Movies Chicago and Gangs of New York are leading the way at the Bafta nominations with 12 nods, each while The Hours is just behind with 11 nominations.
All three are up for best film and best director, alongside The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which has nine nominations, and The Pianist, with seven.
Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, who both star in The Hours, are battling it out for best actress, along with Salma Hayek for Frida, Halle Berry for Monster's Ball and Renee Zellweger (Chicago).
Number of nominations
Gangs of New York: 12
The Hours: 11
Lord of the Rings: 11
The Pianist: 7
Catch Me If You Can: 4
And newcomer Adrien Brody (The Pianist) is taking on some big names for best actor - Sir Michael Caine, Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis and Nicolas Cage.
The Baftas are given to the best films of the last year, often with a UK slant that gives British actors and films more of a chance than they have at the Oscars.
UK stars did well in this year's list, with Catherine Zeta Jones, who recently missed out on a Golden Globe, up for best supporting actress for jazz musical Chicago.
Day-Lewis and Caine are also flying the British flag, along with Stephen Daldry, nominated for best director for The Hours, Alfred Molina, up for best supporting actor in Frida and Asif Kapadia, who directed The Warrior.
Best British film nominees
Bend it Like Beckham
Dirty Pretty Things
The Magdalene Sisters
Daldry's movie The Hours has also done well for the UK, as it leads the six major categories with six nods. Chicago follows with five and Gangs of New York three.
Kapadia's film was controversially dropped as the UK's Oscar entry for best foreign language film because Hindi is not a language indigenous to the UK, and the film was not about the Hindu community in the UK.
The Warrior also features in the best film not in the English Language category, along with Y Tu Mama Tambien, City of God, Devdas and Talk to Her.
The Baftas also has a category for best British film, and this year Bend it Like Beckham, Dirty Pretty Things, The Hours, The Magdalene Sisters and The Warrior are up for awards.
Nicole Kidman is up for best actress
But box office hit Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, got only three nods for technical categories, and while Bond movie Die Another Day - another financial success - is not up for any awards.
Both films are up for Orange film of the year, however, which is voted for by the public, and they will be up against The Lord of the Rings, which currently leads the vote, Star Wars and Ocean's 11.
About A Boy, the film of the book by Nick Hornby, saw its star Hugh Grant miss out, but his co-star Toni Collette is up for best supporting actress and the film is up for best adapted screenplay.
Collette is battling it out with Chicago star Queen Latifah, Meryl, Streep (Adaptation) and Julianne Moore (The Hours).
The Lord of the Rings: Also up for best picture Oscar
And veteran star Paul Newman - famed for a wealth of work including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - is up for best supporting actor for his role in Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition.
He will be up against Chris Cooper, nominated for black comedy Adaptation, and Ed Harris for The Hours, which links three women through the life of writer Virginia Woolf .
Christopher Walken also got a best supporting actor nod for Catch Me If You Can, while the two stars of the film, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, missed out.
Just imagine if all the profits from Harry Potter had stayed in this
country - we could have had a thriving industry
Sir Ian McKellen, on Harry Potter films being made with non-UK money