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Juliette Binoche as Eugénie and Benoît Magimel as Dodin Bouffant in the Taste of Things.stephanie branchu/Supplied

If you thought that the Hollywood strikes hit 2023′s fall-movie season hard, then just wait till you see what the next 12 months deliver. Or rather what they don’t deliver, as a number of projects have been scrubbed from 2024 altogether.

But not all hope is lost. Here are 24 movies for ‘24 that promise originality, depth and vision outside of the blockbuster machine. What’s more: They are all (mostly) guaranteed to actually open.


On one hand, it is easy to see how Ava DuVernay’s new race-relations drama is getting lost in the current awards conversation (it was released in a handful of U.S. theatres in December to qualify for Oscars consideration). This is a challenging title to sell in an elevator pitch – an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s non-fiction book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents that is more a dramatization of Wilkerson’s writing process than the actual book. But the film, starring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as Wilkerson and Jon Bernthal as her husband, is also a fascinating, layered production – perhaps the closest anyone has come to making a “fictional” movie that acts and feels like a documentary. (In theatres, Jan. 19)

Fitting In

While I wish that Canadian director Molly McGlynn’s coming-of-age film kept its original title of Bloody Hell, I’m glad that distributor Elevation Pictures shifted the film’s release date to February from its initial birth of the late fall, where it surely would have gotten lost in the shuffle. A “traumedy” about the messiness of sex, love and gender, McGlynn’s film looks like just the kind of risk-taking cinema that today’s landscape needs, with a breakout performance from Maddie Ziegler. (In theatres, Feb. 2)

The Promised Land

The world can never have enough Mads Mikkelsen in pure badass mode, and this new Danish film from Nikolaj Arcel looks to deliver on its, ahem, promise. Starring Mikkelsen as an 18th-century veteran soldier coming into conflict with a merciless landowner, The Promised Land aims for a tale of sweeping savagery. (In theatres, Feb. 9)

The Taste of Things

A sumptuous feast of a film, Tran Anh Hung’s new romantic drama about a master cook and the love of his life is best watched as part of a dinner-and-a-movie date – with the meal portion of the evening coming immediately afterward, preferably at the finest French restaurant you can find. As Hung’s camera swirls around Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel in their shared 1800s French countryside kitchen – the pair cooking up all manner of luxuriously simple dishes – it is as easy to fall in love with the film as it is to submit to the hunger pangs of your stomach. (In theatres, Feb. 14)

Drive-Away Dolls

In 2021, fans of the Coen brothers got to see how Joel fared on his own with The Tragedy of Macbeth. Now, it’s Ethan’s turn in the solo spotlight with this road-trip comedy co-written with his wife, Tricia Cooke. Starring Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan as two damsels in not-quite distress, Drive-Away Dolls seems to have the same criminal quirkiness that the Coens are known for, in addition to a stellar supporting cast including Matt Damon, Colman Domingo and Pedro Pascal. (In theatres, Feb. 23)


Shot way back in 2021, this addition to Adam Sandler’s more serious canon has a couple of big fat question marks surrounding it. But I’m curious whenever the Sandman drops his usual arrested-development shtick for something more adult-minded, and the high-concept pitch of Spaceman is a doozy, with the actor playing an astronaut sent to the edge of the galaxy while his home life crumbles to pieces. (Netflix, March 1)

Wicked Little Letters

A crowd-pleasing comedy that mixed period garb with a litany of F-bombs when it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September, Wicked Little Letters could be the underdog hit of the spring. Based on a true scandal that rocked a 1920s seaside English town, the film stars Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley as neighbours who come under suspicion when obscene letters start circulating around the community. (In theatres, April 5)

Evil Does Not Exist

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Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s follow-up to his surprise international smash Drive My Car is a beautiful puzzler, as cryptic and small-scale as his 2021 Oscar-winning character drama was unambiguous and epic. Set mostly in a small Japanese village where money-hungry developers are at odds with the locals over a planned “luxury camping” destination, Evil Does Not Exist toggles between perspectives and personalities. It all leads up to a tremendously haunting finale that anyone who might have caught the film on the festival circuit is still likely arguing over. (In theatres this spring, release date TBD)

