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October 10, 2022


I’ll be honest, I had a hard time coming up with an idea of how to distill my TIFF experience into words. Many of the things I’ll remember about my two weeks in Toronto weren’t even movie related. I was visited by friends and family, hit up several excellent bars and restaurants, went vintage shopping and crate digging, checked out a Blue Jays game, and even caught a Kid Cudi concert. Oh, and yeah, I also met and spoke to NIC FUCKING CAGE on the red carpet! But most of those things don’t jive with what we do here at Bitesize Breakdown. We are all about the movies, not my boozy shenanigans. I also didn’t want to lazily post an overly long ranking of every movie I saw, bombarding you with review after review of movies that may not come out for months. No one wants to read that.

So, understanding that full reviews will drop at a time closer to each movie’s release date, I decided to break down the almost 40 movies I saw into tiers. It’s an imperfect science, to be sure, but I think it will give you a general idea about what I loved, what I hated, and what I was kinda blah about. More importantly though, I’m only telling you about the movie, giving you the synopsis, cast, director, and release information (if known) so you can decide if it’s something you want to put on your radar or not. If it looks good, keep an eye out for the full review. If it sounds terrible, forget about it and move on. Under each tier, movies are ordered based on known release date.

Now, it’s been a long couple of weeks, and to quote Memphis Raines (Cage) from Gone in 60 Seconds, “I'm a little tired, little wired, and I think I deserve a little appreciation!"


Whether you’re a casual movie fan or a true cinephile in it for the “art of film,” I genuinely believe that each of the movies listed in this tier will satisfy 99% of moviegoers. Sure, there could be some genre issues at play – Pearl clearly won’t be for people who don’t enjoy horror and gore – but all said and done, these movies blur the line between pretentious awards fare and blockbuster entertainment for the everyman. These were the absolute Best of TIFF for me.


Synopsis: Shrewdly set in 1918, when war was raging in Europe and a deadly pandemic was stoking both prejudice and paranoia throughout the United States, Pearl sees director Ti West return to the Texas ranch from his hit slasher X to tell the twisted origin story of Mia Goth’s memorable murderess.

Cast: Mia Goth, David Corenswet

Director: Ti West

When & Where to Watch: In theaters now


Synopsis: Featuring thrilling performances from Oscar winner Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega, this epic tale of struggle and liberation brings to life the galvanizing true story of the Agojie, the all-female military regiment charged with protecting the embattled West African Kingdom of Dahomey from adversarial neighbours, European colonizers, and the horrors of the slave trade.

Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, John Boyega

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

When & Where to Watch: In theaters now


Synopsis: From the vibrant imagination of Oscar-winning writer/director Martin McDonagh comes this pitch-black comic fable of wounded friendship and the perils of petty grievance. Reuniting McDonagh with his ingenious In Bruges stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin is enchanting, poignant, and relentlessly entertaining.

Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan

Director: Martin McDonagh

When & Where to Watch: October 21, 2022, in theaters


Synopsis: The culture of haute cuisine gets thoroughly roasted in this sizzling satire about a destination dining experience seasoned with surprises that get spicier with every plating. Featuring a sumptuous ensemble led by Anya Taylor-Joy and Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes, The Menu offers us a seat at the table with some one-percenters about to be served more than they bargained for.

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Judith Light, John Leguizamo

Director: Mark Mylod

When & Where to Watch: November 18, 2022, in theaters


Synopsis: Brendan Fraser gives a career-defining performance in this arrestingly intimate drama from director Darren Aronofsky. The Whale invites us to identify with an obese man in a precarious state of isolation that has been exacerbated by a potentially lethal mix of technology and our culture of body shaming.

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, Samantha Morton

Director: Darren Aronofsky

When & Where to Watch: December 9, 2022, in theaters


Synopsis: In what is undoubtedly one of the year’s most anticipated films, director Rian Johnson brings us a new installment in the exploits of detective Benoit Blanc, played with singular flair and aplomb by Daniel Craig. A cinematic cousin to Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, Blanc’s well-mannered, gently eccentric exterior cloaks a sharp, observant eye and an instinct tuned to sniffing out misdeeds — and possibly murder.

