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Twin Cities Film Fest: 5 must-see films

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This evening, the Twin Cities Film Festival starts its 10-day party at Kerasotes Theaters ShowPlace ICON in St. Louis Park. The festival screens Minnesota-made films, indie flicks, and works garnering Oscar buzz on a national level. This year's schedule is packed with so many movies that you won't be able to catch them all (unless your name is Hermione Granger and you have a time turner). Below are five selections that you should definitely check out.

For those looking for a feel-good, inspirational story:

A New High

Genre: Documentary

What it's about: This documentary will open the festival tonight. A New High is about an ex-Army Ranger who works with the Union Gospel Mission homeless shelter in Seattle, taking victims of addiction and abuse on a journey up Mt. Ranier, one of the highest peaks in North America. This one's for those who are looking to be inspired by real people who are trying to take back control of their lives by facing an obstacle most wouldn't even dare to attempt.

If you go: Wednesday, October 21 at 5:30 p.m.; Friday, October 30 at 12:30 p.m.

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This one has Oscar buzz:

Room

Genre: Drama, rated R

What it's about: Room received critical acclaim at both the Telluride and Toronto film festivals. It stars Brie Larson (United States of Tara) and Jacob Tremblay as Ma and her son, Jack. For five years, or Jack's whole life, they've lived in captivity in a room that Ma has convinced Jack is the whole world. Once they finally escape Jack discovers the rest of the world, and they both learn to adjust. The film also stars Joan Allen and William H. Macy, and is must-see for anyone looking for powerful performances by some of today's finest talent, both well-established and up-and-coming.

If you go: Wednesday, October 21 at 8 p.m.

For those looking for something a little dark:

Too Late

Genre: Drama

What it's about: This movie stars the TCFF's special guest, Academy Award-nominee and Alexandria, Minnesota, native John Hawkes (TCFF's guest of honor) as a private investigator who is given the task of finding a missing woman from his past. The preview includes scenes with a song that gives it a dark feel. Oh, and Rider Strong (Boy Meets World) is in it. If you're in the mood for something that's dark and different, this may be your thing.

If you go: Monday, October 26 at 8:30 p.m., and on Saturday, October 31 at 10:15 a.m.

For those who never miss a game:

In Football We Trust

Genre: Documentary

What it's about: As we're in the thick of football season right now, this powerful documentary centers on a Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, Utah. It follows four players who use football as a (hopeful) means to escape the violent life they were brought up in, and make it into the NFL. The documentary was filmed over a four-year period, and provides a very human look at the struggle those growing up around gang life go through. If you're looking for a true story of struggle and determination combined with one of the most popular sports in the country, then this has touchdown written all over it.

If you go: Wednesday, October 28 at 4:00 p.m.

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For those who love tension-filled flicks:

The Quiet Hour

Genre: Sci-fi drama, thriller

What it's about: Alien machines have invaded Earth, and are sucking up all of its natural resources, and killing humans without hesitation. Dakota Blue Richards (The Golden Compass, Skins) stars as a strong girl who must fight off a group of bandits who want her family's livestock, and the solar panels that protect from the alien invaders. There's also an intruder in a military uniform who may or may not be lying about being able to help her and her blind brother. This looks like great sci-fi flick that will keep you on the edge your seat until the credits roll.

If you go: Saturday, October 31 at 2:45 p.m.

For those looking for a true tale of survival: 

The 33

Genre: Drama, PG-13

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What it's about: Starring Cote de Pablo (NCIS), James Brolin (CBS' Life in Pieces), and Antonio Banderas, The 33 is based on the true story of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underneath a collapsed mine for 69 days. It's a movie about keeping hope and the determination to survive.

If you go: Saturday, October 31 at 10:00 p.m.