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Bones and All
Photograph: London Film FestivalTimothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell in ‘Bones and All’

10 great movies you can still get tickets for at the London Film Festival

The best of the fest – and still up for grabs

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

This year’s BFI London Film Festival is just around the corner – October 5 is the big kick off – and there’s still a bunch of tickets available for screenings around London and in cinemas across the UK. We’ve taken a proverbial comb through the booking pages and turned up a trove of screenings with tickets still available: from the latest dreamy fairy tale from Guillermo del Toro, to hard-hitting dramas from up-and-coming auteurs, to local stories that Londoners will love.

And because we’re not recommending you spend your cash on just any old motion picture, these ten films come curated, vetted, fully inoculated and with our trusty stamp of approval. But don’t delay, tickets are going fast. Get over to the official BFI website and have at it.

📍Everything you need to know about this year’s London Film Festival

Great movies to see at the London Film Festival

  • Film
  • Thrillers

If you happened to catch Ali Abbasi’s ace modern-day fairy tale ‘Border’ a few years back, the prospect of a new one from the filmmaker should be enticing. This time he’s headed back to his native Iran for a grimy, gripping true-life serial killer flick set at the turn of the millennial. There are obvious parallels with ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, as a female nvestigate journalist risks life and limb to track down a man preying on the sex workers in the holy city of Mashhad – and they’re deserved, too.

See it if you love: ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

Sat Oct 8, 9.15pm
Sun Oct 9, 10.30pm

  • Film
  • Drama

This slowburn courtroom drama is already festooned with festival prizes (it won Venice’s Silver Lion), which speaks volumes for a quiet emotional power that will smash your heart into tiny fragments. It’s not from the shoutier end of the legal thriller spectrum – no one bellows ‘You can’t handle the truth!!’ in this one – but instead adopts an observational style to follow the story of a young Senegalese immigrant on trial for infanticide in a French court. It’s the first drama from documentary director Alice Diop and offers a powerful and timely critique of systems of oppression.  

See it if you love: ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’

Mon Oct 10, 8.35pm 
Tue Oct 11, 3.10pm

Nil by Mouth
  • Film
  • Comedy

Everyone has a story they need to get off their chest, but Gary Oldman’s is definitely a bit more hard-hitting than your average – as his single directorial effort to date, semi-autobiographical 1997 kitchen sink classic, amply proves. Bruising, brilliant and centrepieced by a Ray Winstone performance that practically thunders off the screen, it’s back and restored in 4K just in time for this year’s festival. A South London family drama washed over in booze, pills and poverty, it’ll be an intense time capsule for anyone that’s recovered from seeing it the first time around. 

See it if you love: ‘Scum’

Wed Oct 12, 8.45pm

Bones and All
Photograph: London Film Festival

4. Bones and All

Call Me By Your Name’ director-star combo Luca Guadagnino and Timothée Chalamet reunite for a roadtrip movie that is very much not Call Me By Your Name 2. Instead, LFF-goers should strap in for a cannibal coming-of-age romance, in which Chalamet’s young drifter shacks up with Taylor Russell’s student and introduces her to the nutritious joys of human flesh. See, there’s a reason Guadagnino flies high on our list of the Coolest Filmmakers in the World: who else would have the heartthrob of the moment going full Sweeney Todd?

See it if you love: ‘Let the Right One In’

Sat Oct 8, 1.45pm 
Sun Oct 9, 12pm

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Photograph: Netflix © 2022

5. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro’s new stop-motion skew on ‘Pinocchio’ is getting its world premiere at the festival and anyone who claims they don’t want to be there is a big-nosed liar. Don’t expect it to be anything like as cuddly and cosy as the classic Disney animation (or the more recent Disney+ rendering), with the Mexican co-director likely to be bring his innate love of misunderstood monsters, gothic storytelling and deeper meaning to bear in a version that’s backdropped by a fictional fascist Italy. It’s probably one for the older kids, with a trigger warning for little’uns. 

See it if you love: ‘Coraline’

Sun Oct 16, 11.30am

Photograph: London Film Festival

6. Till

‘Clemency’ director Chinonye Chukwu will be taking LFF audiences back to the darkest days of segregation-era Mississippi for a stirring true-life story of racism, murder and one woman’s fight for social change. That woman is activist Mamie Till-Moble (‘The Harder They Fall’s Danielle Deadwyler), whose son’s lynching in the ’50s Deep South sparks a righteous campaign for justice. This one comes with powerful backers – Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Broccoli both produce – and an even more powerful message for our times that centres Black figures in a way Hollywood has often failed to manage.

See it if you love: ‘Selma’

Sat Oct 15, 5.30pm
Sun Oct 16, 2.45pm

Photograph: London Film Festival

7. Chee$e

This year’s LFF isn’t exactly packed with aisle-roll-inducing comedies but one guaranteed LOL-fest is this whacked-out yarn about Skimma (Akil Gerard Williams), a young Caribbean cheesemaker who finds himself entering the high-stakes world of drug trafficking. That unlikely arc from brie to ‘Breaking Bad’ is comic terrain Trinidadian filmmaker Damian Marcano traverses with equal doses of skill and stoner silliness. Do not operate heavy machinery after this one.  

See it if you love: ‘Blindspotting’

Sat Oct 8, 12.30pm

Pretty Red Dress 
Photograph: London Film Festival

8. Pretty Red Dress 

‘Top Boy’ assistant director Dionne Edwards gets a hometown curtain call for her big-screen debut: a tumultuous south London-set drama about a Black family whose patriarch, the fresh-from-prison Travis (Natey Jones), is discovered in that titular scarlet dress. Edwards, who has talked about using the Dalston’s Rio Cinema as a kind of film school, gets her a London cinema screen all to herself for this striking first feature about fluid identities and families in turmoil.

See it if you like: ‘All About My Mother’

Thu Oct 13, 12.15pm

She Said
Photograph: Universal Pictures

9. She Said

#MeToo gets its own ‘All the President’s Men’ with this journalism procedural that follows two journos at The New York Times, Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), as they investigate allegations of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein. The Pulitzer-winning pair’s story kicked into motion Hollywood’s clean-the-swamp moment, helped bring the movie mogul to justice and has now spawned an Oscar-tipped movie of its own. Patricia Clarkson and Samantha Morton round out the stellar cast assembled by director Maria Schrader (‘Unothordox’).

See it if you love: ‘Spotlight’

Thu Oct 13, 12.15pm

White Noise
Photograph: WILSON WEBB/NETFLIX © 2022

10. White Noise

Marriage Story’ director Noah Baumbach has adapted the unadaptable with this starrily-cast take on Don DeLillo’s postmodern 1985 novel. There’s a reason the American author’s books so rarely (and successfully) find themselves on the big screen – they’re chokers with impossible-to-visualise motifs and elusive intellectual playfulness – but Baumbach has spliced his satirical story of an American family faced with death and ecological disaster with a Spielbergian wonder that’ll keep LFF-goers rapt. Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig play the married couple at its heart, the Gladneys, who are suddenly faced with a mysterious Airborne Toxic Event.

See it if you love: ‘M*A*S*H’

Fri Oct 7, 11.45am

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