20 Must See Movies At 2018’s London Film Festival

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Movies To Watch at LFF 2018

BFI London Film Festival (LFF) kicks off this year (on 10th October) with a screening of Steve McQueen’s Widows. Concluding on 21st October with Jon S. Baird’s Stan & Ollie (starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly), LFF promises to be another exciting cinematic event.  


Tickets vary in price from £13 (for non-West End venues) to £30 (for opening and closing night gala premieres). The box office opens today, Thursday 6th September, for BFI Members with public booking available from 10am, Thursday 13th September.



The big question, of course, is what to see. Of the many movies featured in the 2018 LFF programme, I have picked 20 of my must watch films...

20 Films To Watch At LFF 2018


Director: Steve McQueen

Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki

Synopsis: When Veronica’s husband is killed during a daring heist, she (Viola Davis) and the wives of the men he worked with discover money was owed to some particularly nasty people… and now they want it back.


Stan & Ollie

Director: Jon S. Baird

Starring: John C Reilly and Steve Coogan

Synopsis: In 1953, several years after their last film and with their celebrity on the wane, Stan Laurel and Ollie Hardy embark upon a tour of British seaside towns and music halls.


The Favourite

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring: Olivia Coleman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz

Synopsis: It is the early 18th century and England is at war with France. Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman)’s poor health finds her reliant on her friend, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz). However, their relationship is tested by the arrival of Sarah’s cousin, Abigal (Emma Stone).


The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits and Zoe Kazan

Synopsis: An anthology of six Western tales, the BFI programme calls The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs “wildly idiosyncratic, undeniably hilarious and often touchingly melancholic”.


Beautiful Boy

Director: Felix Van Groeningen

Starring: Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet

Synopsis: A father struggles to deal with his son’s drug addiction.



Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Director: Marielle Heller

Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant

Synopsis: The early 1990s finds writer, Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), struggling to find her place in the world - both professionally and personally. Spurred on by roguish drinking buddy, Jack (Richard E Grant), Lee tries a get rich quick scheme - with surprising results.


The Front Runner

Director: Jason Reitman

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Vera Famiga and J.K. Simmons

Synopsis: Democratic candidate, Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman), was the man to beat in the 1988 US Presidential campaign. However, his career was destroyed by devastating allegations concerning his private life. 


Life Itself

Director: Dan Fogelman

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke and Annette Bening

Synopsis: Life’s complexities are explored in this multi-layered love story.


A Private War

Director: Matthew Heineman

Starring: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci and Tom Hollander

Synopsis: A biopic of The Sunday Times war correspondent, Marie Colvin.



Director: Luca Guadagnino

Starring: Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton

Synopsis: A homage to Dario Argento’s classic horror, Suspiria follows Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson) as she auditions for a prestigious international dance school. However, things are certainly not all they seem.



Outlaw King

Director: David Mackenzie

Starring: Chris Pine, Florence Pugh and Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Synopsis: A historical drama about the life of Robert the Bruce.




Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Starring: Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira

Synopsis: In Mexico City, 1970, Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) is a live-in domestic worker of Mixteco heritage. She is employed by middle-class mother of four, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), who struggles to cope with the extended absence of her doctor husband. Cleo loves the children as if they were her own but her work leaves little space for a personal life.


The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Director: Terry Gilliam

Starring: Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce

Synopsis: Terry Gilliam’s imaginative adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’s picaresque novel.


Out Of The Blue

Director: Carol Morely

Starring: Patricia Clarkson, James Caan, Tobey Jones and Jacki Weaver

Synopsis: Recovering alcoholic, Detective Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson), is haunted by a mysterious murder case. Adapted from Martin Amis’s Night Train.


If Beale Street Could Talk

Director: Barry Jenkins

Starring: Kiki Lane and Stephan James

Synopsis: Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s account of love, injustice and racism in America.




Director: Mike Leigh

Starring: Rory Kinnear and Maxine Peake

Synopsis: A tale of a working class uprising and its violent suppression in Manchester, 1819.


Happy As Lazzaro

Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Starring: Adriano Tardiolo, Sergi Lopez and Alba Rohrwacher

Synopsis: A story of what happens when innocence is faced with corruption and greed.


Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

Director: Ben Wheatley

Starring: Neil Maskell, Hayley Squires and Sam Riley

Synopsis: Colin (Neil Maskell)’s New Year celebrations are thrown into chaos by the appearance of his estranged brother. 


The Old Man And The Gun

Director: David Lowery

Starring: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek

Synopsis: Adapted from David Grann’s New Yorker article, The Old Man And The Gun tells the story of Forrest Tucker, a self styled ‘Houdini’ whose many prison breaks include fleeing from Alcatraz in a homemade kayak.



Director: Paul Dano

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan

Synopsis: A couple move to suburban Montana for a fresh start. However, cracks soon start to show in their marriage.


Over To You...

Are you hoping to attend LFF this year? If so, what movies are you planning to watch? What films are you most excited about on this list?


Let me know in the comments section below or over on Twitter. You can find me @500DaysOfFilm.

Film Search


Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


This site contains my own

thoughts and opinions on

films. Other opinions are

available but may not be correct.