8 films to see at AFI Fest 2015

Our film critics picked 8 screenings AFI Fest attendees can't miss, from Michael Moore's new doc to period pieces

AFI Fest, the American Film Institute's annual (and free!) celebration of international cinema, kicks off November 5 with more than 120 movies over eight days, including special screenings, tributes and works from both modern masters and emerging auteurs. It's a cinema lover's dream, except for the fact that many screenings overlap or are only playing during 9-to-5 hours. Even if that's not a problem for your schedule, there are still too many films to choose from—unless you plan on spending the next 168 hours at the movie theaters, which, um, we might. For the rest of you who want to keep your day jobs and still see great movies, we've narrowed it down to eight films that are true must-sees. Whether you're a romantic, edge-of-your-seat thrill-seeker or downright cinematography geek, click through our slideshow of what we can't wait to see at this year's fest. Enjoy the show!

RECOMMENDED: Get more information about AFI Fest.

8 must-see AFI Fest films

The Lady in the Van

Fri Nov 6, 6:15p at Chinese 1
Mon Nov 9, 4p at Chinese 1

AFI says: Maggie Smith stars as a cantankerous yet eloquent homeless woman who sets up residence on the curb outside the home of a single writer.

Read Time Out's full review

The Forbidden Room

Sat Nov 7, 2p at the Egyptian

AFI says: Winnipeg filmmakers Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson search the human subconscious in this cinematic delirium.

Read Time Out's full review


Where to Invade Next

Sat Nov 7, 7:30p at the Egyptian

AFI says: In Michael Moore’s latest call to action, the documentary filmmaker spends time in countries around the world, looking at alternative ways of dealing with social and economic problems plaguing America.

Read Time Out's full review

Tale of Tales

Sat Nov 7, 9p at Chinese 1
Mon Nov 9, 12p at the Egyptian

AFI says: From the director of Gomorrah, this collection of three ancient fairy tales features a star-studded cast set against the backdrop of Italy’s greatest wonders.

Read Time Out's full review


Men Go To Battle

Sun Nov 8, 6:15p at Chinese 2
Mon Nov 9, 12:45p at Chinese 2

AFI says: In this indie American period piece, two farming brothers in 1861 are torn apart by the encroaching Civil War.

Read Time Out's fill review


Sun Nov 8, 6:30p at Chinese 1
Mon Nov 10, 1:30p at the Egyptian

AFI says: In this 2015 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, a refugee concocts a fake family to gain passage to France, but his violent past still haunts him.

Read Time Out's full review


Son of Saul

Mon Nov 9, 8p at the Egyptian
Tues Nov 10, 1:15p at Chinese 1

AFI says: This sparse yet resonant film, set in Auschwitz near the end of World War II, follows an internee on a mission to give a young boy a proper burial.

Read Time Out's full review

Our Little Sister

Tues Nov 10, 9:15p at Chinese 2
Thurs Nov 12, 3:30p at Chinese 3

AFI says: At a family patriarch’s funeral, three sisters make the impulsive decision to invite their much younger half-sister to live with them in the city.

Read Time Out's full review