Cast: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista

Director: Rian Johnson

When & Where to Watch: December 23, 2022, on Netflix


Synopsis: In the twilight of World War II, a solitary prospector strikes a rich vein of gold in the wilderness of Northern Finland. Making tracks for the nearest town with his newfound bounty, the man runs afoul of a retreating detachment of Nazi soldiers who set their sights on claiming the gold for themselves. Unfortunately for these stormtroopers, this is no ordinary miner, but rather a mythic one-man army who epitomizes the quintessential Finnish concept of “sisu” — a white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination in the face of overwhelming odds. (Note: This film is in English.)

Cast: Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, Jorma Tommila, Mimosa Willamo, Onni Tommila

Director: Jalmari Helander

When & Where to Watch: TBD



This tier of movies includes the ones that I thoroughly enjoyed, but, if I’m being honest, they probably aren’t for people looking for escapist entertainment on a Saturday night. Not that they aren’t worth watching, but they feature the heavy subject matter, palpable weirdness, and/or indie vibes that you would expect to find at a film festival. The kind of movie that has the festival logo in a wreath on the poster; that normal people rent on the recommendation of pretentious critics, then feel like they wasted their money because it’s art over entertainment (looking at you, Roma and Phantom Thread). Also, there is a documentary about whales here because, frankly, I didn’t know where else to put it.


Synopsis: Director Ruben Östlund’s latest Palme d’Or–winning satire explores hypocrisy, greed, and the thirst for power amongst the idle rich and the luxury-cruise industry.

Cast: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Zlatko Buric, Woody Harrelson, Iris Berben, Vicki Berlin, Henrik Dorsin, Jean-Christophe Folly, Amanda Walker, Oliver Ford Davies, Carolina Gynning, Arvin Kananian

Director: Ruben Östlund

When & Where to Watch: In theaters now


Synopsis: As Hal Porterfield (Christopher Abbott) prepares to take over his late father’s hotel empire, he arranges one last session with Rebecca (Margaret Qualley), a ravishing and skilled dominatrix who has proven capable of carrying out his fantasies to a T. Over the course of their relationship, she has transformed him from a mewling repressive to someone that actually has the confidence to ask for what he wants — and now, he wants to show her the door.

Cast: Christopher Abbott, Margaret Qualley

Director: Zachary Wigon

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: Anna Kendrick captures the anxious psychology of a woman in an abusive relationship as her friends try to reconnect with her while on a cottage vacation away from her boyfriend.

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Kaniethiio Horn, Wunmi Mosaku, Charlie Carrick

Director: Mary Nighy

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: Most of us can only dream of swimming with whales. Patrick Dykstra has devoted his life to doing it, and now we can vicariously share the experience in this film. The images on screen — sperm whales, killer whales, humpback whales, blue whales, and more — will take your breath away. Sperm whales can grow to weigh 30,000 pounds and possess a brain larger than any other mammal on earth. Patrick wonders, “What are they thinking?”

Cast: Patrick Dykstra

Director: Mark Fletcher

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: In the not-too-distant future, the last two men on earth must adapt and evolve to save humanity.

Cast: Sterling K. Brown, Mark Duplass

Director: Mel Eslyn

When & Where to Watch: TBD



You saw The Good tier, so here is The Bad (any guess what the next tier will be?). Despite some admirable aspects, be it a great performance, stunning cinematography, or a truly intriguing idea, these movies left me struggling in the theater. For the most part, they were extremely slow or wholly uninteresting. I Like Movies is an exception, as its central character is so unlikeable that it pained me to spend 90 minutes with him. To be fair, I admit that, maybe, I’m being harsher on these movies than I should be; perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood for these particular offerings after seeing so many movies in so few days. That said, I won’t be recommending them to anyone either.


Synopsis: A young Senegalese newcomer to New York is haunted by violent visions while working as a nanny and planning for the arrival of her own son, in this mystical feature exploring the dangerous allure of the American Dream in the immigrant experience.

Cast: Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Rose Decker, Leslie Uggams

Director: Nikyatu Jusu

When & Where to Watch: December 16, 2022, on Prime Video.


