A24 continues to have success in the independent film industry

The movie poster for Problemista.
The movie poster for Problemista. Photo courtesy A24

Over the course of the past few months, three of the new movies I saw in theaters that stood out to me were Love Lies Bleeding, Problemista, and Civil War. Those three movies are each quite different in terms of genre, plot, themes, and other aspects, but they are all A24 titles that I love. A24 is a production company, but A24 is also its own distributor. That means that they’re an independent entity in the sense that they’re not owned by a larger company such as Disney or Warner Brothers. A24 is no stranger to Hollywood success after winning the Oscar for Best Picture in the years when movies such as Moonlight and Everything Everywhere all at Once were released, and I honestly feel as though some A24 titles is at times having success in putting their movies with original stories with social relevance in front of the same audience as some of the more mainstream blockbuster franchises that get talked about a lot.

Love Lies Bleeding is about Lou (Kristen Stewart) and Jackie (Katy O’Brian), as they fall in love in the midst of lots of turmoil related to Lou’s dysfunctional family and Jackie’s journey as a bodybuilder. With that turmoil comes lots of graphic violence. Something that makes Love Lies Bleeding stand out to me in a different way than most A24 titles is its lack of obvious social relevance. That is not a criticism, but I think most A24 movies are very creative while still thematically having a lot to say about whatever timely social topics are present in the given movie. Nonetheless, Love Lies Bleeding is intense to watch. I was worried for Lou and Jackie in what they were going through, and I felt an adrenaline-rush that I haven’t felt while watching a movie in a years. Love Lies Bleeding is worth a watch; whether you’re a fan of the cast or A24 itself, this movie excels at its extraordinary suspense!

Problemista follows young man from El Salvadore living in New York City named Alejandro (Julio Torres). Alejandro aspires to design toys, but he’s having visa trouble as an immigrant in New York. Throughout the movie, he goes on what I would call a journey of self-discovery as he works very hard to find a job that will allow him to stay in the United States. Problemista is a comedy. Throughout the movie, it proves to be a well-done immigrant story directed by Julio Torres (Alejandro himself), while also demonstrating some eccentric story-telling with certain scenes illustrating how the present plot is figuratively playing out in Alejandro’s imagination. I love Problemista, and all I will say about the ending, is that I love how things turn out for Alejandro.

Civil War is directed by Alex Garland. He directed Ex Machina (2015). Civil War follows Lee Smith (Kirsten Dunst), a troubled journalist making her way to Washington D.C. alongside some colleagues. It takes place in the midst of a dystopian modern civil war in the United States when several alliances such as the Western Forces (California and Texas) have risen up with their own army in an effort to overtake the federal government in D.C. where the President (Nick Offerman) has assumed the power of a dictatorship in his third term. I would imagine that lots of viewers would find Civil War to be difficult to watch as it may be disturbing for people who work in a job where they worry about politics in the age of today’s divisiveness. I still think Civil War is a good movie all things considered, and it has an ending that is likely to really leave audiences wowed.

A24 is breaking barriers in the independent film industry. If you haven’t seen any of the A24 titles (new or old) mentioned here, then they’re definitely worth checking out!