9 Movies I Can't Believe Were Nominated for a 2014 Oscar

'The Lone Ranger', 'Bad Grandpa' and 'Grandmaster' all made the cut, but will they win?

The 86th Annual Academy Awards nominations were announced Thursday morning, and it was a fairly brief and unsurprising affair. The end results looked like the majority of 2013's 'Best Of Movie' lists, with the same handful of titles being mentioned over and over again. But there were a few loopy choices thrown into the mix that made us cock our head. Who thought Disney's mega-bomb The Lone Ranger or the outsider punk rock aesthetic of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa would capture the attention of Oscar's antiquated ballot pushers? Those weren't the only surprising inclusions. Let's look at the 9 Movies We Can't Believe Were Just Nominated for an Oscar...

1The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger Oscar

Category: Best Visual Effects/Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Will It Win?: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Disney's mega-bomb is now packed with a bit of prestige as it takes home an Oscar nomination. It doesn't need to win. The mere mention of its name as the awards nominations were announced is enough. And now it can forever repackage itself as the Oscar-nominated The Lone Ranger. Its all about that train sequence, isn't it kids? Its one heck of a thrilling ride, for sure, but does not a great movie make. Overall, there is fun to be had here if you look hard enough. The fact that its now both one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite movies of 2013 and an Oscar nominee makes everything worthwhile for the Studio. Maybe this will put more eyes on it? Maybe it will move more Blu-ray copies and up those digital sales? That's the hope, anyway. Gravity, which has redefined what the movie going experience can be, is the undisputed winner in the VFX category. And Dallas Buyers Club, with its amazing transformations for both Oscar-favorite Jared Leto and co-star Matthew McConaughey, is the clear winner when it comes to hair and makeup.

2Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Bad Grandpa Oscar

Category: Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Will It Win?: We wish! While we love to see Bad Grandpa as an Oscar nominee, and believe that Stephen Prouty fully deserves the win for transforming Johnny Knoxville into a completely believable 86-year-old man that fooled people up close and personal...As mentioned above, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews have this category locked up. Jared Leto is moving into the Oscar telecast as the edgy favorite, and people want to spit-shine his performance anyway they can. While its almost too bad, Dallas Buyers Club will take home the statue here.

3The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster Oscar

Category: Best Cinematography/Best Costume Design. Will It Win?: Hell no! Philippe LeSourd did an astounding job of bringing the story of IP man to life, and every frame is captivating. But its up against Emmanuel Lubezki's work in Gravity, which pushed IMAX and 3D to a whole new level. Hollywood is looking for any reason to get assess off the couch and into theaters, and Emmanuel Lubezki gave them that, paving the way towards the future. He'll win this first category for sure. No one saw The Grandmaster except a handful of Academy members, who obviously want to push an Asian film for support. Good on them. The movie is decent (not spectacular by any means). But its lack of registering with the American movie-going public is what shocks us most about its inclusion here. No one thought The Grandmaster would walk away with one, let alone two, nominations. Good for it! Too bad its up against American Hustle for Best Costume Design. So what if that film wins an Oscar for what any homegrown mom was doing after a coke binge on the weekends in the 70s to allow herself a little free time? Recapturing that honed-in magic takes a certain skill. But more than anything, it's the movie itself that is attractive to voters. Its homogenized entertainment, and it will more than likely take home the statue, especially over an oddball kung fu drama barely anyone saw.

4The Croods

The Croods

Category: Best Animated Feature. Will It Win?: Uh-uh...How many animated features can be nominated for this award? And do Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone have a lot of friends on the voting committee? While The Croods is serviceable family entertainment, its no masterpiece. It didn't really register with audiences. Its not that great, especially in an era rife with astounding leaps forward in what can be done with animation, the family genre, and the technology itself. Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie is a far better animated movie in the same caveman genre. This is a Flintstones' knock-off that pales in comparison. Pixar was left out in the dust, although Monsters University is a more enjoyable, and technically proficient outing. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is way funnier. Heck, even Turbo outshined The Croods. Why is it here? It probably has more to do with the DreamWorks banner it comes attached with than the actual movie itself. Look for The Wind Rises to take home the win in honor of Hayao Miyazaki's retirement and his lifetime's body of work. Though, everyone loves Disney's Frozen. That could be the upset.

