Survival thriller The Revenant, directed by Mexican Alejandro González Iñarritu, has topped the Oscar nominations list with 12 nods, including for best picture, actor and director.
Gritty action movie Mad Max: Fury Road followed closely behind the pioneer-era drama, landing 10.
The films will vie with The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian, Room and Spotlight for best picture, the top Oscar award
The Oscars, voted on by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, can have up to 10 best picture nominees, but voters selected eight this year.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens and hip-hop movie Straight Outta Compton were among those not making the cut.
The Revenant also landed a best actor nomination for Leonardo DiCaprio, best director for Alejandro Inarritu and best supporting actor for Tom Hardy.
Mad Max: Fury Road scored a best director nomination for Australian filmmaker George Miller.
DiCaprio, who has yet to win an Oscar, will compete with Bryan Cranston in Hollywood blacklist tale Trumbo, Matt Damon in space adventure The Martian, Michael Fassbender as technology visionary Steve Jobs and Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.
In the best actress category, previous Oscar winners Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence return to the race this year.
Blanchett was nominated for her role in lesbian romance Carol, and Lawrence for playing the Miracle Mop inventor in Joy.
They will compete against Brie Larson for psychological thriller Room, Charlotte Rampling for British drama 45 Years and Saoirse Ronan for immigrant tale Brooklyn.
The Oscar winners will be announced at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Chris Rock in Hollywood on February 28.
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