Toronto Film Festival 2014: Ones to watch

The Toronto International Film Festival is set to kick off on Thursday - one of the largest and most prestigious events in the annual film festival calendar.

Success here often leads to big rewards during Oscar season, with films such as Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech and 12 Years a Slave among the previous winners of Toronto's top prize.

But with more than 300 films on offer and only 10 days to watch them in, how do you choose what to see?

We've picked out some of the most talked about movies being screened this year. A closer look at the British offerings will be published on Thursday.

The Judge
The Judge

Robert Downey Jr makes a return to more serious drama in The Judge opposite veteran actor Robert Duvall.

The film, which opens the festival, sees Downey Jr as a big city lawyer who returns home when his father - the town's judge - is suspected of murder.

This is Where I Leave You
This is Where I Leave You

After their father dies, four siblings played by Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver, return home to their mother (Jane Fonda) and live under the same roof for a week in this comedy drama.

Maps to the Stars
Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg's latest film was well received when it screened in Cannes earlier this year. Starring Julianne Moore - who won best best actress on the French Riviera for her role, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson, it is a satire on Hollywood while also delving into its darker side.

St Vincent
St Vincent

Bill Murray stars as a curmudgeonly war veteran who finds himself looking after his neighbour's 12-year-old son Oliver.

The improbable pair soon develop a friendship as Vincent takes Oliver to all his usual haunts including the the race track, a strip club and a local dive bar.

Wild
Wild

This is one of two Reese Witherspoon films playing at Toronto - and both see her playing real-life characters. Wild is based on the memoir by US author Cheryl Strayed, chronicling her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in a journey of self-discovery.

Directed by the Dallas Buyers Club's Jean-Marc Vallee, it has Oscar potential written all over it.

The Look of Silence
The Look of Silence

Joshua Oppenheimer's 2012 documentary The Act of Killing was critically acclaimed, picking up a Bafta and and an Oscar nomination along the way.

The Look of Silence is a follow-up to the film about the former Indonesian death-squad leaders, featuring a man confronting one of the men who killed his brother.

Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal lost 20lbs (9kg) to play the role of Lou Bloom, a drifter and petty thief who stumbles upon the underground world of LA freelance photographers who scour the city for gruesome crime-scene footage.

Good Kill
Good Kill

Ethan Hawke stars as a fighter pilot turned drone pilot who fights the Taliban via remote control for half of his day, then goes home to his family in the suburbs for the other half.

Written and directed by Oscar-nominated Andrew Niccol, this drama explores how one man's psychological, emotional and moral boundaries are challenged by the realities of 21st century warfare.

The Equalizer
The Equalizer

Based on the 1980s TV series starring Edward Woodward, this big screen adaptation stars Denzel Washington as a former special ops commando who helps victims of criminals.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the last time he teamed up with Washington the star won a best actor Oscar for his role in 2001's Training Day.

Manglehorn
Manglehorn

Al Pacino also appears in two films at the festival. Manglehorn sees him play a small town locksmith who was left heartbroken 40 years before and never got over losing the woman of his dreams.

Pacino's second film is The Humbling, based on Philip Roth's final novel, with the Oscar winner starring as a legendary stage actor who has an affair with a woman half his age.

The festival runs 4 - 14 September.

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