tiff 2014

The best and worst movies at TIFF 2014 so far

We're through the opening weekend at TIFF at this point, which is traditionally always a good time to come up for air, have a look around, and see what has emerged from the festival as the good, bad, and surprise breakout.

The wonderful thing about the festival (especially in this social media age) is the way pockets of buzz and enthusiasm swell behind certain movies, propelling them to the forefront of what's worth checking out at TIFF. It's especially useful for those who like to use the second half of the festival to scramble and find tickets for those films.

Here then is a list of the best and worst films that have generated a healthy amount of good and bad talk via reviews, critics, social media and more. (All plot descriptions from the TIFF programme).

THE BEST

Pride
"In 1984 Britain, a ragtag band of activists from London's queer community form an unlikely, anti-Thatcherite alliance with striking Welsh miners, in this hilarious and inspirational comedy-drama."



Nightcrawler
"A drifter and petty thief (Jake Gyllenhaal) joins the nocturnal legions of scuzzy freelance photographers who scour the city for gruesome crime-scene footage, in this gripping portrait of the dark side of L.A. from veteran screenwriter and first-time director Dan Gilroy."


While We're Young
"Noah Baumbach's exploration of aging, ambition and success stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple whose career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives."



Tusk
"Kevin Smith brings his comedic chops to a disturbing new milieu in this Canuck-baiting chiller about a popular podcast host who descends into straight-up madness when he heads north of the 49th parallel."



Duke of Burgundy
"British filmmaker Peter Strickland follows his eerie Festival hit Berberian Sound Studio with this dark melodrama about an amateur butterfly expert whose wayward desires test her lover's tolerance."




Phoenix
"A concentration-camp survivor (Nina Hoss) searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband who might have betrayed her to the Nazis, in this gripping drama from leading German filmmaker Christian Petzold (Jerichow, Barbara)."



Big Game
"Trapped in the wilderness after Air Force One is forced down by a terrorist attack, the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) must rely on the survival skills of a 13-year-old woodsman, in this thriller co-starring Ray Stevenson, Jim Broadbent and Felicity Huffman."



'71
"In the divided city of Belfast at the height of The Troubles, a rookie British soldier (Jack O'Connell, Starred Up) finds himself separated from his unit and lost in IRA-controlled territory, in this gripping fusion of charged political drama and action-thriller."



THE WORST

The Judge
"A big-city lawyer (Robert Downey, Jr.) returns home when his estranged father, a small-town judge (Robert Duvall), is accused of murder."



Men, Women & Children
"The latest feature from Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Labor Day) follows a group of teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives."



What are the best and worst films you've seen at TIFF so far? Add them to the comments.

the equalizer movieThanks to the Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, for sponsoring our coverage of TIFF 2014.


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