John Waters says that this thriller is the best film of 2024 so far. Is he right now?

When you hear the name John Waters, what picture goes into your head first? Apart from that, that is. (You’re missing out if you haven’t watched or heard of the 1972 film Pink Flamingos.) You might remember Johnny Depp’s perfect tear in 1990’s Cry-Baby or Ricki Lake’s pink cockroach dress in 1988’s Hairspray. But underground filmmaker John Waters has another distinction: he’s one of our nation’s greatest reviewers.

The self-styled “Prince of Puke” loves a good film and often releases his top ten movies of the year. Waters named the controversial surrealist comedy Beau Is Afraid the finest film of the previous year. His prized list also included Strange Way of Life by Pedro Almodóvar and Oppenheimer by Christopher Nolan.

Though 2024 is young, Waters has already chosen Love Lies Bleeding as his favorite film of the year so far. In a Mashable interview, he called it “harrowing yet tender, horny yet horrifying.”

The murder thriller starring Kristen Stewart debuted in early March to enthusiastic reviews but a lackluster box office showing. It is currently available on VOD. I detested Beau Is Afraid and still believe it belongs on the list of the worst films of 2023, but Waters has also been right on.

I agree with the Puke Prince that Love Lies Bleeding is an amazing film that is enjoyable to see and thought-provoking thereafter. I’ve seen it. As Lou, a gym manager who meets an unlikely lover in Jackie, an ambitious bodybuilder, Stewart gives a career-best performance. But in films such as this one, love is inevitably fraught with peril. That peril arises in the shape of Lou’s sleazy brother-in-law, JJ, who entangles the two ladies in a web of deceit, adultery, and murder.

I’m going to stop there in terms of storyline disclosures. One of Love Lies Bleeding’s greatest delights is witnessing Rose Glass, the film’s director, skillfully create tension, romance, and drama out of a plot that is both straightforward and intricate. The less you know, the better. You’ll be left wondering what all of this meant days, weeks, and months thereafter. The ending is a gonzo joy that is simultaneously ludicrous and completely reasonable. That is a really good movie.

I will not provide any further details about the plot. One of the great delights of Love Lies Bleeding is witnessing Rose Glass, the filmmaker, skillfully create tension, passion, and drama from a plot that is both simple and complex. The less you know, the better. Days, weeks, and months later, you’ll still be wondering what it all means. The ending is a gonzo joy, ludicrous and absolutely rational at the same time. That is a very good film.

But don’t just take my word for it—heed Waters’ heartfelt endorsement as well. Having directed a few himself, he has some experience with great movies, and he thinks this clever little film, which is set in the American desert, has a hint of genius. Check out Love Lies Bleeding right now if you enjoy crime thrillers like Blood Simple or just fantastic films in general.

You can buy or rent Love Lies Bleeding on Amazon Prime Video.

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