Along with "Hugo," "The Artist" is the most nominated film of the year, with eleven, including Original Screenplay, Director, Actor (Jean Dujardin), and Supporting Actress (Berenice Bejo). The film is currently considered a strong contender to win Best Picture at the Oscars. It also leads the Golden Globe nominations and earned an impressive three SAG nods. It won Best Picture from the New York film critics.
"Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen's comeback film after years of critical disappointments, follows an unsatisfied writer who is transported back to 1920s France. The film, which is also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture and a SAG Award for Best Ensemble Cast, only received three Critics' Choice nods overall: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Comedy.
"Drive," about a stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver, has been the underdog favorite of critics and has eight Critics' Choice nominations over all, including Best Director and Best Actor (Ryan Gosling). However, the film has not been received as well at other precursor awards, receiving snubs across the board from the Golden Globes and SAG.
"The Help" was a surprise blockbuster last summer. The story about black maids in 1960s Mississippi is nominated for eight Critics' Choice Awards, including nominations for Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, and its ensemble cast. It also leads all films at the SAG Awards and has five Golden Globe nominations.
Critical darling Alexander Payne's followup to his Oscar-winning "Sideways" follows George Clooney as a father raising his family after his wife's boating accident. The film won Best Picture from the LA film critics and also contenders for five Golden Globes and two SAG Awards. It has a total of seven Critics' Choice nods.
One of 2011's most acclaimed films, "Moneyball" follows general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt, nominated for Best Actor) as he tries to rebuild the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Also nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globes, "Moneyball" contends for only three Critics' Choice Awards.
"Hugo" is tied with "The Artist" for the most Critics' Choice nominations, with eleven, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. Scorsese's film "The Departed" won Best Picture five years ago.
Stephen Daldry's drama about a young boy mourning his father, who died on 9/11, was expected to be a major awards contender, but it received no nominations at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, and its cast was shut out at Critics' Choice. The film is nevertheless nominated for four awards, including Director and Adapted Screenplay.
Terrence Malick's existential drama "The Tree of Life" contemplates a suburban family in the 1950s amidst the creation of the universe. The film is among the year's most acclaimed, winning best Director from the LA film critics. It's nominated for five Critics' Choice Awards, but despite its director's vision, Malick was not nominated for writing or directing.
"War Horse" has lost momentum since it has begun screening. But Steven Spielberg's World War I epic is nominated for seven Critics' Choice Awards, including Best Director, a category the film failed to secure at the Golden Globes.