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, be able to hold your own at cocktail parties. Next up: '127 Hours,' based on the harrowing true story of real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston.

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor (James Franco), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song
What It's About: Avid mountain climber Aron Ralston's (Franco) hiking trip turns dangerous when he slips and falls into a cave, where his arm gets trapped by a boulder. He spends the next 127 hours fighting to survive and soon realizes that the only way to get out alive is to amputate his own arm.

Why You Should See It: James Franco carries the movie. It's his best performance to date, one that showcases all of his strengths as an actor: charisma, humor, depth, drama and more. He's supported nicely by director Danny Boyle, whose unique vision helps to turn this true story into something that is both cinematic and ultimately inspirational. Sure, the amputation scene is tough to sit through, but the emotional payoff is well worth it.

It's Kind of Like:'Into the Wild' meets 'The African Queen'

How You Can See It:In Theaters Now

Watch the '127 Hours' Trailer

127 Hours
Based on 38 critics

Mountaineer Aron Ralston must make an agonizing choice after his arm becomes pinned by a boulder. Read More

categories Movies, Oscars, Awards