My picks (if you'd like accompanying images, hyperlinks, and proper formatting, click here http://tinyurl.com/b75rn37 ):
1. Twelve Years A Slave
Directed by: Steve McQueen (Shame, Hunger)
Synopsis: A man living in New York during the mid-1800s is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep south.
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhane Wallis, Scoot McNairy, Dwight Henry, Michael K. Williams, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard & Garret Dillahunt
Directed by: Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien)
Synopsis: Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, joins veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky on his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. Their shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone, tethered to nothing but each other, and spiraling out into the blackness. The film, which will be released in IMAX 3D, features a 17-minute opening shot.
Starring: Sandra Bullock & George Clooney
3. The Grandmaster
Directed by: Wong Kar-Wai (In The Mood For Love, Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, 2046)
Synopsis: The story of Ip Man, martial arts master and trainer of Bruce Lee. Action choreography by Yuen Woo Ping (The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Kill Bill).
Starring: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Chang Chen & Cung Le
4. Only God Forgives
Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson, The Pusher Trilogy)
Synopsis: Exiled, Julian lives in Bangkok, where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the family’s drugs smuggling operation. When his brother is killed, their mother seeks revenge, forcing Julian to find the killer. Director Gaspar Noe (Irreversible, Enter The Void) was also involved in the film’s creative process.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas & Vithaya Pansringarm
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Miller’s Crossing)
Synopsis: A singer-songwriter navigates New York’s folk music scene during the 1960s. Loosely based on Dave Van Ronk’s posthumously published memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street.
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Adam Driver & Alex Karpovsky
6. The Wolf Of Wall Street
Directed by: Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The King Of Comedy)
Synopsis: A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking, and mob infiltration.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Shea Wigham, Spike Jonze & Rob Reiner
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp (District 9)
Synopsis: Set in the year 2159, where the wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
Starring: Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner & Alice Braga
8. The Past
Directed by: Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, About Elly)
Synopsis: A love story between an Iranian girl and North African boy is set against the backdrop of Paris.
Starring: Berenice Bejo & Tahar Rahim
9. The Counselor
Directed by: Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien, The Gladiator, Black Hawk Down)
Synopsis: A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. Original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, John Leguizamo, Goran Visnjic & Rosie Perez
Directed by: Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Where The Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich)
Synopsis: A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly-purchased computer operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Samantha Morton & Olivia Wilde.
11. The Nymphomaniac
Directed by: Lars von Trier (Dancer In The Dark, Breaking The Waves, Dogville, Melancholia)
Synopsis: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating. The two-part film will feature real sexual intercourse.
Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Willem Dafoe, Uma Thurman, Jamie Bell, Christian Slater, Connie Nielsen & Udo Kier
12. The Rover
Directed by: David Michod (Animal Kingdom)
Synopsis: A dirty and dangerous near-future Western set in the Australian desert.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson & Scoot McNairy
13. A Most Wanted Man
Directed by: Anton Corbijn (Control, The American)
Synopsis: A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught up in the international war on terror. Based on the novel by John le Carre.
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright & Daniel Bruhl
Directed by: James Gray (Two Lovers, We Own The Night, Little Odessa)
Synopsis: An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix & Jeremy Renner
Directed by: Spike Lee (Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, 25th Hour, Inside Man)
Synopsis: An everyday man has only five days and limited resources to discover why he was imprisoned in a nondescript room for 15 years without any explanation. A remake of Chan-wook Park’s Korean cult classic.
Starring: Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson & Michael Imperioli
16. Star Trek Into Darkness
Directed by: J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible III)
Synopsis: After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war zone world in order to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Zaldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Alice Eve, Anton Yelchin, Peter Weller & Bruce Greenwood
17. The Monuments Men
Directed by: George Clooney (Good Night And Good Luck, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, The Ides Of March)
Synopsis: A crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renown works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them.
Starring: Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville & Bob Balaban
Directed by: Chan-wook Park (Oldboy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, Thirst)
Synopsis: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She begins to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, becoming increasingly infatuated with him. Written by Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller and scored by Clint Mansell.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver, Dermot Mulroney & Alden Ehrenreich
Directed by: Joon-ho Bong (The Host, Memories Of Murder, Mother)
Synopsis: After a failed experiment to stop global warming, an Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system evolves on the train but a revolution brews. Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige.
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Kang-ho Song, Chris Evans, Allison Pill, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt & Jamie Bell
Directed by: Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants, About Schmidt, Election)
Synopsis: An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son, in order to claim a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes prize.
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk & Stacy Keach
21. The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Hers & His
Directed by: Ned Benson
Synopsis: A New York couple’s relationship told in two parts, from each perspective.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis, William Hurt, Isabelle Huppert, Bill Hader & Ciaran Hinds
22. The Great Gatsby
Directed by: Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, Strictly Ballroom)
Synopsis: Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby’s circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke & Amitabh Bachchan
23. Labor Day
Directed by: Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air, Thank You For Smoking, Young Adult)
Synopsis: A depressed single mom and her son offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually discover the man’s true identity, and their options become increasingly limited.