5The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug Oscar

Category: Best Visual Effects/Best Sound Mixing. Will It Win?: Nope. It's sad, really. The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King took home the Best Picture Oscar back in 2004, and deservingly so. But now, we're left with these over-long films that feel like more of an obligation than anything else. It was once a fantasy franchise worthy of award esteem and privilege. Now, it just plays like a cheap video game. Its sort of remarkable how bad this movie actually looks, to tell you the truth, and it might be the most shocking inclusion in all of the award nominations announced. Nearly every single movie released nowadays uses CGI and Visual Effects to some degree. Shouldn't the less obvious, unnoticeable entries be included here? Where is Elysium? That's the clear winner in the category, and its not even NOMINATED!!! The win here will go to Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould for their work on Gravity. Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro will likely take home the sound mixing award for that movie, too, though this is one category were The Hobbit feels justified in being included. It sounded pretty good to us.

6Alone Yet Not Alone

Alone Yet Not Alone Oscar

Category: Best Original Song. Will It Win?: Hmm? What the heck is this? We don't even know. Nor have we heard the song 'Alone Yet Not Alone'. Is it good, bad, mediocre? "Let It Go" from Frozen is the sure winner in this category, but maybe the Academy's music branch wanted to clue us all into this Little House on the Prairie-like inspiring true tale of faith and survival that follows the terrifying events Barbara and Regina Leininger, 12 and 9, experienced in 1755 after their family fled a tumultuous Germany to start a new life in Pennsylvania. With Music by Bruce Broughton and lyrics by Dennis Spiegel, we can't even begin to hint at what this is. Maybe it's truly awesome. Maybe it will win? Know Yet Don't Know. Care Yet Don't Care.

7Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek 2 Oscar

Category: Best Visual Effects. Will It Win?: Get real. Star Trek Into Darkness has been voted one of the worst franchise sequels of all time. And its visual effects work is nothing special. We've seen better this past year, for sure. The Best Visual Effects category has given quite a few odd men out on the 2013 cinematic spectrum a chance to tout themselves as an Oscar nominated movie. Does it hold water? Not really. Either you were entertained or disappointed. No amount of putty can fix the hole in this sinking Starship. As we've already mentioned, Gravity, a far superior film in every way, is the sheer lock for a win here.

8Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 Oscar

Category: Best Visual Effects. Will It Win?: Nada. The Marvel Phase Two adventure is a grand piece of pop entertainment, but not necessarily a movie we expect to hear is 'Oscar-nominated'. The work here by Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick is fine, but its no better or worse than what we saw in Man of Steel, which was snubbed, or Pacific Rim, which also failed to garner any attention. This category feels like a real give or take grab bag of garbage, and there's no way Gravity doesn't take home the award. There's just no way. On the bright side, the whole ceremony will be devoted to superheroes like Tony Stark and his Iron Man persona. So he'll still get some love. Don't you fanboys worry!

9The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street

Category: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Jonah Hill. Will He Win?: Sorry, Jonah Hill, but you're on your way to what could be a record number of losses. The surprise here isn't the movie, as The Wolf of Wall Street has quickly earned its status as a neo-classic, one that has evenly divided critics and audiences alike. The old men that run the Academy aren't going to vote for the movie simply because they are outraged by its content. Look for Jared Leto to walk home with this trophy for Dallas Buyers Club, as everyone seems smitten with the 30 Seconds to Mars singer, a man who was once ostracized for being a clone of Brad Pitt. He's suddenly come into his own, and people are loving it. He's this year's Jennifer Lawrence. Look for Captain Phillips' Barkhad Abdi to be the upset. While Jonah Hill delivers a fine performance, its not a career best, his work in This Is the End was better...But hey, he was playing himself, and there's no way he'd get nominated for demon sodomy. What's surprising here is that there are at least two dozen other actors the Academy could have chose from the past year, that seem more deserving of this honor. Moneyball set Jonah Hill as an Oscar favorite, and it's clear he's slowly becoming a sort-of mascot for Oscar Ballot pushers who want to seem hip and edgy. Maybe he'll get nominated in the years to come, but we sense that he'll be one of those guys who, in his Sixties, is recognized with an honorary Oscar after losing who knows how many times throughout his career. Its going to take more than fake teeth to win this guy an award. But in all seriousness, Jonah Hill, we're rooting for you. We like you, and we love you. Don't take our shock personally.

Were you surprised to see any of the other films nominated? Aside from these nine, it seemed like a pretty cut and dry assignment for Academy voters this year.

The Academy Awards episode 62.1, "The 86th Annual Academy Awards" stars Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, Emma Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristen Bell, Amy Adams}.

