London Film Festival: the ten films you have to see

Make the most of the movie event of the year with Time Out's guide to the London Film Festival's biggest tickets

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  • Blue is the Warmest Colour

    Autumn’s indie must-watch – and not just because of le scandale: the controversy over its ten-minute lesbian sex scene. You’ll lose your heart to this French romance, the story of a turbulent love affair between two girls.

    Perfect for: lovers of all shades.

    LFF premiere: Oct 14
    In cinemas: Nov 15

    Read more about 'Blue is the Warmest Colour'

    Blue is the Warmest Colour
  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    The Coen brothers are at the tip-top of their game. Do we need to say anything else? Okay, so this is New York’s grungy folk music scene in the early 1960s where a struggling Bob Dylan type (Oscar Isaac) is trying to get his voice heard. Watch out for Carey Mulligan’s hilarious sour-as-lemons performance.

    Perfect for: musos and anyone who likes their funny tinged with weird. 

    LFF premiere: Oct 15
    In cinemas: Jan 24 2014

    Read more about 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

    Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Under the Skin

    See Scarlett Johansson as you’ve never seen her before – playing a foxy alien prowling for men (for all the wrong reasons) on the A9 in Scotland. The director is Jonathan ‘Sexy Beast’ Glazer and word is that this is creepy as hell. We can’t wait.

    Perfect for: non-squeamish sorts.

    LFF premiere: Oct 13
    In cinemas: early 2014

    Read more about 'Under the Skin'

    Under the Skin
  • The Double

    After a quirky-lovely debut (‘Submarine’), Richard Ayoade gives us this moody Dostoyevsky adaptation. Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in the story of an office nobody who meets his doppelgänger.

    Perfect for: fans of Terry Gilliam and Michel Gondry’s tricksy weirdness.

    LFF premiere: Oct 12.
    In cinemas: Nov 8.

    Read more about 'The Double'

    The Double
  • Kill Your Darlings

    First he gets his kit off on stage. Now he’s starring as the gay beat poet Allen Ginsberg. On paper Daniel Radcliffe looks like he’s trying really hard. The thing is, with every role, he’s proving to be one of our finest young actors. It’ll surprise you how good he is.

    Perfect for: poets at heart.

    LFF premiere: Oct 17.
    In cinemas: Dec 6.

    Read more about 'Kill Your Darlings'

    Kill Your Darlings
  • Night Moves

    Kelly Reichardt (‘Meek’s Cutoff’) is one of the most original American directors working today. Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning star in her eco-thriller as activists whose plan to blow up a dam has horrifying consequences. Expect cold precision drama.

    Perfect for: fans of smart thrillers.

    LFF premiere: Oct 15
    In cinemas: early 2014

    Read more about 'Night Moves'

    Night Moves
  • Computer Chess

    Mumblecore director Andrew Bujalski’s drama about an ’80s championship for chess software programmers is so retro-realistic it’s been mistaken for a doc.

    Perfect for: film nerds and nerd nerds.

    LFF: Oct 10.
    In cinemas: Nov 22.

    Read more about 'Computer Chess'

    Computer Chess
  • The Invisible Woman

    What the Dickens! Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in the story of Charles Dickens’s affair with an actress (Felicity Jones).

    Perfect for: lovers of bonnet dramas.

    LFF premiere: Oct 17
    In cinemas: Feb 7 2014

    Read more about 'The Invisible Woman'

    The Invisible Woman
  • Captain Phillips

    It’s another cinematic white-knuckle ride from Paul ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ Greengrass. He directs the hell out of the based-on-real-life story of an American captain (Tom Hanks) whose cargo ship is taken hostage by Somali pirates. Expect thrills and spills.

    Perfect for: anyone who loves action with brains.

    LFF premiere: Oct 9.
    In cinemas: Oct 18.

    Read more about 'Captain Phillips'

    Captain Phillips
  • 12 Years a Slave

    Meet the bookies’ top tip to win Best Picture at next year’s Oscars. Directed by Steve McQueen (‘Shame’), this is a pull-no-punches slavery drama starring Londoner Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man sold into slavery in nineteenth-century America. Required viewing.

    Perfect for: seekers of serious and seriously excellent drama.

    LFF premiere: Oct 18.
    In cinemas: Jan 24 2014.

    Read more about '12 Years a Slave'

    12 Years a Slave

Blue is the Warmest Colour

Autumn’s indie must-watch – and not just because of le scandale: the controversy over its ten-minute lesbian sex scene. You’ll lose your heart to this French romance, the story of a turbulent love affair between two girls.

Perfect for: lovers of all shades.

LFF premiere: Oct 14
In cinemas: Nov 15

Read more about 'Blue is the Warmest Colour'

Want more? See our London Film Festival guide

The 57th BFI London Film Festival kicks off in venues across the city on October 9 2013, screening films from every corner of the globe, from major blockbusters to experimental oddities. There will be star-studded red-carpet galas, hundreds of new features and shorts, plus talks, discussions and workshops – and all of it is open to the public. See our London Film Festival guide to find out how to make the most of it.

See our guide to the London Film Festival

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The best films now showing

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Boyhood

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Begin Again

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3

The Fault in Our Stars

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