Here’s an HE rundown of the 15 best films I’ve seen this year, including some of my Cannes favorites (all unreleased) as well as Steven Zallian‘s Ripley, the knockout Netflix miniseries.

These are the films that I felt truly impressed by, that I liked the most or have thought about hard since seeing them…HE’s creme de la creme.

I’ve listed them in order of preference, and so that makes Sean Baker‘s Anora my #1 favorite, closely followed by Payal Kapadia‘s All We Imagine as Light, Alice Rohrwacher‘s La Chimera, Ripley, Robert Lorenz‘s In the Land of Saints and Sinners and Ali Abassi‘s The Apprentice — these are the top six.

It’s not quite a 2024 half-time (i.e., first six months) list, but we all know that as a rule few June releases qualify as more than passing fancies.

I saw Jeff NicholsThe Bikeriders (Focus Features, 6.21) at Telluride last September…bad. Ditto Annie Baker‘e Janet Planet (A24, 6.120)…nope. I haven’t seen Bad Boys 4: Ride or Die but what could that possibly amount to? I saw Yorgos Lanthimos‘s Kinds of Kindness (Searchlight, 6.28) in Cannes…not my cup, and likely to be hated by many if not most ticket-buyers. And I still haven’t seen Christy Hall‘e Daddio (Sony Pictures Classics, 6.28).

Finest 2024 Films (15) in this order…I’ll paste in my review links later today or tonight:

1. Sean Baker‘s Anora (Neon, 10.18)

2. Payal Kapadia‘s All We Imagine as Light

3. Alice Rohrwacher‘s La Chimera

4. Steven Zallian‘s Ripley

5. Robert Lorenz‘s In the Land of Saints and Sinners

6. Ali Abassi‘s The Apprentice

7. Alex Garland‘s Civil War

8. Halfdan Ullmann Tondel‘s Armand.

9. Rose Glass‘s Love Lies Bleeding

10. Jacques Audiard‘s Emilia Perez (very good but calm down)

11. Magnus von Horn’s’s The Girl With the Needle

12. Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune: Part Two

13. Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire‘s Asphalt City (formerly Black Flies)

14. Luca Guadagnino‘s Challengers

15. Wes Ball‘s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

I liked Coralie Fergeat‘s The Substance, but not enough to place it among my top 15. Same deal with Tony Goldwyn‘s Ezra.

I still haven’t seen Vera Drew‘s The People’s Joker, the Zellner Bros.’ Sasquatch Sunset or Jane Schoenbrun‘s I Saw the TV Glow.