Best Golden Globe-nominated films
Best Golden Globe-nominated films
Golden Globe Nomination Day is an important reminder that awards season is here. The months of binging “Friends” are over; it’s time to leave the couch and go experience some honest-to-goodness cinema. Or, you know, just watch the nominees as they arrive to your preferred streaming platform.
The Golden Globes, best known as Hollywood’s Drunkest Night, also serves as a nice barometer for which films will get the big prizes at this year’s Academy Awards. While history shows that the Globes' voting body—made up of the Hollywood Foreign Press, which tends to favor star-power and aggressive face-to-face campaigning—is not a great tester of who will actually win the Oscars, they do tend to show which movies have awards season heat.
This year, the Globe’s light shone most brightly on the still-unreleased Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” which grabbed six nominations. “Green Book,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “The Favourite,” and “A Star Is Born” received five nominations a piece. But the eventual Academy Award field still remains unsettled in a year without an overwhelming favorite. So in order to be a truly prepared awards season junkie, it’s safest to see all 32 of the nominated films. The Stacker team has compiled a list of every film that garnered a Golden Globe nomination and ranked them from lowest to highest based on their Metacritic score (an aggregated score based on every published review on a Metacritic-accredited publication).
Read on to study up and become the know-it-all at your Oscar party this February.
Director: Adam McKay
Though the buzz out of Hollywood (as evidenced by its six nominations) is that “Vice" will be a critical darling, all critical reviews will be held under embargo until Dec. 10. This film by “Step Brothers" and “The Big Short" director Adam McKay will most likely not remain at #32 of this list once critical reviews begin rolling out ahead of its Christmas release. Starring a transformed Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, “Vice" tells the story of the George W. Bush's controversial vice president. The film received six Golden Globe nominations: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture—Musical or Comedy. It is considered a Best Picture contender at the Academy Awards.
#31. Mary Poppins Returns
Director: Rob Marshall
This film could also shoot up this list when its embargo is lifted. This Disney live-action/animation hybrid stars Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel-Miranda of “Hamilton" fame, who were both nominated for Golden Globes for their performances. The film will be released on Dec. 19 and is projected to make a whopping $65 million during its opening weekend.
#30. Bohemian Rhapsody
Director: Bryan Singer
The Queen musical biopic had a messy and well-publicized path to the big screen, with issues between actors and the band, a fired director, and other sordid tales. Sacha Baron Cohen was first rumored to play frontman Freddie Mercury, but producers eventually gave the part to Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot" fame. When the film finally did hit theaters, critics lauded Malek and gave the rest of the project a collective “meh." Malek received a Best Actor nomination for his impressive portrayal, and in spite of the lukewarm reviews, the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture—Drama at this year's awards.
#29. Beautiful Boy
Director: Felix Van Groeningen
“Beautiful Boy" tells the heart-wrenching true story of a father and son wrestling with the younger's addiction over the course of many years. It's based on the best-selling memoirs by David and Nic Sheff; Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet both give affecting performances portraying the duo. Chalamet, who is quickly distinguishing himself as a generational talent, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Nic.
Director: Karyn Kusama
“Destroyer," initially released on the film festival circuit before being purchased by Annapurna, will hit theaters this Christmas. The film tells the story of a hard-bitten Los Angeles Police Department detective who thinks she's found a way to fix a dark moment from her past by diving back into a brutal gang's orbit. The critical reception has been mixed, save for one key element: Nicole Kidman's performance as the lead. She is nominated for Best Actress at this year's Golden Globes.
Director: Nadine Labaki
This film by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival (and received a 15-minute standing ovation) when it premiered in May of this year. “Capernaum" tells the story of a street smart youth who eventually sues his parents for bringing him into the world. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes, and is expected to compete for the same prize at this year's Academy Awards.
#26. Never Look Away
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
This three-hour film, nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year's Golden Globes, covers 30 years in the life of its protagonist, a German-born visual artist who eventually becomes a renowned member of the West German art scene. The main character, played by Tom Schilling, is loosely based on the artist Gerhard Richter. Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is no stranger to critical acclaim: He won the Academy Award for his film “The Lives of Others."
