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9 Movies to Check Out at Sundance 2019

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Velvet Buzzsaw / Courtesy of Netflix

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Still from "Apollo 11" / Courtesy of Neon CNN Films

1. Apollo 11

The space mission that spawned humanity’s first moon landing and launched Buzz Aldrin to hero status has never truly been explored beyond the available crackly radio transmissions and black-and-white footage from 1969. Director Todd Douglas Miller has crafted a documentary on the mission featuring never-before-seen 65mm Panavision footage that brings the seminal accomplishment into full-blown, hi-res color, just in time for its 50th anniversary.

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Still from "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" / Courtesy of the Sundance Institute

2. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Zac Efron as Ted Bundy? Sign us tf up! After his 1979 sorority house murders, Bundy was convicted in the first-ever televised murder trial. Director Joe Berlinger, however, frames it as a story told through the perspective of Bundy's girlfriend, Liz Kloepfer.

3. Velvet Buzzsaw

If you somehow forgot director Dan Gilroy's bloodletting work of art Nightcrawler, starring a 30-pounds-lighter Jake Gyllenhaal, then go watch it, if only to prepare yourself for Velvet Buzzsaw. It again stars Gyllenhaal, this time in the role of art critic/gallery owner, Morf Vandewalt, a character in the vein of Miranda Priestly. But there are some supernatural forces at work and a deceased artist's paintings come to life in a very Haunted Mansion way.

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Honey Boy / Courtesy of the Sundance Institute

4. Honey Boy

Shia LaBeouf is making a biopic about his relationship with his father. Directed by Alma Har'el and written by LaBeouf, the story centers on his relationship with Jeffrey, a Vietnam vet and alcoholic. He was trained as a dell'arte clown, who essentially made LaBeouf junior masquerade as a clown on the streets for money as a preteen. LaBeouf would accompany his dad to AA meetings while they lived out of a motel in his Even Stevens days. LaBeouf plays a character loosely based on Jeffrey and Lucas Hedges will play a young Shia.

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Actress Liza Minnelli (right) relaxes at Studio 54 with fashion designer Halston and Bianca Jagger / Bettman/Getty Images

5. Halston

In terms of American fashion designers, there are few rivals for the legendary womenswear designer Halston. He was the cream of the rag trade during the Studio 54 era. Directed by Frédéric Tcheng—the man who had a hand in Making a Murderer's second season and directed Dior and I—brings Halston's rags-to-riches story, and ultimate downfall, to the big screen.

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Courtesy of the Sundance Institute

6. The Sound of Silence

More on the arthouse side of things comes The Sound of Silence, which promises a kooky narrative about a "house tuner" (Peter Sarsgaard) who services New Yorkers to calibrate the sound in their homes to appropriately influence their moods. He diagnoses discordant sounds—a radiator with the whirring of a kitchen appliance, for example—and fixes it. When the tuner visits a new client (Rashida Jones), his formerly airtight theories are questioned and his profession comes under scrutiny.

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Anton Yelchin / Francois Durand/Getty Images

7. Love, Antosha

Anton Yelchin—the formidable young actor and star of films like Star Trek and Like Crazy, who lost his life in 2016 due to a freak car accident in his driveway—will be the subject of Love, Antosha. Director Garret Price's feature debut, the sweeping doc will tell the story of the Russian actor's all-too-short life.

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Honeyland / Courtesy of the Sundance Institute

8. Honeyland

Not to be confused with Honey Boy, the Shia LaBeouf dad biopic, Honeyland is a documentary about a bee hunter. The film is gaining a lot of buzz already. Film critics and the hive mind have really gotten stung by its charm. This story is about Europe's last female bee hunter who has to course correct when too many nomadic beekeepers flout the golden beekeeper rule: Take half the honey, leave half for the bees.

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The Great Hack / Courtesy of the Sundance Institute

9. The Great Hack

Directors Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim tackle the subject of data exploitation in The Great Hack, taking stock of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal through the eyes of the personalities who were involved. Noujaim, who directed 2013's incredible documentary The Square, is back to take on the Zuck and dismantle the chilling ways in which data has become more valuable than oil.

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