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Reviewing 2017's Oscar Best Picture Nominees


Director Denis Villeneuve has a great eye — his images are at once elegant and forbidding — and he has honed the ability to immerse you in unrealwhen he's not trying to navigate through conventional story beats and resolutions. Which might be why ArrivalRead our review of Arrival.; Credit: Paramount Pictures" data-rightCaption="">is the best film the director has made so far: Its atmosphere is its story.
Read our review of Arrival.; Credit: Paramount Pictures
There is a somewhat more conventional narrative thread herethe more humanity fears themwe understandwe understandthe fact remains that most African-Americans have not felt invited to the theater to see it. This screen adaptationone of this country's last true movie starsRead our review of Fences.; Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures" data-rightCaption="">Read our review of Fences.; Credit: Courtesy Paramount PicturesIn some wayswhich draws a kind of road map for how African-Americans were disenfranchised and incarcerated after the abolition of slaveryRead our review of Fences.; Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures" data-rightCaption="">one that gets more complicated as it ages; all the questions about today’s America still have their echoes in Fences.
Read our review of Fences.; Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures
The true-life story of Desmond Doss — a Seventh-Day Adventist whose religious beliefs prevented him from carrying a gun but who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions as a medic during the WWII battle for Okinawa — seems ready-made for director Mel GibsonThe true-life story of Desmond Doss — a Seventh-Day Adventist whose religious beliefs prevented him from carrying a gun but who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions as a medic during the WWII battle for Okinawa — seems ready-made for director Mel GibsonDoss is a pleasantDoss is a pleasantWest Texas–set movie about cars

It's that time of year again, when Hollywood's best movies get kudos for pushing the boundaries of the film industry. This year's Academy Award nominees for Best Picture represent a wide variety of genres, from historical dramas and war films to sci-fi thrillers and vivacious musicals. Check out L.A. Weekly's recent reviews as a crash course on the contenders for 2016's best films.