Awards season is in full swing all across the world, but for most movie fans, one award matters more than all the others: the Oscar. The Acadamy Awards are voted on by the people who work on them, from actors and directors to costume designers and set builders. It’s widely considered to be the most prestigious and enduring award, and the one every film is after.
Before a winner can be crowned, the Academy must determine which films released in the previous year are eligible for awards and which are not. For 2024, 265 feature films released in 2023 are eligible for the Academy Award for Best Picture; of those 265, around 65 of them are genre films—fantasy, sci-fi, horror, etc.
Some of these films have a very, very good shot at getting one of the 10 total available nominations. Others have no shot whatsoever and, frankly, it’s kind of humorous that they’re eligible in the first place. So what follows are the 10 genre films we think are most likely to get nominated, and the 10 that are the least likely. And yes, these are all on the actual list, which you can find here.
Likely: All of Us Strangers
Without watching this one, you probably wouldn’t know it’s a genre film. But it is. And while saying that is kind of a spoiler, the way it deals with it is why it has an excellent chance of a Best Picture nomination.
Unlikely: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
In a dream world, James Wan’s superhero sequel was good enough for a nomination. In reality, it’ll be lucky to get special effects nominations.
Likely: Asteroid City
Wes Anderson’s quirky alien story is certainly a long shot at a Best Picture nomination—but it at least did have some awards buzz, unlike, say, the next film in this list.
Unlikely: The Exorcist: Believer
The original Exorcist was the first horror movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture, so the potential was (at least hypothetically) there for this sequel. Too bad it’s so, so terrible.
Barbie is probably the only lock on this list in terms of actually getting a Best Picture nomination. And for good reason.
Unlikely: Fast X
If Fast Five or Furious 7 didn’t get any Oscar love, this far-inferior sequel sure as hell won’t. Funny to imagine a world where a Fast movie did get some love though.
Likely: Beau Is Afraid
Ari Aster’s dreamscape of a film probably won’t get any major Oscar nominations, but it at least has the pedigree to be in the conversation.
Unlikely: Five Nights at Freddy’s
While fans of this box office smash would certainly love to see the film get some attention from the Academy, we’re sorry to say that will not be happening.
Likely: The Boy and the Heron
Hayao Miyazaki’s latest is all but assured to get at least some nominations from the Academy. But will one of those be for Best Picture? It’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Unlikely: The Flash
The same can’t be said for The Flash, which will, unsurprisingly, not hear its name called in any aspect on Oscar night. Even for the Oscar Fan Favorite.
Likely: Dream Scenario
The team behind Dream Scenario probably thought the film had a shot at awards at one point, and while that seems less likely now, the fact it did get a Golden Globe nomination for star Nicolas Cage, moves it firmly to the “Likely” side, albeit it much less than others.
Unlikely: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Again, the dream for this movie was to get something with Oscar potential. And while the end product is honestly pretty good, it’s not good enough.
Likely: Godzilla Minus One
io9’s pick for Best Film of the Year probably won’t get any Oscar attention because of the stigma it has as a monster movie. But, as anyone who has seen it will tell you, this particular monster movie is better than most.
Unlikely: Meg 2: The Trench
Meg 2, on the other hand, is a monster movie worse than most. Well, maybe not “most.” But it’s certainly worse than its very fun predecessor.
Likely: Poor Things
If Barbie is the only genre lock for a Best Picture nomination here, Poor Things comes in a close second, especially after besting Barbie at the Golden Globes.
Unlikely: Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire
LOL. Come on.
Likely: Robot Dreams
Probably not for Best Picture but Robot Dreams is widely considered one of the best animated films of the year, so we’d imagine it at least gets that nomination.
Unlikely: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
While we didn’t hate this movie, we did mostly forget it existed—so seeing it on the eligible list was rather amusing.
Likely: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
No doubt guaranteed a Best Animated Film nomination, Across the Spider-Verse is certainly good enough to get a Best Picture nomination. But will enough voters agree? We hope so.
Unlikely: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
No real shade against this movie, which is much better than it could’ve been, but we do not live in a world where a Transformers movie of any quality gets an Oscar nomination. Though we do want to live in that world.