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Top 2024 Films to Watch Now

Summer is here! In the shakier movie climate we now find ourselves in, it could simply mean more staying at home, in the air-conditioning, watching whatever’s streaming. In the old days, that would mean heading to the multiplex to load up on big summer blockbusters. But midyear is also a good time to reflect on the releases of the previous few months, and to catch up on some you may have missed. Following are seven of the best, harbingers of hope for the remaining months of this moviegoing year.

The Fall Guy, an action-comedy directed by longtime stunt performer David Leitch, may have “underperformed,” in the parlance of box-office pundits, but that’s no reason to dismiss it. The Fall Guy is an ode to the stuntpeople who drive cars at death-defying speeds, fall from dizzying heights, and get set on fire, all in the service of the fantasy of movies. But its biggest selling point is its duo of leads, Ryan Gosling as a once-swaggering stuntman struggling to make a comeback, and Emily Blunt as the fledgling director he’s trying to romance. Together, these two are the opposite of a car wreck, a romantic-comedy pairing whose fizziness keeps even this sometimes-plodding movie afloat. Charm is in short supply at the movies these days, but Gosling and Blunt give us every reason to believe in it.

Robot Dreams, a gorgeous animated parable of love and friendship set in 1980s New York, tells the story of a lonely dog who orders up a mail-order robot friend, changing his life. This fantasy world is populated by anthropomorphized animals, and for Dog and Robot, everything is a source of delight. But a day at the beach spells trouble for a being made mostly of metal, leading to a complex reflection on goodbyes and new beginnings. In adapting Sara Varon’s graphic novel of the same name, Spanish director Pablo Berger has crafted a movie that feels like the last day of summer: radiant, bittersweet, redolent of memories in the making.

DogMan, directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson, is a tender film about a wounded man finding solace in living with his community of dogs. This heartwarming tale is perfect for those days you’re convinced that dogs are better than people—even if that’s every day.

La Chimera, set in the Tuscan countryside circa 1980, follows an Englishman caught in an Italian reverie as he navigates love and loss. Director Alice Rohrwacher steers this dream of a movie steadily, creating a film that is more than just something to watch.

Tótem tells the story of a young girl coming to terms with her father’s illness, offering a promise of light beyond the sorrow of loss for both young and old alike.

Kidnapped: The Abduction of Edgardo Mortara by Italian director Marco Bellocchio is a compelling and chilling true story of a young boy taken away from his family to be indoctrinated into Catholicism. This powerful film is a must-watch for those who appreciate a thought-provoking narrative.

Hit Man, directed by Richard Linklater, follows the story of a college professor who poses as a hit man and falls in love with a married woman, leading to a series of unexpected events. This foxy caper is filled with buoyant good humor and captivating performances.