Synopsis: Boasting dazzling performances from Ben Kingsley and Barbara Sukowa, the latest from director Mary Harron (American Psycho) ushers us into the rarified milieu of one of the greatest — and most eccentric — artists of the 20th century. Viewed through the starstruck gaze of a young assistant, Dalíland pulls back the curtain on the larger-than-life union of Spanish painter Salvador Dalí and his spouse Gala, conjuring a seductive sphere where imagination and reality seem indistinguishable.

Cast: Sir Ben Kingsley, Barbara Sukowa, Christopher Briney, Rupert Graves, Alexander Beyer, Andreja Pejic, Mark McKenna, Zachary Nachbar-Seckel, Avital Lvova, Suki Waterhouse

Director: Mary Harron

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: Maddie Hasson stars as Dora, a young woman who has been committed to an unorthodox institution for a crime she cannot remember. Persistently drugged and subjected to a series of rigorous psychiatric evaluations, which include intricate recreations of her past, Dora is asked by her enigmatic captors to confront an elusive truth. But can they be trusted? Can Dora even trust her own mind? And what is the cost of accepting the realities she is being presented with? These questions — and the many methods in which a patriarchal system can gaslight women — are at the heart of director Mercedes Bryce Morgan’s stylish psychological thriller.

Cast: Maddie Hasson, Genesis Rodriguez, Atticus Mitchell, Stephen McHattie

Director: Mercedes Bryce Morgan

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: The latest feature from Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir I & II) confirms the filmmaker as one of cinema’s great excavators of memory. A surprising and suspenseful take on the Victorian Gothic, Hogg’s film weaves in her signature spaces haunted by the past, complex family dynamics, and traces of autobiography into a spellbound, expressionist vision that features Tilda Swinton in dual roles.

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Joseph Mydell, Carly-Sophia Davies

Director: Joanna Hogg

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: An ambitious college student’s plot to boost her podcast’s reach by investigating the disappearance of a popular rival backfires, in this darkly funny feature based on the 2020 short of the same name.

Cast: Kiersey Clemons, Alex Wolff, Jim Gaffigan, Ken Marino

Director: Sophie Kargman

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: I Like Movies is a funny, touching, and empathetic look at a film- and self-obsessed teenaged curmudgeon pursuing his dreams and testing personal connections in early-2000s suburban Ontario.

Cast: Isaiah Lehtinen, Romina D'Ugo, Krista Bridges, Percy Hynes White, Alex Ateah, Andy McQueen

Director: Chandler Levack

When & Where to Watch: TBD



Did you pick up on my theme? No, it’s not quite The Ugly, but we do have The Ehhh-gly. These movies are the ones I felt the most blah about. They aren’t really good or bad; they just…exist, deserving little more than a shrug and a high-pitched “ehhh.” The kind of movie that you start forgetting soon after you finish watching it because it didn’t do anything special. Perhaps they improve on the rewatch, but as it stands right now, they are too derivative, formulaic, and bland. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story was a tough one to place here because it has a strong start and premise that I can’t call even remotely bland, but the joke becomes tiresome fairly quickly.


Synopsis: Bri (Jamila C. Gray) wants to carry on after her father, a local hip-hop legend who was killed when he was on the verge of making it big. That’s no easy task. It’s a world of big personalities and harsh words, but she is hellbent on breaking in. Based on the New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give).

Cast: Jamila C. Gray, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Lil Yachty, Mike Epps, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Justin Martin, Titus Makin, Michael Cooper Jr., GaTa, Sanaa Lathan, Cliff "Method Man" Smith

Director: Sanaa Lathan

When & Where to Watch: In theaters and streaming on Paramount+ now


Synopsis: Part satire, part rom-com — brilliantly disguised as anti-rom-com — Bros is outrageous, insightful, and celebratory. This inspired look at the dating scene of queer New York is a laugh-out-loud good time that strides its way into even the most cynical heart.

Cast: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane

Director: Nicholas Stoller

When & Where to Watch: In theaters now


Synopsis: Featuring audacious gallows humor, this drama stars Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as long-estranged half-brothers who reunite to bury their father. Chronicling a journey of grief, secrets, and a lifelong bond, Raymond and Ray has insight and wisdom to spare.

