HBO Max is Adding a Ton of A24 Movies in August, and These Are the Best

Filed in Movie by on July 22, 2022 0 Comments

A24 is an American independent entertainment company that was founded in 2012; since it burst onto the scene, they have been known for a wide variety of films, often aiming for smaller-scale movies from the Sundance film festival and wanting movies from a certain point of view. They’ve specialized in some elevated horror movies, but at the same time have brought the world a variety of highbrow dramas.

While they are not the same type of studio as Marvel Studios, audiences have now likely started to catch what an A24 film is, based on marketing material and subject matter. The studio has received multiple Academy Award nominations and wins for a wide variety of films like Moonlight, lady birdand minari. They’ve also managed to find mainstream successes with films like Hereditary and Uncut Gems.

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2022 has been an incredible year for the studio, as they’ve found a solid market in a landscape where bigger studios were more hesitant to return to theaters. A24 has released films like X, Men, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, and Everything Everywhere All At Once which has become one of the breakout box office hits of the year and A24’s highest-grossing movie worldwide. Meanwhile, A24 has released a variety of series and films on television and streaming, including Apple’s The Sky is Everywhere and the great HBO series Irma Vep.

A24 recently announced their HBO Max collaboration to stream a variety of their most beloved films. While it won’t have some bigger titles mentioned previously, HBO Max will still feature plenty of great offerings from the studio’s eclectic catalog. HBO Max has already made itself a must-have streaming service for film fans due to its collection of the Turner Classic Movies library, Studio Ghibli, DC films, and new Warner Bros. releases, and now the addition of A24 makes it even more valuable. These are the best A24 movies coming to HBO Max on August 1st that are entirely worth a watch.


Ex Machina

Arguably one of A24’s most well-known films, Ex Machina was the directorial debut for Alex Garland (who wrote 28 Days Later and dredd) and stars Oscar Issac, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Sonoya Mizuno. The movie focused on Gleeson’s character, a computer programmer employed by a billionaire (Isaac) to assess whether his humanoid robot named Ava (Vikander) is sentient.

Ex Machina received rave reviews upon release, not just for Garland’s direction but also its complex themes of sentience and critique of men inflicting their control on women. The film also received strong praise for its performances and production design, and was nominated for two Academy Awards as a result, winning Best Visual Effects and becoming a major influential film in the sci-fi genre. Garland followed up Ex Machina with Annihilation and this summer’s Men also by A24. Ex Machina’s influence can be felt from how much the director and cast have broken out, as well as how other films dealing with the concept of AI are compared to it.

ObviousChild

ObviousChild is a 2014 film that stars Jenny Slate and is helmed by director Gillian Robespierre in her directorial debut. ObviousChild focuses on Donna (Slate), a stand-up comedian who, after breaking up with her boyfriend, has a drunken one-night stand with a man named Max which results in her getting pregnant and deciding to have an abortion.

Related: Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Jenny Slate’s Long Journey to the Big Screen

A rather timely addition to the streaming service because the film’s star Jenny Slate is also the star of A24 surprise summer hit Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Yet also due to the rather unfortunate ruling by the Supreme Court repealing Roe v Wade, the topic of abortion is now just as important as ever. ObviousChild was created in response to pregnancy films of 2007 like Knocked Up, Junoand Waitress, and offers an alternative that not only destigmatizes abortion but presents a version where the person who terminates the pregnancy does not regret it but does so out of control of their own body and well-being. It is a film that tackles the realities of the situation and presents a viewpoint not often showcased in film, and one that A24 helped give a platform that everyone should watch.


Room

The film that won Brie Larson an Oscar, Room (not to be confused with the infamously bad 2003 movie The Room) follows Joy Newsome (Larson), a young woman who has been held captive for seven years and who has a five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay in his first film), who was born in captivity and is the biological son of Joy’s kidnapper, who repeatedly rapes her. Jack believes only the titular room where he has spent most of his life is real, but one day manages to escape after a meticulous and dangerous plan; he and his mother are saved, but now must readjust to the outside world.

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson from a script by Emma Donoghue (based on her book), Room is an incredibly difficult watch due to its dark subject matter (with one of the most exhaustingly intense scenes in recent history), but iz also deeply a moving and powerful film. The film received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and as mentioned earlier star Brie Larson walked away with the Academy Award for Best Actress. Larson had been a featured player in many popular A24 films like The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12so it was fitting she won an Oscar for an A24 film.


Mississippi Grind

Keeping the Captain Marvel theme going from the film’s star to its directors, Mississippi Grind is from Captain Marvel directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and was the movie that secured them the Marvel superhero film. Mississippi Grind is a comedic drama about Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) a down-on-his-luck compulsive gambler who is facing financial hardship and teams up with a young charismatic poker player, Curtis (Ryan Reynolds), in an attempt to change his luck.

Related: The Marvels: Why MCU Fans Should Get Hyped

Mississippi Grind is paradoxically a movie with high stakes gambling but also a laid back easy southern atmosphere, and the chemistry between Mendelsohn and Reynolds, who are both playing against type, is captivating and shows the stars’ dramatic range. Boden and Fleck have always excelled at making small intimate character dramas like the underrated Half Nelson with Ryan Gosling and Sugarbut it was Mississippi Grind that showed exactly why Marvel Studios would want to work with them and what made their work on Captain Marvel so exciting.

The Spectacular Now

2022 has been a great year for actor Miles Teller, what with his role on the Paramount+ series The Offer and his co-starring role in the biggest movie of summer 2022, Top Gun: Maverick. Back in 2013, though, it was his role in The Spectacular Now which put him on the map; the film was also a significant breakout role for star Shailene Woodley, who was following up Descendants and would lead the film Divergent the next year.

The Spectacular Now is a coming-of-age romance between Stutter (Teller) and Aimee (Woodley), and follows their blossoming relationship towards the end of their senior year of high school and what awaits them on the horizon. The Spectacular Now is a movie about high school that felt very real and from the moment it was created, there was a reality to it that was not found in many films about high school released at the time. This is not like the exaggerated fantasy high school story Teller appeared in two years prior in Project X or Woodley on Secret Life of the American Teenager.

There is a reality here that feels universal and something all young people can find something to relate to, and older audiences can appreciate that strange time of their lives when they were on the cusp of adulthood but still very much kids. The film got positive reviews and in one of his last reviews before his death, Roger Ebert gave the film four stars. Despite being in limited release, it played for over 22 weekends and grossed $6.8 million against a budget of $2 million.

The End of the Tour

Director James Ponsodlt followed up The Spectacular Now with 2015’s The End of the Tourbased on the true story of a road trip between RollingStone writer David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and famous author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segal) as Lipsky attempts to interview Wallace after the author released his magnum opus, Infinite Jest. The film is very much a character study, with much of the movie quietly following these two great intellects as they talk and learn more about each other, and the performances between Eisenberg and Segal are some of the best either has ever done.


The End of the Tour is a moving profound story about the human experience and managed to land on multiple Best of 2015 lists including The New York Times, Variety, and Vanity Fair, just to name a few. Ponsoldt’s latest film, summering, hits theaters on August 12, 2022, and to get ready viewers can watch both The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour on HBO Max.

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