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Get Familiar With the 2018 Oscar Nominees

Here’s a guide to this year’s contenders, how to watch them, and what you need to know about them

A24/Universal/Fox Searchlight/Focus Features/Ringer illustration

We can neither confirm nor deny that Kevin Love missed the majority of the Cavs’ matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday to stream some Oscar contenders, but if he did, we wouldn’t blame him. This was a really, really good year for movies. But we also totally don’t blame anyone who didn’t have time to see every Oscar-worthy film in theaters, or to even figure out which movies were the Oscar-worthy ones. And that’s why we’ve made this handy guide to this year’s Academy Awards contenders. Below, you can see which Oscar-nominated movies are available to stream, as well as choice thoughts about some of the films from The Ringer’s critics. Don’t worry—there’s plenty of time to catch up before the Oscars in March.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

What it’s nominated for: Best Documentary Feature
Where you can watch it: Amazon (for rent), iTunes (for rent)

Baby Driver

What it’s nominated for: Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing
Where you can watch it: iTunes (for rent), Google Play (for rent)

The Ringer review: “The movie is a gust of fresh air: a feature-length quotation mark of a movie that somehow doesn’t feel too hung up on its references. [Edgar] Wright’s originality as an artist is to refurbish old tricks, old tropes, in his own wackadoo image. And the joy of Baby Driver is that, though you’ve seen versions of this story before, many times over, you’ve never seen it done quite like this.”

Beauty and the Beast

What it’s nominated for: Best Costume Design, Best Production Design
Where you can watch it: Netflix

The Ringer review: “Everyone old enough to remember the 1991 movie’s release is an adult now. Is that why the movie feels so normie and adult? Surely no child cares whether Belle’s mother died of the plague, or whether the prince’s dad was mean to him — but adults who need their drama well rounded, for their characters to have ‘arcs,’ certainly do. The more of this kind of material the movie adds, the less whimsical and magical it gets, and the harder it becomes to see the point of calling this a fantasy.”

Blade Runner 2049

Warner Bros.

What it’s nominated for: Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing
Where you can watch it: Google Play (for rent)

The Ringer review: “The world of Blade Runner 2049 feels remarkably tactile, an unholy mix of blood and soil, dust and smog, surfaces jagged and smooth. Once again, as per the original, we’re given an L.A. that’s rainy and luminescent with sky-scraping avatars of commerce. In the hands of Roger Deakins, one of the very best cinematographers working today, the way the film looks—the way surfaces seem to breathe with life and intelligence—becomes the star of the movie. Deakins’s images and the film’s overall design make me want to abandon the plot and sail off into my own adventures.”

The Big Sick

What it’s nominated for: Best Original Screenplay
Where you can watch it: Amazon Prime, iTunes (for rent)

The Ringer review:The Big Sick is the triumphant announcement of two new and refreshing voices with a masterful command of a largely dormant genre. But it’s also the latest iteration of the Judd Apatow Production, a designation with tropes and tics unto its own. Boosting performers has gone from a pleasant side effect of Apatow’s early career to, in 2017, a primary aim of his current one; though it’s far from the first, The Big Sick is one of the most successful products of Apatow’s model to date.”

The Boss Baby

What it’s nominated for: Best Animated Feature (no, seriously)
Where you can watch it: Netflix

The Ringer review: “Is there anything funny about The Boss Baby?”

Call Me by Your Name

Sony Pictures Classics

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor (Timothée Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song

The Ringer review:Call Me by Your Name makes you remember how it felt to realize, as you became an adult, that your best experiences are ephemeral—that by the time you recognize an experience for what it is, it’s already a memory.”

Coco

What it’s nominated for: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Song

The Ringer review:Coco (it certainly seems) was built by people who wanted to make a movie that relied zero percent on going, ‘Hey, look at these wacky non-white people doing wacky non-white-people things, isn’t it strange,’ and 100 percent on going, ‘Hey, look at people doing things, isn’t it great,’ which is always the best way to handle things. It is good. And grand. And smart. And vibrant.”

Darkest Hour

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Ringer review: “What we gather of Churchill’s inner substance, while often obvious, is largely thanks to Oldman’s ability to imagine a fully formed character and serve him up to us in ripe slices of life. The movie isn’t as good at accomplishing the same. But Oldman towers so grandly over it all that it doesn’t need to be.”

Dunkirk

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Christopher Nolan), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing
Where you can watch it: Google Play (for rent)

The Ringer review: “These are the details that chase [Christopher] Nolan’s films more vigorously than those of most current mainstream directors I can think of, in part, I gather, because Nolan has made big-budget action auteurism feel vital — influential — again. There’s a mystery to his process, for some of us. That mystery isn’t sustained or justified, for me, by watching one of his movies — but the appeal is clear.”

