2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival - First Films


More on the first 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival selections (in alphabetical order):

  • American Animals - U.S. narrative | 116 min | written and directed by Bart Layton

Official Selection - Sundance Film Festival  The unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious art heists in US history.

  • Bodied - U.S. narrative | 120 min | directed by Joseph Kahn

Winner - AFI Audience Award  A progressive graduate student finds success and sparks outrage when his interest in battle rap as a thesis subject becomes a competitive obsession.

  • Eighth Grade - U.S. narrative | 94 min | written and directed by Bo Burnham

Official Selection - Sundance Film Festival  A teenager (Elsie Fisher, Despicable Me) tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth-grade year before leaving to start high school.

  • First Reformed - U.S. narrative | 108 min | written and directed by Paul Schrader

Official Selection - Venice Film Festival  A former military chaplain (Ethan Hawke) is wracked by grief over the death of his son. Mary is a member of his church whose husband, a radical environmentalist, commits suicide, setting the plot in motion.

  • Forever 'B' - U.S. documentary | 91 min | directed by Skye Borgman

The twisting, turning, stranger-than-fiction true story of the Brobergs, a naive, church-going Idaho family that fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter.

  • The Guilty - Denmark narrative | 85 min | directed by Gustav Möller

Winner - Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival  A police officer assigned alarm dispatch duty enters a race against time when he answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman.

  • Revenge -  France narrative | 108 min | written and directed by Coralie Fargeat

Official Selection - Toronto International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Sundance Film Festival   Never take your mistress on an annual guys' getaway, especially one devoted to hunting - a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.

Additional films, special events, attending filmmakers and guests will be announced in the coming weeks; the best way to ensure access to every aspect of the week-long event is to secure a festival pass, just $150 and available online here. The Chicago Critics Film Festival and the CFCA gratefully acknowledge the support of festival sponsors, including Abt, the Chicago-based electronics and appliances store, returning this year.

Runner-up for Best Film Festival in the Chicago Reader’s 2017 “Best of Chicago” poll, the CCFF annually features a selection of acclaimed films chosen by members of the organization, a combination of recent festival favorites and as-yet-undistributed works from a variety of filmmakers, from established Oscar winners to talented newcomers. It is the only current example of a major film critics group that hosts its own festival. Follow the CFCA and the festival on Twitter at @chicagocritics and on Facebook here.

James Laczkowski