Chris Pratt (left) and Joel Edgerton play the SEAL Team Six soldiers who raid Osama Bin Laden's compound in the Oscar-nominated action thriller from director Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty.” (Jonathan Olley)

Two of Friday’s new movie releases also happen to be contenders for Academy Awards, which were announced Thursday morning. Both “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Amour” received four stars from film critic Ann Hornaday, and both are nominated in the Best Picture category, among others. Here’s what Hornaday had to say about the films:

Zero Dark Thirty” (R) “... Within a few scant minutes Bigelow signals that she will not turn away from the most unsavory aspects of the history she’s chronicling and that she will lead viewers through a gnarly, complicated story with authority, flinty composure, keen storytelling instincts and unmatched technical chops.” — Ann Hornaday

Amour” (PG-13) “[Michael] Haneke has made a film that is beautiful and horrifying, moving and confounding, profoundly moral and deeply troubling -- in other words, a movie that is utterly worthy of its all-encompassing title.” — Ann Hornaday

Gangster Squad” (R) “With its high-gloss sheen, hardboiled timbre and love of slow-motion shootouts, it’s actually ‘Gangster Squad’ that -- in the words of one of its characters -- blithely celebrates the bright boys who shoot their way to the top of their class. ‘Gangster Squad’ may earn a gentleman’s C for style, but the moral of the story gets a failing grade.” — Ann Hornaday

Also opening: “Haunted House