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2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch

poster of the 2024 cannes film festival

Loud and Clear’s list of 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival on May 14-25, from the most anticipated movies to promising world premieres and indie gems!

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival is about to begin! It’s time to start thinking about which films to watch on the Croisette this year, and we have you covered! The 77th Festival de Cannes will be held on May 14-25, 2024, and the line-up is exciting, with a good mix of anticipated movies, indie gems, and lesser known releases that might end up surprising us, like Aftersun and Anatomy of a Fall these past few years.

There’s quite a big selection of movies to choose from this year, with the festival’s usual strands – 23 films in competition, 18 in Un Certain Regard, 5 out of competition, 4 midnight screenings, 8 “Cannes premiere” titles, and 9 special screenings – but Cannes also added new categories this year. These include screenings for young audiences and a much anticipated immersive section, in addition to a tribute to Studio Ghibli, one of the two Honorary Palme d’ors at the 77th Festival de Cannes (the other is George Lucas). On top of this, the collateral sections – Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Cinéastes), Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique), and l’ACID – will also return with a great selection of films.

So, which movies should be on your watchlist this year? Our writers Clotilde Chinnici, Philip Bagnall, and Serena Seghedoni made a list of 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival! Find all the recommendations below, in alphabetical order and with all you need to know about the movies. Loud and Clear Reviews will be at the festival this year, so keep an eye on the site for more articles and don’t forget to follow us on our socials for updates, reviews, and live tweets!



Director & Writer: Sean Baker
Country: USA

A woman with long black hair wears a red dress and dances on the dancefloor in the movie Anora, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Anora (Neon)

Anora is one of our most anticipated film at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, and it’s mostly because it comes from Sean Baker. The director of Tangerine, The Florida Project, and the absolute masterpiece that is Red Rocket returns to Cannes for the third time with his eight film. We don’t know much about Anora, but we know that it’s going to be a rom-com, following a sex worker and wealthy people, and it was mainly filmed in Las Vegas and New York. It was shot on 35mm film by cinematographer Drew Daniels (Americanized), who also worked on Red Rocket. The first still from the film shows Mikey Madison (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) on the dance floor and has us excited for Baker’s immersive worldbuilding and flawed but deeply human characters. (S.S.)



Director: Ali Abbasi
Writer: Gabriel Sherman
Country: Canada, Denmark, Ireland, United States

Sebastian Stan is on the phone in a taxi as Donald Trump in the movie The Apprentice, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – The Apprentice (Scythia Films)

Starring Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump, The Apprentice is a biographical drama film on Trump’s early career in the real estate business between the 1970s and 80s. This marks the director’s third time in Cannes, after winning the Un Certain Regard category with Border in 2018 and competing for the Palme d’Or in 2022 with Holy Spider. The film will focus mostly on the relationship between Trump and Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong), a New York Prosecutor, known for working with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Second Red Scare, the era of political repression against left-wing individuals. The film promises to examine topics of power, corruption, and deception while exploring the beginning years of one of the most influential families in the United States. (C.C.)



Director & Writer: Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel
Country: Norway

The outline of the left side of a woman's face in the movie Armand, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Armand (Eye Eye Pictures)

The directorial debut Norwegian filmmaker Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel (grandson of Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann) has the potential to be this year’s Monster. Just like in Kore-eda’s 2023 feature, we follow the aftermath of an incident that took place at an elementary school, but what exactly happened is unclear. Armand shows us what happens one afternoon, when a woman named Elisabeth (the ever-excellent Renate Reinsve) receives a phone call. It comes from her son’s school, where she is called for a parent meeting and finds out that he is accused of having done something wrong, though what exactly is unclear.

The fact that Armand takes place over one afternoon and at one location, showing a meeting between parents that spirals out of control, gives us Carnage (2011) vibes, and the fact that it’s produced by The Worst Person in the World‘s Andrea Berentsen Ottmar has us very excited. After seeing Renate Reinsve so recently in festival films A Different Man and Another End, we cannot wait to find out what she’ll bring to this promising role. (S.S.)



