One of the most tonally off-putting and frustrating depictions of a family attempting to work through, with, and around the addiction issues of a loved one, Beautiful Boy is a well intentioned, but altogether too earnest, hollow, and baffling assembled melodrama that plays more like a parody of an afterschool special than a serious drama.

An impassioned, emotional, and vital look at a young person of colour growing up in America, George Tillman Jr.s’ The Hate U Give isn’t a perfect piece of cinematic activism or even a narratively balanced bit of storytelling, but it’s still perfect in all the ways that matter most.

Visually bracing and psychologically fascinating in equal measure, Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi’s documentary look at risk-taking rock climber Alex Honnold, balances visceral thrills with an in-depth character study of a patently unclassifiable and exceptional human being.

Renowned British filmmaker Paul Greengrass is no stranger to depicting real life traumas and tragedies on screen, but his latest feature as a writer and director, 22 July (opening in select cities and available on Netflix starting on Wednesday, October 10), finds the Oscar nominee tackling some of his most politically, morally, socially, and emotionally taxing material to date.

If The Old Man & the Gun truly represents veteran actor Robert Redford’s cinematic swan song, then writer-director David Lowery has gifted the performer with charming send off that makes the most of his trademarked suave demeanor.

A unique, beguiling, and subtly humorous take on the western genre, French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of Canadian novelist Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers breathes ingenious new life into a cinematic artform that always feels like it’s on perpetual life support.

Canadian documentarians Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky continue their examinations into the various ways mankind has irreparably damaged the environment with Anthropocne: The Human Epoch, a nod to a new and current scientific era where man has had more impact on their environment than the world’s natural state has had on human beings.

Director Jeremy Saulnier is no stranger to dark material, and his latest feature, Hold the Dark (arriving on Netflix this Friday and opening theatrically in Toronto the same day), might be his darkest, most challenging, and most ambitious work yet.

More of an insightful, nuanced, and comprehensive character drama than a detail oriented period piece, director and co-writer Wash Westmoreland’s Colette takes a historically significant literary figurehead and builds upon them a great amount of contemporary themes and parallels.

Quincy Jones has lived a life so rich, complicated, and noteworthy that one could fill a yearlong television series with his exploits, so the single two-hour documentary Quincy can only do so much to contain such a larger-than-life personality.

Dan Fogelman’s almost admirably insane Life Itself serves as a deep dive into the psyche of the creator of television’s hit series This is Us.

Fahrenheit 11/9, the latest long-form polemic from documentarian and pundit Michael Moore, definitely earns its sequel insinuating title, but not in ways that most viewers will be expecting.

While some could read The Land of Stead Habits, the latest feature from writer-director Nicole Holofcener as a tale of one man’s mid-life crisis, it’s more a pointed, poignant, and frequently funny indictment of privilege and suburban malaise.

The 1980s set gangster flick White Boy Rick gets off to a fast paced, but rocky start before eventually settling into a predictable, but more assured groove.

Husband Material

Bollywood came to TIFF last night as the stars and director of Husband Material (Manmarziyaan) walked the red carpet for the world premiere of their film, and before the show I had the chance to sit down with them to talk about making the film, and bringing it to the festival.

For their new and hilarious animated short film Animal Behaviour (which premieres this week at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival), tandem filmmaking team Alison Snowden and David Fine look at some of human beings’ basest instincts through the eyes of cleverly drawn and insightfully written critters with issues.

Writer-director Paul Greengrass is very familiar with mounting reality based stories of everyday people suffering through physical and emotional tortures …

If Beale Street Could Talk

The rare example of a perfect film, Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk considerably bests …

A Star is Born

Bradley Cooper’s first feature A Star is Born is as great as the pre-release hype suggests. The time honoured story of a washed up musician taking an up and coming superstar under their romantic wing gets a much needed injection of thoughtful storytelling, expert leading performances, and an energy unparalleled by most big budget melodramas.

Halloween

Eclectic director and co-writer David Gordon Green proves to be a great fit to reignite the Halloween franchise with this sufficiently spooky, admirably gory, and exceptionally polished chapter in the ongoing battle between an unstoppable killing machine and the now eternally damaged woman who stopped his rampage forty years earlier.

