Red Rocket (2021)

Red Rocket Simon Rex Sean Baker
Suzanna Son and Simon Rex discuss donuts in Red Rocket, from director Sean Baker. Photos courtesy of A24

The oldest movie on this list — it came out in 2021 — is also our favorite. It’s about a failed former star of the adult motion picture industry, Mikey Saber (Simon Rex), who returns to his Texas hometown, where he thinks he’s found his new meal ticket in a high school senior named Strawberry (played by Suzanna Son, who was 26 at the time.)

Their relationship is completely wrong and Mikey is a pretty terrible person, but director Sean Baker (who also made the excellent Tangerine and The Florida Project) goes for laughs and real emotion instead of reassuring the audience by scolding his sketchy lead character.

Red Rocket is a wild, just-go-with-it movie about dreams and delusions that doesn’t tell you how to think. It just lets you laugh and shake your head at its glorious audacity.

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