tiff best movies 2023

The best movies at TIFF 2023

The best movies at TIFF for 2023 is what everyone wants to know now that another year has come to a close. There are headwinds to navigate, and the last few years have not been easy, but there were still tens of thousands of people who came out to spend these last days of summer in darkened theatres together.

Here are some of the best movies I saw at TIFF 2023.

American Fiction

I had high hopes for this work, even placing it on my People's Choice prediction grid before having a chance to screen. The end result is sensational, Cord Jefferson adapting in both scathing, subtle and sublime ways Percival Everett's novel. It's a film that will get people talking, and a very worthy winner of this year's public prize.

Green Border

I've already celebrated this film (and others), but I must give another shout out to a movie that will have a challenge finding an audience, but easily one of the most vital films of the year.

Agnieszka Holland's film is as searing as any documentary and as emotionally powerful as any drama, a master work by a masterful director deserving of nothing but praise.


TIFF has long been home to some of my favourite non-fiction films, and this year's standout is a movie that on first blush looks indulgent, and maybe even a little silly.

Even the programmers said this middle-aged Gen-X'ers rumination on creativity was made for me, but it's exactly that reason I was hesitant whether it could pull it off. I shouldn't have worried, as the end result was the best doc of the fest.

His Three Daughters

Another repeat from my mid-fest list, this is an exceptional film that surely could used a boost with an award or two. Still, it serves as absolutely one of the best true-TIFF films, premiering here and hopefully getting plenty of attention for its sublime cast, its carefully constructed narrative,

Woman of the Hour

At a festival where we saw many films by actors stepping behind the camera it was Anna Kendrick's film that shined above many of the rest with this this creepy true crime tale.

It's an assured debut, with a strong visual style and complex structure, and while not all of it works, it is unquestionably a testament to the emergence of a prime directorial talent.


Michel Franco's film is a rich, beautiful character piece anchored by fine performances by Jessica Chastain and (Venice Award winner) Peter Sarsgaard.

What sets this apart is how deftly it avoids the pitfalls of such a tale, providing an emotionally rich story without ever feeling maudlin or manipulative, and while it doesn't entirely stick its ending, it's an absolutely worthy film worth your time.


I took a chance on this Telluride-premiering tale and I'm so glad I did, for Monica Sorelle's sublime debut was one of those hidden gems I come to this festival for. A beautifully shot and performed drama about blue-collar work in Miami, the documentary-like precision used to capture this family and Miami's Haitian-American culture is exceptional.

Aside from this list I'd highly recommend many of the award winning films that played Cannes last May. Glazer's The Zone of Interest, Triet's Anatomy of a Fall, Wenders' Perfect Days, Kaurismäki's Fallen Leaves are just some of the ones you should watch when you can.

And don't miss movies starring Colman Domingo. With two very different performances - One in the prison drama Sing Sing, another in the surprisingly effective Obama-produced Netflix historical bio-pic Rustin - we get to experience the immense talents of this man.

His is a familiar face that hasn't quite achieved the A-list stardom he deserves - the films at TIFF 2023 are set to change that.

If you missed the TIFF awards announcement, check out the list of the People's Choice and other award-winning movies from the 2023 festival.

Lead photo by

Woman of the Hour

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