Box office: the best films to look forward to in 2024

We cut through the long, endless lists to bring you the big-screen highlights to take note of

2023, cinematically speaking, was a year that centred heavily around the juggernaut face-off between Christopher Nolan’s large-scale epic, Oppenheimer, and Greta Gerwig’s bubblegum pop-hit, Barbie. So far, this January, we’ve seen the madcap stylings of Poor Things, as well as the raw, sensual warmth of All of Us Strangers – and, in the months ahead, the big punches will still be rolling, with audiences returning to Arrakis (Dune: Part Two); Gotham (thanks to Todd Phillips’s new Joker instalment); and ancient Rome (courtesy of Ridley Scott). Below, we’ve curated a tight shortlist of the very best films to be released in 2024…

Love Me

Director: Andy Zuchero, Sam Zuchero

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Steven Yeun

Release date: TBC (worldwide)

The Sundance listing reads: ‘Long after humanity’s extinction, a buoy and a satellite meet online and fall in love.’ Though little else is revealed, the Zuchero brothers’ experimental indie is certainly worth exploring thanks, largely, to the fact that Kristen Stewart (Spencer) and Steven Yeun (Minari) have become two of the most watchable, bankable on-screen names in recent years.

The Iron Claw

Director: Sean Durkin

Starring: Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White

Release date: 9 February (UK)

If you’ve scrolled through your Instafeed in the past couple of months, you’ll have, with little doubt, seen the images of Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White pumped up to almost comical statures – a bulking effort done for their starring roles in The Iron Claw. Here, indie director Sean Durkin aims his lens at the rise of the Von Erich wrestling brothers, a sporting dynasty that saw high-octane glory and devastating loss.

Dune: Part Two

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Léa Seydoux, Christopher Walken

Release date: 1 March (UK)

Delayed due to last year’s Hollywood blackout, the follow-up to Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 sci-fi behemoth sees big-draw names – Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux – join an already smash-hit ensemble cast, as Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides seeks to raise war against House Harkonnen.

The Fall Guy

Director: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Release date: 2 May (UK)

Action-comedy The Fall Guy sees Ryan Gosling, once again, as a stuntman (see: Drive) – this time, it's in an adaptation of an Eighties TV series. Following a hiatus from the profession, his character, Colt Seavers, is called back into action to apply his on-set skills to real-world scenarios so that he can find the AWOL film star he once doubled for.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Director: George Miller

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth

Release date: 24 May (UK)

The prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road is spearheaded by the star of The Menu, Anya Taylor-Joy, who slips into the role of Furiosa, a rebel warrior kidnapped in her younger years and brought into the warlord Dementus’s (Chris Hemsworth) cadre. George Miller returns to the helm, so expect plenty of gritty world-building once again.

The Bikeriders

Director: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy

Release date: 21 June (UK)

Another big year for Austin Butler, whose Masters of the Air has hit screens with extol, sees the Elvis actor in this period piece that centres around the movements of the Vandals, a Chicago-area biker gang. The film, set in the 1960s, follows the group as it fades from an outcast gathering into something with a more menacing leaning.

Joker: Folie à Deux

Director: Todd Phillips

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Lady Gaga, Brendan Gleeson

Release date: 4 October (UK)

Joaquin Phoenix did much to give an art-house-style slant to the Batmansphere with 2019’s Joker, the pitch-black origin story behind DC’s most iconic villain. The machinations of Gotham’s underbelly are set to be explored, once again, in this sequel, which not only sees Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, but is also – rather oddly – slated to have a musical element.

Gladiator 2

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, Connie Nielsen, Pedro Pascal, Djimon Hounsou, Joseph Quinn

Release date: 22 November (US)

The most anticipated feature this year sees one of cinema’s all-time great films collide with the actor of the moment, Paul Mescal, who will allegedly play a grown-up Lucius, the nephew to Roman emperor Commodus (depicted by Joaquin Phoenix in the 2000 masterpiece). The film will also see Djimon Hounsou (“but not yet… not yet”) and Connie Nielsen return to ancient Rome.

And, for the sofa? These are the 10 shows we'll be watching in 2024…

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