Director: Noémie Merlant
Writers: Noémie Merlant & Céline Sciamma
Country: France

Three women are dressed for a party and look at a glittery iphone screen in the film The Balconettes, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – The Balconettes (Nord-Ouest Films)

Noémie Merlant and Céline Sciamma are teaming up once again. Need we say more? After working together in Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, where Merlant played the protagonist, this time it’s Sciamma who comes on board of the Tár star’s latest directorial effort, as a co-writer. And The Balconettes (Les Femmes Au Balcon) has a highly compelling premise.

This genre-bending comedy horror movie takes place in Marseille, where a heat wave has everyone going crazy. We follow three women who live together – the titular “Balconettes” – and who, from their flat’s balcony, observe their neighborhood and start meddling in their neighbors’ lives. But things soon take a different direction, as a night of drinks and entertainment turns into a nightmare when blood is spilled. (S.S.)



Director & Writer: Andrea Arnold
Countries: UK, USA, France, Germany

A black man lies in the water face up in the film Bird
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Bird (Cornerstone Films)

From her Oscar-winning 2003 short Wasp to the flawless Fish Tank (2009) and the recently released American Honey, Cow, and Big Little Lies, the career of writer-director-star Andrea Arnold is filled with one-of-a-kind gems. After presiding the Un Certain Regard Jury in 2021, she returns to Cannes with her latest feature, Bird, which brings together two of the brightest young talents of our our times: Saltburn‘s Barry Keoghan and Passages Franz Rogowski.

The film, supported by the BFI Filmmaking Fund and distributed by Cornerstone Films, is about a 12-year-old girl named Bailey (Nykiya Adams, in her debut) who lives with her brother Hunter (Jason Buda) and their absent father Bug (Keoghan) in North Kent. Bailey is approaching puberty, and since she isn’t getting any attention at home, she starts looking elsewhere. We can’t wait to see Keoghan play a role that seems to be tailor-made for him and watch Arnold do her magic once again, in a very promising movie that gives us Fish Tank vibes. (S.S.)



Director: Tyler Taormina
Writers: Eric Berger & Tyler Taormina
Country: USA

Michael Cera wears a uniform outdoors and it's snowing in CHRISTMAS EVE IN MILLER'S POINT
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point (Quinzaine des Realisateurs)

It’s Christmas Eve, and a family reunites in their ancestral home for what may be the last time. In this night of celebrations but also of tensions, a group of teenagers decides to escape. It’s a coming-of-age film that explores identity and generational divides, and it reminds us of writer-director Tyler Taormina’s 2019 queer gem Ham on Rye, which he also co-wrote with Eric Berger.

On top of this, the cast is fantastic: Eighth Grade‘s Elsie Fisher, Barbie‘s Michael Cera and Masters of the Air‘s Sawyer Spielberg all star in the film, alongside the one and only Francesca Scorsese. The Quinzaine des Réalisateurs often has many gems in the line-up, and it sounds like Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point might be this year’s The Sweet East. (S.S.)



Director & Writer: Roberto Minervini
Countries: Belgium, Italy, USA

Soldiers walk with their horses during the American Civil War in a still from The Damned, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – The Damned (Okta Film)

Italian cinema will not be represented solely by Paolo Sorrentino at the Cannes Film Festival. This year, Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini, who is known for his career in documentary filmmaking, returns to Cannes with his newest project and his first fiction feature film The Damned. The movie is set in 1862 during the American Civil War as the US Army sends a group of volunteer soldiers to the Western territories to patrol the uncharted lands there. As the film goes on, they will see this mission change its course and struggle to grasp its real meaning. (C.C.)



