Our 12 Most Anticipated TIFF 2022 Movies

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I'm talking, of course, about festival season. As the year winds down, several major film festivals unleash great movies (and, let's be honest, not-so-great movies), some of which will go on to awards season glory, some of which will be forgotten forever. My personal favorite fest is TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival. There's just something wonderful about being in Toronto and taking in one wonderful movie after another. It's something I look forward to every year, and this year is shaping out to be pretty darn great. A large chunk of the TIFF 2022 lineup was revealed today, and while new titles will be announced eventually (the Midnight Madness titles haven't been revealed just yet, for instance), there's so much stuff here already that it's kind of overwhelming. That said, I've listed 12 titles I'm particularly excited about, and I hope you'll be excited about them, too. If not, then, uh ... thanks for stopping by! 

TIFF 2022 runs from September 8 through 18. 

12. Wendell & Wild

Henry Selick is back with a new stop-motion movie, "Wendell & Wild," and that's enough to get anyone excited. Selick, who helmed "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and more, co-wrote the script here with Jordan Peele — and Peele also lends his voice to the film, along with frequent collaborator Keegan-Michael Key. The pic follows demon brothers who team up with a goth teen, and honestly, that sounds like the type of movie made just for me. 

TIFF Synopsis: 

Featuring the voices of Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, and Angela Bassett, this aminated comedy-adventure from BAFTA winner Henry Selick (Coraline) follows a pair of demon brothers who ally with a goth teenager to defeat their archnemesis.

11. Devotion

J. D. Dillard, who helmed "Sleight" and the underrated monster movie "Sweetheart," helms this war pic about the Navy's first Black pilot. Jonathan Majors, who is one of the most interesting actors working today, stars in the pic. Also starring: Glen Powell, who is coming off another Navy pilot movie — "Top Gun: Maverick."

TIFF Synopsis: 

Set during the Korean War, this visceral film tells the story of the US Navy's first Black aviator and his dedicated wingman, pilots who both confront geopolitical uncertainty and racist hostility with uncommon valour.

10. Butcher's Crossing

Nicolas Cage in a Western? What the heck is not to get excited about here? Cage plays a buffalo hunter in the 1870s, and according to the actor himself, the horse he rode in the film — named Rain Man — tried to kill him. "Rain Man kept trying to knock me off and would try to run my head into roofs, and then I'd get off and try to be nice to him, and he would headbutt me," the actor said. "It was not fun. I've always had good experiences with animals. I always had great experiences with horses, but Rain Man wanted to kill me."

TIFF Synopsis: 

Set in the 1870s, Gabe Polsky's adaptation of John Williams' literary western stars Nicolas Cage as a buffalo hunter who lures a naïve young man into an ambitious expedition in the Colorado Rockies.

9. Bros

"Bros" is "the first gay romantic comedy from a major studio featuring an almost entirely LGBTQ principal cast," as the marketing tells us, and it looks pretty damn funny. Billy Eichner (who co-wrote the script with director Nicholas Stoller) is a podcaster who falls in love with a lawyer. Sparks fly, and so do problems (it's a rom-com, there are always problems before the main couple ends up together). 

TIFF Synopsis: 

This insightful rom-com about a witty, cynical podcaster navigating romance with an earnest, handsome lawyer is a pitch-perfect portrait of queer New York in all its variety.

8. The Banshees of Inisherin

Martin McDonagh reuniting with his "In Bruges" stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson? Sign me the hell up. "In Bruges" is one of the best comedies of the 2000s, and the prospect of that team getting together again is cause for celebration. 

TIFF Synopsis: 

In Bruges stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson reteam for this pitch-black comic fable of wounded friendship and the perils of petty grievance, the latest from Oscar-winning writer-director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

7. The Son

Florian Zeller's "The Father," starring Anthony Hopkins in an Oscar-winning role, completely blew me away. I knew next to nothing about the movie when I went in and the way Zeller portrayed a mind being fractured by dementia. It was a difficult film to watch, but it was so emotionally powerful that I immediately wanted to see whatever Zeller was doing next. And this is it, a film that reunites him with Hopkins, and also stars Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern. Not a bad lineup of talent at all. 

TIFF Synopsis: 

Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, and Anthony Hopkins star in The Father director Florian Zeller's immersive drama about a family struggling to support a teenager in the throes of a mental health crisis.

6. Decision to Leave

Park Chan-wook, the filmmaker behind "Oldboy," "The Handmaiden," "Thirst," and more, is back with "Decision to Leave." The film follows a detective who falls for a woman who is the prime suspect in a murder. I hate when that happens. 

TIFF Synopsis: 

A dramatic love story is the beating heart of Park Chan-wook's mesmerizing and lavish noir masterpiece, featuring the charismatic Chinese star Tang Wei.

5. The Woman King

Viola Davis is ready to kick some butt in "The Woman King," based on the true story of an all-female regiment that protected an African kingdom. Davis looks fierce as hell here, and the action looks solid and, most of all, big

TIFF Synopsis: 

Featuring a thrilling performance from Oscar winner Viola Davis, this epic tale brings to life the true story of the Agojie, the all-female military regiment charged with protecting the embattled African Kingdom of Dahomey.

4. The Wonder

Florence Pugh has fast become one of those performers who is good in everything. So whenever she pops up in something new (which happens frequently), it's worth checking out, if only to see her work. In the creepy-sounding "The Wonder," Pugh is trying to figure out how and why a child has somehow not eaten in four months. Maybe the kid is doing an extreme version of intermittent fasting.

TIFF Synopsis: 

Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue and directed by Sebastián Lelio, The Wonder stars Florence Pugh as a nurse in 19th-century Ireland hired to investigate the case of a child who has not eaten for four months.

3. The Whale

I, like seemingly everyone else, am ready for the big return of Brendan Fraser. In "The Whale," Fraser teams with director Darren Aronofsky to play a 600-pound man trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Fraser both gained weight for the role, and is buried in realistic-looking make-up.

TIFF Synopsis: 

Brendan Fraser gives a career-defining performance in Darren Aronofsky's arrestingly intimate drama about a reclusive English professor struggling with personal relationships and self-acceptance, adapted from the stage play by Samuel D. Hunter.

2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

One of my best TIFF memories was seeing "Knives Out" at the fest with a highly receptive crowd that just ate up all the fun and twists Rian Johnson had in store. Now, Johnson is back at TIFF with the sequel, "Glass Onion." Once again, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig and his silly accent) has to solve a mystery with a large cast of characters. If this is anything like the first movie, it's bound to be one of the most enjoyable pic at the fest.

TIFF Synopsis: 

Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) travels to Greece for his latest case, in Rian Johnson's follow-up to Knives Out starring Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., and Kate Hudson.

1. The Fabelmans

I mean, obviously, a new movie from Steven Freakin' Spielberg is going to be number on this list. I'm a huge Spielberg nerd, and "The Fabelmans" is said to be Spielberg's most autobiographical film yet. It's based on his childhood, and will feature characters all based on his family. Spielberg's previous movie, "West Side Story," was one of the best of his long career, so I have no doubt he's going to knock this out of the park. 

TIFF Synopsis: 

Steven Spielberg's most personal film yet is based on the master director's childhood passion for moviemaking, and the family dynamics that found their way into his work.