London Film Festival 2022: 10 Films You Shouldn’t Miss

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Roll up, roll up! The BFI London Film Festival is back for 2022 – and it’s packed with movies you won’t want to miss. This year’s edition of the biggest film fest in Britain has a packed line-up of some of the most anticipated films of the coming months, from returning auteurs and astonishing new talents.

Overwhelmed by the selection? Well, it’s worth combing over the full line-up to find some of the hidden gems – but Empire has a few suggestions. Whether you’re after murder-mysteries, acerbic comedies, stunning animation, sickeningly good satires, or compelling character dramas, there’s something for everyone here. Read our selection of 10 mustn’t-miss flicks below – and head this way to find the full line-up and snap up any remaining tickets.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Who’s ready for more foul play? Rian Johnson is back with another original whodunnit – this time, a murder-mystery set at a lavish murder-mystery party. Knives Out was a supremely entertaining and smartly-written delight that pulled the rug out from under the audience at regular intervals, and by all accounts Johnson has pulled it off again with the twisting, turning Glass Onion – with more of Daniel Craig’s detective Benoit Blanc, and a fresh all-star cast including Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick and more.

The Banshees Of Inisherin

Martin McDonagh is back – and he’s pulled off an In Bruges reunion with leading men Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. His latest is a dark comedy-drama set in 1920s Ireland starring Farrell and Gleeson as Pádraic and Colm, whose long-term friendship comes to an abrupt halt when Colm cuts off all ties with his former friend with seemingly no explanation. Expect typically sharp writing from McDonagh, a scene-stealing turn from Jenny the Donkey, and a real bittersweetness in a break-up movie of sorts.

Decision To Leave

Darkly funny, rich in characterisation, and oddly romantic, Park Chan-wook’s latest finds him on excellent form – presenting a tale of death, obsession, and abiding passions. Coming from the director of Oldboy and The Handmaiden, that’s a potent combination – and while perhaps more meditative than those films, Decision To Leave is still gripping, stylish, and deeply involving, unspooling the relationship that grows between detective Hai-jun (Park Hae-il) and a widower (Tang Wei) who’s a suspect in her own husband’s killing.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

The director of Pan’s Labyrinth taking on one of the most beloved fairytales of all time? Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio looks to be a perfect marriage of man and material, all crafted in gorgeous stop-motion for del Toro’s first ever animated feature. Co-directed by Mark Gustafson, del Toro’s take on Carlo Collodi’s fable is set against the backdrop of ’30s Fascist Italy, with a visual style informed by Gris Grimly’s beloved illustrations – and a voice cast including Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Ron Perlman, Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz, and Tim Blake Nelson. A no-strings-attached must-see.

The Wonder

With every film, Florence Pugh continues to prove that she’s an astonishing talent – and her latest leading role comes in Sebastián Lelio’s adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel. Set in rural Ireland, Pugh plays Lib Wright, a woman brought in to observe Anna  – a girl who claims not have eaten for four months, and yet remains in apparently full health. With a cast including Niamh Algar, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, and Tom Burke, this one is stacked with talent in front of and behind the camera.

Bones And All

The last time director Luca Guadagnino teamed up with Timothée Chalamet, they made Call Me By Your Name. Taking all that film’s raw feelings and swirling it up with raw meat, their latest collaboration is a cannibalistic love story in which Chalamet’s Lee and Taylor Russell’s Maren go on a blood-soaked road trip across ‘80s America. Guadagnino’s films are always beautifully made – as long as you can stomach his gut-churning tendencies when he heads into horror territory.

Triangle Of Sadness

This satire on sickening wealth bagged the Palme d’Or at Cannes – about a boatload of rich, beautiful people (including Harris Dickinson’s model Carl and his girlfriend Yaya, played by Charlbi Dean) whose luxury trip leaves them shipwrecked and stranded on a desert island. With its puking setpieces and wicked sense of humour, this is one to watch with a big crowd.

The Good Nurse

Adapting the story of serial killer Charlie Cullen, director Tobias Lindholm recruits two Oscar-winning actors to lead his story of murder and corruption in the American health system. Eddie Redmayne is Cullen, a seemingly empathetic nurse who arouses the suspicion of Jessica Chastain’s Amy – a colleague who suspects him of several patient deaths. Lindholm previously directed A Hijacking, while the script comes from award-winner Krysty Wilson-Cairns – oh, and this one’s the Empire Gala.

My Father’s Dragon

The animators at Cartoon Saloon never miss – and their follow-up to WolfWalkers is this beautiful, wholeseome fantasy tale about runaway kid Elmer, voiced by Jacob Tremblay, who finds a pal in good-natured dragon Boris (Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo) and goes on a thrilling, dangerous adventure on Wild Island. Cartoon Saloon’s distinctive animation style is stunning, and made to be seen on the big screen – and with The Breadwinner director Nora Twomey at the helm, this should be another belter from the Irish studio.


Ready for Paul Mescal to break your heart all over again? The Normal People star returns in Charlotte Wells’ drama, about a young father holidaying with his daughter (Frankie Corio) in Turkey, drawn from Wells’ own memories of her childhood and told with real intimacy. With Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins producing and rave reviews from earlier festival appearances, it’s another major work in Mescal’s rapid ascent.

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