Director: Jacques Audiard
Writers: Jacques Audiard & Thomas Bidegain
Countries: France, United States, Mexico

A woman wears a black dress with red roses in the movie Emilia Perez, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Emilia Perez (France 2 Cinéma)

Jacques Audiard returns to Cannes for his sixth time in competition (He took the Palme d’Or in 2015 for Dheepan, a shock win over the likes of Carol and Son of Saul). Never put off by the prospect of making a film in a language other than his native French, Audiard makes his Spanish language debut with a typically eye-catching idea. A lawyer (Zoe Saldana) is sought out by a cartel leader to help him achieve his dream: escape the criminal way of life and become a woman. The film also stars Selena Gomez and Edgar Ramirez, and Audiard reteams with regular collaborator Thomas Bidegain on the script, which will need to be at once raw and sensitive to sell this story. The results will be doubtlessly fascinating. (P.B.)



Director: Boris Lojkine
Writers: Delphine Agut & Boris Lojkine
Country: France

A Black man listens to music in the street, looking pensieve, in L'HISTOIRE DE SOULEYMANE
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – ()

Director Boris Lojkine teams up with Delphine Agut, co-writer of Inshallah a Boy (which also premiered in Cannes, last year), for another film that also tackles important socio-political themes. L’Histoire de Souleymane revolves around the titular refugee (newcomer Abou Sangare), who lives in Paris, delivering food to people. When we meet him, Souleymane has two days left to prepare for a very important meeting that will determine whether he’ll obtain legal residency in the country. Needless to say, he’s not ready. (S.S.)



Director & Writer: Leos Carax
Country: France

A woman floats swimming in a swimming pool, seen from below, in the film It's Not Me
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – It’s Not Me (CG Cinéma)

After provoking and mesmerizing audiences with the likes of Annette and Holy Motors, the visionary Leos Carax returns to Cannes with a short self-portrait. It’s Not Me (C’est Pas Moi) promises a brief (40 minutes) look back over his career. However, despite this introspection, and promises to evaluate the films in their political and social contexts, this is liable to perplex as it is to illuminate. Then again, we’d expect no less from Carax. (P.B.)



Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
Countries: Ireland, United Kingdom, United States

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After the widespread success of Poor Things both commercially and during award season, it seems like the world is eager to see what the director Yorgos Lanthimos will embark on next. The answer came quicker than many of us may have expected, as his next film Kings of Kindness is set to have its world premiere in May 2024 as part of the Cannes Film Festival. Lanthimos’ newest project is an anthology film featuring multiple stories at once. The film reunites the director with Poor Things stars Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe, while also featuring other well-known names in the film industry, like Margaret Qualley, Jesse Plemons, and Hunter Schafer to name a few. (C.C.)



Director: Kirill Serebrennikov
Writers: Emmanuel Carrère, Paweł Pawlikowski, Ben Hopkins
Countries: Italy, France, Spain

Ben Whishaw smokes a cigarette wearing Ray Ban and leaning on a taxi in the movie Limonov, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Limonov: The Ballad (Wildside)

Dissident Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who brought Petrov’s Flu to Cannes in 2021, returns to the festival. This time, he brings us the adaptation of Emmanuel Carrère’s best selling novel “Limonov,” telling the story of Russian poet and political dissident Eduard Limonov. The synopsis describes the movie’s protagonist as someone “who became a bum in New York, a sensation in France, and a political antihero in Russia,” and this definitely has our interest. On top of this, the film was co-written by Cold War‘s Paweł Pawlikowski, and Ben Whishaw plays the lead. Not to be missed! (S.S.)



Director & Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
Country: USA

Behind the scenes of the film Megalopolis
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Behind the scenes of the film Megalopolis (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis is the biggest title premiering at Cannes 2024, and it’s also one of the shortest films the Godfather director has ever made. The movie is a reimagining of the Catiline Conspiracy, which dates back to ancient Rome. The conspiracy is the story of a senator plotting to overthrow Cicero, but the film is set in contemporary USA. Idealist architect Caesar (Adam Driver) wants to rebuild the fictional city of Megalopolis in a completely sustainable way after an accident destroyed it. But his endeavours are in direct conflice with the city’s more business-oriented mayor, Frank Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito).

