Films at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

by keithsim | created - 31 Aug 2012 | updated - 06 Sep 2012 | Public

TIFF boasts 146 world premieres from 72 countries with a total of 289 feature films in all. Don't even get us started on the shorts (83 of them and they're not included in the list below). The fest has wisely opted to go for quality not, by necessity, Canadian films (though there are obviously quality Canadian films by the batches) starting with the opening night film, Looper, which is getting great buzz.

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1. The Master (2012)

R | 138 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons

Votes: 122,044 | Gross: $16.38M

2. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 509,628 | Gross: $136.03M

3. To the Wonder (2012)

R | 112 min | Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

After falling in love in Paris, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Their church's Spanish-born pastor struggles with his faith, while Neil encounters a woman from his childhood.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams

Votes: 24,222 | Gross: $0.59M

4. Looper (2012)

R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano

Votes: 477,027 | Gross: $66.49M

5. Anna Karenina (I) (2012)

R | 129 min | Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

In late-19th-century Russian high society, St. Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen

Votes: 80,340 | Gross: $12.82M

6. Byzantium (2012)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

66 Metascore

Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones

Votes: 36,182 | Gross: $0.08M

7. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director: Derek Cianfrance | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Craig Van Hook

Votes: 214,438 | Gross: $21.38M

8. The Sessions (2012)

R | 95 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.

Director: Ben Lewin | Stars: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood

Votes: 38,806 | Gross: $6.00M

9. Rust and Bone (2012)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Céline Sallette

Votes: 55,938 | Gross: $2.06M

10. Much Ado About Nothing (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese

Votes: 14,987 | Gross: $4.33M

11. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver

Votes: 593,469 | Gross: $132.09M

12. The Iceman (2012)

R | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

The story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters had any clue about his real profession.

Director: Ariel Vromen | Stars: Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, James Franco, Winona Ryder

Votes: 62,460 | Gross: $1.94M

13. The Impossible (2012)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama, History, Thriller

73 Metascore

The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast

Votes: 166,697 | Gross: $19.02M

14. Thanks for Sharing (2012)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

A romantic comedy that brings together three disparate characters who are learning to face a challenging and often confusing world as they struggle together against a common demon: sex addiction.

Director: Stuart Blumberg | Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad

Votes: 23,224 | Gross: $1.06M

15. Arthur Newman (2012)

R | 101 min | Drama

42 Metascore

A story of a man who fakes his own death and assumes a new identity in order to escape his life, who then moves in with a woman who is also trying to leave her past behind.

Director: Dante Ariola | Stars: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, Anne Heche, Sterling Beaumon

Votes: 6,210

16. Cloud Atlas (2012)

R | 172 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

55 Metascore

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Directors: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 314,151 | Gross: $27.11M

17. End of Watch (2012)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera

Votes: 202,793 | Gross: $41.00M

18. Seven Psychopaths (2012)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu.

Director: Martin McDonagh | Stars: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken

Votes: 211,450 | Gross: $15.02M

19. Stuck in Love (2012)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

49 Metascore

An acclaimed writer, his ex-wife, and their teenaged children come to terms with the complexities of love in all its forms over the course of one tumultuous year.

Director: Josh Boone | Stars: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Nat Wolff

Votes: 75,474 | Gross: $0.08M

20. Jayne Mansfield's Car (2012)

R | 122 min | Drama

48 Metascore

Alabama; 1969: The death of a clan's estranged wife and mother brings together two very different families. Do the scars of the past hide differences that will tear them apart, or expose truths that could lead to unexpected collisions?

Director: Billy Bob Thornton | Stars: Tippi Hedren, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson, Robert Patrick

Votes: 2,564 | Gross: $0.01M

21. Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

R | 94 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

55 Metascore

The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.

Director: Roger Michell | Stars: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Samuel West

Votes: 10,256 | Gross: $6.37M

22. Hannah Arendt (2012)

Not Rated | 113 min | Biography, Drama

69 Metascore

A look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.

Director: Margarethe von Trotta | Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer, Julia Jentsch

Votes: 8,785 | Gross: $0.71M

23. Emperor (2012)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, History, War

48 Metascore

As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

Director: Peter Webber | Stars: Matthew Fox, Colin Moy, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune

Votes: 11,710 | Gross: $3.35M

24. Spring Breakers (2012)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

Four college girls hold up a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation. While partying, drinking, and taking drugs, they are arrested, only to be bailed out by a drug and arms dealer.

Director: Harmony Korine | Stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine

Votes: 120,008 | Gross: $14.12M

25. Passion (2012)

R | 102 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

53 Metascore

The rivalry between the manipulative boss of an advertising agency and her talented protégée escalates from stealing credit to public humiliation to murder.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, Paul Anderson

Votes: 19,021 | Gross: $0.09M

26. Amour (2012)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Romance

94 Metascore

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud

Votes: 80,403 | Gross: $6.74M

27. Reality (II) (2012)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama

76 Metascore

Luciano is a charming fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on a reality show leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia.

Director: Matteo Garrone | Stars: Aniello Arena, Paola Minaccioni, Loredana Simioli, Nando Paone

Votes: 4,235 | Gross: $0.06M

28. Beyond the Hills (2012)

Not Rated | 152 min | Drama

79 Metascore

The friendship between two young women who grew up in the same orphanage; one has found refuge at a convent in Romania and refuses to leave with her friend, who now lives in Germany.

