Promising Young Woman
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6 Movies You Need to Watch Before the 2021 Oscars

From the Best Picture front-runner to movies that’ll tug at your heartstrings, here are six films to watch before Sunday night's Academy Awards.
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After what has been a bizarre year for the movie industry (to say the least), the 2021 Academy Awards are just days away. That’s right, folks, Hollywood’s best and brightest will finally be awarded on Sunday, April 25. 

But, because so many films got pushed back this year and other films decided to forgo a traditional release for a streaming service, it’s been hard for people to know what to even watch ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards. 

While there are a lot of movies nominated for Oscars this year, and you probably don’t have the time to go through every single film nominated, there are a handful you should seek out. 

From the Best Picture front runner to movies that’ll tug at your heartstrings, here are six films to watch before Sunday night: 

‘Promising Young Woman’

Where you can watch it: Rent it on-demand

If you want to watch a film that’ll grip you from the opening scene, Promising Young Woman is the flick for you! While it’s a classic take on the revenge tale we’ve seen in films before, writer/director Emerald Fennell’s dialogue is pitch-perfect and full of twists and turns.  

Not to mention, Carey Mulligan gives one of her best performances ever and the casting is truly a whos-who of Hollywood favorites. 

‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

Where you can watch it: Rent it on-demand

About the life of Illinois Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, Judas and the Black Messiah has quietly become one of the most beloved Oscar contenders this year. Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Hampton, is almost certainly a lock to win the Best Supporting Actor statue, but his co-star LaKeith Stanfield, is also nominated in the same category.


Where you can watch it: Hulu

The front-runner to win Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, Nomadlad is poised to walk away with the most Oscars on Sunday night. Directed by Chloe Zhao and starring two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand, Nomadland is about a woman who decides to live in her van and embark on a journey through the American West.

Anchored by McDormand’s incredible performance, Nomadland is incredibly powerful and moving. If you want to watch the film most likely to win Best Picture before the show on Sunday night, Nomadland should be at the top of your list. 


Where you can watch it: Rent it on-demand

Minari, directed by Lee Isaac Chung, is a semi-autobiographical film about a South Korean family who moves to Arkansas in the ‘80s. Featuring outstanding performances from the entire cast (especially Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-jung, who are both nominated) Minari is about the highs and lows of the American Dream. You will not be able to stop thinking about this movie once you’re finished with it, I promise. 

‘Sound of Metal’

Where you can watch it: Amazon Prime

Featuring an unbelievable performance by Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal is about a drummer who loses his hearing and has to figure out how to cope with this new loss. Though the premise is heartbreaking, the film is ultimately uplifting and inspiring. 

Ahmed’s performance is reason enough to check out this film, but the sound design (which makes you feel like you’re inside Ahmed’s head) is outstanding. 

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Despite not being nominated for Best Picture, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom showcases the late Chadwick Boseman’s final performance. In fact, Boseman is predicted to posthumously win the Academy Award for Best Actor, which is certain to be an emotional moment. Boseman’s co-star, Viola Davis, is also in contention to win the Best Actress statue.