What’s the most well-liked movie of 2024 so far? The answer may surprise you

Gurney looking at Paul in Dune: Part Two.
Warner Bros. Pictures

2024 has been a weird year for movies. The 2023 writers and actors strikes shifted many big releases like the next Mission: Impossible movie and Captain America: New World Order to 2025, creating gaping holes in the schedule that gave the illusion that there wasn’t much to see at the multiplex.

A holdover from 2023, Dune: Part Two, and genre fare like Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and The Beekeeper did better than expected, but surefire hits The Fall Guy and Furiosa failed to connect with audiences, and once reliable genres like horror failed to bring in audiences. It got so bad that by the end of May, some very loud people were proclaiming that “movies are dead.”

They aren’t, of course, and throughout June, successive hits like Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Inside Out 2, and A Quiet Place: Day One proved that cinema still had it. As we start the second half of the year, it’s tempting to look back and ask, “What’s the best movie of 2024, so far?”

Joseph Quinn and Lupita Nyong'o in A Quiet Place: Day One.

That’s what movie website World of Reel asked its readers in its annual poll, which lets everyone vote on what their favorite film is without explanation. And to me, the winner is a surprise. Because of its massive success with critics and at the box office, I thought Dune: Part Two would’ve been the winner. But no, instead, it’s the film that was probably the most talked-about on the internet this year: Challengers.

A man kisses a woman as another man watches in Challengers.

That’s right, everyone’s favorite horny tennis drama about two old rivals battling each other on the tennis courts and in the bedroom was voted as 2024’s best movie as of June 30. But hey, I won’t protest too much, since Digital Trends also placed it at the top of its best 2024 movies so far list last month as well.

And what’s not to love? The Luca Guadagnino drama was the rare movie to treat desire seriously without losing its sense of fun. As Tashi, the film’s central figure that drives the two men wild in all sorts of ways, Zendaya finally got a lead role that truly showcased her gifts as both a star and an actress, and co-stars Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, as the two other corners in the film’s complex love triangle, both confirmed that their past great performances in The Crown and West Wide Story were no flukes. Also, it somehow made eating churros vaguely erotic.

A guy offers another guy his churro in Challengers.

Below is World Of Reel’s full top 10 list in descending order, with the number of votes (over 200 were tabulated) cast for each film in parentheses.

                    1. Challengers (51 votes)

                    2. Dune: Part Two (50 votes)

                    3. Civil War (38 votes)

                    4. Furiosa (32 votes)

                    5. Love Lies Bleeding (30 votes)

                    6. I Saw the TV Glow (28 votes)

                    7. Hit Man (26 votes)

                    8. La Chimera (23 votes)

                    9. The Beast (21 votes)

                    10. Late Night with the Devil (15 votes)

Do you agree with this poll? If not, what film is your favorite of the year?