Must-see films at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival

The 2018 return of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is just days away. The festival, which runs from Sept. 7 - 17, 2018, will host an impressive roster of celebrity actors, directors and producers ready to debut their films for eager audience members in Toronto.

To spare you from spending hours scouring the TIFF website, we've curated a list of some of the most noteworthy films in this year's lineup. Take our word for it - money spent on a ticket to any one of these screenings is money well spent.

The Hate U Give

Director: George Tillman, Jr.

Starring: Amandla Stenberg

Synopsis: "A timely commentary in the Black Lives Matter era, George Tillman, Jr.'s adaptation of the novel by Angie Thomas follows Starr, a promising student and cherished daughter whose life is upended, then galvanized, when a friend is senselessly shot dead by police." - TIFF

If Beale Street Could Talk

Director: Barry Jenkins

Starring: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo

Synopsis: "Director Barry Jenkins’ ambitious follow-up to Moonlight adapts James Baldwin’s poignant novel about a woman fighting to free her falsely accused husband from prison before the birth of their child." - TIFF

A Star is Born

Directed by: Bradley Cooper

Starring: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

Synopsis: "Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut tells the story of a seasoned musician who discovers — and falls in love with — a struggling artist, but, even as her career takes off, he fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons." - TIFF

First Man

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Ryan Gosling

Synopsis: "The Academy Award–winning team of director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling (La La Land) reunites for this biopic on the adventures and life of Neil Armstrong, from his entry into NASA's astronaut program in 1961 to his epoch-making walk on the moon eight years later." - TIFF

Beautiful Boy

Directed by: Felix van Groeningen

Starring: Steve Carrell and Timothee Chamalet

Synopsis: "Based on the bestselling pair of memoirs by father and son David and Nic Sheff, Felix van Groeningen's film chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years." - TIFF


Directed by: Steve McQueen Starring: Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Rodriguez

Synopsis: "A heavyweight cast — including Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Rodriguez — propels Steve McQueen’s white-knuckle thriller (co-written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn) about four women left in a deadly lurch when their criminally connected husbands are all killed." - TIFF

Life Itself

Directed by: Dan Fogelman

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin

Synopsis: "Writer, director, and producer Dan Fogelman’s (This Is Us) affecting drama about life, love, and loss, ambitiously set across years and continents, features an impressive ensemble cast, including Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Olivia Cooke, Mandy Patinkin, and Antonio Banderas." - TIFF

Boy Erased

Directed by: Joel Edgerton

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges

Synopsis: "The teenaged son of a Baptist pastor is forced into a gay-conversion program by his parents, in actor-director Joel Edgerton’s emotive drama starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges." - TIFF

Girls of the Sun

Directed by: Eva Husson

Starring: Golshifteh Farahani, Emmanuelle Bercot

Synopsis: "Eva Husson (Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)) returns to the Festival with a timely war film about survival and sisterhood centred on the “Girls of the Sun,” a battalion of women fighting to take back their homes from ISIS extremists in Iraqi Kurdistan." - TIFF

Giant Little Ones

Directed by: Keith Behrman

Starring: Josh Wiggins, Maria Bello, Kyle MacLachlan

Synopsis: "In the latest from Canadian director Keith Behrman, Kyle MacLachlan and Maria Bello star as divorced parents whose teenage son (Josh Wiggins) faces seismic personal upheaval after an unexpected incident at a party." - TIFF


Directed by: Jonah Hill

Starring: Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith

Synopsis: "Jonah Hill makes his directorial debut with this coming-of-age story about a teenage boy who finds his scene when he meets an eclectic group of neighbourhood skateboarders." - TIFF


Directed by: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Starring: Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoka

Synopsis: "Equal parts incisive social critique and nuanced family portrait, the latest from Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda — winner of this year's Palme d’Or at Cannes — follows a small band of marginalized misfits struggling to make ends meet in a merciless urban environment." - TIFF

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