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5 must-see films at Twin Cities Film Fest

'Moonlight'

'Moonlight'

This evening, the Twin Cities Film Festival returns to Kerosates Theaters ShowPlace ICON in St. Louis Park for its 11-day film extravaganza. The festival is packed with Hollywood releases, thought-provoking documentaries, indies, and even a few flicks made here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see all of them (unless you have a TARDIS), so below are five selections you should definitely have on your list.

Twin Cities Film Fest

Kerasotes Showplace ICON Theatre at West End
$12 per screening; $50 for five-pack pass

Virtual Revolution

Genre: Science fiction, action, suspense.

What it's about: It's Paris in the year 2047. Most of the population spends their time online and engrossed in virtual worlds. They want nothing to do with the real world, and the companies responsible have no problem with it. But problems arise when people start turning up dead. Shadow agent Nash must track down those threatening the system.

Why you should go: The previews show plenty of action, including gun play and sword fighting, to satisfy you until the next Star Wars movie, and should help with those Game of Thrones withdrawals.

If you go: Friday, October 21 at 10:30 a.m.; Monday, October 24 at 1:40 p.m.

The Trans List

Genre: Documentary, LBGTQ.

What it's about: Trans Americans share their experiences in interviews conducted by trans author and advocate Janet Mock.

Why you should go: Transgender rights and transphobia have become buzzwords during this never-ending election season. But these issues are way more than a hashtag on Twitter. Now's your chance to hear about the experiences of individuals in the community.

If you go: Friday, October 21 at 12:45 p.m.; Saturday, October 29 at 12:30 p.m.

Trolls

Genre: Family.

What it's about: Grumpy Troll Branch (Justin Timberlake) accompanies optimistic Poppy (Anna Kendrick) as they journey to save the Troll population from the monstrous Bergens. From the creators of Shrek, Trolls is a smart, animated comedy filled with music and adventure.

Why you should go: It's already given us one of the most feel-good songs of the year, Timberlake's “Can't Stop that Feeling.” If you want more of that feeling, why not bring the family?

If you go: Saturday, October 22 at 3 and 3:15 p.m.

Lake Runs Red

Genre: Horror, suspense.

What it's about: Two college students venture to a secluded cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota to study for the final exams of their college careers. An uninvited visitor shows up, too. He's not there to study.

Why you should go: Just in time for Halloween, this creepy flick has local roots: It was filmed in Duluth, using a cast and crew from the Twin Cities. While you're freaking out, see if you can spot the local haunts.

If you go: Wednesday, October 26 at 7 (SOLD OUT) and 10:45 p.m.

Moonlight

Genre: Drama.

What it's about: The film is based on In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, a play by award-winning African American playwright Tarell Alvin McCarney about his own childhood. It tells the story of Chiron, a gay man who comes to terms with his sexuality in '80s America. He he does so while growing up in the rough Miami neighborhood of Liberty City during the peak of President Reagan's War on Drugs. While he struggles with the temptations of the drug world, his mom gradually becomes addicted to crack. Chiron's story is told through three significant chapters of his life: one as a boy, as a teen, and as an adult.

Why you should go: It's not a documentary, but Moonlight is based on the experiences of both McCarney and African American writer-director Barry Jenkins, who also grew up in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City in the '80s. Brad Pitt is on board as one of the executive producers, and it already has a 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you go: Saturday, October 29 at 8:30 p.m.