This year’s Toronto International Film Festival was stacked with movies that are bound to make an impression in the coming months. From blockbusters to indie and foreign gems to weird genre flicks, the festival offered something for all cinematic moods and tastes. It was also a huge year for women and POC filmmakers.
The good news is that plenty of them already have release dates, and we don’t have long to wait until these titles are before our eyes — whether that’s in theaters or on streaming services. Some, including those still without distribution, are headed to other major film festivals, in case you’re interested and able to make the trek.
Here is a guide to the most buzzed-about movies and shows that you can now add to your calendar:
Now In Theaters
Before the festival was even finished, both the Lorene Scafaria-helmed crime film Hustlers and the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel adaptation The Goldfinch hit theaters.
Coming Soon to Theaters
Judy (Special Presentations) – The musical biopic trend continues. In this one, Renee Zellweger plays Judy Garland as she arrives in London in 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts. The film opens in limited release courtesy of Roadside Attractions on September 27th.
Abominable (Gala) – The latest adventure from DreamWorks Animation follows a teen and her friends as they set out to reunite a Yeti with its family. The movie rolls into theaters on September 27th.
The Laundromat (Special Presentations) – Inspired by the Panama Papers fiasco, Steven Soderbergh’s drama sees Meryl Streep play a widow who embarks on an insurance fraud investigation while on vacation. Netflix will release this on the big screen on September 27th before it hits their streaming service.
Joker (Gala) – In what’s being hailed as a future Oscar-winning performance, Joaquin Phoenix plays the legendary DC Comics villain in a Warner Bros. picture that owes a huge debt to some of Martin Scorsese’s finest works. Check it out on October 4th after you read our review.
Lucy in the Sky (Special Presentations) – Our own Anna Swanson describes this movie as “so abysmal it’s almost impressive.” If that description has you sold, go see the limited Fox Searchlight release for yourself on October 4th.
Pain and Glory (Special Presentations) – Antonio Banderas continues to make his acclaimed comeback after spending the last couple of years making fun DTV action movies. In Pedro Almodóvar’s contemplative effort, he stars as an aging filmmaker who must grapple with his circumstances. Meg Shields recommends this one, and you can see it via Sony Classics in limited release beginning October 4th.
Dolemite Is My Name (Special Presentations) – Eddie Murphy plays comedian Rudy Ray Moore, who shot to fame in his midlife after creating the titular character and going on to star in popular Blaxploitation movies. Netflix is putting this one out in theaters on October 4th.
Parasite (Special Presentations) – This Palme d’Or–winning thriller from South Korean master Bong Joon-ho garnered high praise from our very own Rob Hunter, who described it as a winning mix of Home Alone, Burn After Reading, and The Ice Storm. Neon is releasing this in theaters on October 11th.
The Sky Is Pink (Gala) – A spunky teenager recounts a love story spanning 25 years in this feature from director Shonali Bose due in theaters on October 11th.
The Cave (TIFF Docs) – Oscar nominee Feras Fayyad (Last Men in Aleppo) returns to his native war-torn Syria to follow a team of female doctors who treat patients in an underground hospital. The film, which hits theaters on October 18th before heading to the NatGeo channel, won the festival’s People’s Choice Documentary Award. Read our review here.
Jojo Rabbit (Special Presentations) – Taika Waititi’s latest is an “anti-hate” satire about a little German boy during World War II whose imaginary friend is none other than Adolf Hitler. The movie, which will hit theaters on October 18th via Fox/Disney, is already being tipped for Oscar success and is not to be missed.
The Lighthouse (Special Presentations) – The sophomore feature from The Witch’s Robert Eggers stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as a pair of sailors who descend into madness on a remote New England island. The film, which was shot on 35mm and in black and white, will be released by A24 on October 18th. Read our review.
Western Stars (Gala) – Bruce Springsteen celebrates the release of his upcoming album with this accompanying documentary that’s scheduled to hit theaters on October 25th. The Boss is one of the greatest performers to ever grace the stage, so we owe it to ourselves to watch this doc and listen to his wise words.
Harriet (Gala) – Kasi Lemmons’ biopic chronicles the life of Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo), a slave-turned-abolitionist who led hundreds of other slaves to freedom. This is a story that deserves your attention, so be sure to go see the movie when it hits theaters via Focus Features on November 1st.
Motherless Brooklyn (Special Presentations) – Edward Norton wrote, directed, produced, and stars in this 1950s-set crime drama, which follows a private detective living with Tourette syndrome who must solve a murder. The Warner Bros. release makes its way to multiplexes on November 1st.
Waves (Special Presentations) – Trey Edward Shults’ drama follows a family as they navigate their lives following a tragic loss. Waves will crash into theaters on November 1st courtesy of A24.
Marriage Story (Special Presentations) – Noah Baumbach once again explores the theme of divorce, this time with Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson playing the couple at the center of the emotional story. The movie will be given a limited theatrical release via Netflix on November 6th to qualify for the Oscars.
