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Widows Still
Merrick Morton

The biggest films at London Film Festival 2018

225 films. 14 cinemas. Ladies and gentlemen, start your eyeballs

By Time Out Film

The BFI London Film Festival – the biggest, brightest and best event in the capital’s film-going calendar – hits cinemas across the city from October 10-21, 2018. And this year promises one of the strongest line-ups in the festival’s 62-year history, with big galas screenings like Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’ and Yorgos Lanthimos’s hugely buzzy ‘The Favourite’ sharing screens with smaller but no less worthy fare. 

However, with so much on offer, it can be overwhelming to chose what to watch. So to help, we've picked some of the biggest films at London Film Festival 2018. 

Recommended: all the latest film news, reviews and screenings in London

Widows Still
Twentieth Century Fox


Film Thrillers

Things gets underway to the sound of sirens and screeching tyres as Steve McQueen’s blistering thriller raises the LFF curtain.

Wednesday, 10 October. Cineworld Leicester Square, 7pm.



California’s Islamic community is the setting in this tale of Summer, a black girl discovering her sexuality and identity.

Thursday, October 11. Vue Leicester Square, 8.30pm.


The Breaker Upperers

Film Comedy

This hilarious-looking Kiwi comedy has writer-directors Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek starting a breakup service.

Friday, 12 October. Prince Charles Cinema, 6.15pm.

Eric Zachanowich

The Old Man & The Gun

Film Drama

Robert Redford is an ageing bank robber in David Lowery’s follow-up to ‘A Ghost Story’. Casey Affleck’s cop is in pursuit in a sorta-true story.

Friday, 12 October. Curzon Soho, 8.45pm.


Been So Long

Michaela Coel tops off a huge year with London’s answer to ‘La La Land’. A musical set in Camden, it should make for a dreamlike showcase of the city’s diversity and soul.

Saturday, 13 October. Cineworld Leicester Square, 2pm. 

Francois Duhamel

Beautiful Boy

Film Drama

Timothée Chalamet plays teenage meth addict Nic Sheff and Steve Carell is his dad in a human drama that's already tipped for Oscars.  

Saturday, 13 October. Cineworld Leicester Square, 6pm.

Out of the Blue still

Out of the Blue

The never-not-ace Patricia Clarkson picks up a gun and a badge as a New Orleans cop in this atmospheric murder mystery with a difference. 

Saturday, 13 October. Embankment Garden Cinema, 8:45pm. 

Photo: Netflix


Film Drama

Alfonso Cuarón follows up ‘Gravity’ with a languid, black-and-white tribute to the women of his boyhood. And it’s every bit as breathtaking.

Sunday, 14 October. Embankment Garden Cinema, 1.45pm.

The Little Drummer Girl
Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory

The Little Drummer Girl

One of the LFF’s first TV premieres (as in a TV show, not on a telly) sees Chan-wook Park take on Le Carré’s spy story. Catch the first two eps.

Sunday, 14 October. Embankment Garden Cinema, 5pm.

Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records

Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records

This timely doc shows how the Windrush generation brought ska, reggae and rocksteady to Britain.

Monday, 15 October. BFI Southbank, 1.10pm.

They Shall Not Grow Old

They Shall Not Grow Old

Peter Jackson's latest is a dazzling modernisation of Great War footage that will bring home the conflict's scale and sorrows with fresh power. 

Tuesday, 16 October. BFI Southbank, 5:45pm. 

Wild Rose

Wild Rose

Irish actress Jessie Buckley is bound for the big time. Find out why with this story of a Scottish country singer with Nashville dreams. 

Tuesday, 16 October. Embankment Cinema, 2:15pm. 



Film Drama

Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki is the real deal. Her latest, about a young Syrian refugee, won a prize at Cannes, the first by an Arab woman. 

Wednesday, October 17. Embankment Gardens, 5:30pm. 

Outlaw King

Film Action and adventure

Chris Pien is Robert the Bruce in a crunching historical drama that co-stars Florence Pugh and, presumably, at least one spider. 

Wednesday, 17 October. Embankment Cinema, 8:30pm. 

The Great Victorian Moving Picture Show
BFI Archives

The Great Victorian Moving Picture Show

The festival's Archive Gala shows off early film footage in Imax. Expect Victorian hubbub and huge hats. 

Thursday, 18 October. BFI Imax, 7pm. 

In Fabric

Film Horror

Nothing to do with the London club, this terrifically stylish tale is centred on a killer dress. Marianne Jean-Baptiste (‘Secrets and Lies’) stars.

Thursday, 18 October. Vue Leicester Square, 8.30pm.

Simon Mein


Film Drama

Mike Leigh’s historical epic – and it is epic – premieres in Manchester on October 17 before bringing its heft and scale to the South Bank.

Friday, 19 October. BFI Southbank, 6pm.

The Favourite

Film Drama

This delirious period piece has a killer cast (Olivia Coleman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz) and scenes of duck racing. See you there. 

Friday, 19 October. Cineworld Leicester Square, 7:15pm.

Alessio Bolzoni/Amazon Studios


Film Horror

With Luca Guadagnino behind the camera, Tilda Swinton in front of it and a Thom Yorke score, this art-horror is a seriously hot ticket. 

Friday, 19 October. Odeon Tottenham Court Road, 8:20pm. 


Screen talk: Chang-dong Lee

Catch ‘Burning’ at the fest and then see its maker chatting about the slowburn thrill and adapting Haruki Murakami for the screen. 

Saturday, 20 October. BFI Southbank, noon. 


The Private Life of Henry VIII

Film Action and adventure

The ‘Wold Hall’ of 1933, Alexander Korda's biopic if drumstick-lobbing king Henry VIII ignited the British film industry. See it in all its finery. 

Saturday, 20 October. BFI Southbank, 5:50pm. 

If Beale Street Could Talk

Film Drama

This James Baldwin adaptation is swooningly romantic and furiously barbed. Barry Jenkins (‘Moonlight’) strikes the balance perfectly. 

Sunday, 21 October. Embankment Cinema, 11am. 


The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Film Drama

Richly entertaining and blackly funny but told with sincerity and heart, the half-dozen western tales packed into ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ show the Coen brothers loading up their six-shooter and firing barely a dud.

Sunday, 21 October. BFI Southbank, 8:40pm. 

Stan & Ollie

Steve Coogan and John C. Riley play head-scratching, pratfalling double act Laurel and Hardy in what should be a funny, touching festival closer. 

Sunday, 21 October. Cineworld Leicester Square, 7:45pm. 


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