#25. Green Book
Director: Peter Farrelly
Directed by one half of the Farrelly Brothers (“There's Something About Mary," “Dumb and Dumber"), “Green Book" is a striking departure from Peter Farrelly's earlier work. The film follows Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) and Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) on a tour through the Southern United States in 1962; Shirley is a world-renowned African-American pianist and Lip is a bigoted white man in need of a job. The film flopped, receiving some criticism for focusing on Lip's story and flattening the idea of racism. However, both Mortensen and Ali got rave reviews, and both were nominated for Golden Globes. Farrelly was also nominated for the screenwriting and directing award, and the film was nominated for Best Picture—Musical or Comedy.
#24. Ralph Breaks the Internet
Directors: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
The sequel to animated megahit “Wreck-It Ralph" follows Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) as they leave the world of arcade games and head for the internet. This is a Disney movie, and the directors take advantage of the studio's massive store of intellectual property, including creating a memorable scene with all of the Disney princesses. “Ralph Breaks the Internet" was nominated for Best Animated Picture; its predecessor was nominated for the award at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars.
#23. Boy Erased
Director: Joel Edgerton
Directed and adapted for screen by Joel Edgerton (“Zero Dark Thirty"), “Boy Erased" tells the story of Jared, a 19-year-old son of a preacher (played by Lucas Hedges) who is outed to his small-town parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe). They force Jared to attend gay conversion therapy or else be shunned from his community. Hedges was nominated for his performance, and “Revelation" by singer-songwriter Troye Sivan is in the running for Best Original Song.
#22. Stan & Ollie
Director: Jon S. Baird
“Stan & Ollie" tells the story of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, who performed as the world-famous comedy duo Laurel and Hardy from the 1920s to the 1950s. This film, starring Steve Coogan (Laurel) and John C. Reilly (Hardy) follows the duo on a 1953 British tour, at a moment much past their Golden Age. The film premiered to rave reviews at the London Film Festival and will be released on Dec. 28 by Sony Picture Classics, who bought it during a viewing for distributors at the Toronto Film Festival. Reilly was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.
#21. Crazy Rich Asians
Director: Jon M. Chu
Based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan, “Crazy Rich Asians" came through theaters like a critical and commercial hurricane. The film has made almost $240 million on a $30 million budget and holds a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also holds significance by hopefully opening a door for many more Asian-American stories to get funded in Hollywood. It's nominated for Best Picture—Musical or Comedy; Constance Wu (who stars as Rachel Chu, a New Yorker who is dragged into her boyfriend's elitist Singapore orbit for a wedding) is nominated for Best Actress—Musical or Comedy.
Director: Jason Reitman
From the director of “Up in the Air," this film offers an incredibly dark take on modern parenthood. Marlo, played by Charlize Theron, is a mother of three who is suffering from postpartum depression and burnt out by motherhood; she's saved by Tully, a fascinating night nanny (Mackenzie Davis). Theron is nominated for Best Actress—Musical or Comedy for her multifaceted portrayal. Despite the distinction, it's a stretch to call this a comedy; it's heavy.
#19. A Private War
Director: Matthew Heineman
“A Private War" tells the true story of fearless war reporter Marie Colvin, who is portrayed by Rosamund Pike in the film. Colvin covered foreign wars for Britain's Sunday Times for almost three decades before her tragic death in Syria. Director Matthew Heineman was nominated for an Oscar for his documentary “Cartel Land"; this is his first narrative feature. Pike was nominated for Best Actress—Drama, and “Requiem for a Private War," the original song by Annie Lennox, was also nominated.
#18. The Wife
Director: Björn Runge
Based on the novel by Meg Wolitzer, “The Wife" tells the story of a 30-year marriage and what it means to be the wife of a “great man." The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and has since seen a limited release in the United States. It's well liked by critics, but the true highlight is one of Glenn Close's career-best performances. Close is nominated for Best Actress—Drama, and is one of the early frontrunners for the same category at this year's Oscars.
