eenwriter: Mindy KalingCast: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Paul Walter Hauser, Reid Scott, Amy RyanA big-name late-night host doesn t know what she is getting into when she hires her only female writer (initially, for diversity reasons). The two women bond as they try to save the show.Why we want to see it: Mindy Kaling and Dame Emma Thompson in a Larry Sanders-style buddy comedy!? That s all we needed to know to get us pumped for this film, which will mark Kaling s debut as a feature screenwriter.Native Son (2019) 60%(Photo by Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Matthew Libatique.)Director: Rashid JohnsonScreenwriter: Suzan-Lori ParksCast: Ashton Sanders, Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, KiKi Layne, Bill Camp, Sanaa LathanThis modernized adaptation of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel follows a young African-American man named Bigger Thomas who takes a job working for a powerful Chicago family.Why we want to see it: Two Barry Jenkins alums – Moonlight s teenage Chiron, Ashton Sanders, and If Beale Street Could Talk star Kiki Layne – team up in this highly anticipated coming-of-age drama from playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. With Love, Simon s Nick Robinson and Sanaa Lathan on board, this opening-night film already has a ton of buzz.Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) 61%Director and screenwriter: Dan GilroyCast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge, Natalia DyerThe supernatural wreaks havoc on members of the L.A. art scene in this bizarre tale of newly discovered old paintings that have a lot more going on than what you first see on the canvas.Why we want to see it: The team behind Nightcrawler is back – do we really have to say anything else? (That film remains Certified Fresh at 95%). Maybe not, but we will. The trailer for Velvet Buzzsaw, released earlier this month, set the Internet abuzz with its rich and disturbing art-revenge imagery, raising hopes that this will be a return to form for Gilroy, whose 2017 film Roman J. Israel, Esq. is Rotten at 52%.The Report (2019) 82%(Photo by Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Atsushi Nishijima.)Director and screenwriter: Scott Z. BurnsCast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Ted Levine, Maura Tierney, Michael C. HallThe Report takes us back to the anything-goes days of post-9/11, and follows the story of Daniel Jones, lead investigator for the U.S. Senate’s study into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.Why we want to see it: Adam Driver makes incredibly bold choices: he s played a bus-driving poet in Paterson, our favorite emo space villain in the Star Wars sequels, and a one-armed redneck in Logan Lucky. Driver got plenty of critical love for his turn last year in BlacKkKlansman, and we expect more for him as he takes the lead in this prestige drama from Contagion and Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z. Burns.Official Secrets (2019) 82%(Photo by Courtesy of Sundance Institute.)Director: Gavin HoodScreenwriters: Gregory Bernstein, Sara BernsteinCast: Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Rhys IfansAnother post-9/11 tale, this one set across the pond. Official Secrets is the true story of British Intelligence whistleblower Katharine Gun, who leaked a top-secret NSA memo exposing an illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council ahead of the Iraq War.Why we want to see it: The Doctor, Voldemort, Ozymandias, and Elizabeth Bennett walk into a political thriller Yes, this cast is stacked with Oscar-caliber British actors. Some have dubbed the real-life events the film is based on as the case of the British Edward Snowden – we hope Hood s film is more like the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour than Oliver Stone s Razzie-nominated Snowden. The Sundance Film Festival runs January 24-February 3.