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Our Top 10 Best Films from TIFF 2018

And so, another edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is in the books! This marked my ninth year covering the festival for JoBlo.com (time flies!) and overall, I can say this year was as good or better than any year I've covered.

Officially the kick off to this year's Oscars, I'd bet that the year's eventual trophy winners will likely come from this year's selection, with A STAR IS BORN, GREEN BOOK and FIRST MAN already considered front-runners for a little Oscar love - among others. For the most part, almost every film I saw was good, with one or two exceptions along the way. Check out my top ten list – and for my all my reviews and interviews, click the link below!

Check out JoBlo.com's TIFF coverage right here!

1. Destroyer

A pitch black noir thriller in the vein of Michael Mann from Karyn Kusama. Surprisingly, considering the heavy-duty competition, this became my favorite film of the festival, as I was mesmerized by Nicole Kidman's performance. It's really rare you get to see the quintessential cop on the edge played by a woman, and Kidman plays it to the hilt. I loved this movie.

2. A Star is Born

A STAR IS BORN went into TIFF with so much red-hot buzz that I was almost set-up to dislike it, due to the fact that without barely anyone even seeing it, it was already being named a front-runner at next year's Oscars. It really only took about sixty seconds for Bradley Cooper's directorial debut, based on the much-filmed tale, to completely win me over. And it has to be said - Lady Gaga has serious acting chops.

3. Roma

This is the movie that's really going to show whether or not the Oscars has a Netflix aversion. Were it getting a mainstream theatrical release, everyone would say Alfonso Cuarón's ROMA is at least a shoo-in for best foreign film, with a best picture nod not out of the question. Again, we'll see - but whatever happens this is a wonderful film and a must-see.

4. First Man

I might have seen Damien Chazelle's FIRST MAN a little too late in the festival. The fact is, after a certain point you get tired and things don't hit you the same way. An 830am screening in the second half of the festival probably wasn't my best move, but nevertheless I thought FIRST MAN was an evocative look at Neil Armstrong's life and career at NASA. The IMAX moon walk sequence is magnificent.

5. Outlaw King

People were really hard on David Mackenzie's OUTLAW KING. I blame the fact that rather than being an awards wannabe, Mackenzie focused on delivering a stirring, historical adventure tale, with a great lead performance by Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce. I'd bet JoBlo.com readers will enjoy the hell out of this when it hits Netflix in November.

6. Halloween

Fresh off a disappointing premiere for THE PREDATOR, Midnight Madness had one of their biggest TIFF moments ever when they hosted the world premiere of David Gordon Green's HALLOWEEN, with the original final girl, Jamie Lee Curtis, in attendance. I had a blast with this perfectly calibrated update of the franchise, and I bet fans will love it.

7. Widows

Given his filmography, I expected WIDOWS to be surefire Oscar-bait, meaning an arty thriller heavy on the art part of the equation. Not so. Rather, Steve McQueen lived up to his badass name and made a slam-bang action movie with the best ensemble cast I've seen in years. Viola Davis owns this one, but special credit is also due to GET OUT's Daniel Kaluuya as one of the most evil villains in recent memory.

8. Green Book

GREEN BOOK was one of the biggest surprises of this year's TIFF, as no one went into the fest expecting more than a standard studio flick. Peter Farrelly has, without a doubt, made a textbook crowdpleaser, with great performances by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. I wasn't a bit surprised to see this one win the People's Choice award.

9. The Old Man & the Gun

If Robert Redford is serious about retiring, he's going out on a high note with David Lowery's THE OLD MAN & THE GUN. Playing an aging bankrobber, Redford is as charming as ever, and it seems likely to land him at the very least a best actor nomination. I'd also bet Sissy Spacek lands one for her touching performance as the woman who falls for this charming rogue she knows very little about.

10. The Sisters Brothers

How do you make a quirky western comedy without ripping off The Coen Bros? Jacques Audiard knows, and that's what he delivered with THE SISTERS BROTHERS. John C. Reilly gives one of the best performances of his career as one half of a hit man duo of brothers (Joaquin Phoenix is the other) sent out on a chase across the old west. I loved this one, and I hope Reilly gets the credit he deserves.

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