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Comments (22)

  1. CelluloidDreams

    This is a joke right?!!.

    9 months agoby @2movieguysFlag

  2. Serena Bramble

    If there are 24 frames per second in film (so 1440 frames per minute), and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS was 132 minutes, that means there were almost 200,000 frames in that movie that you could have chosen from. Yet some 13-year-old chose the one scene lasting a couple seconds of Alice Eve in her underwear that caused the most uproar because it had nothing to do with the rest of the movie and was clearly only placed there for the men in the audience. Who's the editor of this joint, Michael Bay?

    9 months agoby @Serena-BrambleFlag

  3. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 The Lone Ranger, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Iron Man 3.

    9 months agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  4. LMorland

    I haven't seen enough of these films to comment on your opinions. But I did just rejoin MovieWeb in order to suggest that you run your pieces by a copy editor before posting. In addition to consistent of spelling of "its" for "it's" (most people make the opposite error, I must admit... anyway "it is" = "it's"), there are two faults in the section quoted below. One involves an unnecessarily added apostrophe (they NEVER make something plural. Never ever.) and using a simple past tense (like "went") when the past participle (like "gone") is required. Here it is:

    "... that the Academy could have chose from the past year, that seem more deserving of this honor. Moneyball set Jonah Hill as an Oscar favorite, and its clear he's slowly becoming a sort-of mascot for Oscar Ballot pushers who want to seem hip and edgy. Maybe he'll get nominated in the year's to come,

    9 months agoby @lmorlandFlag

  5. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic and which ones are that

    9 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  6. Jeff Rittenour

    A MORON wrote this article.

    9 months agoby @Jeff-RittenourFlag

  7. Sean

    @writer220 I agree with you about 3 of those 4 movies. I never saw The Hobbit movie.

    9 months agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  8. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 I like 3 of the 9 movies listed above. I don't care for the other 6 movies.

    9 months agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  9. Writer220

    sorry to say this but I enjoyed and loved Ironman 3, The Hobbit, ST: Into Darkness and The Lone Ranger. None of them are bad, only people that have to high expectations and when a director doesn't suite up to their standards they bad mouth them.
    Grow up all ready and keep your mouth shut.
    You know who you are.
    Alan you suck.

    9 months agoby @writer220Flag

  10. undeadslayer4

    @Lukies16 his name is alan orange so u can go tell him that

    9 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  11. undeadslayer4

    @ObiWanShinobi no IM3 was even worse

    9 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  12. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic i feel like i wanna punch orange in the face for what he just said to all those movies

    9 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  13. torvar

    The Hobbit is a long drawn out movie....I's obvious you haven't seen the file or never read the books. Benedict C*mberbatch should of been nominated for a Oscar for doing the voice of Smaug. I'm sorry but Alan Orange needs to be fired cause he has no clue on what the hell he's doing.

    9 months agoby @torvarFlag

  14. itchy18

    i'm not even a star trek fan but Star Trek Into Darkness was one of the greatest films i've watched in 2013.

    9 months agoby @itchy18Flag

  15. ObiWanShinobi

    ST Into Darkness was such a disappointment.

    9 months agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  16. Lukies16

    I hope the idiot that wrote this article knows that the people who voted Into Darkness the worst sequel ever were Trekkies at a Star Trek Convention, they know more about Leonard Nemoy's ass hole than film. Star Trek probably had the best use and look of visual effects this year in film.

    9 months agoby @Lukies16Flag

  17. Jay-$tack$

    As far as your take on some of these movies you sound plain retarded! Your little BS opinion about the Hobbit is probably one of the biggest idiotic comments I have ever heard, don't quit your day job DBag

    9 months agoby @Jay-tackFlag

  18. mindless232

    I'm getting tired of reading moviewebs opinions. Especially one, I guess. Jared Leto deserves the Oscar. And into darkness being the worst sequel? Really?! Wow! Keep ur opinions to yourself. If you'd like you can sign up for movieweb and leave comments.

    9 months agoby @mindless232Flag

  19. The Real Goku

    Star Trek into darkness one of the worst sequels?????? I beg to differ

    9 months agoby @therealGokuFlag

  20. Sean

    I'm glad to see that The Lone Ranger and Star Trek and Iron Man 3, are all being nominated for something in the 86th Academy Awards!

    9 months agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  21. Nick Lemarr

    Disagree with seven out of nine. Some of these were great.

    9 months agoby @Nick-LemarrFlag