written by Krisy Putchko, Mashable
This year's line-up boasts new films from Jordan Peele, Florence Pugh, Lee Jung-jae, Brendan Fraser, and much, much more. So, whether you're seeking mind-bending adventures, side-splitting comedy, tear-jerking dramas, or nerve-rattling thrillers, we've got a must-see pick for you.
Here are the 10 movies out of TIFF you won't want to miss.
Jordan Peele, the visionary behind such horror hits as Get Out, Us, and Nope, has teamed up with stop-motion director Henry Selick for a collaboration that promises to blow our minds. Selick has made a significant cultural imprint with his films Coraline (based on Neil Gaiman's book of the same name), James and the Giant Peach, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. (No, Tim Burton didn't direct it!) Peele and Selick co-wrote the screenplay, which is based on an unpublished book Selick wrote with horror author Clay McLeod Chapman.
Just in time for spooky season, this is the wild tale of two hell-raising demon brothers, Wendell and Wild (voiced by Peele and his comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key) and the troubled goth teen (Lyric Ross) who gets caught up in their mayhem. We also hear Angela Bassett lends her voice to a badass nun. What else could you possibly want?
How to watch: Following its World Premiere at TIFF, Wendell & Wild comes to select theaters Oct. 21, then Netflix Oct. 28.
Following its World Premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, The Wonder is sure to draw audiences thanks to its acclaimed leading lady. The Oscar-nominated Little Women star, the MCU scene-stealer, the domestic goddess of Instagram Stories, Florence Pugh has enchanted us on every size screen. Now, she's traveling back in time with Chilean director Sebastián Lelio for a stirring adaptation of Emma Donoghue's 1862-set novel.
The Wonder follows a storied nurse (Pugh) who is tasked with unlocking the mystery of how an 11-year-old girl (Kíla Lord Cassidy) lives despite having abstained from food for four months. Is it a miracle? As religious fervor swells around her, it's up to this caregiver to save the child from an increasingly volatile scenario. Between Pugh's acting chops and Lelio's gift for crafting captivating drama (see Disobedience and A Fantastic Woman), this film is sure to be a knockout.
How to watch: Following its Canadian Premiere at TIFF, The Wonder comes to select theaters in November, then Netflix in Dec.
Fresh off its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it earned an astounding 13-minute standing ovation, The Banshees of Inisherin is one of TIFF's hottest tickets. The Irish offering reunites leading man Colin Farrell with his In Bruges co-stars Brendan Gleeson and the film's Academy Award-winning writer/director Martin McDonagh, who is renowned for his brand of pitch-black comedy. (See also: Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).
This time around, Farrell plays a fellow befuddled by his best friend's (Gleeson) abrupt and absolute rejection. Could their platonic break-up lead to bloodshed? Look, we haven't seen it yet, but based on McDonagh's work as a filmmaker and playwright, we bet things will get bloody and absolutely wild. And we can’t wait.
How to watch: Following its North American Premiere at TIFF, The Banshees of Inisherin opens in theaters Oct. 21.
Before there was the fictional Dora Milaje, there was the Agojie, an all-female squad of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. As General Nanisca, Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis leads an impressive ensemble cast of actors from around the globe, including Lashana Lynch (No Time to Die) and John Boyega as the king of Dahomey. Critically heralded director Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard) is sure to bring rousing action sequences and thoughtful personal stories alike to this stirring historical epic as these female soldiers square off against the threat of European colonizers.
How to watch: Following its World Premiere at TIFF, The Woman King opens in theaters Sept. 16.
Can't stand the wait for the second season of Netflix's hit thriller series? Then keep an eye out for this South Korean espionage thriller, which is also the directorial debut of Squid Game's charming leading man Lee Jung-jae. Jung-jae also co-stars opposite Jung Woo-sung as government agents with significant history between them; they must ignore their shared past and suspicions to unearth the conspirators who tried to assassinate the president. Hunt is set in the '80s, a time when tensions between North and South Korea were already sky high.
It's hard to believe it was just three years ago that writer/director Rian Johnson brought his sensational, star-stuffed whodunnit to TIFF for its World Premiere. Now, he's back with a new ensemble and a brand-new murder mystery for Benoit Blanc (a returning Daniel Craig) to solve.
This time the Southern gentleman detective will investigate on a picturesque Greek island. Joining Craig in the killer hijinks are Edward Norton, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Janelle Monáe, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista. So start laying your bets now for who's got blood on their hands…and what the hell "glass onion" means.
In the '90s, Brendan Fraser was a leading man who could do it all — hard-hitting drama (Gods and Monsters), goofball comedy (Encino Man), and monster-laced thirst traps (The Mummy, natch). While his Batgirl may have been unfairly scrapped, the Doom Patrol star is returning to the big screen with a prestigious father/daughter drama, albeit one that's proving controversial.
In The Whale, Fraser headlines as a traumatized man who is grieving the loss of a lover, trying to reconnect to his teen daughter (Stranger Things' Sadie Sink), and struggling with an eating disorder that causes him to compulsively binge and purge. Director Darren Aronofsky's (Black Swan, The Wrestler) adaptation of the Samuel D. Hunter play has raised eyebrows on social media over its depiction of its 600-pound protagonist, as well as the choice to cast Fraser and have him act in a prosthetic body suit. Viciously fatphobic reviews out of its Venice Film Festival world premiere have stoked these concerns. For his part, Fraser told Vanity Fair that he partnered with Obesity Action Coalition to do justice to the mental space of his character. Award season buzz is building for Fraser, and we're on board for that part, at least.
Kiersey Clemons (Sweetheart) stars as a socially awkward college student so obsessed with solving mysteries that she has her very own true crime podcast. So, naturally, when a classmate (Alex Wolff as a spacey self-care influencer) goes missing, Susie is on the case! Twists and turns are assured, as is a cast peppered with notable comedy names like Jim Gaffigan, Geoffrey Owens, Ken Marino, and Bodies Bodies Bodies scene-stealer (and hearthrob) Rachel Sennott. Production Design by Adam Reamer.
If you love outrageous comedy: Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Who better to take the prestigious subgenre of musician biopic down a peg than the (polka) king of parody?
The Grammy award-winning "Weird Al" Yankovic co-wrote this comedy with its helmer, Eric Appel. And, sure, the curly-haired icon even makes a cameo in the film. But the title role goes to Daniel Radcliffe, who has used his post-Potter years to make such mad and brilliant comedies as Swiss Army Man and Miracle Workers. Who could possibly be a better pick to play the notoriously squeaky clean accordion player as a vicious, sex-crazed ego maniac?
With a preposterous premise and a parody-stuffed soundtrack, Weird already has us amped up.
Polley has made a name as a filmmaker with her challenging narratives about love and loss, from Away from Her and Take This Waltz to the wrenching autobiographical documentary Stories We Tell. For her latest, she's brought together celebrated actors Jessie Buckley, Rooney Mara, Frances McDormand, Ben Whishaw, and Claire Foy for an all-too-timely (and true) tale about where reality meets faith — and falls short. Where they lead, we will follow.
How to watch: Following its International Premiere at TIFF, Women Talking will open in limited release Dec. 2, then nationwide Dec. 25.
Additional reporting by Jenni Miller.