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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:



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.



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.



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.


(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.


(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.



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.


(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.


(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.



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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