We're breaking down all the Oscars contenders for you, so that you can decide whether you want to see them -- or at the very least, hold your own at cocktail parties. Today: The play-turned-film 'Doubt,' Oscar's leader in acting nominations.

Nominated for: Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams), Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), Best Adapted Screenplay (John Patrick Shanley)

What It's About: An icy, conservative nun (Streep) and younger, progressive priest (Hoffman) are the Hannity and Colmes of a Bronx Catholic church and school in 1964. But when she suspects him of molesting the school's first black student, their relationship transforms from one of passive difference to hostile opposition. Adams is a blithe Sister turning more cynical under Streep; Davis is the student's fraught mother.

Why You Should See It: Any time a film gets four Oscar nominations for acting, you know you're in for some dramatic screen magic. Leading the way is Streep's Sister Aloysius, the very last person you'd want to run into without a hall pass (talk about invoking the fear of God). And owning one of the year's most memorable scenes is Davis, so affecting in her mere 12 minutes on screen, she could very well walk away with an Oscar. Don't hold it against the film that its writer-director Shanley's last movie was 'Joe Versus the Volcano.' This is a much better conflict.

It's Kind of Like: 'Priest' meets 'Dead Man Walking'

How You Can See It: In theaters now


We're breaking down all the Oscars contenders for you, so that you can decide whether you want to see them -- or at the very least, hold your own at cocktail parties. Today: The play-turned-film 'Doubt,' Oscar's leader in acting nominations.

Nominated for: Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams), Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), Best Adapted Screenplay (John Patrick Shanley)

What It's About: An icy, conservative nun (Streep) and younger, progressive priest (Hoffman) are the Hannity and Colmes of a Bronx Catholic church and school in 1964. But when she suspects him of molesting the school's first black student, their relationship transforms from one of passive difference to hostile opposition. Adams is a blithe Sister turning more cynical under Streep; Davis is the student's fraught mother.

Why You Should See It: Any time a film gets four Oscar nominations for acting, you know you're in for some dramatic screen magic. Leading the way is Streep's Sister Aloysius, the very last person you'd want to run into without a hall pass (talk about invoking the fear of God). And owning one of the year's most memorable scenes is Davis, so affecting in her mere 12 minutes on screen, she could very well walk away with an Oscar. Don't hold it against the film that its writer-director Shanley's last movie was 'Joe Versus the Volcano.' This is a much better conflict.

It's Kind of Like: 'Priest' meets 'Dead Man Walking'

How You Can See It: In theaters now