Col Needham's Top 20 Toronto Picks for 2018

by Col Needham | last updated - 8 months ago

I am the Founder and CEO of IMDb and these are the 20 movies which I am most looking forward to seeing at the Toronto International Film Festival which I attend from start to finish every year. The list is in alphabetical order as it hard enough to pick only 20, let alone rank them!

Note these are all movies which I have not seen before. My top recommendations from films which I have already seen at other festivals are Colette (2018), Cold War (2018) & 3 Faces (2018).

The scope of the festival and the quality makes it difficult to select 20 and these are all taken from my longer TIFF Interest List which contains over 100 movies and the festival is only 10 days long!

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1. Beautiful Boy (I) (2018)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
62 Metascore

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

Director: Felix van Groeningen | Stars: Steve Carell, Maura Tierney, Jack Dylan Grazer, Oakley Bull

Votes: 29,616 | Gross: $7.65M

2. Burning (2018)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Mystery

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
90 Metascore

Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood as him, who asks him to look after her cat while on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.

Director: Chang-dong Lee | Stars: Ah-in Yoo, Steven Yeun, Jong-seo Jun, Soo-Kyung Kim

Votes: 21,470 | Gross: $0.72M

3. Boy Erased (2018)

R | 115 min | Biography, Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
69 Metascore

The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Director: Joel Edgerton | Stars: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Russell Crowe

Votes: 18,281 | Gross: $6.79M

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

R | 106 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
87 Metascore

When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.

Director: Marielle Heller | Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone

Votes: 28,541 | Gross: $8.80M

5. First Man (2018)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
84 Metascore

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler

Votes: 118,056 | Gross: $44.94M

6. The Front Runner (2018)

R | 113 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
61 Metascore

In 1987, U.S. Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign is derailed when he's caught in a scandalous love affair.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Mark O'Brien

Votes: 6,112 | Gross: $2.00M

7. Hold the Dark (2018)

TV-MA | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
63 Metascore

After the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.

Director: Jeremy Saulnier | Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough

Votes: 26,546

8. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

R | 119 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
87 Metascore

A young woman embraces her pregnancy while she and her family set out to prove her childhood friend and lover innocent of a crime he didn't commit.

Director: Barry Jenkins | Stars: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Teyonah Parris

Votes: 24,684 | Gross: $14.92M

9. Life Itself (2018)

R | 117 min | Drama, Romance

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
21 Metascore

As a young New York City couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

Director: Dan Fogelman | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin

Votes: 8,990 | Gross: $4.10M

10. Mid90s (2018)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
66 Metascore

Follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 1990s-era Los Angeles who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

Director: Jonah Hill | Stars: Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterston, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith

Votes: 22,665 | Gross: $7.36M

11. The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

PG-13 | 93 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
80 Metascore

Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

Director: David Lowery | Stars: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover

Votes: 25,328 | Gross: $11.28M

12. Out of Blue (2018)

Unrated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

5.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  
49 Metascore

When Detective Mike Hoolihan is called to investigate the shooting of leading astrophysicist and black hole expert, Jennifer Rockwell, she is affected in ways she struggles to comprehend.

Director: Carol Morley | Stars: Jacki Weaver, Patricia Clarkson, Toby Jones, Mamie Gummer

Votes: 608 | Gross: $0.02M

13. Peterloo (2018)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama, History

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
66 Metascore

The story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre where British forces attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson

Votes: 1,843 | Gross: $0.15M

14. Roma (2018)

R | 135 min | Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
96 Metascore

A year in the life of a middle-class family's maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta

Votes: 105,335

15. A Star Is Born (2018)

R | 136 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
88 Metascore

A musician helps a young singer find fame as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

Director: Bradley Cooper | Stars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Greg Grunberg

Votes: 244,319 | Gross: $215.29M

16. The Sisters Brothers (2018)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
78 Metascore

In 1850s Oregon, the infamous duo of assassins, Eli and Charlie Sisters, chase a gold prospector and his unexpected ally.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed

Votes: 31,216 | Gross: $3.14M

17. Teen Spirit (2018)

PG-13 | 93 min | Drama, Music

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
57 Metascore

Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.

Director: Max Minghella | Stars: Elle Fanning, Agnieszka Grochowska, Archie Madekwe, Zlatko Buric

Votes: 1,905 | Gross: $0.44M

18. Vita & Virginia (2018)

110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

5.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

It's the fascinating true story about the love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf.

Director: Chanya Button | Stars: Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones

Votes: 179

19. Widows (2018)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
84 Metascore

Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki

Votes: 60,385 | Gross: $42.40M

20. Wild Rose (2018)

R | 100 min | Drama, Music

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
78 Metascore

A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star.

Director: Tom Harper | Stars: Jessie Buckley, Matt Costello, Jane Patterson, Lesley Hart

Votes: 1,544




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