This is hardly a comprehensive list. In fact, it's downright idiosyncratic based on my various festival agendas, reviewing for Screen Daily and covering docs for SundanceNow. But during my 5 days at the Toronto International Film Festival, I saw only about 15 films from start to finish, and pieces of others that I will refer them to the old adage: If you're not going to say anything nice about them, better to say nothing at all. I'd call two of the films masterpieces or near-masterpieces, which is about all you can hope for, though I wished I had seen Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," which by all accounts, was one of the year's best. But I was among the hundreds turned away.
So consider this a highly eclectic, by no means exhaustive list of a handful of movies I caught from this year's fest. Review links are to Screen, which are working for now.
"12 Years A Slave" - Believe the hype: some further comments
"Ida" - A minimalist masterpiece: review
"Enemy" - A marvelously mystifying mix of Kafka and "The Twilight Zone": review
"The Armstrong Lie"- Gibney does Errol Morris.
"We Are the Best!" - Moodysson goes back to "Fucking Amal" and "Together" territory.
"The Unknown Know"- Morris does Errol Morris.
"When Jews Were Funny" – A pleasantly surprising personal doc disguised as a portrait of comedians: review
"Finding Vivian Maier" - Engaging yet ethically dubious look at lost and found artist.
Good Moments, But No Cigar
"Devil's Knot" - Would have made a better mini-series: review
"The Dog" - "Dog Day Afternoon" figure has one dirty mouth and a great back-story, but only lasts for first hour.
"Cannibal" - Stylish, but not fulfilling: review
Not for Me
"One Chance" - A feel-good entertainment for your mother-in-law: review
"Horns" - A dramatic mess with clever special effects: review
"You Are Here" - Matthew Weiner proves "Mad Men" was a fluke: review