Col Needham's Top 10 Toronto Picks for 2016

by Col Needham | last updated - 7 months ago

I am the Founder and CEO of IMDb and these are the 10 movies which I am most looking forward to seeing at the Toronto International Film Festival which I attend from start to finish every year. The list is in alphabetical order as it hard enough to pick only 10, let alone rank them!

Note that these are movies which I have not seen before. Recommendations from films which I have seen at other festivals are Manchester by the Sea, The Birth of a Nation, and The Handmaiden.

The scope of the festival and the quality makes it difficult to select 10 and these are all taken from my longer TIFF Interest List which contains nearly 100 movies and the festival is only 10 days long!

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1. American Pastoral (2016)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
43 Metascore

An All-American college star and his beauty queen wife watch their seemingly perfect life fall apart as their daughter joins the turmoil of '60s America.

Director: Ewan McGregor | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning, Peter Riegert

Votes: 6,531 | Gross: $0.54M

2. Arrival (II) (2016)

PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
81 Metascore

When twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

Votes: 327,008 | Gross: $100.50M

3. City of Tiny Lights (2016)

110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
54 Metascore

In the teeming, multicultural metropolis of modern-day London, a seemingly straightforward missing-person case launches a down-at-heel private eye into a dangerous world of religious fanaticism and political intrigue.

Director: Pete Travis | Stars: Riz Ahmed, Billie Piper, James Floyd, Cush Jumbo

Votes: 178

4. Free Fire (2016)

R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
63 Metascore

Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

Director: Ben Wheatley | Stars: Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy

Votes: 5,269 | Gross: $0.99M

5. The Limehouse Golem (2016)

105 min | Horror, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A series of murders has shaken the community to the point where people believe that only a legendary creature from dark times - the mythical so-called Golem - must be responsible.

Director: Juan Carlos Medina | Stars: Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy, María Valverde, Douglas Booth

Votes: 136

6. A Monster Calls (2016)

PG-13 | 108 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
76 Metascore

A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother's terminal illness.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell

Votes: 35,645 | Gross: $3.73M

7. Nocturnal Animals (2016)

R | 116 min | Drama, Thriller

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
67 Metascore

A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

Director: Tom Ford | Stars: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Votes: 119,623 | Gross: $10.64M

8. The Secret Scripture (2016)

108 min | Drama

6.8
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42 Metascore

A woman keeps a diary of her extended stay at a mental hospital.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Rooney Mara, Aidan Turner, Theo James, Jack Reynor

Votes: 327

9. Their Finest (2016)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
76 Metascore

A former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joins the cast and crew of a major production while the Blitz rages around them.

Director: Lone Scherfig | Stars: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston

Votes: 1,810 | Gross: $1.12M

10. A United Kingdom (2016)

PG-13 | 111 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
65 Metascore

The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.

Director: Amma Asante | Stars: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton, Jack Davenport

Votes: 4,206 | Gross: $3.86M