Get Out

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Jordan Peele), Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya)
Where you can watch it: HBO Go, HBO Now

The Ringer review: Get Out has direct contemporaries in a number of hopeful historical narratives about interracial romance, namely Jeff Nichols’s Loving and the ongoing work of Amma Asante (Belle, A United Kingdom). Peele travels some of the same terrain as those films, insofar as both Get Out and a movie about miscegenation law suggest interracial dating can be, uh, difficult. But Peele, dealing with it through horror, examines cultural attitudes with much more imagination, reckoning with racism not as a historical challenge to overcome but rather as something uncanny and unknowable — terrifying for being easy to sense or understand but perhaps impossible to surmount.”

Icarus

What it’s nominated for: Best Documentary Feature
Where you can watch it: Netflix

Kong: Skull Island

What it’s nominated for: Best Visual Effects
Where you can watch it: HBO Go, HBO Now

The Ringer review: “Looks-wise, the movie is stylish and expensively imagined — but its ironic taste for reference-heavy cheese reveals where its heart is. Kong: Skull Island isn’t a B-movie — but with its intentionally bad writing and jarring lack of cohesion, it lamely pretends to be one.”

Lady Bird

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Director (Greta Gerwig), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), Best Original Screenplay

The Ringer review: “The beauty of Lady Bird isn’t in how well [Greta] Gerwig has made a movie about herself: It’s in how thoroughly and adventurously she’s imagined the inner life, anxieties, joys, insecurities, and everyday behaviors of other people. Lady Bird is full of characters who, like our heroine, just want the best for themselves, and for others.”

Last Men in Aleppo

What it’s nominated for: Best Documentary Feature
Where you can watch it: Netflix, iTunes (for rent)

Logan

What it’s nominated for: Best Adapted Screenplay
Where you can watch it: HBO Go, HBO Now

The Ringer review: “[James] Mangold’s interest in the aesthetics of violence is genuine; this is the first time, seeing Wolverine fight, that I’ve been pressed to think in a fundamental way about just how fucked up his claws look when, say, slicing a skull open. It’s also one of the first times a superhero movie has moved me. That’s the kind of thing that makes Logan seem altogether more sophisticated than the rest, by default. It’s interesting less for raising the bar than for clarifying where it is.”

Loving Vincent

What it’s nominated for: Best Animated Feature
Where you can watch it: Google Play (for rent)

Marshall

What it’s nominated for: Best Original Song
Where you can watch it: Google Play (for rent)

The Ringer review:Marshall manages to be entertaining without trying to be great, as it was made by people who know that the story itself is already a good hook. It doesn’t look great either (‘TV movie’ comes to mind, which is as harsh as some of the movie’s lighting), and the slightly off energy of the actors sometimes comes off as phoning it in.”

Mudbound

What it’s nominated for: Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige), Best Original Song, Best Adapted Screenplay
Where you can watch it: Netflix

The Ringer review: “It’s a complicated, worthy film, a finely wrought drama that’s ultimately better at serving up a slice of the history at its center than it is at conjuring the kind of rich, vexed melodrama that this history deserves. It’s compelling nonetheless.”

Phantom Thread

Focus Features

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson), Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), Best Original Score, Best Costume Design

The Ringer review: “In a way, Phantom Thread is like another of this year’s dirtbag-artist movies, Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!, a film that goes out of its way to give male poets a bad name. Phantom Thread’s Woodcock has a contentious streak in him, too, an easily wounded pride to match his devilish talent and charm. But even that comparison fails to describe just how slippery [Paul Thomas] Anderson’s movie is.”

The Post

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actress (Meryl Streep)

The Ringer review: The Post is another of [Steven] Spielberg’s civics lessons. À la Lincoln and Bridge of Spies, the film tilts toward taking an ironic stance on power run rampant (spoiler alert: neither the worrywart capitalists on WaPo’s board nor the Nixon administration come off as the heroes) while ultimately standing in awe of what can happen when power falls into (according to history) the right hands. This is a nerdy, civil, heartening pro-journalism movie.”

The Shape of Water

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing

The Ringer review: “Aesthetically, the world of The Shape of Water could exist only in a movie: It’s a fantasy meant to play out on the soundstage of our imagination. Politically, though, we’re meant to feel that what’s here resonates far beyond the theater. In [Guillermo] del Toro’s reckoning, Beauty and the Beast and the rest get rendered into a savvy but simple fable of acceptance. That’s the charm of The Shape of Water. It might also be the limit.”

Strong Island

What it’s nominated for: Best Documentary Feature
Where you can watch it: Netflix

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What it’s nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing

The Ringer review:Three Billboards seems to be aware of the current debates on policing swirling through the news. It knowingly feeds off a conversation some of us might even be having as we walk into the theater. For the town’s handful of black residents, for example, distrusting the police is more or less a plain given—‘Fuck the police’ is pretty much the only idea [Martin] McDonagh gives them to express.”

Victoria & Abdul

What it’s nominated for: Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Where you can watch it: Google Play (for rent)