#17. At Eternity's Gate
Director: Julian Schnabel
From the Oscar-winning director of “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," this film is an artistic biopic of Vincent Van Gogh's life that's based on his letters and the filmmaker's imagination. Willem Dafoe stars as the legendary painter, and is nominated for Best Actor—Drama for his portrayal.
Director: Lukas Dhont
Director Lukas Dhont's debut feature premiered at Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Caméra D'Or and purchased by Netflix. The film tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who strives to be a ballerina, while also wrestling with the fact that she was born into the body of a boy. Its star, dancer Victor Polster, won Best Actor at Cannes. “Girl" is nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year's Academy Awards.
#14. Incredibles 2 (tie)
Director: Brad Bird
It took 14 years to make the sequel to Pixar's box-office behemoth, which made $633 million in 2004, but “Incredibles 2" did not disappoint: It has made $1.24 billion so far. The animated sequel brings back Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter as superheroes and parents tasked with raising kids and saving the world from supervillains. “Incredibles 2" is nominated for Best Animated Feature.
#14. The Old Man & the Gun (tie)
Director: David Lowery
This is a Robert Redford film, first and foremost. The 82-year-old movie star plays Forrest Tucker, a man who broke out of San Quentin State Prison at age 70 only to dive back into a life of crime. Redford is nominated for Best Actor—Musical or Comedy; it's a beautiful final note for Redford's career to end upon.
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
This Japanese animated feature by director Mamoru Hosoda tells the story of Kun, a first-born son who is dealing with the arrival of his younger sister Mirai and how the family is subsequently changed. The story is sprawling and gorgeously animated, with Kun traveling space and time to learn valuable lessons. “Mirai," which translates to “future," is nominated for Best Animated Feature.
#12. Isle of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson
Every Wes Anderson film is a beautifully appointed dollhouse stuffed with a jaw-dropping (and often neurotic) cast—they are recognizably his from the first frame. His second animated film after 2009's “Fantastic Mr. Fox," “The Isle of Dogs" tells the story of a dictatorial Japanese mayor who exiles his city's dogs to Trash Island and a little boy who risks his life to save his best furry friend. The film's stop-motion animation and direction make it one of the most visually striking films of the year. It's nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score; the film's composer, Alexandre Desplat, is a two-time Oscar winner.
Director: Spike Lee
This Spike Lee Joint tells the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American detective in the 1970s who sets out to expose the local Colorado Springs Ku Klux Klan. On the strength of two exceptional performances, John David Washington as Stallworth and Adam Driver as his colleague, “BlacKkKlansman" is thought-provoking and an absolute trip. Washington (son of Denzel) and Driver are both nominated in the acting categories; Lee is up for Best Director and the film is nominated for Best Picture—Drama. In turn, the film and its stars continue to be players in the Oscar conversation.
#10. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
It seems like the internet floods with stories of superhero fatigue every six months, and recently, the subtopic of superhero-fatigue-fatigue has even begun to pop up. But “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" manages to hit the sweet spot for both superhero lovers and the superhero-fatigued alike. The animated film follows Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales, a new Spider-Man in a world where far too many people and animals can wear the web-slinger's mask. Nominated for Best Animated Feature, the film is a critical hit—with a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes so far.
#9. First Man
Director: Damien Chazelle
The much-anticipated third film by the director of “La La Land" and “Whiplash" suffered at the box office, perhaps because it became a lightning rod for right-wing outrage, though more likely because it faced off with “Venom" and “A Star is Born." Either way, the critically acclaimed biopic starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, once projected as an Oscar favorite, now seems an Academy Award longshot. It's Claire Foy, not Damien Chazelle or Gosling, who has the best chance to pick up trophies this award season: Her performance nominated her for Best Supporting Actress. Justin Hurwitz got the nomination for Best Original Score.
