‘Sexy, sweaty and surprising – with a really big ending’: readers’ best films of 2024 so far

<span>My favourite film … Civil War, Furiosa: a Mad Max Saga and The Fall Guy</span><span>Composite: Alamy, PR</span>
My favourite film … Civil War, Furiosa: a Mad Max Saga and The Fall GuyComposite: Alamy, PR

Blue Giant

Blue Giant is a wonderful anime film following three young men trying to break into the dying modern Tokyo jazz underground. I saw this on a whim with a friend of mine. We were both struck by the film’s invigorating power and enormous fun. It’ll have you listening to its soundtrack by Hiromi for weeks afterwards. Sax riffs, piano solos, and drum breaks aplenty. People who liked last year’s The First Slam Dunk will recognise the newer, and perhaps controversial, 3D animation used. It isn’t about cutting corners but opening new avenues for the medium. The film hasn’t had the love it deserves so I will gush about it to anyone. Tim Roger, Surrey


I went to see Monster without expectations as it was the only movie available by the time I got to the cinema. Two hours later, Monster had entered the list of my favourite movies ever. This movie brilliantly illustrates that truth is multi-faceted and depends on perspective. We can’t judge people or events through a single lens. The more we layer on different viewpoints, the more our understanding shifts. Monster is a reminder that this is how we should see the world – and we’d all be better off if we did it more often. It even sparked a personal reflection on key events in my own life, encouraging me to re-examine them from different angles. Fernando Pinho, Cambridge

Robot Dreams

This film stuck with me after leaving the cinema in a way no film has for a long time. That they were able to tell a story so heartwarming and heart-wrenching in equal measure without any of the characters uttering a single word of dialogue is a testament to director Pablo Berger and his team of animators. The design of the characters, so simple yet so expressive, makes it easy to fall in love with them. It truly is a beautiful film – from its bittersweet story of love and loss, to its lovingly drawn visuals, to Alfonso de Vilallonga’s jazzy score. I think this film is going to remain one of my favourites for a long time. Ben, Bracknell

La Chimera

La Chimera is a gorgeous film, with woozy destabilising set-pieces. The changing aspect ratios and choice of different film stock for different parts of the story take us from one sumptuous world into another. The side plot about the creation of a communal squat in an old railway station is surprising. But for our main character, Josh O’Connor’s Arthur, what seems best and most life-giving to an outside observer is not always an available option. He seems to be seeking self-destruction and katabasis, a change underground – he may not be looking for anything else after his descent. The references to Fellini’s Roma are great without overwhelming the film – it takes a moment from that movie and builds something more intimate. Charlotte Geater, Walthamstow

Dune: Part Two

My favourite film of 2024 has been Dune: Part Two without question. It is the Lord of the Rings of this decade: the unfilmable book that leapt from the screen and into viewers’ hearts in the right way. My son finally got why I like Dune which is something I will eternally grateful to Denis Villeneuve and the cast for. If Hollywood wants to save itself, it should look to Dune. Gaverne Bennett, London

Civil War

Civil War was propulsive and massive while telling a small story about a group of journalists at different points in their lives and careers. Every performance was solid and the set-pieces were incredible. Jesse Plemons also became one of the most terrifying cinematic villains ever in one five-minute scene. Sean, Melbourne

Drive-Away Dolls

Drive-Away Dolls is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. I am tired of LGBTQ+ dramas. I am tired of watching people like me get hate-crimed or rejected or have to patiently hold the hands of their families as they accept them for who they are. I want to see some dumb lesbians who are styled to be hot in a gay way (not in a straight way) and make the worst decisions possible given the circumstances. Everyone in this film is acting their face off, treating this like it’s Oscar bait instead of the silliest movie in their repertoire. The cameos are ludicrous. The stakes are extremely high until you find out that they are, in fact, not at all important in the scheme of things. I loved every minute. Becca Appel-Barrus, Salt Lake City, US

Love Lies Bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding is a sexy, sweaty and surprising film with a really big ending. I thought it was well acted plus the music and atmosphere just sucked you into the world of the movie. A great second film from Rose Glass, showing that Saint Maud wasn’t a fluke. A24 pulls off another weird and wonderful stunner. Emma Farquharson, London

The Zone of Interest

The Zone of Interest is one hell of a film, and I mean that literally. I have never seen the phrase “banality of evil” quite so stunningly evoked in its low-key, domestic way. The cinematography and sound design are amazing and chills to the bone with its seemingly offhand details (the smoke of an arriving train above a children’s party, the lipstick left in the pocket of a fur coat). Sandra Hüller is extraordinary as the matriarch, adopting a strange, almost simian gait (elbows out, loping as she goes) when agitated. It’s a brave, jaw-dropping exercise in film, and it will be hard to top this one for the rest of the year. Adam Kimmel, London

Monkey Man

Dev Patel. He acts! He writes! He directs! He fights! He’s only 34! And best of all, he didn’t get swole for the role. Everyone likes a revenge film, but this is a fun, flashy action thriller for not all the family – just you. It certainly worked for this tired father of two after a long day’s work on a Tuesday night in Fife. Andy Goring, Dunfermline, Scotland

Back to Black

My favourite film of the year so far is Back to Black. I’m a big fan of Amy Winehouse, and I loved the use of her music in the film. I also learned details I didn’t know before. Good performances in main roles, especially the lead, Marisa Abela. George Allan, Helensburgh, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy proved to me that the next James Bond should be Ryan Gosling. He is capable of being rough and tough but also humorous; the one thing the producers left by the wayside since Sean Connery, who did it so beautifully. Between playing Ken in Barbie and The Fall Guy, a mature actor has emerged. Alicia, North Bend, Oregon, US

Furiosa: a Mad Max Saga

I was initially sceptical that Anya Taylor-Joy had the physicality to match Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, but I could not take my eyes off her when she was on the screen. The action wasn’t as relentless as Fury Road, but the first main chase sequence was incredible and the film was narratively more satisfying and the backstory it provided immediately made me want to watch Fury Road again. The time just flew by and I had a lovely day. Martin Johnson, Weston-super-Mare

Sasquatch Sunset

I wasn’t expecting this film to be so profound, poignant and beautiful. It is an incredible film. I found Sasquatch Sunset a poignant film because of certain themes it covered with such care. Universal themes such as life, death and loss. To expertly convey those themes, without the use of dialogue, I found it very impressive and extremely moving. Pete, Salford

The Taste of Things

The Taste of Things is a just a wonderful and unforgettable film. It opens with a stunning sequence following the preparation of a meal with very little dialogue. It goes on to tell a tender story that never misses a beat. The two leads give outstanding performances. Andrew Knight, Hastings