Starring: Kate Winslett, Josh Brolin, Dylan Minnette, Tobey Maguire, James Van Der Beek & Clark Gregg
Directed by: Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote)
Synopsis: The story of John du Pont, paranoid schizophrenic and heir to the du Pont chemical fortune, and his friendship with Olympic wrestler David Schultz.
Starring: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave & Anthony Michael Hall
25. Before Midnight
Directed by: Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Dazed And Confused, Waking Life)
Synopsis: We meet Celine and Jesse nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first chance meeting on a train bound for Vienna.
Starring: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Ariane Labed
26. Oktober November
Directed by: Gotz Spielmann (Revanche)
Synopsis: The family history of two very different sisters and their dying father.
Starring: Nora von Waldstätten, Ursula Strauss, Peter Simonischek, Sebastian Koch, Johannes Zeiler
27. Devil’s Knot
Directed by: Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica, Ararat, Chloe)
Synopsis: The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual. Based on the true story of the West Memphis Three.
Starring: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Dane DeHaan, Amy Ryan, Mireille Enos, Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Stephen Moyer, Alessandro Nivola & Kevin Durand
28. Jimmy Picard
Directed by: Arnaud Desplechin (Kings And Queens, A Christmas Tale, My Sex Life… Or How I Got Into An Argument)
Synopsis: Adapted from the 1951 non-fiction text by psychoanalyst Georges Devereux, Reality and Dream: Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian, the film follows the true story of Picard, a Plains Indian of the Blackfeet nation, as he returns from WWII and begins experiencing unexplainable symptoms shortly thereafter. He then travels to the famous Winter Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, where he meets Devereux, thus beginning a professional and personal friendship guided by compassion and understanding of Native American culture.
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Mathieu Amalric, Elya Baskin & Misty Upham
Directed by: Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Shotgun Stories)
Synopsis: Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and reunite him with his true love.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon & Sarah Paulson
30. Upstream Color
Directed by: Shane Carruth (Primer)
Synopsis: A young woman is abducted and seemingly brainwashed via an organic material harvested from a specific flower. She later meets a man, and after the two fall for each other, they come to realize he may also have been subjected to the same process. Entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism, identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.
Starring: Amy Seimetz & Shane Carruth
31. Blue Jasmine
Directed by: Woody Allen (Manhattan, Crimes And Misdemeanors, Hannah And Her Sisters, The Purple Rose Of Cairo)
Synopsis: A woman moves in with her sister in San Francisco after her posh New York City lifestyle comes crashing down.
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Louis CK, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale & Alden Ehrenreich
32. Captain Phillips
Directed by: Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity, Bloody Sunday)
Synopsis: The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 Somali pirate hijacking of the MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener & John Magaro
Directed by: Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, Cinderella Man)
Synopsis: Based on the true story of a great sporting rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt, and his methodical, brilliant opponent Niki Lauda. Set against the sexy, glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing, the story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Natalie Dormer & Christian McKay
34. Clear History
Directed by: Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland)
Synopsis: A disgraced former marketing executive plots revenge against his former boss who made millions from the electric car company they once co-owned. The HBO TV movie was written by Larry David and the rest of his Curb Your Enthusiasm/Seinfeld team.
Starring: Larry David, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, Amy Ryan, Kate Hudson, Eva Mendes, J.B. Smoove, Bill Hader & Phillip Baker Hall
35. The Dance Of Reality
Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre)
Synopsis: A surrealistic take on Jodorowky’s childhood in Chile, based on his autobiography of the same name. Alejandro’s son Adan will play his father in the film.
Starring: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Adan Jodorowsky, Axel Jodorowsky & Brontis Jodorowsky
36. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Directed by: David Lowery
Synopsis: A Bonnie & Clyde-esque tale centered on two outlaws in the hills of Texas.
Starring: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Keith Carradine, Nate Parker & Rami Malek
Directed by: Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Synopsis: The mini-series tells the story of an ordinary English market town devastated by a spate of shootings which take place over a single day. It explores grief, responsibility, and redemption seen through the eyes of a journalist returning to the small town of his childhood, to cover the story and speak with those closest to the victims.
Starring: Eddie Marsan, Shirley Henderson, Rory Kinnear, Sean Harris, Joe Dempsie, Kaya Scodelario, Nichola Burley & Anatol Yusef
38. Kill Your Darlings
Directed by: John Krokidas
Synopsis: A murder in 1944 draws together the great writers of the beat generation: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs.