Green Border

Still missing a Canadian distributor, Agnieszka Holland’s terrifying new immigration-crisis film demands to be seen sooner rather than later – surely, it will get picked up soon for 2024 release after making the festival rounds this past fall. Focusing on the inhumane situation faced by migrants caught between the Belarus-Poland border, Holland’s docudrama plays like a horror movie in which the boogeymen are you and me – citizens who are comfortable putting our heads in the sand. (In theatres, release date TBD)

Hit Man

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Brian Roedel/Supplied

Richard Linklater’s comedy was the hit of the fall festival circuit, and for good reason: This is the biggest kind of crowd-pleaser, with a number of scenes that demand the giddy reactions of a sold-out audience. Unfortunately for most viewers, Hit Man will be discovered on Netflix, which acquired the film for several territories. Except, that is, in Canada, where the film has theatrical distribution. All the better for us to enjoy star Glen Powell’s turn as a mild-mannered professor who, through a series of misunderstandings, is mistaken for a slick assassin. (In theatres, release date TBD)

In Flames

Canadian director Zarrar Khan’s Pakistan-set psychological thriller made a big splash when it premiered at Cannes this past spring, and for good reason: This is an intense and impressively moody exercise that balances its politics with tried and tested genre tactics. Focusing on a young woman (Ramesha Nawal) navigating her grandfather’s death and the poisoned patriarchy that intends to swoop in on her family and leave them penniless, In Flames is playing on several different levels, all of them fine-tuned by Khan in an impressive feature-filmmaking debut. (In theatres, release date TBD)

I Saw the TV Glow

Jane Schoenbrun’s 2021 horror film We’re All Going to the World’s Fair was one of the strangest surprises of that year, a minimalist urban-legend tale for a generation glued to their screens. Now the director is back with a far bigger budget courtesy of A24 and actual stars (plus Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst!) in this Sundance-certified thriller about two teens who bond over a TV series. But things get strange after the pair’s favourite show is abruptly cancelled, making it the perfect mystery for the Netflix generation. (Premieres at Sundance in January, theatrical release date TBD)


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It takes a few beats (and beatings) for Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s Hindi-language martial-arts thriller to get going, but once it does – complete with the best delayed opening title card since Drive My Car – all bloody hell is unleashed. As if The Raid, Snowpiercer and John Wick were tossed into the fire of an out-of-control locomotive’s engine, Kill so impressed audiences on the film-fest circuit this past fall that Lionsgate picked it up for North American distribution – the rare time an Indian production has partnered with a Hollywood studio. Steel yourselves for the relentless action – and keep an eye out for a narrative device that I’m going to dub “Chekhov’s lighter fluid.” (In theatres, release date TBD)

The King Tide

Director Christian Sparkes made a big impression with his 2019 feature Hammer, an every-second-counts thriller that was tremendously propulsive. All of which makes his follow-up, The King Tide, that much more of a surprise. This slow-burn fantasy-drama takes the exact opposite approach of Hammer as Sparkes builds his world carefully and quietly to tell the story of an isolated-by-choice East Coast community that shelters a child who can heal anyone she touches. Featuring excellent performances from Clayne Crawford and Aden Young (both veterans of the underseen TV series Rectify), The King Tide deserves a tidal wave of attention. (In theatres, release date TBD)

Love Lies Bleeding

After shocking audiences with her quasi-possession tale Saint Maud, director Rose Glass is back with this retro crime thriller starring Kristen Stewart and Ed Harris. Sex, lies, milkshakes, bodybuilding and Dave Franco sporting a serious ‘stache all feature in the new trailer, which leans heavily on atmosphere and Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy. Sold. (Premieres at Sundance in January, theatrical release date TBD)


