The Only 10 Oscar-Nominated Movies Worth Watching

The Academy Awards is quickly approaching so you might want to watch some of the nominees beforehand. But you probably have only so much time to do so, and you don’t want to be tricked into watching a boring movie. So which movies are actually worth watching?

We have previously broken down the best and worst Best Picture nominees this year. But now we’re cutting down the long list of nominees to the big players and movies that will actually stick with you. So which ones are worth your time? Here are the ten movies you should definitely see if you haven’t already.

1. Creed

Source: Warner Bros.
Source: Warner Bros.

The next chapter of the Rocky series shows Apollo Creed’s son trying to walk in his father’s foot steps. He does this by trying to get former World Heavyweight Champion, Rocky Balboa to train him. Many people would have probably written off the film for being another bad sequel to a great Oscar-winning movie. But it’s the best installment since the original because it follows a new hero that is trying to make his own legacy.

The movie pretty much got snubbed and is one of the movies that has been used to prove that the Oscars have a diversity problem. The only Oscar nomination the film got was for one of the few white men involved in the movie, Slyvester Stallone who already won for his work in the first film. Michael B. Jordan gives just as good of a performance opposite the acting veteran and will pull at your heartstrings.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Source: Warner Bros.

This movie isn’t the typical Oscar bait, which makes it pretty amazing that it got nominated. The movie takes place in post-apocalyptic Australia where female prisoners take a stand against a tyrant. The movie is beautiful, the action pulls you in, and it’s rare for female characters to be given an interesting arch in this type of movie. The movie is up for ten Oscars including Best Picture, Cinematography, and Directing.

3. Room

Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson in Room
Source: A24 Films

The film tells the story of a young mother and her five-year-old son who are imprisoned in a room by a man and plan to make an escape. It’s a touching story that makes you look at this disastrous situation through the eyes of an innocent child. It’s a tearjerker and Jacob Tremblay does a wonderful job. It’s up for Best Picture, Brie Larson is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Directing, and Writing.

4. Spotlight

Source: Open Road Films
Source: Open Road Films

The true story of how the Boston Globe reported the massive Catholic Church cover up of the child molestation scandals finally comes to the big screen. It not only shows the reporters struggle with their own faith and writing this story. But the movie talks about how something like this was hidden for so long. The film is up for six Oscars including acting nominations for Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo which is very much deserved.

5. The Revenant

Source: New Regency Pictures
Source: New Regency Pictures

Will this finally be Leonardo’s year? If you’re a fan, you might want to watch this movie just in case the answer is yes. He plays a frontiersman who goes on a fur expedition where he gets mauled by a bear and left for dead. He then goes on to get his revenge on the man who left him and killed his son. The movie is beautiful and the story tells the story of frontiersman but also First Nation people and their struggles during that time. It’s nominated for 12 Oscars including Tom Hardy for Supporting Actor who gave an awesome performance opposite the leading man.

6. The Big Short

Source: Paramount Pictures
Source: Paramount Pictures

Four men predict the housing bubble collapse and use their knowledge to take down the banks that caused it. The true story might not seem that interesting compared to the action and drama films being nominated. But for those who have no clue what happened to cause this disastrous financial situation the movie attempts to break it down for the average person. It’s also nominated for five Oscars including Christian Bale’s Supporting Actor nomination.

7. The Danish Girl

Source: Working Title
Source: Working Title

The fictional tale is inspired by artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The story shows the married couple go through Lili’s transiting into a woman. It’s nominated for four Oscars, making Eddie Redmayne a nominee once again. Also Alicia Vikander is nominated for Supporting Actress and she may get it after her amazing work in Ex Machina.

8. Inside Out

Source: Pixar
Source: Pixar

The Pixar movie shows a young child who has to move while dealing with her emotions of Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness who play actual characters in the hilarious and heartwarming animation film. It’s nominated for a Writing and Best Animated Feature Film Oscar. It’s one of the most talked about movies of the year due to the emotional story. It may not have snagged as many nominations as other movies, but it will most likely stick around longer in pop culture’s conversations than the other nominees.

9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Daisy Ridley and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Source: Lucasfilm

Chances are you’ve already seen this nominee since pretty much everyone in the U.S. has multiple times. However we can’t exclude it from the list. The new sequel to the space opera shows Rey and Finn join the fight with the Rebels against the First Order. If you’ve seen the originals, then you’ll love this new installment due to the respect it gives to the first trilogy. It also brings back all of the beloved characters that the fandom holds so dear. The movie garnered five nominations, all for its technical work.

10. Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton - Legendary Pictures
Source: Legendary Pictures

Here is another movie that was brought into the criticism of the Academy over its lack of diversity. The film tells the true story of the Compton hip-hop group, N.W.A. and its struggles with the music industry as well as police brutality. The music will bring you back to the days of the group’s heyday, Jason Mitchell’s acting is amazing, and the story is sadly still relevant today. The movie is nominated for just one award which is Writing (Original Screenplay), and surprisingly, the cast wasn’t even invited to the ceremony. The movie may not be as appreciated as the other nominees, but it is great and will stick with you.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice

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