It’s a Francis Ford Coppola movie, which has us pretty excited about it. But on top of this, the synopsis makes it a very timely watch, and an all-star cast joins the project. Alongside Adam Driver and Giancarlo Esposito, we’ll see Aubrey Plaza, Laurence Fishburne, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kathryn Hunter and more familiar faces in Megalopolis. The film will have its Cannes World Premiere on May 17, 2024, and only one question remains: will we be able to snag a ticket? (S.S.)



Director & Writer: Paul Schrader
Country: United States

Richard Gere, Paul Schrader, and Jacob Elordi
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Richard Gere, Paul Schrader, and Jacob Elordi (Getty)

Based on Russell Bank’s novel “Foregone,” Oh Canada follows the life of a tormented writer, Leonard Fife (Richard Gere), who fled to Canada to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War. The premise of the film is only made more exciting by the star-stunned cast, made up of A-listers like Richard Gere and Uma Thurman, and some of the most exciting and promising new faces in Hollywood, including Jacob Elordi as young Leonard Fife and Kristine Forseth. This is not the first time the director Paul Schrader tackles a Russel Bank novel in the film format as he previously adapted Affliction, based on the book of the same name. This movie also marks Schrader’s second collaboration with Gere more than four decades after American Gigolo (1980). (C.C.)



Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Writers: Umberto Contarello, Paolo Sorrentino
Countries: Italy, France

Gary Oldman lights up a cigarette holding a hat on the set of Parthenope, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Gary Oldman on the set of Parthenope (Hollywood Authentic)

The Cannes Film Festival is now well known for championing European cinema so, of course, I was very happy to see an Italian film in the list of titles in the competition for this year’s Palme d’Or. Parthenope marks Paolo Sorrentino’s seventh time at the Cannes Film Festival after attending, most recently, with Youth in 2015. We still do not know much about the plot of the film, but Sorrentino said that it is about a woman named Partenope who is named after her city. Much like his previous film, The Hand of God, Sorrentino’s newest movie was filmed on location in Naples and on the island of Capri. (C.C.)



Director: Rithy Panh
Writers: Elizabeth Becker, Pierre Erwan Guillaume & Rithy Panh
Countries: France, Cambodia

Three people stand apart from one another with suitcases in the movie RENDEZ-VOUS AVEC POL POT, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – RENDEZ-VOUS AVEC POL POT (Dulac Distribution)

After many attempts to capture the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in documentaries (including S21 and The Missing Picture), director Rithy Panh turns to feature filmmaking for his latest exploration of the horrors of the regime. In 1978, when three French journalists (including Irène Jacob and Grégoire Colin) are invited to interview Pol Pot, they uncover the truth of persecution and mass murder behind the polished front the regime wishes to sell to the outside world. Inspired by journalist Elizabeth Becker’s story, this promises to be as insightful as Panh previous films on the subject of Cambodia’s dark past. (P.B.)



Director & Writer: Quentin Dupieux
Country: France

A blue punto is parked in front of a restaurant called Le Deuxieme Acte in The Second Act, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – The Second Act (Chi-Fou-Mi Productions)

The opening film at Cannes can be a magnet for attention, but usually for notoriety around the film rather than the quality of the film itself (See 2023’s opener Jeanne Du Barry as proof). The Second Act (Le deuxième Acte) will likely be a more dignified affair, with any chaos coming from the mind of often-outrageous French firebrand Quentin Dupieux (last seen on the festival circuit with Daaaaaali!). 

Four characters meet in an isolated restaurant. A young woman wants to introduce her new beau to her father, but the young man is not interested, and wants to fob the woman off to his friend. Dupieux is likely to milk awkward laughs aplenty from this minimal scenario, and he’ll be helped by a fantastic ensemble (Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Vincent Lindon, and Raphaël Quenard, star of Dupieux’s latest film Yannick). Expect nonsensical hilarity. (P.B.)



