tiff movies 2019

The best and worst movies at TIFF 2019 so far

Halfway through the festival, and thanks to sleep deprivation and  movies from morning to well past midnight life is a blur. A number of major films have emerged, generating debate and attention in equal measure. Some managed to have met or even supersede expectations while others fell short of the mark.

With many more days you have plenty of time to catch some of these on the list, or make your own discoveries of titles not yet mentioned.

Here are what audiences are finding the best and worst of TIFF 2019 so far.


It’s no surprise that the Cannes-winning film from Korea sated Toronto's film-hungry crowds, and surely there are new fans that have joined the #Bonghive crowd to celebrate this extraordinary achievement.

Jojo Rabbit

There are champions and detractors alike talking about Taika Waititi's latest film, but there's quite simply nothing like it playing at this fest, its wonderful wit, charm and intelligence shared by film and filmmaker alike.


My take may not match your own, and some make avoid this Venice-winning psychological thriller for their own reasons, but beyond the hype and other nonsense there's a rich and complex film worthy of discussion, beautifully crafted with a killer lead performance.

Knives Out

We all hoped that Rian Johnson's whodunnit would rock, given the terrific cast and directorial pedigree, but the film upped even high expectations, grafting a tale of justice and hypocrisy atop a Clue-like bit of mystery fun.

Dolomite Is My Name

Eddie Murphy's first visit to TIFF is a real treat, a loving tribute to Rudy Ray Moore and his band of friends and colleagues that helped bring his unique brand of Blacksploitational fun to the fore.

The Goldfinch

One can guess that Warner convinced the fest to screen this dud in order to get a prime slot for their tale of Gotham City, but that doesn't account for just how terrible this overlong mess of a film is.

Ford Vs. Ferrari

I may be in the minority in being crushed with disappointment by this film, but all the ingredients were there for me to positively adore the work. Instead, even the filmmakers and (fine) cast admitted they don't care about racing, and the car sequences and scene-chewing illustrate that throughout its overlong running time.

The Giant

I haven't caught this yet, but I heard many rumblings that this World Premiere thriller directed by first-time filmmaker David Raboy fizzled from the start.

The Laundromat

There will be loads of films forgotten about that most haven't heard of, so a middling film by Soderbergh starring Meryl Streep trumps the trivial and makes the misstep all the more of a shock.

The Traitor

I hated this film when I saw it in Cannes, so given that a few amazing films didn't make it out of that fest, it still annoys this half-baked Mafia trial movie made it to our shores.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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