Honey Boy (Gala Presentations) – Shia Labeouf plays a man based on his own father in this somewhat autobiographical movie, which will be released theatrically by Amazon Studios on November 8th. Read our review.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Gala) – Be sure to bring a box of tissues to the theater on November 15th for this heartwarming tale from Sony, in which Tom Hanks plays the iconic children’s television host Fred Rogers.
Ford v Ferrari (Gala) – James Mangold’s film centers around American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as they strive to build a revolutionary race car for Ford that’s capable of challenging Ferrari. This will be the blockbuster to go see, via Fox/Disney, on November 15th.
The Report (Special Presentations) – This political thriller sees Adam Driver play a Senate staffer who’s tasked with investigating the CIA’s post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program, uncovering shocking secrets along the way. The movie will hit theaters via Amazon Studios on November 15th.
Knives Out (Special Presentation) – Rian Johnson takes a break from a galaxy far, far away to bring us a throwback to old school murder mysteries. The story follows a detective and a trooper who must investigate a rich family in order to get to the bottom of its patriarch’s death. Lionsgate put this one in theaters on November 27th.
The Traitor (Masters) – Marco Bellocchio‘s latest drama profiles real-life mafia boss turned informer Tommaso Buscetta. Sony Classic is putting this one out on November 27th.
The Two Popes (Special Presentations) – In this comedy-drama, the conservative Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) and the liberal Pope Francis (Jonathan Price) must put their ideological differences aside and do what’s best for the Catholic Church. The film is scheduled for a limited release via Netflix on November 27th.
The Aeronauts (Gala Presentations) – The Theory of Everything co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones reunite for a hot-air balloon adventure about two scientists making history. The movie will arrive on the big screen via Amazon Studios on December 6th.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Special Presentations) – In the Cannes Queer Palm–winning fourth feature from writer-director Céline Sciamma, a painter and would-be-bride develop a relationship of passionate intimacy. Neon will release this one on December 6th. Read our review.
A Hidden Life (Masters) – Terrence Malick’s new epic is based on the true story of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who refused to fight for the Nazis during World War II. The movie will arrive in limited release via Fox Searchlight on December 13th.
Uncut Gems (Special Presentations) – For a couple of days after its premiere, this was the only Adam Sandler movie on Rotten Tomatoes to boast a 100% Fresh rating. At the same time, it’s a thriller from the Safdie Brothers, which means it’s going to be grimy brilliance. The movie will make its presence felt in limited release via A24 on December 13th, and you can read our review here.
Just Mercy (Gala) – This drama stars Michael B. Jordan as real-life lawyer Bryan Stephenson as he turns down big bucks in order to fight injustice by taking on a case to free a wrongfully convicted felon (Jamie Foxx). The movie will arrive in theaters via Warner Bros. on December 25th.
Clemency (Gala) – Chinonye Chukwu‘s Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning drama tells the story of a beleaguered prison warden (Alfre Woodard) who is struggling to cope with her job following years of execution. Neon will release it on December 27th.
Sorry We Missed You (Masters) – After exposing the mistreatment of UK welfare claimants in I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach returns for another politically charged outing about the effects of austerity. In this one, we follow a man and his wife who can’t make ends meet due to crippling debt, caring responsibilities, and zero-hour contracts. The movie will be released in the United States via Kino Lorber on March 6th.
Beanpole (Contemporary World Cinema) – In this loose adaptation of Nobel Prize–winning author Svetlana Alexievich’s The Unwomanly Face of War, two women struggle to rebuild their lives in the ruins of 1945 Leningrad. Kino Lorber has distribution rights to the film for a January 29, 2020 theatrical release.
Blackbird (Gala Presentations) Notting Hill director Roger Mitchell oversees a star-studded cast featuring Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, and Kate Winslet to tell a story about a terminally ill mother who summons her family for one last hurrah before she dies. The movie will be given a theatrical release sometime in 2020.
Coming Soon to Netflix
The Laundromat and Dolemite Is My Name begin streaming on Netflix following their Oscar-qualifying theatrical runs (see the “Coming Soon to Theaters” section above) on October 18th and October 25th, respectively.
American Son (Special Presentations) – An adaptation of the acclaimed play by Christopher Demos-Brown, American Son chronicles the fears of an interracial couple after their son goes missing in the middle of the night. Kerry Washington reprises the role she originated on Broadway, and the movie will hit the streamer on November 1st.
Marriage Story and The Two Popes begin streaming on Netflix following their Oscar-qualifying theatrical runs (see the “Coming Soon to Theaters” section above) on December 6th and December 20th, respectively.
The Platform (Midnight Madness) — Taking place in a dystopian future, this sci-fi thriller from Spain follows a prisoner who voluntary incarcerates himself for increased social mobility upon his release. The movie has been picked up by Netflix for a later date.
Coming Soon to Amazon Prime Video
Honey Boy, The Report, and The Aeronauts will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video at some point following their theatrical releases (see “Coming Soon to Theaters” section above). Seberg (see “Coming Soon to the Mill Valley Film Festival” section below) is also an Amazon Studios title.