Will 2024 be the year that Francis Ford Coppola delivers his decades-in-development sci-fi epic? The director finally started shooting in 2022, so Coppola’s first movie in more than a decade (since 2011′s Twixt) should presumably be that much closer to completion. Then again, this is Coppola, so perhaps this love story about a woman with “divided loyalties” – starring Aubrey Plaza, Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel and Laurence Fishburne – might need another year or three of tinkering. (In theatres, release date TBD)

Paying for It

Going by Canadian filmmaker Sook-Yin Lee’s social-media updates, it seems a good bet that her adaptation of Chester Brown’s graphic-novel memoir/ode to prostitution should hit Canadian theatres this year. The source material seems like the perfect project for Lee given her tendencies to push boundaries (Year of the Carnivore, Octavio Is Dead!) and the fact that her one-time relationship with Brown is chronicled in the book itself. (In theatres, release date TBD)

Rebel Ridge

Once pegged to open in 2022, then 2023, perhaps this will be the year that Netflix finally unveils the latest film from Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room, Blue Ruin), a self-described “high-velocity thriller” about an ex-marine who takes on dirty cops. Starring Aaron Pierre (star of last year’s Clement Virgo hit Brother), who stepped in after the abrupt departure of John Boyega, Rebel Ridge might be the comeback that Saulnier needs after the lacklustre reception to his rather confounding 2018 thriller Hold the Dark. (Netflix, release date TBD)

Seven Veils

Atom Egoyan delivers his best film in ages with this hall-of-mirrors thriller in which the director’s Chloe star, Amanda Seyfried, plays an artistic director restaging a version of Salome at a fictionalized version of the Canadian Opera Company. (Egoyan delivered his own rendition of Salome for the COC back in 1996.) Playing with the filmmaker’s long-favoured themes of generational abuse and meta-contextual storytelling, Seven Veils is an eyebrow-raising production that will make you want to dive back into the entire Egoyan canon. (In theatres, release date TBD)

The Shrouds and Humane

While Brandon Cronenberg got 2023 all to himself with his travelogue horror film Infinity Pool, 2024 may be a father-daughter affair for the Cronenberg household. There is good money to be made on betting that David Cronenberg’s latest feature The Shrouds – featuring the director’s Eastern Promises star Vincent Cassel as a widower who builds a high-tech device to connect with the dead – will debut at Cannes this May. Meanwhile, Caitlin Cronenberg’s directorial debut, Humane, an environmental-apocalypse thriller starring Jay Baruchel and Emily Hampshire, should hit theatres during the first half of this year, too. (In theatres, release dates TBD)

Sing Sing

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In a just world, Greg Kwedar and Clint Bentley’s docudrama about inmates enrolled in the Rehabilitation Through the Arts program at the maximum-security prison of the title would have taken the People’s Choice Award at this past September’s TIFF. As crowd-pleasing as it is sincere, the film is the kind of movie so concerned with the pulse of humanity and the irrepressible spirit of storytelling that it will win over even the most skeptical audiences. All that, and it boasts a powerhouse lead performance from Colman Domingo, the actor of the moment. (In theatres, release date TBD)

Stone Mattress

Another almost-2023 release, Lynne Ramsay’s latest film adapts a Margaret Atwood short story first published in The New Yorker a decade ago. A revenge thriller set on an Arctic cruise – think Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk meets The Robber Bride Stone Mattress stars Julianne Moore and Sandra Oh. (Prime Video, release date TBD)

Untitled Nirvanna the Band the Show Movie

After breaking through on a global scale with BlackBerry, Canadian filmmaker Matt Johnson is returning to his smaller (but no less prankish) roots with a movie based on his cult-favourite series Nirvanna the Band the Show. Not much is known about the project other than Johnson will be reteaming with his usual collaborators (including producer Matthew Miller and co-star and composer Jay McCarrol) to make a Canadian-flavoured Harold & Kumar-style road comedy about two wannabe rock stars whose hare-brained schemes to play local Toronto haunt the Rivoli spiral into wildly subversive, fourth-wall-breaking scenarios. I’ve already heard of one reality-bending stunt that should make Canadians’ jaws drop. (In theatres, release date TBD)

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