6 Oscar-Nominated Movies You Can Stream for Free Right Now
Catch up some of 2022's most celebrated films before the Academy Awards are handed out.
There once was a time when, unless you lived in or near a big city with a vibrant independent movie theater, you had little chance of seeing all of any given year's Academy Award nominees before the Oscars were handed out. But the streaming revolution changed all that—with a little help from the pandemic, which further normalized the idea of catching a prestigious new release on your living room TV. In 2023, you can watch almost all of the films up for major Oscars right now via the internet—and these six are even available at no extra charge on a streaming service you probably already subscribe to. Read on for the Oscar nominees you should be streaming before the ceremony.
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All Quiet on the Western Front
Everyone thought that the Knives Out followup Glass Onion was going to be Netflix's big Oscar play, when out of nowhere came this German language import, the second page-to-screen adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's 1929 novel of the same name, a loosely fictionalized chronicle of his own harrowing time in the trenches fighting for the German army in World War I. The 1930 version won the third-ever Best Picture Oscar, and with nine nominations—including dual nods for Best Picture and Best International Feature Film—this remake has a strong chance of following suit.
Where to watch it: Netflix
The Banshees of Inisherin
Actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson reteam with filmmaker Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri) nearly 15 years after In Bruges for another depressingly funny, uniquely Irish tragicomedy, this one chronicling the abrupt dissolution of a lifelong friendship between two men living in a remote island community in 1920s Ireland. McDonagh is nominated for his script and direction, and Farrell has a good shot at winning his first Best Actor Oscar. (Gleeson is up for a supporting award too—never mind that both characters share similar amounts of screentime.)
Where to watch it: HBO Max
Somehow, Baz Luhrmann managed to make a musical even wilder and more frenetic than his eight-time Oscar-nominated 2001 hit Moulin Rouge! That it is a biopic based on the life of the real life Elvis Presley makes this feat all the more impressive; likewise its strong box office (more than $150 million in the U.S. alone) makes it the rare "movie for adults" to match critical and commercial success this year. Though it missed a nomination for Tom Hanks' campy, villainous supporting turn and for Luhrmann as Best Director, the Best Actor Oscar is currently star Austin Butler's to lose.
Where to watch it: HBO Max
Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise proved the haters wrong with his 35-years-later followup to 1986 mega-blockbuster Top Gun. The long-gestating sequel not only brought home major box office bank, possibly saving movie theaters from extinction (if you ask Steven Spielberg, at least), it also landed six Oscar nominations—including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Song for the Lady Gaga power ballad "Hold My Hand." Not bad for a movie whose mere release once seemed so improbable that one prominent film critic declared he'd eat his own shoe if it ever came out.
Where to watch it: Paramount+
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Writer/director Todd Field doesn't make movies very often, but when he does, the Academy laps them up. His first feature, the 2001 domestic drama In the Bedroom, earned five nominations, all in major categories, including Best Picture and Director. Five years later, Little Children, an adaptation of the Tom Perrotta novel, was nominated for three Oscars. It's unsurprising, then, that last year's Tár was an Oscar frontrunner even before its release, with Cate Blanchett a likely Best Actress winner for her portrayal of a talented but cruel conductor, whose behavior (deservedly) makes her a target of cancel culture.
Where to watch it: Peacock
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The sequel to 2018 Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster Black Panther had to reshape itself in the wake of the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman, who played the royal titular character, casting a pall of grief over a film that already had a very high bar to clear. Though Black Panther: Wakanda Forever didn't quite match its predecessor in terms of box office ($453 million versus $700 million) or awards prestige (no Best Picture nod this time around), it does seem poised to actually bring home one of the night's major Oscars. After winning Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards, Angela Bassett is likely to become the first woman ever to take home an Academy Award for a role in a superhero film.
Where to watch it: Disney+