarsgård in the titular role and Lily-Rose Depp as the lady that the iconic vampire has eyes for. While not much is known about Nosferatu aside from the sneak peek of Willem Dafoe in his role as the vampire hunter, the film is set to release on Chrismas day. And if it’s anything like Egger’s The Witch, it will be terrifying.