With both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards now in the rear view mirror, Hollywood is firmly focused on the Academy Awards, set for February 26th.

If you want to check out some of the Best Picture nominees on the big screen before the show, here are the ones that are playing right here in Ocean County:

  • Arrival

    A dozen alien ships show up at seemingly random sites throughout the world, and it's up to Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner to figure out what they want.

    If you're looking for a blow 'em up, mega-blockbuster alien invasion movie, this isn't the one. But if you want a movie that will make you think about how we communicate with each other, and all of the consequences that may involve, this is a satisfying flick.

    The only complaint that I could come up with after seeing Arrival was Forest Whitaker's ponderously unplaceable accent every time he spoke.

    With 8 total Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay among the accolades, Arrival is back on the big screen locally at AMC Lowes Seacourt 10 on Hooper Avenue.

    Paramount Pictures
  • Fences

    Fences is coming off of a big weekend. With SAG Award wins for both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, who also took home the Golden Globe for her role earlier last month.

    Fences is the big screen adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning play. Wilson wrote the screenplay for the movie before his 2005 death, and could become the first writer to win a posthumous Oscar since 1939.

    AMC Lowes Seacourt 10 will also be showing Fences this weekend.

    Paramount Pictures
  • Hidden Figures

    Hidden Figures has some major momentum on its side after taking home the SAG Awards equivalent of best picture, with a win for Outstanding Performance By A Cast last weekend.

    The true story of how three African American women helped usher in the age of manned space flight in the middle of the 1960's Civil Rights struggle, is an exhilarating story that not only gave me an appreciation for both the amazing struggles and accomplishments that many of us never know go on behind the scenes, but also gave me a sense of patriotism, seeing how Americans can put aside their differences to come together and achieve greatness.

    Hidden Figures is playing throughout Ocean County, with showings at AMC Loews Seacourt 10, Marquee Cinemas on Route 37, and AMC Brick Plaza 10 on Route 70.

    20th Century Fox
  • La La Land

    Written and directed by New Jersey native Damien Chezelle, La La Land has been the critical darling this awards season.

    The modern-day musical swept the Golden Globe Awards, taking home the prize in all 7 categories that it was nominated in; including trophies for the aforementioned Chazelle, plus acting awards for stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

    The awards season love continued at the SAG Awards, as Stone took home another acting accolade, but Gosling was denied SAG's "Actor" trophy by Denzel Washington.

    I didn't dislike La La Land per se, and I think that the conventional wisdom, considering its record tying 14 Oscar nominations, would lead us to believe that it's the favorite to take home the Best Picture Oscar. Whether I think that it's truly the best picture this year or not is another story.

    But you can decide for yourself, and catch La La Land locally at AMC Loews Seacourt 10, Marquee Cinemas, and AMC Brick Plaza 10.

    Summit Entertainment
  • Lion

    If ever there was a dark horse for the big prize on Oscar night, it's Lion.

    It's been a tough awards season for Lion, being overshadowed by bigger budget and buzzier movies. But that by no means suggests that it's not deserving, with half a dozen Oscar nominations under its belt.

    Lion tells the true story of a young Indian boy who gets lost thousands of miles away from his family, is adopted as a toddler by a loving Australian family, and unbelievably, as an adult finds his birth mother in a remote village within a country of over a billion people.

    If you don't "ugly cry" by the end of Lion, you may not have a soul. I believe in this film enough that both Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel garnered my SAG Awards votes for their categories.

    If you're ready to let the tears flow, you can see Lion at AMC Loews Seacourt 10.

    The Weinstein Company
  • Manchester By The Sea

    Manchester By The Sea is another interesting case. Nominated for dozens of awards this season, it's had a hard time living up to the buzz, but scored a major coup at the Golden Globes when Casey Affleck beat out Denzel Washington for Best Performance in a Motion Picture - Drama.

    It'll be an interesting night at the Dolby Theatre as Affleck, Washington, and Ryan Gosling, all three of whom have taken home at least one major acting award this season, go head to head for the Best Actor Oscar.

    I'll be totally honest, even though it's been sitting on my coffee table for weeks, I haven't seen Manchester. But I've heard mixed reviews from friends who have. Some have said that it's a moving achievement of a film, and others have said that it's pacing is too slow and somewhat unsatisfying.

    But if you'd like to make that determination for yourself, you can check it out at AMC Loews Seacourt 10.

    Amazon Studios