The final 10 contenders for the Oscar for Visual Effects were announced by the Academy today, winnowing the total films from the 15 semi-finalists announced last month.
Left off the short list: Cowboys & Aliens, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; Sucker Punch; Super 8; and Thor.
Check out the ten films that made the cut below:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Tree of Life
X-Men: First Class
Members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch will be able to watch 10-minute excerpts from each of the films on the short list on Jan. 19. The final five nominees will then be announced along with the rest of the 2011 Oscar nominees on Jan. 24.
Some historical context: Two of the previous seven Harry Potter films have received a VFX nod, including Deathly Hallows – Part 1. The first Transformers film landed an Oscar nod, but not the second. And all of the previous Pirates films have won VFX nods, with the second film, Dead Man’s Chest, actually taking home the gold. The Mission: Impossible, X-Men, and Planet of the Apes franchises, meanwhile, have never earned an Oscar nod for visual effects.