Film and TV

Where to See the 2017 Oscar Best Picture Nominees in Metro Phoenix

Chances are, like a lot of movie fans, you haven’t seen some of the films nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture. Maybe you haven’t seen any of the nine nominees and are looking for a way to cram them into your busy schedule before the big night on February 26.

You're in luck.

This year's crop is beautifully diverse and certainly offers a little something for every viewer. There's romance, family drama, coming-of-age films, and multiple angles on life's rich journey. Nobody knows for sure who is going to win, but part of the fun is watching and waiting to see which film's name is called on Oscar night. Several of the movies nominated for this year's best picture are still in wide release, but a few are getting harder and harder to find on the big screen as February rolls on.

Movie schedules are typically released on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the following week, so if you wait until the last minute, it might be hard to find the movie you want to see before the big night.

Here’s a little guide to make your movie-watching life easier. One event to make note of is happening at AMC Theatres Esplanade 14 on February 18 and 25. It'll feature all of the best picture nominees showing over the course of two consecutive Saturdays, with five films showing on the 18th and the other five on the 25th. Except for Hell or High Water, all the nominated films are playing at various Harkins locations and AMC Theatres as well.

La La Land
This one is everywhere. Harkins and AMC both have multiple theaters showing this critical darling. Everybody loves a musical, right? Odds are good this film will be available on the big screen in the Phoenix area through awards season, so check your local Harkins or AMC schedule. La La Land will also play on February 18 at AMC Esplanade.

Like its competitor, La La Land, Moonlight is still in heavy release and easy to find. A poignant tale of black youth and the search for identity, it may just be the movie to beat for best picture this year. It'll be featured in a special screening at AMC Esplanade on February 25 — and it's listed on Redbox's website as "coming soon."

Manchester by the Sea
Maybe this one isn't a feel-good movie, but Manchester by the Sea is getting all kinds of praise. (In spite of Casey Affleck's involvement. Eye roll.) Currently, the film is playing in pretty strong rotation around town, but a new Garfield sequel may come out in the next couple of weeks and kick this to the curb. It's scheduled to play on February 18 at AMC Esplanade and it's listed on Redbox's website as "coming soon."

Hidden Figures
What do you mean there were black women who helped get astronauts to the moon and back who nobody put in the history books? Go see this movie before history like this is illegal to share. Hidden Figures is scheduled to play on February 25 at AMC Esplanade, and sports a pretty phenomenal cast.

Hacksaw Ridge
The tale of the soldier who wouldn't fight but saved 75 lives, Hacksaw Ridge is still in limited release around the Valley at the time of this writing, but it may not last long. You can catch it in a couple of weeks, though, when it is scheduled to play on February 25 at AMC Esplanade. It's also listed on Redbox's website as "coming soon."

Read on for the rest of the best picture nominees.

Movies about making contact with aliens rarely get nominated for best picture, but this one has certainly exceeded many folks expectations. Amy Adams is almost always good (no exception here) and you can still catch it in several area theaters. Arrival is also scheduled to play on February 25 at AMC Esplanade, and the Redbox website says it's "coming soon."

Denzel Washington is pretty much the man. While he may not be the nicest guy in this movie, it obviously got the attention of the Academy. Fences is scheduled to play on February 18 at AMC Esplanade, but for now it's in fairly limited rotation in Valley movie houses.

Every parent's worst nightmare come true, Lion is the true tale of an Indian boy who falls asleep alone on a train and how his search for his true identity plays out. Currently in wide release, Lion is being featured at several theaters around town. It is also scheduled to play on February 25 at AMC Esplanade.

Hell or High Water
Bank robbers and sheriffs often don't like each other. This story is no different. Hell or High Water is a fine film indeed, but at the time of this writing, it is only on at two theaters in town and in very limited rotation. The film is available on Netflix and in your local Redbox right now. But if you want to catch it on the big screen, your best bet to see it is on February 18 at AMC Esplanade.
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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon