Skip to main content

John Waters thinks this thriller is 2024’s best movie so far. Is he right?

John Waters poses at an event.
Wikipedia Commons

What’s the first image that comes to mind when you hear the name John Waters? Well, besides that. (If you’ve never seen or heard of the 1972 movie Pink Flamingos, well, you’re missing out.) You’d probably think about the pink satin cockroach dress Ricki Lake wore in the 1988 film Hairspray, or then-heartthrob Johnny Depp crying one single, perfect tear in 1990’s Cry-Baby. But a lesser-known but still impressive accomplishment the underground filmmaker has earned over the years is that he’s of one of our country’s best critics.

That’s right, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Puke” actually has great taste in movies, and frequently shares his list of his top 10 favorite films in a particular year. Last year, Waters proclaimed the divisive surrealist comedy Beau Is Afraid as the year’s best, with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and the Pedro Almodóvar Western Strange Way of Life earning spots on his coveted list.

A bloody woman leans next to a door in Love Lies Bleeding.
A24

2024 may be only five months old, but Waters has already picked his favorite of the year … well, so far: Love Lies Bleeding. In an interview with Mashable, the director said that “as harrowing as it is tender, as horny as it is horrifying, Love Lies Bleeding is one of the best films of 2024.”

The Kristen Stewart crime thriller was released in early March to ecstatic reviews but muted box office, and is now available on VOD. Waters has been spot-on before, but he’s also been off; I hated Beau Is Afraid, and still think it deserves to be on the list of worst movies of 2023.

Two women look at each other in Love Lies Bleeding.
A24

I’ve watched Love Lies Bleeding, and I agree with the Puke Prince — it’s a crackerjack movie, one that is fun to watch and great to mull over after you’ve watched it. Stewart turns a career-best performance as Lou, a gym manager who finds an unlikely lover in aspiring bodybuilder Jackie. In movies like this, however, love is bound with trouble, and that comes in the form off JJ, Lou’s skeezy brother-in-law who pulls the two women into a web of lies, infidelity, and murder.

And that’s all the plot I’m going to reveal. The less you know, the better, as one of Love Lies Bleeding‘s main pleasures is watching how the director, Rose Glass, expertly builds suspense, romance, and drama from a plot that is both simple and complicated. The ending is a gonzo delight, at once both absurd and perfectly logical, and you’ll be wondering what it all means days, weeks, and months later. Now that‘s a good movie.

Love Lies Bleeding | Official Trailer HD | A24

But don’t take my word for it; take Waters’ enthusiastic recommendation, too. He knows a thing or two about great films, having created a few of them himself, and he sees a bit of genius in this nifty little movie set in the American desert. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers like Blood Simple, or just a fan of good movies in general, check out Love Lies Bleeding now.

Love Lies Bleeding is available to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
6 movies leaving Amazon Prime Video in May 2024 you have to watch right now
best comedies on Netflix Burn After Reading

When it comes to some of the best, most classic movies around, Amazon Prime Video has a wide selection from which to choose. With an Amazon Prime Video subscription, you can watch all kinds of movies from decades past, as well as the present. With the ad-free version, you can eliminate ads, too. There's a rotating selection, however, so movies come and go all the time. You’ll want to take advantage of the best movies when they’re available.

Among the many movies that have a limited life on the streaming service right now, there are six movies leaving Prime Video in May that you have to watch before they’re gone. They are from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s and span various genres. Each one features A-list talent and has great rewatch value. See our picks and add them to your watch list this week before they’re gone.
The Crow (1994)
The Crow (1994) Official Trailer - Brandon Lee Movie HD

Read more
5 best Netflix movies of 2024 so far, ranked
Two men talk to each other in City Hunter.

We're at the point of the year when enough movies have been released for us to wonder which are the best of them all? Netflix in particular has been very productive in the first half of 2024, releasing a wide variety of movies that have ranged from surprisingly decent (Damsel) to downright awful (Lift).

From a documentary chronicling one of the most well-known songs of all time to a thriller about an ill-fated interview with a member of the British Royal Family, the best Netflix movies of 2024 encompass almost every genre and feature a galaxy of talented stars. You may disagree with the selections on this list, but you can't deny the sheer creativity and entertainment value that each of these movies possesses.

Read more
10 best movies of 2024 so far, ranked
Paul walks in the desert in Dune: Part Two.

This is sure to be an unusual year for Hollywood cinema. With the regular cadence of franchise blockbusters disrupted by the Hollywood strikes of 2023, there are fewer surefire bets at the box office. And some of the studios’ supposedly safer gambles, like Madame Web and Argylle, have already fallen flat upon release. Of course, this doesn’t mean there hasn’t been anything worth seeing in theaters or streaming at home.
In addition to a few standout franchise entries, the year to date has seen a number of terrific smaller-scale dramas, horror flicks, and indie comedies, many of them by debuting filmmakers. With luck, the relative lack of competition for audience attention will allow one or more underdogs to make a big cultural splash.

10. Abigail

Read more