There are a still a few end-of-year of stragglers—namely, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the science-fiction drama Passengers—but on the whole, every major film this year has either been released or screened for critics. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced their yearly awards—the traditional starting gun for the insane month-long sprint for Oscar nominations and the subsequent month-long sprint for winners—and things are looking good for Moonlight.

Rather than provide straight predictions for the Oscars—those will come later—we thought we might give you a guide for the movies you’ll need to see, ranked by order of importance, to be fully caught up by Oscar night on February 26, 2017. (Yes, like the election, this awards season is going to be endless this year). Thus, we’ll prioritize, in order, the movies you need to see to be caught up with Oscar discussion.

La La Land

Release date: NY/LA on Friday, wide release December 16
Possible nominations: Picture, Actor (Ryan Gosling), Actress (Emma Stone), Director (Damien Chazelle) 

A frontrunner since it wowed audiences in Toronto, Chazelle’s follow up to Whiplash is the sort of starry, dreamy musical that the Academy generally finds irresistible. In his review, Grierson called it “as delightful and magical as you’ve heard—a big, joyful celebration of old-school Hollywood musicals—but it’s also smarter, tougher, and sadder than its moonstruck trailer might suggest.”

Moonlight

Release date: In theaters
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Barry Jenkins), Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris)

Moonlight is winning all the critics awards and has been a surprise hit in platform release. Mahershala Ali is the heavy favorite for Supporting Actor, but the raptures over this movie—and its timeliness and urgency—have it aiming much higher. Leitch said in his review that Jenkins evokes a “certain Important Movie sheen” without the “obvious Oscar-bait.”

Manchester by the Sea  

Release date: In theaters
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Kenneth Lonergan), Actor (Casey Affleck), Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams)

Manchester by the Sea rounds out our top three Oscar contenders for Best Picture,  and we can already see this film being the one nominated for almost everything, but only winning for Best Screenplay. Grierson wrote of Lonergan, “There is perhaps no current filmmaker whose movies are so intentionally a challenge to the limits of our empathy.”

Fences

Release date: Christmas Day
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Denzel Washington), Actor (Denzel Washington), Supporting Actress (Viola Davis)

This adaptation of the August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize–wining play is an actors’ showcase, and Viola Davis is a slam-dunk to win Supporting Actress, as Denzel Washington pulls double-duty as both actor and director. Audience reaction will determine whether it can rise higher.

Silence

Release date: Christmas Day
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Martin Scorsese), Actor (Andrew Garfield), Supporting Actor (Liam Neeson)

Martin Scorsese’s longtime passion project—based on a 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō about two Jesuit missionaries in seventeenth century Japan—has wowed the few critics who have seen it, and Andrew Garfield could be poised to overtake Casey Affleck for Best Actor.

Jackie

Release date: In limited release
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Pablo Larraín), Actress (Natalie Portman), Supporting Actress (Greta Gerwig)

This year may prove to be one of the most fascinating Best Actress races in years, and Portman will be ubiquitous in the coming months, promoting both herself and the movie. Larraín’s film might be too prickly and cold to break through for Best Picture, but this is a rare movie that both you and your grandparents will feel compelled to see. In his review, Leitch called Portman’s performance at turns “determined, devastated, and frightening.”

Arrival

Release date: In theaters
Possible nominations: Picture, Director Denis Villeneuve, Actress (Amy Adams)

Arrival is already a big hit, and Amy Adams is already promoting this more than Nocturnal Animals. There might be a Best Picture nod in The Martian slot. Leitch wrote that Villeneuve’s film had an “uncommon faith in intelligence for a Hollywood movie about aliens.”

Lion

Release date: In limited release
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Garth Davis), Actress (Nicole Kidman), Actor (Dev Patel) 

Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel are getting the major notices, and there does seem to be a deficit of prestige, feel-good, traditional dramas this year. This could be the Philomena slot.

20th Century Women

Release date: Christmas Day
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Mike Mills), Actress (Annette Bening)

The ensemble piece looks particularly good for Annette Benning, and it may benefit audiences no longer getting it confused with Certain Women. 

Loving

Release date: In theaters
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Jeff Nichols), Actress (Ruth Negga)

Loving hasn’t quite taken off the way its backers might have hoped in a crowded field—the movie is passionate, but doesn’t inspire passionate fans. But it’s a unique film that puts its own twist on Oscar-bait drama in which love triumphs over hate. Grierson writes that Nichols “has made exceedingly smart and sneakily emotional indies that flirt with specific genres without ever succumbing to their clichés.”

Hidden Figures

Release date: Christmas Day
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Theodore Melfi), Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress

If Moonlight or Fences are too grim for the Academy, this feel-good story about female African-American mathematicians and their contributions to the space race could fit the bill. It even has Kevin Costner, for crying out loud. 

Hell or High Water

Release date: Available on demand
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (David Mackenzie), Actor, Supporting Actor

Jeff Bridges is a solid bet, and this is the definitive “everyone’s together for a holiday and needs a movie to agree upon” holiday movie.

Elle

Release date: Now in limited release
Possible nominations: Actress (Isabelle Huppert)

Between Elle and Things to Come, Huppert is having a terrific year, and this Paul Verhoeven’s thriller seems likely to be the ticket to her first (!) Oscar nomination.

Hacksaw Ridge

Release date: Now in limited release
Possible nominations: Picture, Actor (Andrew Garfield)

There was a time when some thought this war drama—which audiences loved—could sneak in to the Oscar race, but Mel Gibson is still Mel Gibson, and besides, Andrew Garfield seems ticketed for Silence. Grierson writes that the “kind of heroism that Gibson champions in Hacksaw Ridge ultimately feels too one-dimensional.”

Sully

Release date: Now available on demand
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Clint Eastwood), Actor (Tom Hanks) 

There may always be space for Clint Eastwood, or, for that matter, Tom Hanks. In his review, Lietch writes that “Eastwood and Hanks haven’t necessarily solved the problem of how to make the pilot’s story all that compelling.” 

The Lobster 

Release date: Now available on demand
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Yorgos Lanthimos)

The LAFCA screenplay award helped, but it’s probably too much of an uphill climb for most Academy voters. Leitch writes that Lanthimos’s twisted love story “saves the sharp-elbowed comedy from curdling into something deeply unpleasant.”

Nocturnal Animals

Release date: Now in limited release
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Tom Ford), Actress (Amy Adams), Supporting Actor (Jake Gyllenhaal)

A worthy Amy Adams performance seems already overshadowed by Arrival.

Florence Foster Jenkins

Release date: Now available on demand
Possible nominations: Picture, Director (Stephen Frears), Actress (Meryl Streep)

You’re not going to miss out on Meryl Streep’s 20th Oscar nomination, are you? 

Grierson & Leitch write about the movies regularly for the New Republic and host a podcast on film. Follow them on Twitter @griersonleitch or visit their site griersonleitch.com.