The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, is just around the corner, and it might be a bit overwhelming to choose the films to see. What follows is a list of movies that look particularly promising, many of which are directed by Sundance alumni.
Here are the must-see movies at the Sundance Film Festival 2018 (in alphabetical order):
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (U.S. Documentary Competition)
Everyone and their invisible friend know about Sesame Street; here’s finally a documentary about one of the key players behind the scenes of the beloved long-running television series. This film details the life of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind the famous Elmo character.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Documentary Premiere)
Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) returns to the fest with a new documentary where he discusses the world of product placement by making a whole movie financed entirely by it. Spurlock is a warm and funny movie personality, and this new documentary should entertaining and thought-provoking.
Higher Ground (U.S. Dramatic Competition)
One of the best actresses working in movies today, Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), makes her directorial debut with this new drama about spirituality. Co-starring Joshua Leonard and Winter Bone’s John Hawkes, Higher Ground looks like an emotionally moving piece of work.
Homework (U.S. Dramatic Competition)
For those looking to see how that little boy from Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has grown up, look no further than this new coming-of-age story set in high school that pairs Freddie Highmore with one of the best (and busiest) young actresses working today—Emma Roberts.
I Melt With You (Premiere)
Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies are two of the most underrated thrillers of the last fifteen years. The talented director of both, Mark Pellington, returns with this new ensemble piece that features a terrific cast including Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, August Emerson, and Me and Orson Welles’ Christian McKay.
In a Better World (Spotlight)
Susanne Bier’s masterful film Brothers screened at Sundance in 2005 and won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award. This gifted filmmaker returns to the festival, both as a filmmaker and as a competition juror. Her newest feature In a Better World should be another incredibly moving entry in Bier’s impressive film canon.
Red State (Premiere)
Kevin Smith, whose first film Clerks premiered at Sundance in 1994, returns with his first foray into the horror genre. Enough said!
These Amazing Shadows (Documentary Premiere)
Film buffs are familiar with the National Film Registry, which every year chooses culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant works for preservation in the Library of Congress. Now there’s finally a documentary about the registry, which will include include interviews with board members and archivists, as well as filmmakers John Singleton and John Waters.
Win Win (Premiere)
The brilliant Tom McCarthy (who directed The Station Agent and The Visitor and is also a fine actor) returns to the directing chair with this new feature Win Win, starring Paul Giamatti as a man faced with the guardianship of both an elderly client and a young teenager.
The Woman (Park City of Midnight)
May was one of the most ambitious, deeply unsettling horror debuts of the last decade, and director Lucky McKee is back at Sundance with a new tale of the macabre concerning a family’s values going horribly wrong.