#8. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Director: Marielle Heller
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?" tells the story of ill-mannered biographer Lee Israel, who turns to document forgery in an effort to pay her bills. Directed by Marielle Heller, the film is a showcase for a more serious side of Melissa McCarthy and of the always wonderful Richard E. Grant. Both actors are nominated for their portrayals, and seem likely to continue getting nominated throughout this awards season.
#7. If Beale Street Could Talk
Director: Barry Jenkins
Based on the novel by James Baldwin, “If Beale Street Could Talk" is an affecting love story set in 1970s Harlem. Directed by Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight"), the film features a star-making performance from 26-year-old KiKi Layne, along with incredible work from Stephan James, Regina King, and Brian Tyree Henry. The film was nominated for Best Picture—Drama while King got the Best Supporting Actress nod. Jenkins was nominated for the screenwriting award.
#6. Black Panther
Director: Ryan Coogler
February used be a Hollywood Dump Month, when studios would put out movies they knew wouldn't win awards or do numbers at the box office. But in the Age of Disney, which brings endless releases from endless franchises, February is back in play for the major studios. No film proved that more than “Black Panther," the absolute megahit and cultural phenomenon by Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station," “Creed"). At the time of its early 2018 release, critics were already calling for “Black Panther" to be the first of the Marvel Extended Universe to be considered for major awards. The buzz has quieted down slightly (February is a long time ago in Hollywood time), but Coogler's film is nominated for Best Picture—Drama, along with two music awards, at this year's Globes.
#5. A Star Is Born
Director: Bradley Cooper
The cultural conversation around “A Star Is Born" was a fascinating window into the internet in 2018. The trailer was meme-worthy; Bradley Cooper-as-auteur was eye-roll inducing; and then, incredibly, the film was amazing enough to create real deserved awards-season momentum. A fourth remake of the 1937 film, this one stars Cooper as Jackson Maine, an aging country star who meets a young waitress with a truly earth-shattering voice and talent. Lady Gaga plays the star, who is eventually born, and is the true revelation of the film: She delivers an incredible performance and seems like the likely frontrunner for Best Actress at the Oscars. The film is nominated for five Golden Globes: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Gaga), and Best Song (also Gaga).
#4. Eighth Grade
Director: Bo Burnham
Hatched fully from the mind of YouTuber Bo Burnham, this film follows Kayla, an overlooked and shy eighth grader navigating the last weeks of middle school. Burnham has been rightly lauded for his incisive and often hilarious look at the Darwinistic messiness of pubescent middle schoolers. But the real standout is Elsie Fisher, who stars as Kayla and is nominated for Best Actress—Comedy or Musical. The 15 year old celebrated news of the nomination with donuts before, of course, heading to school.
#3. The Favourite
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Yorgos Lanthimos, the incredibly creative Greek director behind “Dogtooth" and “The Lobster," directed this strange, sometimes disturbing, and often hilarious look at the court of Queen Anne. The film pits an aristocrat (Rachel Weisz) and a new servant (Emma Stone) against each other in a battle for the affections of the eccentric queen (played by Olivia Colman). All three women are nominated for acting Golden Globes, and the film has steadily gained steam as more people see it.
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
This Japanese film, written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, tells the story of a family who steals to live, but also seems drawn to the life of crime in general. Things take a turn when the family kidnaps a child. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, “Shoplifters" is absolutely adored by critics: It has a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
From the Academy Award-winning director of “Gravity" (who also dreamed up classics like “Children of Men" and “Y Tu Mamá También"), “Roma" enters this year's awards season with a real chance to win Best Picture. Some factors may hold it back: It's in black and white, it's in Spanish, and it's produced by Netflix, the arch-nemesis of much of the film world. But Cuarón's story of a family in Mexico City in the 1970s is beautiful, impactful, and monumental enough that it may win the ultimate award anyways. The film is strangely in the Best Foreign Language Film category rather the overall Best Picture—Drama field, but it's a lock to be nominated for Best Picture and other major categories at the Academy Awards. Cuarón is also nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Globes.