TIFF’s 10 Most Hypeworthy Films

The hype is heating up around the Toronto International Film Festival, one of North America’s biggest movie events. The Oscars proving ground kicked off today with hundreds of titles being presented now through September 14. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of this year’s biggest flicks, we found 10 titles you have to see—if you can score a ticket.

Fox Catcher
The draw: Steve Carell playing paranoid millionaire John du Pont

The gist: Based on a true story, two brothers and former Olympic wrestling champions are split up when the young and striving Mark Schultz, played by Channing Tatum, decides to try for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He becomes involved with eccentric millionaire coach John du Pont, played by Steve Carell, who takes him in at his estate to train, all the while lavishing him with gifts. Their business relationship grows strained day by day until they meet a tragic end.

The Drop
The draw: It’s a crime drama that pits the bad guys against the even worse guys in a decidedly American setting.

The gist: A brooklyn bartender, played by Tom Hardy, works at a joint that launders money for its owners, a gang of Chechens. The money is stolen in a holdup, forcing him and his former crime boss of a friend to replace the cash with the mobsters and a curious cop breathing down their necks.

The draw: The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart takes on his first directorial role.

The gist: It’s the true story of an actual journalist, Iranian-Canadian Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned in Iran following a guest spot on Stewart’s parody program. While imprisoned for five months by Tehran authourities in retaliation for the satire segment, he clings to things that remind him of home.

St. Vincent
The draw: It’s friggin’ Bill Murray.
The gist: A washed-up, freewheeling and broke retiree played by Bill Murray befriends his neighbour’s young boy, taking the 12-year-old under his wing—as well as to strip clubs, race tracks and liquor stores. The comedy also stars Melissa McCarthy, and Naomi Watts as a Russian prostitute. Didn’t see that last one coming, did you?


The Equalizer
The draw: If you lived through the 80s, you’ll love this reboot. Oh, and Denzel Washington.

The gist: Washington plays ex-CIA agent Robert McCall, who uses his elite training to protect the weak, even after retiring to the civilian world as a hardware store worker. One day, his routine is broken when an escort’s life is imperilled by the Russian mob, and he sets out on a mission to take out the gang’s boss. We anticipate a lot of gunfire, which is just fine by us.

Good Kill
The draw: The hot-button topic it touches on—the use of drones, bureaucracy, post-traumatic stress disorder—challenge how we think about modern warfare.
The gist: Ethan Hawk plays Major Thomas Egan, a drone specialist who kills people halfway across the world using remote-controlled aircraft. The film follows his moral tailspin after new orders starts coming down to kill targets based on patterns, not evidence.


Escobar: Paradise Lost
The draw: What would you do if you found out your girlfriend’s uncle was Pablo Escobar?
The gist: A Canadian surfer, played by Josh Hutcherson, and his brother are catching waves near Medellin when he falls for a woman who turns out to be the niece of Columbia’s most infamous drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar. The kid soon gets sucked into the criminal underworld as the stakes get higher and higher.


The draw: It’s hard to tell whether the central conspiracy of this film is true, the product of a guy who’s had too much to drink, or both.
The gist: A writer meets a fast-living playboy who spins him a hard-to-believe conspiracy story that the wealthiest corporate heads of Europe have been moulding the continent to meet their own needs. This pulpy film keeps you in a perpetual state of disbelief as his theories get crazier and crazier, which gives the film its unique flavour.

The draw: Watch Jake Gyllenhaal go crazy.

The gist: Former thief Lou Bloom becomes a freelance photographer for the TV stations of yesteryear that would pay big bucks for bloody images of accidents or crimes. The film has him going from amateur to a professional with zero qualms about the morality of his new gig. Soon, however, he’s tampering with scenes to make them fit his story, and worse.

The draw: After a summer of disappointing comedies (Sex Tape, Neighbours, et al) we’re looking forward to something actually worth laughing at.
The gist: Pat Mills plays David Gold, a slacker and a drunk, cons his way into becoming a high school guidance counselor after being canned from his job. Despite being met with suspicion by his new co-workers, he ends up bonding with the kids he’s in charge of through booze, dope, sex and more. Needless to say, he becomes a hit with the students, and hilarity ensues.


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