Adapted screenplay: Doubt

John Patrick Shanley (from his stage play)

Shanley’s adaptation of his own Tony-winning play trims the dialogue and opens up the story without dissipating its tension or energy, even with new scenes bringing in the entire working-class Bronx parish in which it’s set. Glimpse inside the cloistered world of early-’60s nuns and priests is something rarely seen onscreen.

WHY IT’LL WIN: Lots of pedigree, thought-provoking dilemmas and one of the year’s knockout scenes.

MAYBE NOT: Still talky for a screenplay.

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