As past awards shows have proven, big numbers at the box office don't always translate to film quality or critical acclaim.
With the 2016 Academy Awards fast approaching — nominations are announced January 14 and trophies are handed out February 28 — we decided to take a look at the films with the best chances of taking home an Oscar, according to critics' reviews.
To determine the ranking, we found the highest-rated movies eligible for the 2016 Academy Awards on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, two websites that rate movies based on aggregated critic reviews. We calculated the geometric mean of the two scores to determine a final score for each movie. (We didn’t consider movies that didn’t have at least 15 critic reviews on each website).
Some movies getting major awards buzz — like "The Revenant"— don't crack this list because of divided critical reception.
Read on to see which Oscar-eligible films critics loved the most from the past year.
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30. "Best of Enemies"
As the presidential election campaigns of 1968 entered a frenzied summer season, ABC hired William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal to film live on-air coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions. But Buckley, the conservative founder of National Review, and Vidal, a left-wing author with a loud mouth, held deeply opposing political views — along with deep-seated hatred for each other — and the interviews quickly turned into explosive debates, ushering in a new era of captivating television.
This historical documentary delves into a turning point in American political coverage, one that longs for prolonged conflict and anger, and features prudently chosen clips and interviews that crisply illustrate the on- and off-screen drama.
29. "Bridge of Spies"
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up once again inthis Cold War thriller, which features Hanks as a lawyer with the unenviable task of defending a captured Russian spy in court. The film embraces the dark side of the war, reminding the audience of the fear it induced back then while also touching on the current anxieties regarding the war on terror.
Mark Rylance is getting awards consideration for his portrayal in a supporting role of the accused Russian spy with a Golden Globe nomination.
28. "The Martian"
Based on Andy Weir's best-selling novel of the same name,"The Martian"features a stellar performance from Matt Damon as a botanist stranded on Mars and left for dead after a manned mission encounters turbulence.
The biggest hit of the fall season is getting best-picture Oscar buzz as well as best-actor consideration for Damon and best-director for Ridley Scott. At the Golden Globes, the film took home the award for best motion picture comedy or musical, and Damon was named best actor in the same category.
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