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11 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at Sundance

11 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at Sundance

Sundance is cold. Really cold. As in, no-need-to-pack-anything-but-snow-shoes cold. Which is why they have so many amazing films keeping people indoors where the heaters are.

It may also be that they’re extremely talented at film curation.

The power of Sundance is that it can get us thinking about the future of cinema even when we’re already in the middle of prestige season. We’re on the brink of being surrounded by all the amazing movies studios have been holding back so they stay fresh in award-givers’ minds (as well as anything with a light saber in it!), and yet it’s too easy to cast your eyes toward the cold of January to imagine what lies in store.

You want me to prove it? Glad you asked.

Brigsby Bear


At the top of the list of reasons to get excited for Brisgby Bear is the cast: Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, Andy Samberg, Greg Kinnear, Jane Adams, and Kate Lyn Shell. Kyle Mooney is at the top of the ticket, bringing his SNL weirdness to what promises to be a super bizarre movie about a 20-something obsessed with a kid’s show that’s actually created solely for him by kidnappers who have been brainwashing him for years.

Band Aid

Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones (aka New Girl‘s Councilwoman Fawn Moscato), Band Aid focuses on a constantly-fighting couple who decides to adapt those battles into music, which has the potential to be painfully honest and wonderfully catchy. Add Fred Armisen on drums, and you’ve got a winning combo.

The Big Sick

The latest personal comedy produced by Judd Apatow, this autobiographical romantic was written by Indoor Kids and real-life couple Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (who also stars in it). The movie recounts how they met, handled their cultural and religious differences, and fell in love. Hopefully Nanjiani doesn’t full-body naked massage anyone in this one. Or hopefully he does? Hard to say.

Golden Exits


Alex Ross Perry has done fantastically fierce, abjectly cruel work with his films (think Queen of Earth and Listen Up Philip) and his latest treads more frought relationships between two families in Brooklyn who are upended by a foreign girl who comes to visit. The cast is stacked: Emily Browning, Analeigh Tipton, Chloe Sevigny, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, and Jason Schwartzman thrown in for good measure.

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

So much of the hope of a festival like Sundance rests on the track record of the filmmakers, and Macon Blair may inspire the most confidence of all. After Blue Ruin and Green Room, he’s written and directed a movie that weirdly doesn’t have a color in the title. Melanie Lynskey stars as a depressed woman who tracks down the men who burgled her house alongside her weirdo neighbor, Elijah Wood. Suprise: they have no idea what they’re doing.

Ingrid Goes West


It’s tough to go wrong with Aubrey Plaza playing a crazy person. In this feature-length debut from director Matt Spicer, Plaza plays a woman desperately hooked on a social media star played by Elizabeth Olsen. Tired of her scrolling finger being her only contact, she heads out to Los Angeles to meet her hero, and things take a turn for the dangerous from there.


Gillian Robespierre and Jenny Slate had a breakout hit with Obvious Child, so it’s thrilling to see them back in cahoots with each other. Landline is set in 1990s Manhattan, where a young woman finds out that her father is having an affair. Slate is flanked by John Turturro, Edie Falco, Finn Wittrock and more in this story about humanizing the superheroes that raised us.

To the Bone

From veteran genre writer and producer Marti Noxon, To The Bone features Lily Collins as a young woman battling anorexia who joins a group recovery home run by an unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves). It’s a story about getting better and discovering why life is worth living, but it’s also a narrative of survival.

The Hero


In a role he’s spent his whole life preparing to play, Sam Elliott plays a, wait for it, movie star known for, wait for it again, Westerns. He spends his days getting high and living off his reputation, but a lifetime achievement award and some surprising life news sends him into a journey that will force him to rethink his past.



A horror anthology boasting entries from Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound), Sofia Carrillo (La Casa Triste), Jovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird), and musician St. Vincent. Details are scarce on what its stories will be like, but it has a solid anthology calculation working for it: it’s anchored by known thrillers like Kusama and Benjamin while offering an opportunity for fans to fall in love with newer voices.

A Ghost Story

David Lowery, Rooney Mara, and Casey Affleck, who delivered the explosive drama of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, have collaborated yet again, so despite a plot synopsis that’s vague to the point of madness (it’s about a ghost and the house it haunts), it can’t deter us from getting psyched for what they have in store.

There are also documentaries like Casting JonBenet, Chasing Coral, City of Ghosts and others to get pumped for. Sundance runs January 19-29, 2017, and we’ll be all over it.

Images: Lord Miller, Bow and Arrow Entertainment, Mighty Engine, Polygram Entertainment, XYZ Films

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