The 64 members of the National Society of Film Critics from major cities including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Boston have chosen Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker as the Best Picture of 2009 - echoing the critic group choices from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Boston, amongst others. Bigelow also won Best Director and Jeremy Renner was named Best Actor. Depending on how you read the numbers though, this may not be the best news in the world for the acclaimed thriller.

Going back to 1999, 7 of the last 11 films that they have named as Film of the Year have failed to even get a nomination. For the doomsayers you can then go back a few more years and say 9 of the last 14 haven't been nominated. For the class half-full set, look no further than 1990-95 when 5-of-6 Best Film choices were nominated and also 3 of the past 5 years. However, if a nomination remains little more than a kissing-your-sister runners-up prize, then everyone hoping that The Hurt Locker may be one of the frontrunners might be biting their nails a little bit. Only four times since their existence in 1967 have the group matched their choice with the eventual Oscar winner. Their first came in 1977 with Annie Hall with their most recent in 2004 with Million Dollar Baby. They saw back-to-back victories in 1992-93 with Unforgiven and Schindler's List.