Actress Jessie Buckley delivers the biggest star making performances of the year in director Tom Harper’s electrifying crowd pleaser Wild …

Filmmaker, writer, and stage veteran Zack Russell didn’t exactly know that he was creating a dystopian film when he set out to make his latest short, 7A, which premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.

Nandita Das’ biopic of renowned and controversial Indian and Pakistani author Saadat Manto is a fairly straightforward, but well made …

An uncompromised and visceral tale of a soldier’s quest for forgiveness, the Australian drama Jirga is a bit of a …

Canadian documentarians Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky continue their examinations into the various ways mankind has irreparably …

Equally grim and manipulative, Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone’s true crime inspired morality tale Dogman is a frustratingly obvious, paper thin, …

Loosely based on the life of one of Argentina’s most notorious serial killers, filmmaker Luis Ortega’s El Angel doesn’t boast …

Inspired by the true life recollections of addicts and their families, Icelandic filmmaker Baldvin Z’s harrowing and overwhelmingly emotional drama …

A bristling, timely, and highly entertaining return to form for Quebecois filmmaker Denys Arcand, The Fall of the American Empire …

Clocking in at over eight hours and cut down from over 600 hours of footage, Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing’s Dead …

Completed posthumously following filmmaker and activist Rob Stewart’s tragic and sudden death during a diving accident last year, Sharkwater: Extinction once again finds the director trying to espouse the evils of illegal shark fin poaching and overfishing. This time, however, the film also functions as a moving and lasting tribute to Stewart’s drive and determination.

Canadian filmmaker Renée Beaulieu lugubriously titled Les Salopes or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin never settles on a consistent …

Made by an almost exclusively female cast and crew, Carolina Hellsgård’s German-Swedish post-apocalyptic thriller Endzeit – Ever After combines subtle …

The animated Brazilian parable and fantasy Tito and the Birds crafts dazzling images through a combination of line drawings, painterly …

There are few experiences at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival that will be more transfixing, curious, and outright hilarious as Roney’s debut short Glitter’s Wild Women, which has its world premiere in TIFF’s Short Cuts programme.

Colombian born filmmaker Lina Rodriguez is no stranger to the walls of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and her latest effort, the ethereal, instinctual, and observational short ante mis ojos, will have its world premiere at the festival, screening as part of the first programme of short’s in TIFF’s venerable and artistically minded Wavelengths section.

The powerful short film EXIT (which makes its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September) depicts an important and life changing day in the life of an anguished and conflicted woman.

TIFF red carpet

The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival is one week away, and today TIFF announced the very long list of expected guests who will be coming to Toronto to celebrate.

The Hate U Give

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs this year from September 6 to 16, and so far TIFF has revealed 47 films that will screen at the festival, including 21 World Premieres, and 13 features directed by women.

TIFF's Festival Street

The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival arrives in just a few weeks, and it’s time to start planning your tickets.

From the TIFF 2018 Blog

Clara director Akash Sherman and actor Patrick J. Adams

50 kilometres. That's how far I've walked since last Wednesday when I started covering TIFF. Aside from Sunday, I've walked about 9,000 steps a day, and I love it. It's my TIFF exercise, with a diet routine thrown for lack of options.

Firecrackers - Jasmin Mozaffari, Michaela Kurimsky, and Karena Evans

IFF is always a surprise. You really never know how the festival will go until you're in it. Interview slots get moved, the lineup of talent can often change, and so much more, but #TIFF18 has been incredible for me, and I've wholeheartedly loved the films that I've picked this year.

L’Oréal Paris

Cinnamon buns, pillows, chocolate, puppy treats, and one of my favorite soap companies. It’s another fantastic year for TIFF lounges, …

Eighteen years! That's how long I've been covering TIFF, and even I have to admit that's a long time to do anything. In TIFF years it feels even a little longer, but I've loved nearly every minute of it, and this year is shaping up to be another very good year.