Starring: Ben Foster, Jack Huston, Dane DeHaan, Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Jason Leigh & David Cross
39. Europa Report
Directed by: Sebastian Cordero (Chronicles, Rodents)
Synopsis: A crew of international astronauts are sent on a private mission to Jupiter’s fourth moon.
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Isiah Whitlock Jr. & Christian Camargo
Directed by: Sang-il Lee (Border Line, Scrap Heaven, Hula Girls, Villain)
Synopsis: As standards shift in late 1800s Japan, a man, still holding to his samurai code, takes on bounty hunting work. A remake of Clint Eastwood’s classic western.
Starring: Ken Watanabe, Akira Emoto, Jun Kunimura, Yuya Yagira, Eiko Koike, Shiori Kutsuna & Koichi Sato
41. Prince Avalanche
Directed by: David Gordon Green (George Washington, All The Real Girls, Pineapple Express, Undertow)
Synopsis: Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure, as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
Starring: Emile Hirsch & Paul Rudd
Directed by: Danny Boyle (Sunshine, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Shallow Grave)
Synopsis: An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.
Starring: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson & Vincent Cassel
43. Only Lovers Left Alive
Directed by: Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law, Dead Man, Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai, Stranger Than Paradise)
Synopsis: A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries.
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt & Anton Yelchin
44. The Two Faces Of January
Directed by: Hossein Amini (writer of Drive)
Synopsis: A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a police officer. Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith (Strangers On A Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley).
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst & Oscar Isaac
45. Squirrel To The Nuts
Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich (Paper Moon, The Last Picture Show, Targets, What’s Up Doc?)
Synopsis: A married Broadway director falls for a prostitute-turned-actress and works to help advance her career. Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach are producing.
Starring: Brie Larson, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman & Olivia Wilde
46. The Zero Theorem
Directed by: Terry Gilliam (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, Brazil)
Synopsis: A computer hacker trying to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted by The Management.
Starring: Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, David Thewlis & Matt Damon
47. Last Days On Mars
Directed by: Ruairi Robinson (would-be director of the live-action Akira)
Synopsis: A group of astronaut explorers succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.
Starring: Liev Schreiber, Olivia Williams, Johnny Harris, Romola Garai & Elias Koteas
48. Top Of The Lake
Directed by: Jane Campion (The Piano, Bright Star, Sweetie, An Angel At My Table) & Garth Davis
Synopsis: The mini-series focuses on a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant daughter of a local drug lord.
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, Peter Mullan, David Wenham & Lucy Lawless
49. This Is The End
Directed by: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen (writers of Superbad, Pineapple Express)
Synopsis: While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.
Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Aziz Anzari, Michael Cera, Martin Starr, Kevin Hart, Danny McBride, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz & Rihanna
50. Anchorman: The Legend Continues
Directed by: Adam McKay (Achorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, Step Brothers)
Synopsis: “The continuing on-set adventures of San Diego’s top rated newsman.”
Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, David Koechner & Luke Wilson
Directed by: Brian Helgeland (Payback, A Knight’s Tale)
Synopsis: The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Alan Tudyk, Christopher Meloni, John C. McGinley, Lucas Black & Hamish Linklater
52. The Bling Ring
Directed by: Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation, The Virgin Suicides, Somewhere)
Synopsis: Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the Internet to track celebrities’ whereabouts in order to rob their homes.
Starring: Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, Gavin Rossdale, Israel Broussard & Katie Chang
53. The Double
Directed by: Richard Ayoade (Submarine)
Synopsis: A comedy centered on a man who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppleganger. Co-written by Avi Korine, Harmony’s younger brother.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Noah Taylor & Rade Serbedzija
54. Can A Song Save Your Life?
Directed by: John Carney (Once, On The Edge)
Synopsis: A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan. Produced by Judd Apatow.
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightly, Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, Yasiin Bey, Cee-Lo Green & Adam Levine
Quality Films Already Seen At TIFF ’12
The Place Beyond The Pines
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine)
Synopsis: 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.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes, Mahershala Ali, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Ray Liotta, Bruce Greenwood & Rose Byrne
Directed by: Noah Baumbach (The Squid And The Whale, Greenberg, Kicking And Screaming, Margot At The Wedding)
Synopsis: Frances is a 27-year-old dancer who lives with her best friend Sophie. Sophie decides to move out and live with another friend, leaving Frances to figure out her life. Co-written by Greta Gerwig.
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen & Josh Hamilton
To The Wonder
Directed by: Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, Badlands, The Tree Of Life, Days Of Heaven)
Synopsis: After visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with childhood friend Jane.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams & Romina Mondello
Directed by: Harmony Korine (Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, writer of Kids, Ken Park)
Synopsis: Four college girls, who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation, find themselves bailed out by a rapper that wants them to do some dirty work. James Franco’s character, Alien, is based on Riff Raff, who was initially chosen to star in the film.
Starring: James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine & Gucci Mane