Steven Spielberg's heart-tugging new movie War Horse has emerged as the front-runner to land the Best Picture Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards, according to Hollywood's top film experts.

A panel of movie critics and industry insiders have listed their early picks on website GoldDerby.com and the first Oscars race odds appear to favor War Horse over George Clooney films The Descendants and The Ides of March.

Also making the cut in the first Academy Awards Best Picture list are The Artist, J. Edgar, summer hit The Help, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Brad Pitt films Moneyball and The Tree of Life.