15 Well-Known Indie Movies That Feel Like A24 (But Aren't)

I bet you thought these incredible films were produced by A24! You might be surprised to find out that they actually weren't.
15 Well-Known Indie Movies That Feel Like A24 (But Aren't)

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A24 has such a particular and popular aesthetic that sometimes you might assume you're watching an A24 film when it isn't!

Whether it's a sensual, electric cityscape, a liberated and intimate romance, or an unsettling avant-garde horror, it can be quite the shock to find out it isn't an A24 film.

As it turns out, there are plenty of filmmakers who are also capable of making dramas in A24's iconic, trending style.

From Searchlight Pictures to NEON, I'm here to show you several new authentic production companies—and their most notable films—that provide an immersive cinematic experience similar to A24.

15. Mandy (2018)

Directed by Panos Cosmatos

Starring Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache

Action, Fantasy, Horror (2h 1m)

6.5 on IMDb90% on RT

I'm not just including Mandy because the entire film is tinted red—a smoky, hypnotic, blood red at that. I'm including it because it feels like an A24 film due to director Panos Cosmatos's approach to horror.

When a fantasy artist (played by Andrea Riseborough) is kidnapped by the Children of the New Dawn, Red Miller (played by Nicolas Cage) hallucinates his way to crushing their skulls and avenging his wife.

What could be more A24 than an artistic main character, creepy religious cults, and LSD? Mandy is basically the masculine midnight twin to the floral daylight of A24's Midsommar!

14. Bait (2019)

Directed by Mark Jenkin

Starring Edward Rowe, Giles King, Chloe Endean

Drama (1h 29m)

7.1 on IMDb100% on RT

A vintage, hand-cranked Bolex camera using 16mm film? For that alone, Bait has A24 written all over it... until you realize it was made by the British Film Institute (BFI), which makes a lot more sense.

It is, after all, very British and was filmed on-location in a Cornish fishing town. Small-town fishing is probably the furthest topic you'd expect experimental filmmakers to tackle! Yet, here we are.

Mark Jenkin finds the tension in humdrum life, exposing gentrification in a boxy aspect ratio that transcends time while also constructing an homage to the past.

A minimalist black-and-white drama that's so authentic that you'll be able to feel the sea air wafting off of it, Bait is akin to A24's The Lighthouse minus all the scary mermaids and famous cast members.

13. Beach Rats (2017)

Directed by Eliza Hittman

Starring Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge

Drama (1h 38m)

6.4 on IMDb84% on RT

The eccentricities, daring grossness, and woke exploration of societal hierarchies are what make Triangle of Sadness another A24 shoo-in. Spoiler alert! It's actually not. And neither is Beach Rats.

Both Triangle of Sadness and Beach Rats star Harris Dickinson in the roles that finally made A24 turn and cast him in The Iron Claw.

For Beach Rats, director Eliza Hittman practices artistic realism in her wandering coming-of-age tale set on Coney Island, packed with grainy images, real-time scenes, fuzzy close-ups, and a distinct lack of music.

She finds the homoerotic in the hypermasculine with Beach Rats, as Hittman explained in so many words, which is oh-so-A24.

12. Sound of Metal (2019)

Directed by Darius Marder

Starring Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci

Drama, Music (2h)

7.7 on IMDb97% on RT

In the space of two years, Riz Ahmed starred in two A24-esque fictional biopics. Sound of Metal and Mogul Mowgli both feature passionate musicians who are stopped in the tracks of their budding successes by serious, debilitating physical ailments.

In Sound of Metal, it's hearing loss for avant-garde metal drummer Ruben Stone. In Mogul Mowgli, it's a degenerative autoimmune disease for British-Pakistani rapper Zed.

Although Mogul Mowgli is more artistically new wave with a thematic undercurrent of religion and dual identity, Sound of Metal is more famous. And since A24 is ultimately a mainstream favorite, I'm picking Darius Marder's deaf drummer drama for this list.

