Academy Awards 2016 To-See List

The nominations were announced, February 28th is quickly approaching, so I’m putting together my To-See list. I can’t have a valid perspective on which films and individuals should win the various awards unless I’ve seen enough to know what I’m talking about.

Building the list is easy. Seeing it all is the hard part.

I start with the Best Picture nominees. That’s a must, and it’s everyone’s favorite category in which to voice an opinion, because although it’s debatable what makes something the “Best Picture of 2015”, it’s far less nebulous than something like Best Directing or Best Cinematography. That’s where I start. That’s the main list. Everything else from here is secondary, though important. Why? Snubs.

From there, I add to the list by finding which films had individuals nominated in other categories, be it for acting or directing or cinematography or the screenplay or the music or costume design. Films which get multiple nominations typically find their way onto the secondary list.

I’m also going to be consulting what the critics and fans think are the best films of 2015. If there are any really highly rated films which aren’t on the lists at that point, I’ll add them.

So what does the list look like at this point? I’m open to people weighing in on what else should be included, but it’s doubtful that I’m taking anything off the list.

The Main List

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant



{Of these, I’ve seen three at this point: The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Martian}

The Secondary List

Carol – The ladies in the film scored big {Best Actress; Best Supporting Actress} and the nominations didn’t stop there {Best Original Score; Best Cinematography}. As is not always the case with films falling short of the top category, it also scored in the Top 20 films of 2015 according to Half Popped Reviews.


Love & Mercy – It may have been largely snubbed by the award shows, but it does a great job telling the tale of one of the musical geniuses from the 20th century. The critics on Half Popped Reviews have rightfully named it one of the Top 20 films of 2015.

Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and neither is the man about whom the film is written. With two big nominations for acting {Best Actor; Best Supporting Actress} and a powerhouse director (Danny Boyle), it’s hard to understand why it isn’t in the top category.

The Danish Girl – Yet again an Eddie Redmayne film gets nominated for two of the big acting awards, one on each side of the gender line {Best Actor; Best Supporting Actress}, in a film which bends the gender line. Social commentary in a period piece? Could be interesting to identify why it may have fallen short of a Best Picture nomination.


Ex Machina – One of the best non-space related science fiction films I’ve seen in years. There was no question it was going to get nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Visual Effects. Judging by the fact that it’s on the Half Popped Reviews list of Top 20 films of 2015, it’s safe to say that viewers loved it too.

Inside Out – The critical acclaim for this film which takes a kid’s movie and weaves in some serious psychology is very deserving of its nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Animated Feature, leading some to call it one of the biggest snubs of the season.

The Hateful Eight – Tarantino films have almost always been of great quality, and given the cast for this one, you can expect great performances. They were nominated for three awards {Best Supporting Actress; Best Original Score; Best Cinematography}, but not for Best Director nor Best Picture. I have a feeling that many people will have strong opinions on those snubbings.


Sicario – Everyone I know who has seen this lesser-known flick has loved it. They got nominated for a couple awards {Best Original Score; Best Cinematography} and is one of the Top 20 films of 2015 according to Half Popped Reviews.

Joy – David O. Russel writing and directing a film in which Jennifer Lawrence gets nominated for an Academy Award {Best Actress}, so it’s gotta be on the list.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – It’s a new installment of the Star Wars saga that people actually enjoy, isn’t that enough of a reason to have it on the list? It got nominated for Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects and although I wouldn’t necessarily call it a snub, it was in some people’s discussions for Best Picture.

Creed – They took a beloved movie series from the 80s and created a heart-felt film which could easily spawn a new series. It’s good enough that Sylvester Stallone earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor and it one of the Top 20 films of 2015 according to Half Popped Reviews.


Trumbo – A period piece starring Bryan Cranston in a role for which he’s nominated for Best Actor? Clearly this deserves to be seen. I have to wonder if the content matter caused some in Hollywood to shy away from lauding it, given the black eye it places on the industry’s history.

{Of these, I’ve already seen: Ex Machina; Inside Out; Joy; Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Creed; Love & Mercy}

This list has been created at Half Popped Reviews so that people can track what they’ve seen and have an easy way to know which are their favorites.

One response to “Academy Awards 2016 To-See List

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s