This upcoming Thursday night, Common [click to read] will join the likes of respected actors Dustin Hoffman and Forest Whitaker, and relative newcomer Chris “Ludacris” Bridges [click to read] in presenting at the 14th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.

Different from the People’s Choice Awards, where movie fans and audiences actively participate in choosing winners, the Critics’ Choice Awards are based solely on the opinions of the critics. The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), which boasts the largest critic’s organization in America and Canada will give nods to the best films, actors, and directors of 2008.

In addition to presenting at the star-studded event, the Chi-town emcee, who finds himself crossing over from a rapper to a full-fledged entertainer, will be anticipating an award of his own. Wanted, a recent film in which Common plays a deadly assassin alongside Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, will compete for the title of “Best Action Movie.” The movie will go up against huge summer blockbusters Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, and The Dark Knight.

Other nominees include Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which featured Will.i.am [click to read] of the Black Eyed Peas, and The Secret Life of Bees, which starred Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Queen Latifah [click to read].

The Critics’ Choice Awards is scheduled to air live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on January 8th at 9 pm ET on VH1.

Reported by Salima Koroma.