Both films earned nine nods.
Rising star Alicia Vikander pulled off a coup with nominations for both leading actress and supporting actress. The former was for her performance in "The Danish Girl" and the latter for "Ex Machina."
Vikander joins a select group with the double. Others include Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett, rarified company for the 27-year-old Swedish actress, whose breakout year also included "Burnt" and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." She's currently filming the latest Bourne movie with Matt Damon.
Speaking of Blanchett, the Australian actress earned another BAFTA nomination -- her seventh -- for her performance in "Carol" as a woman in the middle of a divorce who starts a lesbian relationship with a sales clerk (Rooney Mara, up for best supporting actress).
"Carol's" other nominations are for best film, director Todd Haynes, adapted screenplay, cinematography, production design, costume design, and makeup and hair.
"Bridge of Spies," a Cold War drama about the capture of American pilot Francis Gary Powers, was nominated for best film, best director (Steven Spielberg), best supporting actor (Mark Rylance), original screenplay, original music, cinematography, editing, production design and sound.
The other best film nominees are "The Big Short," "The Revenant" and "Spotlight."
No 'Star Wars,' no 'Joy'
The BAFTAs, like many film honors, are watched closely during the awards season to handicap the biggest of them all, the Oscar.
If they're any guide, such films as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Joy" won't make much headway in major races.
"The made-in-England box office phenomenon could not break into any of the top tier races, contending only for music, production design, sound and visual effects," GoldDerby.com's Paul Sheehan noted of "Star Wars."
However, the BAFTAs have a "rising star award," and "Star Wars" star John Boyega is among those nominees.
"Joy" made out even worse than "Star Wars." It didn't earn a single nomination.
On the other hand, "The Big Short" -- which has done well in nominations for the Golden Globes
and SAG Awards
-- also received BAFTA approval, with five nominations, including best film and best director (Adam McKay). Concerns that it was "too American to play to British voters" proved to be unfounded, wrote Sheehan.
"The Revenant" also got a boost, earning eight nominations, including big categories such as film, director (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu) and star Leonardo DiCaprio.
The winner may go on to win best picture at the Oscars as well.
Since 2009, when the Oscars expanded the number of best picture nominees, the two honors have picked the same best movie every year -- except last year, when the BAFTAs went for "Boyhood" while the Oscars picked "Birdman."
On your marks ...
Of course, each award has its idiosyncracies.
The BAFTAs still limit the number of nominees to five for each category. The Globes divide some categories into drama and comedy/musical, and the Oscars now can go with up to 10 picks for best picture.
Handicappers will have their hands full starting Sunday, when the Golden Globes go out. The SAG Awards will follow January 30.
The Oscars conclude the season on February 28.
The BAFTAs will be handed out on February 14 at the Royal Opera House in London. Stephen Fry is hosting.