OSCARS: BEST PICTURE RANK AND REVIEW

Here's my rank and review of all eight best picture nominees at the 2016 Oscars.
  1. 8. The Martian: A tense, fun, broadly appealing space adventure that feels safe next to Nolan's "Interstellar" and Cuaron's "Gravity."
  2. 7. Bridge of Spies: Not the greatest we've seen from Spielberg & Hanks, but this Cold War period piece is well-scored & ultimately well-made
  3. 6. Room: Larson's performance drives this keen adaptation that has somehow married whimsy and despair.
  4. 5. The Big Short: Anchorman director Adam McKay has captured a sad reality with ingenuity, wit, and comedic flair.
  5. 4. Brooklyn: The trailer gives away almost everything in this slightly formulaic, exceedingly endearing love story.
  6. 3. Mad Max: High-octane, mold-breaking, & wildly unkempt, this strange, enthralling film should take home more statues than it likely will.
  7. 2. Spotlight: An important story with the highest level of difficulty this year, Spotlight is an understated, nuanced, ensemble achievement.
  8. 1. The Revenant: This expansive yet claustrophobic masterpiece is a visually stunning epic that bleeds the audience dry for 2.5 hrs.