ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

As the ten days of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) wind down this weekend, a few new titles have garnered the attention of critics and non-professional cinephiles alike.

While movies like Loving and Manchester By the Sea have already been positioned as strong Oscar contenders, I'm more looking forward to the movies I'll willingly spend $12 to see in theaters.

From the big-budget Deepwater Horizon to the breakout hit Moonlight, here are ten movies from TIFF that you definitely won't want to miss in theaters.

1. The Magnificent Seven

  • Release date: September 23
  • Director: Antoine Fuqua
  • Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio

Antoine Fuqua's Western The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, which is based on Akira Kurosawa's iconic film Seven Samurai. The film features a motley crew of outlaws are hired by a woman (Haley Bennett) protect a town from a corrupt industrialist (Peter Sarsgaard).

2. Deepwater Horizon

  • Release date: September 30
  • Director: Peter Berg
  • Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich and Kate Hudson

Deepwater Horizon is a dramatization of the real-life events of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers, and the subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The disaster thriller promises to keep our hearts rapidly pumping for the full 107 minutes.

3. Moonlight

  • Release date: October 21
  • Director: Barry Jenkins
  • Starring: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland and Janelle Monáe

A24's indie Moonlight appears to be the hit movie that no one saw coming. It explores the life of Chiron, also known as "Black," an African-American man who, over the course of three time periods and 16 years, struggles to come to terms with his sexuality without compromising his beliefs.

4. Bleed For This

  • Release date: November 4
  • Director: Ben Younger
  • Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal and Ciarán Hinds

The latest in what feels like a long slew of boxing movies features Miles Teller as world boxing champion Vinny Paz. After suffering life-altering injuries from an accident, Paz refuses to retire on anyone's terms but his own. With the help of his coach (Eckhart) he's able to achieve what some thought to be impossible.

5. Arrival

  • Release date: November 11
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker

Adapted from the book Story of Your Life, Arrival is a sci-fi story about linguist Dr. Louise Banks, who is commissioned to help find out what recently-arrived aliens want, and how mankind can manage to survive this new threat.

6. Nocturnal Animals

  • Release date: November 18
  • Director: Tom Ford
  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Armie Hammer, Isla Fisher, Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Director and designer Tom Ford brings us a sexy thriller with a stellar cast. Amy Adams plays Susan, a woman who feels threatened by her ex-husband Edward (Gyllenhaal) after he dedicates his mysterious and violent novel to her.

7. La La Land

  • Release date: December 16
  • Director: Damien Chazelle
  • Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Finn Wittrock, J.K. Simmons and Rosemarie DeWitt

If you keep up with movie news at all, chances are you've already heard volumes about the wonder that is La La Land. The musical comedy drama is about Mia (Stone), a young actress, and Sebastian (Gosling), a jazz pianist, who both dream of Hollywood fame. The two fall in love, but how will their their respective rises to stardom affect their relationship?

8. A Monster Calls

  • Release date: December 23
  • Director: J. A. Bayona
  • Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall and Liam Neeson

Word on the street is that A Monster Calls had critics leaving the theaters in tears. And once you know the premise, it's easy to see why. The story follows a young boy, Conor (MacDougall), who stumbles upon a monster while wrestling with his mother's terminal illness.

9. Free Fire

  • Release date: TBD
  • Director: Ben Wheatley
  • Starring: Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor

Ben Wheatley's action thriller channels Tarantino in the best possible way. What happens when an arms deal between gangsters goes wrong? A lot of gunfire, that's what.

10. Colossal

  • Release date: TBD
  • Director: Nacho Vigalondo
  • Starring: Anne Hathaway, Dan Stevens and Jason Sudeikis

Colossal is still shrouded in mystery, but we do know that the Spanish-Canadian sci-fi thriller has a kickass cast. The protagonist, Gloria (Hathaway), is forced to move back to her hometown after a breakup, but things go awry when she realizes she is mysteriously linked with a giant monster.


Which of these ten movies are you most excited to see?


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