tiff movies

45 must-see movies at TIFF 2018 by day of the festival

The TIFF 2018 movie schedule is stacked with so many options. Wth the documentaries, the programmers' picks, the great foreign films, the award winners from Cannes, the buzz worthy and  most anticipated all vying for your attention it's tough to choose what to see.

To make things a bit easier here are my picks for what to see at TIFF 2018 by day of the week.

September 6

Day one and already there are two dozen films to choose from! You could have a nice evening of Canadian cinema parked above the Elgin with Patricia Rozema's moving and theatrical Mouthpiece (6 p.m., Winter Garden Theatre) followed by the meditative doc Anthropocene (8:45 p.m., Winter Garden Theatre).

Or for a different kind of night start with award winning Dogman (6 p.m., Scotiabank 2), skip over to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 (8:45 p.m., Ryerson) or Vinterberg's Kursk (10 p.m., Princess of Wales Theatre) and cap it off with the Midnight Madness premiere of Shane Black's The Predator (11:59 p.m., Ryerson Theatre).

September 7

The truly committed will spend 495 minutes (!) turning into Dead Souls (9:45 a.m., Jackman Hall), while the starstruck will fight to see Julia Roberts in tease for the episodic drama Homecoming (5:30 p.m., Ryerson Theatre).

Others should bring big boxes of tissues to the elegiac Rob Stewart tribute Sharkwater: Extinction (2 p.m., Roy Thompson Hall), followed by either a gala with Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamet in Beautiful Boy (6:30 p.m., Roy Thompson Hall) or Nadine Labacki's moving Capernaum (4:30 p.m., Elgin Theatre).

September 8

Start your morning right with Matthew McConaughey and Richie Merritt in White Boy Rick (9:15 a.m., Lightbox 1), then go next door to visit The Elephant Queen (12:45 p.m., Lightbox 2), then embrace the stellar doc Heartbound (4:15 p.m., Scotiabank 4).

You can see more Julia Roberts in the buzz-worthy family drama Ben Is Back (6:30 p.m., Princess of Wales Theatre), then drink in Glaswegian Country music romp Wild Rose (9:30 p.m., Ryerson Theatre) and stay awake with a shot of adrenaline from David Gordon Green's Halloween remake (11:59 p.m., Winter Garden Theatre).

September 9

You can choose between Hugh Jackman in the Gary Hart biopic The Front Runner (12:30 p.m., Elgin Theatre) or Errol Morris talking to Steve Bannon in American Dharma (12 p.m., Lightbox 1).

You could experience Barry Jenkin's remarkable If Beale Street Could Talk (6 p.m., Princess of Wales) or try and catch the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga gala A Star Is Born (6 p.m., Roy Thompson Hall) followed by Claire Denis directing Robert Pattinson in High Life (9:30 p.m., Roy Thompson Hall).

September 10

Paul Dano's directorial debut Wildlife (2:30 p.m., Princess of Wales Theatre) is fantastic, and choosing between catching Alfonso Cuarón's Roma (5:30 p.m., Princess of Wales) on the big screen and witnessing local heartthrob Ryan Gosling introduce First Man is impossible, so maybe check out the Argentinian crime drama Rojo (6 p.m., Lightbox 1) instead.

September 11

Begin with Quincy (12:15 p.m., Lightbox 2), a film about the legendary Mr. Jones seems a perfect lift mid-fest, and take your pick between action spectacle Shadow (3:15 p.m., Lightbox 1) or Werner Herzog's affable Meeting Gorbachev (4 p.m., Scotiabank 4).

September 12

Juliette Binoche has another collaboration with Oliver Assayas in Non Fiction (9:30 a.m., Lightbox 1), Nicole Kidman plays an undercover cop in Karyn Kusama's Destroyer (1:30 p.m., Elgin Theatre), and Jeremy Saulnier's long awaited Hold The Dark (6 p.m., Princess of Wales Theater) staring Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgård sees its world premiere.

September 13

Local doc legend Ron Mann's Carmine Street Guitars (3:15 p.m., Lightbox 2) is a wonderful divertimento, while Steve McQueen's thriller Widows (9:30 p.m., Princess of Wales Theatre) is one of the hottest tickets of the fest, so if you miss the premiere on the 8th there's still other times to sneak a peek. 

Or check out Lee-chang Dong's fiery thriller Burning, and then either Paul Greengrass' terror attack drama, 22 July, or the Robert Redford's fittingly titled final film before retirement, The Old Man And The Gun (6 p.m., Ryerson Theater).

September 14

The more than three-hour film The Wild Pear Tree (12:15 p.m., Scotiabank 3) is peak Nuri Bilge Ceylan, while Margarethe von Trotta's Searching For Ingmar Berman (12:45 p.m., Lightbox 2) promises its own rewards.

Emilio Estevez directs and stars in the library standoff drama The Public (4:15 p.m., Elgin Theatre), and then you can catch the sublime musical-politico-romance Cold War (6 p.m., Winter Garden Theatre), which is set to be one of the best films of the year.

September 15

Nicole Holofcener returns to TIFF with the Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco starring in The Land of Steady Habits (9:45 a.m., Scotiabank 2), while Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges join actor/director Joel Egerton in conversion therapy drama Boy Erased (12 p.m., Roy Thompson Hall).

Sebastián Lelio casts the always glorious Julianne Moore in Gloria Bell (6:45 p.m., Lightbox 1), the English language remake of his celebrated 2013 film.

September 16

Do check out Lukas Dhont's Girl (12 p.m., Lightbox 1), or catch Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern in Justin Kelly's Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (2:30 p.m., Ryerson Theatre).

The annual free screening of the People's Choice Winner starts between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at all five Lightbox rooms and the Ryerson theater, giving you plenty of chances to catch up with winning films to end your festival.

Lead photo by

Homecoming


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Film

The best and worst Cineplex movie theatre locations in Toronto

Toronto high school student just won a major film award

You can watch free movies under the stars at Union Station this summer

These are all the free outdoor movies screening at Christie Pits this summer

Watch free outdoor movies in Toronto parks this summer

TIFF is pulling the plug on their ambitious new exhibition

Toronto's free movie festival by the lake was just cancelled after almost a decade

Elton John biopic Rocketman is screening in Toronto this month