The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the final 10 contenders for the Visual Effects Oscar today eliminating five previously announced candidates.  The Visual Effects committee has decided that "Super 8," "Thor," "Sucker Punch," "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" are no longer eligible for a nomination.  Instead, the following 10 films will provide 10-minute excerpts that will be screened by branch members on Thursday, January 19.

    "Captain America: The First Avenger"
    "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
    "Hugo"
    "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol"
    "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
    "Real Steel"
    "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
    "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
    "The Tree of Life"
    "X-Men: First Class"

Following the screenings, which has long been nicknamed the "bake off," the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.  Those honorees will be announced with the rest of the Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, Jan. 24.  

Based on the final 10 contenders, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," "The Tree of Life," "Hugo," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2" and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" seem the likely frontrunners.  The race to win the Oscar is likely between "Apes" and "Life."

Among the cut contenders, its surprising "Thor's" gorgeous effects and "Super 8's" impressive train crash were dismissed while mediocre work in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" remains.

What do you think of this year's Visual Effects contenders? Share your thoughts below.

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