Idris Elba, Eddie Redmayne, Dame Maggie Smith and Kate Winslet are among the British stars hoping to win a Bafta later.
Other stars expected on the red carpet include Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Vikander.
Blanchett’s romance Carol and Steven Spielberg’s drama Bridge of Spies lead the nominations with nine each.
The ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House will be hosted by Stephen Fry.
Carol and Bridge of Spies are both nominated for best film, alongside financial crash comedy The Big Short, DiCaprio’s wilderness epic The Revenant and Spotlight, which tells the true story about a newspaper investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church.
According to bookies, it is one of the closest contests in recent history with Spotlight the favourite, closely followed by The Revenant and The Big Short.
Six films compete for the title of outstanding British film. They include The Danish Girl, in which Redmayne plays transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, and Brooklyn, in which Saoirse Ronan plays a young Irish woman who emigrates to New York.
Amy Winehouse documentary Amy is also on the shortlist, as are marital drama 45 Years, sci-fi thriller Ex Machina – in which Vikander plays a humanoid robot – and surreal comedy drama The Lobster.
Redmayne is aiming for a Bafta double with his leading actor nod for The Danish Girl, a year after winning the same award last year for his role as Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
He faces competition from Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Matt Damon for The Martian, DiCaprio for The Revenant and Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs.
Alongside Blanchett and Dame Maggie on the leading actress list are Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn, Brie Larson for Room and Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl.
Vikander has a second nomination in the supporting actress category for Ex Machina. In the same category are Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight, Rooney Mara for Carol, and British stars Julie Walters for Brooklyn and Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs.
Three Brits are in the best supporting actor category – Christian Bale for The Big Short, Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation and Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies.
Completing the field are Benicio del Toro for Sicario and Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight.
Most nominated films:
9 – Bridge of Spies
9 – Carol
8 – The Revenant
7 – Mad Max: Fury Road
6 – Brooklyn
6 – The Martian
5 – The Big Short
5 – The Danish Girl
5 – Ex Machina
4 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Click here for the full nomination
The Bafta ceremony takes place two weeks before the Oscars which has faced a backlash over its all-white lists of nominees.
Several top industry figures – including Will Smith and Spike Lee – have said they will not attend the ceremony in Hollywood on 28 February after no black or minority actors were nominated in the four Oscars acting categories for the second year running.
The Baftas are often an indicator of Oscar success. Last year all of the Bafta acting winners – Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, JK Simmons and Patricia Arquette – went on to win the equivalent Oscars.
But it was a different story in the best film category where the Bafta went to Boyhood, while Birdman took the Oscar for best picture.
As previously announced, Sir Sidney Poitier is to be honoured with the Bafta Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to film. However, Sir Sidney is unable to attend the ceremony in person due to health reasons.
Angels Costumes, the world’s longest-established costume house, now in its 175th year, is to receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award.