11. Nope (2022)

Directed by Jordan Peele

Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea

Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi (2h 10m)

6.8 on IMDb83% on RT

When combined, Jordan Peele and Universal Pictures end up looking a lot like A24 in the films they produce.

Jordan Peele's own film production company—called Monkeypaw Productions—is responsible for Get Out, Us, and Nope, suggesting that Peele would fit comfortably alongside Ari Aster and Robert Eggers in A24's list of best horror directors.

Although Get Out is the best of Peele's horror films, Nope is the one that comes across as the most A24-ish. Heavy on motifs, gorgeously shot in desert plains on 65mm Kodak film, and potentially requiring a Google search once the credits roll, Nope just screams A24.

10. Raw (2016)

Directed by Julia Ducournau

Starring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella

Drama, Horror (1h 39m)

7.0 on IMDb93% on RT

A24 feeds off all things weird, bloody, neon-lit, and coming-of-age. Raw is all of those elements as it centers on a freshman protagonist who develops a taste for human flesh while at veterinary school.

Which is all the more ironic because Justine (played by Garance Marillier) begins the movie as a vegetarian!

If you get woozy at the sight of blood and gore, you should steer clear of Julia Ducournau's primal French masterpiece, which feels a lot like Suspiria hazed in rabbit kidneys.

But if you like this one and want yet another A24-esque film featuring teenage cannibalism, check out Luca Guadagnino's Bones and All, which combines body-eating with young love.

9. Titane (2021)

Directed by Julia Ducournau

Starring Vincent Lindon, Agathe Rousselle, Garance Marillier

Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi (1h 48m)

6.5 on IMDb90% on RT

French cinema seems to love freaky female horrors that scare away any notion of crowd-pleasing. A24 is much the same, which is why it's so surprising that Titane wasn't produced by them (if you ignore the fact that A24 is an American company, anyway).

That being said, is it French cinema that loves female horrors or is it just Julia Ducournau, who gave us both Raw and Titane? The second female filmmaker to win a Palme d'Or, Ducournau directs Agathe Rousselle as a showgirl named Alexia who gets pregnant after having sex with a car.

An erotic body horror where a motor baby isn't even the weirdest bit, Alexia is also a serial killer who pretends to be someone's missing son. It's hard to get weirder than this one, but in a good way!

8. Honey Boy (2019)

Directed by Alma Har'el

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe

Drama (1h 34m)

7.2 on IMDb95% on RT

"You wouldn't be here if I didn't pay you" is a heartbreaking line for a son to utter to his dad, but it's exactly this kind of relationship that the famously hot-headed actor Shia LaBeouf had with his own father.

Shia LaBeouf wrote about his child-star upbringing for Honey Boy, then played a fictionalized version of his alcoholic dad in it.

Alma Har'el turned the semi-autobiographical script into an A24-like masterclass in dramatic atmosphere, combining artist with subject without any self-indulgence.

7. All of Us Strangers (2023)

Directed by Andrew Haigh

Starring Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell

Drama, Fantasy, Romance (1h 45m)

7.9 on IMDb96% on RT

Every year, film buffs spit out their angry lists of Oscar snubs that should've been nominated. This year, All of Us Strangers was one of them, generating huge buzz with only four actors and a handful of locations: a house, an apartment building, a club, and the London underground.

Andrew Scott plays a troubled, nostalgic writer whose depression is lit by a new lover (played by Paul Mescal). The two of them became TikTok's most recent bromance obsession, but like in A24's Aftersun, Paul Mescal is headed for an ambiguously tragic end in this one.

6. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

Directed by Martin McDonagh

Starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon

Comedy, Drama (1h 54m)

7.7 on IMDb96% on RT

It feels like some actors were born for A24 roles. Just look at Robert Pattinson (The Rover, Good Time, High Life, The Lighthouse), Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird, Mid90s, Waves), and Colin Farrell (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, After Yang).

Barry Keoghan also comes to mind as a frequent A24 actor (The Green Knight, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and partaker in A24-like roles (Saltburn, Calm With Horses).