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Ewan McGregor, Maribel Verdú, Tom Bower, Vondie Curtis Hall, Sophie Okonedo

Director: Rodrigo García

When & Where to Watch: October 21, 2022, in theaters and on Apple TV+


Synopsis: Featuring the voices of Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Angela Bassett, and Lyric Ross, this animated comedy-adventure from director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) follows a pair of demon brothers who ally with a goth teenager to defeat their archnemesis.

Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Lyric Ross, Angela Bassett, James Hong, Tamara Smart, Natalie Martinez, Tantoo Cardinal, Gabrielle Dennis, Igal Naor, David Harewood, Maxine Peake, Ramona Young, Sam Zelaya, Seema Virdi, Gary Gatewood, Ving Rhames

Director: Henry Selick

When & Where to Watch: October 28, 2022, on Netflix


Synopsis: Born from writer-director Eric Appel’s 2010 viral video which dared to tease the unvarnished, “true” account of ”Weird Al” Yankovic’s meteoric rise from a humble accordion player to a famous celebrity accordion player, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is an uproariously entertaining tell-all about the comedy and music legend, as well as a side-splitting skewering of all the musical biopics that preceded it.

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson, Toby Huss, Arturo Castro, Julianne Nicholson

Director: Eric Appel

When & Where to Watch: November 4, 2022, on The Roku Channel


Synopsis: An inspiring tale of friendship, courage, and sacrifice, this visceral war film tells the story of the U.S. Navy’s first Black aviator. Set during the early days of the Korean War, Devotion stars Jonathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods) and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) as pilots who confront both geopolitical uncertainty and racist hostility with uncommon valor.

Cast: Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell, Christina Jackson, Thomas Sadoski, Joe Jonas

Director: JD Dillard

When & Where to Watch: November 23, 2022, in theaters


Synopsis: Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward star in this poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema, directed thoughtfully by Sam Mendes and captured brilliantly by cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Cast: Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, Toby Jones, Colin Firth

Director: Sam Mendes

When & Where to Watch: December 9, 2022, in theaters


Synopsis: We all remember where we were during the peak of the pandemic. It sucked. But perhaps not as much as it sucks for Parker (Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Beth Million), whose carefully planned quarantine in a remote country estate gets interrupted by a mask-wearing interloper who wants to stab them with something far sharper than a cotton swab up their noses.

Cast: Gideon Adlon, Dylan Sprayberry, Beth Million, Jane Adams

Director: John Hyams

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: Based on 3Peat Comedy’s acclaimed sketch of the same name, this savvy and vicious skewering of horror film tropes poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?

Cast: Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo, Yvonne Orji, Dewayne Perkins, Jay Pharoah, Antoinette Robertson, Sinqua Walls

Director: Tim Story

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: In this comedy, husband Josh (played by the film’s writer, Jonas Chernick) and his wife Emma (Schitt’s Creek’s Emily Hampshire) have an empty house for one week. With their daughters off at a winter-break sleepaway camp, they attempt to recapture the magic of their now-comfortable marriage and boring sex life with increasingly wild developments.

Cast: Emily Hampshire, Jonas Chernick, Gray Powell, Lily Gao, Melanie Scrofano

Director: Sean Garrity

When & Where to Watch: TBD



The Perfectly Cromulent is the yin to The Ehhh-gly’s yang. I didn’t feel anything close to blah about these movies, but I didn’t exactly love them either. I enjoyed the viewing experience in the moment, I respect what they did, and I’d even understand if they win some major awards, which The Fabelmans is sure to do. But they also aren’t movies I ever need to see again or would go out of my way to rave about. They are fine, some are even good, and you could certainly do worse than one of these on any given night. Will they leave a lasting impression, though? I highly doubt it.


Synopsis: Following the success of Best Picture winner Green Book, director Peter Farrelly returns with this amazing true story of solidarity in wartime, political awakening, and beer by telling the tale of a U.S. veteran on the audacious escapade to bring liquid support to the troops in Vietnam.