Director: Cristian Mungiu | Stars: Cosmina Stratan, Cristina Flutur, Valeriu Andriutã, Dana Tapalaga

Votes: 10,049 | Gross: $0.11M

29. On the Road (2012)

R | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams

Votes: 36,576 | Gross: $0.72M

30. The Paperboy (2012)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

45 Metascore

A reporter returns to his Florida home-town to investigate a case involving a death row inmate.

Director: Lee Daniels | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Zac Efron

Votes: 32,348 | Gross: $0.69M

31. Like Someone in Love (2012)

Not Rated | 109 min | Drama

76 Metascore

In Tokyo, a young sex worker develops an unexpected connection with a widower over a period of two days.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase, Denden

Votes: 8,516 | Gross: $0.22M

32. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

R | 130 min | Drama, Thriller

54 Metascore

A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson

Votes: 11,926 | Gross: $0.52M

33. Jagten (2012)

R | 115 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm

Votes: 219,131 | Gross: $0.69M

34. Laurence Anyways (2012)

Not Rated | 168 min | Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a male-to-female transsexual's relationship with her lover.

Director: Xavier Dolan | Stars: Melvil Poupaud, Emmanuel Schwartz, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye

Votes: 14,280

35. Quartet (2012)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

64 Metascore

At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.

Director: Dustin Hoffman | Stars: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay

Votes: 17,198 | Gross: $18.39M

36. La Noche de Enfrente (2012)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

76 Metascore

A drama centered on an office worker on the verge of retirement who begins to relive both real and imagined memories.

Director: Raoul Ruiz | Stars: Christian Vadim, Sergio Hernández, Santiago Figueroa, Valentina Vargas

Votes: 393

37. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Director: Stephen Chbosky | Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd

Votes: 401,614 | Gross: $17.74M

38. Smashed (2012)

R | 81 min | Drama

71 Metascore

A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally

Votes: 15,125 | Gross: $0.38M

39. Thale (2012)

Not Rated | 76 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Estranged friends Leo (a crime-scene cleaner) and hired-hand Elvis are cleaning up a particularly messy casualty deep in the Norwegian woods. When Elvis accidentally finds a secret passage ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksander Nordaas | Stars: Silje Reinåmo, Erlend Nervold, Jon Sigve Skard, Morten Andresen

Votes: 5,084

40. The Company You Keep (2012)

R | 125 min | Drama, Thriller

57 Metascore

A former Weather Underground activist goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Robert Redford, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte

Votes: 28,607 | Gross: $5.13M

41. In the Fog (2012)

Not Rated | 127 min | Drama, History, War

78 Metascore

Western frontiers of the USSR, 1942. The region is under German occupation. A man is wrongly accused of collaboration. Desperate to save his dignity, he faces impossible moral choice.

Director: Sergey Loznitsa | Stars: Vladimir Svirskiy, Vladislav Abashin, Sergey Kolesov, Nikita Peremotov

Votes: 2,533 | Gross: $0.01M

42. The Time Being (2012)

Not Rated | 85 min | Mystery

29 Metascore

An artist meets a mysterious and wealthy benefactor and their relationship is not what it appears to be.

Director: Nenad Cicin-Sain | Stars: Frank Langella, Wes Bentley, Sarah Paulson, Ahna O'Reilly

Votes: 683

43. Den skaldede frisør (2012)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

60 Metascore

A hairdresser, who has lost her hair to cancer, finds out her husband is having an affair, travels to Italy for her daughter's wedding, and meets a widower who still blames the world for the loss of his wife.

Director: Susanne Bier | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Molly Blixt Egelind, Sebastian Jessen

Votes: 11,443 | Gross: $1.63M

44. Everybody Has a Plan (2012)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

A man who assumes the identity of his deceased twin in Argentina.

Director: Ana Piterbarg | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Soledad Villamil, Daniel Fanego, Javier Godino

Votes: 1,648

45. Zaytoun (2012)

Not Rated | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

39 Metascore

Beirut, 1982: a young Palestinian refugee helps an Israeli fighter pilot escape from PLO captivity because he wants to visit his ancestral family home. En route through war-torn Lebanon their relationship develops into a close bond.

Director: Eran Riklis | Stars: Stephen Dorff, Abdallah El Akal, Alice Taglioni, Loai Nofi

Votes: 1,411 | Gross: $0.04M

46. Kon-Tiki (2012)

PG-13 | 118 min | Adventure, History

62 Metascore

Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg | Stars: Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Odd-Magnus Williamson

Votes: 39,387 | Gross: $1.52M

47. Do Not Disturb (I)

Drama | Announced

To be on a journey, literally and metaphorically. This is what the characters of this story have in common, when they are confronted with their substantial problems within a few days. The ... See full summary »

Director: Felix von Boehm | Stars: Alexandra Maria Lara, Robert House

48. Inescapable (2012)

R | 93 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

37 Metascore

Years after he left Damascus under suspicious circumstances, Adib Abdel Kareem must confront what he left behind when his daughter goes missing.

Director: Ruba Nadda | Stars: Alexander Siddig, Joshua Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Oded Fehr

Votes: 2,298 | Gross: $0.00M

49. The Interval (2012)

Drama

"The Interval" explores four different families coming to grips with the terminal illness of a loved one and the emotional struggle of finding hope within their tragedy. All four patients ... See full summary »

Directors: Eric Castillo, Brandon Santiago, Cedric Thomas Smith | Stars: Laura Ahlers, Mike Ahlers, Ysenia Anais, Jose Banuelos

50. Girl Most Likely (2012)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

5.8