The much-watched nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association come as Hollywood gears up for its annual awards season, which climaxes with the industry's top honors, the Oscars, in March.
Traffic director Stephen Soderbergh received two best-director nominations, for that movie and Erin Brockovich.
Gladiator was nominated for dramatic picture, best dramatic actor for Russell Crowe, supporting actor Joaquin Phoenix, director Ridley Scott and its musical score.
This year's Golden Globe winners will be named in an ceremony broadcast across the United States from Beverly Hills on Jan. 21. The Globes give movie fans an indication of how members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may vote for the Oscars when those awards are handed out.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Cas Away were shut out of the category. That's a surprise, reports MTV News Correspondent Chris Connelly, especially considering Tiger's support in the foreign community.
In past years, movies such as American Beauty, Saving Private Ryan or Titanic emerged as clear front-runners.
This year, however, no one movie has grabbed that sort of attention, and many critics say awards voters have a lackluster lineup to choose from.
Nominees are chosen by the association's roughly 90 members, who cover Hollywood for overseas publications.
In the past 57 years, one of the two best-picture winners at the Golden Globes has taken the same honor at the Oscars 41 times, said Thomas O'Neil, author of Movie Awards, a book due out next month that examines film honors.
"The Golden Globe is a genuine crystal ball for the Oscars," O'Neil said.
The 1999 Golden Globes correctly predicted Oscar wins for American Beauty and director Sam Mendes, Boys Don't Cry star Hilary Swank and Girl, Interrupted supporting actress Angelina Jolie.
Nominees for best actress in a dramatic movie were favorite Joan Allen for The Contender, Bjork for Dancer in the Dark, Ellen Burstyn for Requiem for a Dream, Laura Linney for You Can Count on Me and Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich.
Best actress nominees for a musical or comedy were Juliette Binoche for Chocolat, Brenda Blethyn for Saving Grace, Sandra Bullock for Miss Congeniality, Tracey Ullman for Small Time Crooks and Renee Zellweger for Nurse Betty.
Best musical or comedy actor nominees were Jim Carrey for Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, George Clooney for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, John Cusack for High Fidelity, Robert De Niro for Meet the Parents and Mel Gibson for What Women Want.
The other supporting actress nominees included Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand for Almost Famous, Judi Dench for Chocolat and Julie Walters for Billy Elliot.
The other supporting actor nominees were Jeff Bridges for The Contender, Willem Dafoe for Shadow of the Vampire and Albert Finney for Erin Brockovich.
Besides Scott and Soderberg, the best movie director nominees were Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Istvan Szabo for Sunshine.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon received two other nominations including best foreign language film.
The other foreign language film nominees were Amores Perros from Mexico, the Italian films The Hundred Steps and Malena, and the French film The Widow of St. Pierre.
Acting nominees Bjork also received a nomination for best original song, I've Seen it All, for which she wrote the music. Other song nominees included Sting and David Hartley for My Funny Friend and Me from The Emperor's New Groove, One in a Million by Steffan Olsson from Miss Congeniality, Bob Dylan for Things Have Changed from Wonder Boys and Garth Brooks and Jenny Yates for When You Come Back to Me Again from Frequency.