So what do you get when you combine Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan? An utterly original black comedy called The Banshees of Inisherin that sweeps us away with gorgeous backdrops, cryptic characters, and a bizarre plot that perfectly embodies the spirit of A24!

5. Her (2013)

Directed by Spike Jonze

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi (2h 6m)

8.0 on IMDb94% on RT

There's something about Her that feels a bit like Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, the iconic film that leaves an A24-esque impression.

That's because Spike Jonze made Her as a direct response to his ex-wife Sofia Coppola's post-divorce movie. The similarities are tangible, but the two films are wholly different side-by-side.

Scarlett Johansson stars in both films, playing the wandering tourist in Sofia Coppola's lonely Tokyo and voicing the AI-driven virtual assistant girlfriend in Spike Jonze's tender romance-drama.

The urban space in Her is bright, airy, and pastel compared to Lost in Translation's hazy city lights, and the fact that Her was made around the time of A24's conception means it wins this spot on this list.

4. Drive (2011)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

Action, Drama (1h 40m)

7.8 on IMDb93% on RT

You might think Ryan Gosling is a little too much of a Hollywood heartthrob for the abstract currents of A24. However, he's played his part in a handful of indie (or indie-feeling) movies, including Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl, and Blue Valentine.

But Drive is the most A24-like of the bunch, priding itself on few words, captivating drama, and sleek visuals.

Sure, Gosling still plays a good-looking, bad-boy getaway driver, but Nicolas Winding Refn delivers the story in a genre-defying tone that blends passive viciousness with tender substance. Plus, Drive's use of its blood budget feels more like A24 than it does a blockbuster.

3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Directed by Céline Sciamma

Starring Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luána Bajrami

Drama (2h 2m)

8.1 on IMDb97% on RT

Perhaps France ought to have their own branch of A24 from the way they keep cropping up on this list. The stillness of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, its carefully framed cinematography, and its deliberate use of color and sparse dialogue all make it a surefire stand-in for A24.

Written and directed by Céline Sciamma, this period romance depicts the forbidden love between two 18th century women. There's so much attention to detail in this film, and artist Hélène Delmaire even painted 16 hours a day on set, mimicking the scenes.

However, it's not all style over substance in Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Rather, the style reflects the film's substance, in the same way that Delmaire's paintings reflect the actors' blocking.

2. The Favourite (2018)

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz

Biography, Comedy, Drama (1h 59m)

7.5 on IMDb93% on RT

Auteur filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos was put on the map by A24, with his role in the so-called Greek Weird Wave overlapping the film company's knack for all things pretty and strange.

It's no wonder that so many people mistakenly thought A24 was responsible for The Favourite when it released to critical acclaim. With its black humor, homoerotic undertones, and dazzling period set design, surely this is an A24 film? Nope!

As it turns out, Film4 Productions, Element Pictures, and Searchlight Pictures all had a hand in the success of The Favourite as well as Lanthimos's next film, the surreal comedy-drama Poor Things.

1. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino

Starring Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg

Drama, Romance (2h 12m)

7.8 on IMDb94% on RT

A24 has a very modern attitude to filmmaking, which is unsurprising since they've only been around 12 years. This modern sensibility is why all the films on this list are recent, primarily between 2017 and 2019.

Founded by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges, A24 hasn't just paved the way for all kinds of atypical films to flourish, but it's also been a safe haven for filmmakers to explore gay love stories.

So, when you see an artsy film about a same-sex couple, it's easy to presume that it's a film by A24—as many did with Call Me By Your Name, the Oscar-winning slice-of-life romance, directed by Luca Guadagnino.

If I had to pick just one film that represents everything A24 without actually being an A24 film? It'd have to be Call Me By Your Name.

More A24-Like Honorable Mentions

  • It Follows (2014)
  • Whiplash (2014)
  • Manchester By the Sea (2016)
  • The Neon Demon (2016)
  • Mother! (2017)
  • Annihilation (2018)
  • At Eternity's Gate (2018)
  • Captain Fantastic (2018)
  • Booksmart (2019)
  • Nightcrawler (2019)
  • Pig (2021)