Col Needham's Top 20 Toronto Picks for 2018

by Col Needham | last updated - 3 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 (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  
63 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, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Christian Convery

Votes: 5,672 | Gross: $7.42M

2. Burning (2018)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Mystery

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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 confess his secret hobby.

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

Votes: 6,775 | Gross: $0.51M

3. Boy Erased (2018)

R | 115 min | Biography, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
71 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: 3,787 | Gross: $6.56M

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

R | 106 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

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

When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception. An adaptation of the memoir Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the true story of best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel.

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

Votes: 2,752 | Gross: $7.12M

5. First Man (2018)

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

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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: 58,979 | Gross: $44.80M

6. The Front Runner (2018)

R | 113 min | Biography, Drama

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

American Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign in 1988 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: 1,349 | Gross: $1.98M

7. Hold the Dark (2018)

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

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 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: 19,666

8. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
86 Metascore

A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.

Director: Barry Jenkins | Stars: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo

Votes: 1,140

9. Life Itself (2018)

R | 117 min | Drama, Romance

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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: 2,301 | Gross: $4.10M

10. Mid90s (2018)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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: 4,174 | Gross: $7.35M

11. The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

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

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover

Votes: 4,598 | Gross: $11.10M

12. Out of Blue (2018)

110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
55 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: Patricia Clarkson, James Caan, Alyshia Ochse, Toby Jones

Votes: 93

13. Peterloo (2018)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama, History

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
70 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: 857

14. Roma (2018)

R | 135 min | Drama

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
96 Metascore

A story that chronicles a year in the life of a high-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: 10,530

15. A Star Is Born (2018)

R | 136 min | Drama, Music, Romance

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
88 Metascore

A musician helps a young singer find fame, even 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: 115,251 | Gross: $198.14M

16. The Sisters Brothers (2018)

R | 121 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

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

In 1850s Oregon, a gold prospector is chased by the infamous duo of assassins, the Sisters brothers.

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

Votes: 5,084 | Gross: $3.14M

17. Teen Spirit (2018)

92 min | Drama, Music

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
52 Metascore

Violet is a shy teenager living in the Isle of Wight who dreams of pop stardom as an escape from her small town and shattered family life. With the help of an unlikely mentor, Violet enters an international singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition.

Director: Max Minghella | Stars: Millie Brady, Rebecca Hall, Elle Fanning, Elizabeth Berrington

Votes: 80

18. Vita and Virginia (2018)

110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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: Elizabeth Debicki, Gemma Arterton, Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones

Votes: 74

19. Widows (2018)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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: 22,113 | Gross: $39.62M

20. Wild Rose (2018)

101 min | Drama, Music

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star.

Director: Tom Harper | Stars: Julie Walters, Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo, Jamie Sives

Votes: 76




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