Cast: Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray

Director: Peter Farrelly

When & Where to Watch: In theaters now

THE GOOD NURSE Synopsis: Jessica Chastain plays a hospital nurse faced with the growing suspicion that her co-worker and friend (Eddie Redmayne) is quietly killing off patients in this true-crime story set in the world of the American health care system.

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kim Dickens, Malik Yoba, Alix West Lefler, Noah Emmerich

Director: Tobias Lindholm

When & Where to Watch: October 26, 2022, on Netflix


Synopsis: Causeway peers deep into the wounds soldiers retain from armed conflict — and those they carried with them going in. With an understated but penetrating performance from Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway is a character study, a tale of friendship, and an intimate portrait of the great city of New Orleans.

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond, Jayne Houdyshell, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Harvard, Fred Weller, Sean Carvajal, Will Pullen, Neal Huff

Director: Lila Neugebauer

When & Where to Watch: November 4, 2022, in theaters and on Apple TV+


Synopsis: Director 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.

Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle, Jeannie Berlin, Julia Butters, Robin Bartlett, Keeley Karsten, Judd Hirsch

Director: Steven Spielberg

When & Where to Watch: November 23, 2022, in theaters


Synopsis: Set in the 1870s, this adaptation of John Williams’ literary western stars Nicolas Cage as a buffalo hunter who lures a naïve young man on an ambitious expedition to the Colorado Rockies in this tale of how one of America’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders was lost.

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Fred Hechinger, Rachel Keller, Xander Berkeley, Jeremy Bobb, Paul Raci

Director: Gabe Polsky

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: Granted a compassionate release, a dying convict (Brian Cox) tries to reconnect with his daughter (Kate Beckinsale) and the grandson he’s never known — but his violent past comes back to haunt them all.

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Brian Cox

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

When & Where to Watch: TBD



This should be self-explanatory. Going into TIFF, I had never heard of these three movies. At best, I looked at the cast and thought, “oh, that guy!” Still though, they won me over. The interesting thing is that they are wildly different. A violent pseudo-slasher in Korean, a multi-layered movie about relationships and power dynamics that I’ve yet to stop thinking about, and a very small, very sweet coming-of-age story. Truth be told, Sisu should also be here, but it was so damn good that it was elevated to The Must-Sees. It’s hard to say when or where you’ll be able to find these movies (it could literally be years), but check them out if you get a chance.


Synopsis: When efforts to extradite notorious convicts from the Philippines to South Korea are stymied by a deadly airport bombing, the Korean authorities commandeer a cargo freighter for their next transfer. As a rogues’ gallery of lowlifes board the titanic vessel, they are escorted by two dozen hardened detectives and a hot-headed Coast Guard captain. Despite the heavy security, a plot to seize control of the ship percolates among the prisoners and soon boils over, but what neither cop nor crook appear to be privy to is that they are not the freighter’s only cargo. (Note: in Korean with English subtitles.)

Cast: SEO In-guk, JANG Dong-yoon, CHOI Guyhwa, Sung Dong-il

Director: Kim Hongsun

When & Where to Watch: In theaters now


Synopsis: A teenager and her cellphone. It’s a worrying combination for many parents, and when Anna (Grace Van Dien) tells her mother that she has met a boy online, Mom goes on full alert. It turns out Anna’s new crush is not a boy, but a 28-year-old man who is saying all the right things to a girl on the verge of 17. Then, without invitation, there he is, on the family’s doorstep. A game of cat and mouse ensues, and nothing and no one are as they seem....

Cast: Summer Phoenix, Grace Van Dien, Kyle Gallner, Jesse Garcia

Director: Amy Redford

When & Where to Watch: TBD


Synopsis: Wildflower is a funny and compassionate coming-of-age story about a young woman caring for her intellectually disabled parents while seeking an independent life.

Cast: Kiernan Shipka, Dash Mihok, Charlie Plummer, Alexandra Daddario, Brad Garrett, Reid Scott, Erika Alexander, Samantha Hyde, Jacki Weaver, Jean Smart, Ryan Kiera Armstrong

Director: Matt Smukler

When & Where to Watch: TBD

Photo Credits: TIFF

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