Radioactive (Gala) – Rosamund Pike stars in this adaptation of Lauren Redniss’s graphic novel, which chronicles the romantic story of two-time Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie and her husband Pierre (Sam Riley). The movie is expected to hit the streaming service sometime next year.
The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão (Contemporary World Cinema) – Winner of the Un Certain Regard award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the latest feature from Karim Aïnouz tells the story of two estranged sisters who mistakenly assume that the other is living a better life half a world away.
Blow the Man Down (Contemporary World Cinema) – In this coastal noir from Bridget Savage Cole, two sisters try to cover up a violent crime while trying to evade a suspicious brothel owner.
Sound of Metal (Platform) – Riz Ahmed plays a heavy metal drummer who experiences hearing loss and must re-evaluate his life. The film comes from director Darius Marder, who co-wrote The Place Beyond the Pines.
Coming Soon to Apple TV+
Dads (TIFF Docs) – Bryce Dallas Howard teams up with her father, Ron Howard, for an exploration of modern-day fatherhood. The doc includes anecdotes from Will Smith, Neil Patrick Harris, and many more.
Coming Soon to Shudder
Blood Quantum (Midnight Madness) – In what’s being hailed by some critics as a fresh take on the zombie genre, this film is about an undead uprising near a Canadian Red Crow reservation. However, the plague doesn’t appear to affect the Indigenous people who live there — so should they offer refuge to denizens of a society that has let them suffer?
Coming Soon to Facebook Watch
Limetown (Primetime) – Based on a popular podcast by created by Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, the web series sees Jessica Biel play a detective out to investigate the disappearance of 300 people at a neuroscience research facility. The first two episodes will drop on October 16th.
Coming Soon to HBO
Letter to the Editor (TIFF Docs) – Documentary filmmaker Alan Berliner guides us through his lifelong obsession with photography while reinterpreting his collection of images to make observations about our world. This is expected to debut sometime in early December.
Mrs. Fletcher (Primetime) – Adapted from the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, the series follows a divorced woman (Kathryn Hahn) who experiences a sexual awakening after her son leaves home for college. You can check out the first season premiere on October 27th.
Bad Education (Special Presentation) – HBO paid $20 million for this dramedy starring Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, and Ray Romano about a larceny scandal that rocked a Long Island school in the early 2000s. Expect the movie to air on the network next year.
Coming Soon to the USA Network
Briarpatch (Primetime) – In this mystery series, an investigator (Rosario Dawson) returns home to solve the death of her sister, only to stumble upon a web of corruption in her small border town. The show is expected to debut early next year.
Coming Soon to Fantastic Fest
Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Parasite, and The Platform, all of which can be read about in the “Coming Soon to Theaters” and “Coming Soon to Netflix” sections above, are among those joining the following distributor-less movies at the Austin-based genre film festival this month.
Color Out of Space (Midnight Madness) — Cult director Richard Stanley teams up with Nicolas Cage for an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name. RLJE will distribute this movie to theaters at some point in the near future. Read our review.
Guns Akimbo (Special Presentations) – Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving star in this action-comedy from Jason Lei Howden following a video game developer who becomes an unwilling participant in a live-streamed deathmatch.
The Other Lamb (Special Presentations) – A girl confronts a cult and patriarchal rule in this English-language debut from Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska.
Synchronic (Special Presentations) – In the latest genre-bending effort from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, two paramedics (played by Anthony Mackie and Dennis Jamie Dornan) uncover a bizarre plot involving a series of drug-related deaths.
Coming Soon to the New York Film Festival
Previously mentioned titles coming to the festival next month include Beanpole, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and The Traitor.
Saturday Fiction (Special Presentations) – A Chinese actress returns to Japanese-occupied Shanghai in 1941 and learns of the plot to blow up Pearl Harbor, which leads to her going undercover and gathering information for the Allies.
Sibyl (Special Presentations) – A psychologist with ambitions of becoming an author starts exploiting one of her patients for story inspiration. Naturally, this doesn’t go well for her.
Wasp Network (Special Presentations) – Olivier Assayas‘s thriller chronicles the story of five Cuban political prisoners who had been imprisoned by the United States since the late 1990s on charges of espionage and murder.
Zombi Child (Masters) – In Haiti, 1962, a man is brought back from the dead to work on a plantation. Then, 55 years later, a teenage girl reveals her dark family secret and things escalate.
Coming Soon to Mill Valley Film Festival
Previously mentioned titles coming to the festival next month include Blackbird, Frankie, The Lighthouse, The Report, and Sorry We Missed You.
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (Contemporary World Cinema) – After a woman spots another woman crying on the street, she welcomes her into her home to talk. Over the course of one evening, the pair develop a bond based on mutual kindness.
Ema (Special Presentations) – The newest film from Pablo Larraín — whose Oscar-nominated Jackie won the Festival’s Platform Prize in 2016 — follows a dancer who embarks on a journey of starting over after her marriage falls apart.
Seberg (Special Presentations) – Kristen Stewart stars in this biopic of Jean Seberg, an artist who became notorious during the 1960s for lending her support to the Black Power Movement.
Related Topics: Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)