1. 'Green Room'
The crown jewel of the Midnight Madness programming and a first-rate siege thriller, Jeremy Saulnier's follow-up to Blue Ruin pits a hardcore punk band (led by Anton Yelchin) against white supremacists at a backwoods Portland, Oregon gig gone very, very wrong. From its airtight approach to exploitation filmmaking to its gritty, gory set pieces and perfectly calibrated work from cast — especially Patrick Stewart as the resident racist-in-charge — this movie stood skinhead-and-shoulders above virtually everything else we saw at the fest. If it seems crass or crazy to compare something like this to the major fall releases that were also unspooling in Toronto, then you haven't seen what an director like Saulnier can do with a no-bones premise, in-sync collaborators and a perfectly executed idea — as well as a boxcutter, some pitbulls and a shotgun.