Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead the race for this year'sOscars with nine nominations each.
The Imitation Game, Boyhood and American Sniper also have multiple nominations.
There was good news for British actors as Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones and Keira Knightley are all nominated.
Up against Cumberbatch and Redmayne for best actor are Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper and Michael Keaton.
Cumberbatch, who plays codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, said he was "knocked for six" by the nomination.
"So excited and honoured to receive this recognition," he said.
"It's wonderful to be included by the Academy in this exceptional year of performances. To ring my parents, who are both actors, and tell them that their only son has been nominated for an Oscar is one of the proudest moments of my life."
It is Bradley Cooper's third consecutive Oscar nomination, this year for his role in Clint Eastwood's military biopic American Sniper.
He is the first actor to achieve this feat since Russell Crowe was nominated for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind at the start of the century.
Meryl Streep is nominated for her 19th acting Oscar, breaking her own Academy Awards record. She is up for best supporting actress for Into the Woods alongside Knightley, Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern and Emma Stone.
Nominated alongside Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike in the best actress category are previous Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Marion Cotillard, alongside Julianne Moore, who recently won the Golden Globe for her role in Still Alice.
Those who missed out in the category included Jennifer Aniston, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in Cake, and Amy Adams who won the Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for Big Eyes.
Speaking immediately after the announcement, Felicity Jones, nominated for her role as Stephen Hawking's first wife Jane in The Theory of Everything, admitted she was too nervous to watch the nominations live.
"It's so nerve-wracking I couldn't watch it", she told BBC 5 live. "I was just waiting and I got a phone call from my brother. He was very sweet, he just said: "you've done it, you've got it.
"I was just so excited. It's one of those things you never quite expect. It's just fantastic news".
The nominees in the main categories are:
- American Sniper
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- The Imitation Game
- The Theory of Everything
- Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
- Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
- Alejandro G Inarritu (Birdman)
- Morten Tyldum - The Theory of Everything
- Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher
- Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
- Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
- Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
- Michael Keaton (Birdman)
- Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
- Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
- Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
- Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
- Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
- Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
The Lego Movie was a surprise omission in the best animated film category, although its catchy theme song Everything is Awesome, by Tegan & Sara, is up for best song.
Also up for best song is Grateful written by Diane Warren and performed by British singer Rita Ora in Beyond the Lights, alongside John Legend, who won the Golden Globe for his song Glory from the film Selma.
Civil rights drama Selma's only other nomination comes in the best picture category.