We're breaking down all the Oscar 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. Next up: 'Man on a Wire,' the thrilling documentary that's been flying high with critics since its debut.

What It's Nominated for: Best Documentary, Features

What It's About: The docu chronicles French wire walker Philippe Petit as he prepares for and then acts on his outrageous plan, to traverse a high wire between the Twin Towers in 1974.

Why You Should See It: To find out what makes a man want to risk his life to complete a feat that will 1) possibly kill him, 2) not put any money in his pocket and 3) most probably get him arrested. The film blends present-day interviews with the team, re-creations of actual events and -- most compellingly -- footage from Petit's preparation that had been videotaped by one of his entourage. The story of Petit's ambitious trek to the top of the World Trade Center, and across a line stretched between the two buildings, is as inspiring as it is fascinating. Even the police can't bring the story crashing to the ground, with their terse notation on the arrest warrant from which the film takes its title.

It's Kind of Like: 'The Great Wallendas,' except for real

How You Can See It: Available now on DVD

We're breaking down all the Oscar 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. Next up: 'Man on a Wire,' the thrilling documentary that's been flying high with critics since its debut.

What It's Nominated for: Best Documentary, Features

What It's About: The docu chronicles French wire walker Philippe Petit as he prepares for and then acts on his outrageous plan, to traverse a high wire between the Twin Towers in 1974.

Why You Should See It: To find out what makes a man want to risk his life to complete a feat that will 1) possibly kill him, 2) not put any money in his pocket and 3) most probably get him arrested. The film blends present-day interviews with the team, re-creations of actual events and -- most compellingly -- footage from Petit's preparation that had been videotaped by one of his entourage. The story of Petit's ambitious trek to the top of the World Trade Center, and across a line stretched between the two buildings, is as inspiring as it is fascinating. Even the police can't bring the story crashing to the ground, with their terse notation on the arrest warrant from which the film takes its title.

It's Kind of Like: 'The Great Wallendas,' except for real

How You Can See It: Available now on DVD