Silent movie The Artist led the BAFTA nominations on Tuesday picking up 12, one ahead of British Cold War-era spy movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with 11.
Hugo, Martin Scorsese's family adventure, scored nine followed by My Week With Marilyn with six and five nominations each for The Help and War Horse.
As expected, Meryl Streep appears on the shortlist for best actress for her portrayal of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She is favoured to land an Academy Award for the performance.
She is up against Berenice Bejo (The Artist), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Viola Davis (The Help).
The best actor category is made up of Brad Pitt (Moneyball), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Michael Fassbender (Shame).
The best picture award will either go to The Artist, The Descendants, Drive, The Help or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
The nominations for the BAFTAs, Britain's top film honours and the most closely watched movie awards outside the United States, come a week before the Oscar shortlists are unveiled. The BAFTAs are awarded in London on February 12.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White)