15 Movies to Watch Before the 2024 Oscars

movies to watch before the  oscars
Source: Apple TV/YouTube; Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube; Universal Pictures/YouTube

Mar. 4 2024, Published 7:30 a.m. ET

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20 Days in Mariupol

Following the events during the war between Russia and Ukraine, 20 Days in Mariupol captures director Mstyslav Chernov’s stay in Mariupol as he gets trapped with his colleagues when the invasion starts.

The documentary film was named one of the top five documentary films in 2023.

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Best friends and costars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck appeared together in the biographical sports drama film Air that focuses on the beginning of the shoeline, Air Jordan. The pair take on the roles of Nike marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro and Nike co-founder Phil Knight, respectively.

Asteroid City

Wes Anderson unleashed his notable storytelling again in the exquisitely made film Asteroid City, which is about a group of people who join the Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention in 1955.

It stars Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright and Tilda Swinton, to name a few.

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A strong contender for the upcoming Oscars, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie presented Margot Robbie in the titular role and Ryan Gosling as Ken. It chronicles the character’s journey from Barbie Land to the real world due to an existential crisis, only to witness the pleasures and jeopardies that lurk around humans.

The fantasy comedy film is the highest-grossing film of 2023 and the 14th of all time.

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Disney and Pixar’s animated film Elemental follows the story of a fire element named Ember Lumen, who meets and falls in love with a water element while trying to save her father’s store. Director Peter Sohn reportedly pitched the movie based on the query about whether water and fire could ever connect.

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Killers of the Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese returned to the big screen to direct and produce the epic Western crime drama film Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone in the leading roles.

It explores the life of an ill-fated couple, while the man, Ernest, joins the murder spree of Osage Nation members in the 1920s.

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Composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre, are the main subject of the film Maestro. With Bradley Cooper playing the conductor, it shows his journey to find his love and manage his career at the same time.

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Based on the story of Napoleon Bonaparte, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon tapped Joaquin Phoenix to play the French leader as he rises to power while having a volatile relationship with his wife, Joséphine, played by Vanessa Kirby.

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Christopher Nolan revisited the real-life historical events that happened before the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, successfully created the explosive device.

Cillian Murphy portrays the titular role of the theoretical physicist, while Damon, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr. and Florence Pugh also have starring roles.

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Past Lives

Two friends reconnect 20 years later in Celine Song’s film Past Lives. Starring Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro, the movie was partially inspired by actual events from the director’s life.

It received several nominations following its release, including Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 81st Golden Globe Awards.

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Poor Things

Emma Stone earned praise after taking on the role of Bella Baxter in Yorgos Lanthimos-directed film, Poor Things. It focuses on a young woman who gets resurrected by a mad scientist after her suicide and eventually runs off after having realizations.

Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott and Kathryn Hunter are part of the cast.

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Sofia Coppola created the masterpiece Priscilla, based on the 1985 memoir by Priscilla Presley, Elvis and Me. It chronicles the complicated love story of The Smell of Fear actress with the late King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.

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The Boy and the Heron

Hayao Miyazaki collaborated with Studio Ghibli in his second film after coming out of his retirement.

The Boy and the Heron, the winner of the 2024 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, is about a boy named Mahito Maki who loses his mother during the Pacific War. He moves to a new town with his father and his new love interest, where he finds an abandoned tower after his encounter with a talking grey heron.

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The Eternal Memory

Director Maite Alberdi highlights the life of Paulina Urrutia and Alzheimer’s disease-stricken Augusto Góngora in the film The Eternal Memory. It has won several accolades since its release, including the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival and the Best Documentary at the New York Film Critics Online Awards.

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The Iron Claw

Zac Efron is Kevin Von Erich in Sean Durkin’s The Iron Claw, which is based on the true story of the Von Erich family and their journey in the WWE.

Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons and Holt McCallany also appear in the film.


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