Director & Writer: Ariane Labed
Countries: France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom

two women look at each other lying on the floor under a glass table in the film SEPTEMBER SAYS
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – September Says (BFI, British Council Film)

Yorgos Lanthimos is not the only Greek filmmaker who will be in Cannes this year: His wife, Ariane Label, a Greek-French actress and director, will also present her movie at the festival. September Says is Lebed’s directorial debut. The film is based on a novel by British writer Daisy Johnson called “Sisters,” which was published in 2020. When the movie starts, September (Wonkas Rakhee Thakar) is suspended from school and her sister, July (Mia Tharia), starts exploring her own independence. This leads to tension building up in the family during their holiday in Ireland, where various surreal encounters bring them all to their limit. (C.C.)



Director & Writer: David Cronenberg
Countries: France, Canada

A man and a woman stand in a graveyard by night in the film The Shrouds, by David Cronenberg
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – A still from the set of The Shrouds (Prospero Pictures, Saint Laurent)

Almost 30 years after then-Jury head Francis Ford Coppola refused to give David Cronenberg the Palme d’Or for Crash, the two auteurs now face off in competition. Just as Megalopolis promises to be a big, brash statement of intent for Coppola, Cronenberg offers another icky but intelligent slice of corporeal corruption

Vincent Cassel’s widower invents a machine to communicate with the dead via a special burial shroud. The Shrouds appears to follow Crimes of the Future in revisiting Cronenberg’s earlier explorations of intersecting technology and human flesh (Think Crash, Videodrome or eXistenZ). Cassel is joined by Diane Kruger and Guy Pearce in fleshing out (ahem) what sound likes a typically Cronenberg-ian vision. (P.B.)



Director & Writer: Karan Kandhar
Country: India

An indian woman holds her hair up in a bathroom, with a broken nose, in the movie Sister Midnight, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Cannes film festival according to Loud and Clear Reviews
2024 Cannes Film Festival: 20 Films to Watch – Sister Midnight (BFI)

“A fantastical punk comedy, a feminist revenge film, and a revamped vampire movie rolled into one,” reads the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs’ official synopsis, and we are sold. The BFI-backed Sister Midnight, from writer-director Karan Kandhar (Bye Bye Miss Goodnight), is about a rebellious, loner woman named Uma (Radhika Apte), who has just gotten married. But as she finds out marriage in a Bombay slum means, Uma decides that she’s not going to take it: she will get her revenge. Sister Midnight‘s premise is irresistible, and we have a feeling the movie will not disappoint. (S.S.)


  • La Belle de Gaza, Yolande Zauberman – Special Screenings
  • Desert of Namibia (Namibia No Sabaku), Yoko Yamanaka – Directors’ Fortnight
  • Ernest Cole, Lost and Found, Raoul Peck – Special Screenings
  • Everybody Loves Touda, Nabil Ayouch – Cannes Premiere
  • Flow, Gints Zilbalodis – Un Certain Regard
  • Furiosa, George Miller – Out of Competition
  • Ghost Trail, Jonathan Millet – Critics’ Week
  • The Girl with the Needle, Magnus von Horn – In Competition
  • Julie Keeps Quiet, Leonardo Van Dijl – Critics’ Week
  • Maria, Jessica Palud – Cannes Premiere
  • Most People Die on Sundays, Iair Said – L’ACID
  • Motel Destino, Karim Aïnouz – In Competition
  • On Becoming a Guinea Fowl, Rungano Nyoni – Un Certain Regard
  • Rumours, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson & Guy Maddin – Out of Competition
  • Sauvages, Claude Barras – Screenings for Young Audiences
  • She’s Got No Name, Peter Ho-Sun Chan – Out of Competition
  • Spheres, Eliza McNitt – Immersive Selection, Non-competitive works
  • Spectateurs!, Arnaud Desplechin – Special Screenings
  • To a Land Unknown, Mahdi Fleifel – Directors’ Fortnight
  • When the Light Breaks, Rúnar Rúnarsson – Un Certain Regard

The 76th Cannes Film Festival will take place on May 16-27, 2023. Read the rest of our film festival coverage.

Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Cinéastes), Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique), and l’ACID

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