Box office behemoth The Dark Knight is the favourite to emerge victorious at the 14th annual Empire awards, after the nominations were announced.

Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins sequel - which won two Oscars last weekend - has four nominations for the film magazine's awards, sponsored by Jameson.

The Dark Knight is vying with There Will Be Blood, WALL-E, No Country For Old Men and Iron Man for the best film prize while Nolan is up for the best director prize.

Lead actor Christian Bale is nominated for best actor - alongside Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert Downey Jr, Daniel Craig and Johnny Depp - while the comic book film is also included in the best sci-fi/fantasy/superhero movie category.

Quantum of Solace, the 22nd James Bond film, also has four nominations, while animated Oscar winner WALL-E is nominated for three awards.

The best newcomer award, meanwhile, will be contested between Twilight star Robert Pattinson, St Trinian's actress Gemma Arterton, Across the Universe's Jim Sturgess, RocknRolla actor Toby Kebbell and Brideshead Revisited cast member Hayley Attwell.

"These nominations, unlike those of other awards shows, truly reflect the power and diversity of cinema," said Empire editor Mark Dinning.

"Representing an amazing year for film, these nominations - incorporating everything from blockbuster action movies to thought-provoking dramas - mark the Jameson Empire awards out as the true barometer of movie taste, with movies like Wall-E and The Dark Knight finally getting the credit to match their monumental box office success."

The Jameson Empire awards 2009 nominations are:Best Film
There Will Be Blood
No Country For Old Men
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

Best Actor
Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man)
Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
Daniel Craig (Quantum of Solace)
Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)

Best Actress
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd)
Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace)

Best Director
Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight)
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
The Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men)
Andrew Stanton (WALL-E)

Best British Film
Eden Lake
In Bruges
Son of Rambow

Best Soundtrack (Shortlist by Empire Magazine)
Mamma Mia!
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Quantum of Solace
There Will Be Blood

Best Comedy
Tropic Thunder
Son of Rambow
Ghost Town
In Bruges
Burn after Reading

Best Horror
The Orphanage
The Mist
Eden Lake
The Strangers
Sweeney Todd

Best Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Superhero Movie
Iron Man
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
The Dark Knight

Best Thriller
No Country For Old Men
Quantum of Solace
Gone Baby Gone
Eagle Eye

Best Newcomer
Robert Pattinson
Gemma Arterton
Jim Sturgess
Toby Kebbell
Hayley Atwell

02/03/2009 14:14:43