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Best 2020 Oscar-nominated movies, according to critics

  • #26. Judy

    - Director: Rupert Goold
    - Metascore: 66
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Runtime: 118 min
    - Nominations: 2

    The biopic “Judy” is based on the Broadway play “End of the Rainbow,” with both pieces following actress Judy Garland in the final months of her life. Renee Zellweger inhabits the role, turning in a performance that critics thought was one of the best of the year. The Academy appeared to agree, giving Zellweger a nomination for Best Actress and also nominating her transformation into Garland through the Best Makeup and Hairstyling category.

  • #25. Missing Link

    - Director: Chris Butler
    - Metascore: 68
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 93 min
    - Nominations: 1

    Laika, the animation studio behind “Coraline” and “Kubo and the Two Strings” had a new critical hit with “Missing Link.” This stop-motion film told the story of a Sasquatch (Zach Galifianakis) who enlists the help of an English explorer (Hugh Jackman) to travel through the Himalayas to meet his cousins. The film unexpectedly beat out its Disney competitors at the Golden Globes for the Best Animated Feature category, and “Missing Link” is once again in the mix at the Oscars in the same category.

  • #24. Corpus Christi

    - Director: Jan Komasa
    - Metascore: 68
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Runtime: 115 min
    - Nominations: 1

    The Polish entry for Best International Feature Film is “Corpus Christi,” which follows a young criminal released from jail who accidentally becomes a priest at a small parish. The former prisoner had a spiritual reawakening in jail, and upon his release is not allowed to officially become a priest; he falls into the role after becoming mistaken for one. The film has already earned recognition from a number of film festivals around the globe, making it a contender at this year’s Oscars.

  • #23. Rocketman

    - Director: Dexter Fletcher
    - Metascore: 69
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 121 min
    - Nominations: 1

    Although “Rocketman” could be classified as a biopic, this film based on the life of pop star Elton John is more of a fantasy musical. Taron Egerton plays John, from his start as Reginald Dwight to his progression into a glamour star, while also dealing with his sexuality, his use of drugs, and an abusive manager. While the film was well liked by critics, it fell short of nominations in almost all Oscars categories, although a new original Elton John song from Elton and his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin (played by Jamie Bell in the film), called “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” earned a nomination for Best Original Song.

  • #22. Richard Jewell

    - Director: Clint Eastwood
    - Metascore: 69
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Runtime: 131 min
    - Nominations: 1

    Clint Eastwood’s latest is “Richard Jewell,” the real-life story of the eponymous figure who was a major subject in the news after the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing. Jewell, played by Paul Walter Hauser, was initially praised as a hero during the ordeal for finding the bomb, but then accused of having placed the bomb himself, leading to a stressful media blitz. While some certain depictions garnered criticism, the performances themselves were praised, namely Kathy Bates’ Best Supporting Actress-nominated performance as Jewell’s mother.

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  • #21. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

    - Director: Dean DeBlois
    - Metascore: 71
    - IMDb user rating: 7.5
    - Runtime: 104 min
    - Nominations: 1

    The third film of the popular Dreamworks Animation series, “How to Train Your Dragon,” sees protagonist Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) acting as the chief of his Viking village, dealing with overcrowding on his island and a ruthless dragon hunter on his trail. “The Hidden World” wraps up a trilogy and sees all of the characters reach maturity, with critics enjoying the character development that accompanied the stellar animation. Like the first two films, “The Hidden World” grabbed a nomination for Best Animated Feature.

  • #20. The Two Popes

    - Director: Fernando Meirelles
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Runtime: 125 min
    - Nominations: 3

    Jonathan Pryce portrayed then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who would become Pope Francis, while Anthony Hopkins portrays his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, transitioning out of his role. With the former soon to succeed the latter, the two Catholic figures discuss their differing views and philosophies on the future of the Church. Along with a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, the film also grabbed acting nominations for both Pryce and Hopkins.

  • #19. Les Misérables

    - Director: Ladj Ly
    - Metascore: 78
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Runtime: 102 min
    - Nominations: 1

    While it may share the same name as the Victor Hugo novel, “Les Misérables” is director Ladj Ly’s expansion of his short film of the same name, which tells a more contemporary story. Inspired by the 2005 Paris riots, this 2019 film follows members of an Anti-Crime Brigade who find themselves absorbed in a deeper civilian underworld. The film thrilled critics, and it represents France in the category of Best International Feature Film.

  • #18. Avengers: Endgame

    - Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
    - Metascore: 78
    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Runtime: 181 min
    - Nominations: 1

    Wrapping up “The Infinity Saga” that began with “Iron Man” in 2008, “Avengers: Endgame” represented the end of an era for Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are reeling from a cataclysmic loss in “Avengers: Infinity War” and make a desperate play to restore their losses, with many events and characters from previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films being revisited. Although “Endgame” became the highest-grossing film of all time, the Academy only recognized the film’s visuals with a Best Visual Effects nomination.

  • #17. 1917

    - Director: Sam Mendes
    - Metascore: 79
    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Runtime: 119 min
    - Nominations: 10

    Shot to have the appearance of one long take, “1917” is an epic World War I film from director Sam Mendes. George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman play two young British soldiers who must race against time and warn troops of an impending surprise attack by the Germans. The film was considered by critics to be tense and realistic, earning nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects, and the many deafening noises of war garnered nominations for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

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