Sundance 2024 Review Roundup: The Best Films We Saw This Year, Ranked

Featuring rappers, coups, drugs, zombies, grandmas, and hummingbirds

Sundance 2024 Review Roundup: The Best Films We Saw This Year, Ranked
Love Me, Little Death, Suncoast (Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival)

    This article is part of our coverage of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

    Once again, even those unable to brave the snows and shuttle buses of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival were able to get a taste of the films premiering in Park City this year. Running the gamut from existential sci-fi to the most grounded of documentaries, getting to watch films via the festival’s virtual portal was, as always, a fascinating look at the great collection of titles assembled by the film’s programmers.

    In addition to the films we were able to review in full over the past few days, there were additional films we were able to watch and evaluate as the festival progressed. So, below is the full roundup of everything the Consequence staff was able to watch remotely, featuring Laura Linney, John Early, Woody Harrelson, Carol Kane, Jason Schwartzman, Kristen Stewart, Steven Yeun, fictional typing teachers, journalists on a search for justice, and hummingbirds.

    Below, find our reviews of this year’s festival, ranked via their letter grades. When some of these films will be available for the general public remains to be seen — some of them have yet to be acquired for distribution — but all of them offered us a unique look at the world around us. Which is sometimes all we can ask for.


    Liz Shannon Miller
    Senior Entertainment Editor

    Handling the Undead


    Handling the Undead (Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival)

    Unfortunately, the 99-minute run time on Norwegian zombie drama Handling the Undead feels infinitely longer, and lands more as a meditation on grief than an intriguing entry into zombie cinema. What was explicitly teased as something of a reunion between The Worst Person in the World‘s Renate Reinsve and Anders Danielsen Lie was a major Sundance disappointment, at least for this writer — not only do those two actors never interact on screen, but we largely have no reason to care about any of the characters we encounter as Oslo slowly and so very quietly experiences a zombie awakening. Perhaps the incredibly sparse dialogue was designed to invoke a sense of dread, but the undead have never been quite so boring. — Mary Siroky

    Grade: C-



    Suncoast (Searchlight Pictures)

    This Searchlight acquisition stars Nico Parker (daughter of Thandiwe Newton) as Doris, a teenage girl whose brother is dying of brain cancer, and whose mother (Laura Linney) is thus too distracted to notice that her daughter has both fallen in with a hard-partying crowd at her school, while also hanging out sometimes with a kindly decades-older stranger (Woody Harrelson).

    As Stefan might say, this movie’s got everything (you’d expect from a Sundance movie): A period coming-of-age story inspired by the filmmaker’s own life, broader political themes, known stars like Linney and Harrelson playing eccentric characters, and a weepy conclusion. Suncoast finds a compelling way to weave in its aforementioned political themes, as the title comes from the hospice center where both Doris’s brother and Terri Schiavo are facing their final days, and the story it tells is deeply felt. However, the writing pushes Linney’s character from unlikeable to reprehensible at points, and Harrelson’s role feels more like a distraction than an essential part of the narrative. — L.S. Miller


    Grade: C+