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Oscar Best Picture Nominees: The Deadline Reviews

Deadline logo Deadline 2/17/2017 Pete Hammond
© Provided by Deadline

Whenever you walk into a theater or screening room to review a movie you never know whether you are about to experience a masterpiece or a complete turkey. In the case of Oscar’s nine nominated Best Picture contenders this year — all of which I reviewed on video and in print for Deadline when they were first released — I am happy to say the Academy and I are totally in sync.

There is not a dud in the bunch, and in fact six of them landed on my own year-end Ten Best List and the other three easily could have filled one of those slots. As a critic it is gratifying to find a group of films as artistically satisfying as the one the Academy has deemed their best of the year, and the ones I was pleased to see before all that acclaim and success which led them to this moment.

Check out my original reviews of each below:

ARRIVAL

(Paramount)

Producers: Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde

The gist: The alien subgenre of sci-fi movies is a crowded and often predictable one, but director Denis Villeneuve has a lot more in mind.

Read all of Deadline’s Arrival stories here.

FENCES

(Paramount)

Producers: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black

The gist: Fences does not come across as a filmed play as much as a permanent cinematic document of a great work to which attention must be paid.

Read all of Deadline’s Fences stories here.

HACKSAW RIDGE

(Lionsgate)

Producers: Bill Mechanic and David Permut

The gist: It is a natural for the long litany of movies about war and courage, and especially a natural for the directing talents of Mel Gibson.

Read all of Deadline’s Hacksaw Ridge stories here.

HELL OR HIGH WATER

(Lionsgate/CBS Films)

Producers: Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn

The gist: It is a must-see for fans of smart, intelligent filmmaking that mixes entertainment with something to think about.

Read all of Deadline’s Hell Or High Water stories here.

HIDDEN FIGURES

(20th Century Fox)

Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi

The gist: Thanks to this engrossing and beautifully told story, these women will be “Hidden Figures” no more.

Read all of Deadline’s Hidden Figures stories here.

LA LA LAND

(Lionsgate)

Producers: Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt

The gist: Damien Chazelle’s film is a gorgeous romantic fever dream of a musical that should hit contemporary audiences right in their sweet spot.

Read all of Deadline’s La La Land stories here.

LION

(The Weinstein Company)

Producers: Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder

The gist: It has all the elements that make a hit, but at its heart is an emotional powerhouse of a true story.

Read all of Deadline’s Lion stories here.

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

(Amazon/Roadside Attractions)

Producers: Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh

The gist: The devastating human drama was pegged from the start to be one of 2016’s most memorable films, and that fact hasn’t changed.

Read all of Deadline’s Manchester stories here.

MOONLIGHT

(A24)

Producers: Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

The gist: This story may seem particular to one community, but it is ultimately much more a tale of self-discovery, and universal in its pure and truthful humanity.

Read all of Deadline’s Moonlight stories here.

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