Oscar best picture winners ranked from worst to best

Fox-Paramount Home Entertainment (left); Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (center); 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (left)

The 93rd Academy Awards were delayed and pushed back to April 25, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but nothing could stop this Oscar debate: What’s the best best picture of all time — and what’s the worst? 

From “Wings” to “Nomadland,” 93 films to date have earned the Academy Award for best picture. But within that elite group, there are great movies and — yes — not-so-great ones. In fact, if you listen to the critics, some best picture Oscar winners are downright terrible.

Here’s a look at every best picture winner, ranked from worst to best. We compiled our rundown using data from the movie-review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Where there were ties, we sorted films by their Rotten Tomatoes user score.  

93. “The Broadway Melody” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36)



This 1929 “talkie” won the best picture award at the second Academy Awards. Reviewing the film 80 years after its release, ReelViews critic James Berardinelli said it “has not stood the test of time.” 

He wrote that MGM believed “viewers would be willing to ignore bad acting and pedestrian directing in order to experience singing, dancing, and talking on the silver screen.”

92. “The Greatest Show on Earth” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43)

Greatest Show

Paramount Pictures

In 1952 this behind-the-scenes circus drama beat out the Gary Cooper Western “High Noon” for best picture. 

Fast-forward to 2006, and the Chicago Reader wrote, “It won best-picture Oscar for 1952, but God… only knows why.”

91. “Cimarron” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52)


RKO Radio Pictures

This Western won the top honor in 1931. Since then, critics have soured on the film. 

“As a motion picture, this is fairly worthless,” writes Matt Brunson for Creative Loafing, “with its casual cruelty and condescension toward Native Americans, blacks… Jews and the handicapped.”

90. “Out of Africa” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58)


Universal Pictures

Though this 1985 romance took home seven Oscars, not everyone was impressed. 

The New York Times’ Vincent Canby was critical of the film’s tone, writing, “I’m afraid that the film’s most moving moments are those that recall what life was like back in the good old days on the plantation.”

89. “Cavalcade” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63)


20th Century Fox

In this 1933 film, a wealthy London family laments changing times and losing loved ones. One son is killed in World War I and the other goes down with the Titanic. 

In 2006, Time Out wrote, “Snobbery, sentimentality and jingoism run riot in Noël Coward’s pageant of life.”

88. “The Great Ziegfeld” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66)



This lavish 1936 musical is a tribute to real-life theater showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.  In 2000, the Chicago Reader wrote, “It’s amazingly dull… so of course it won the best picture Oscar for 1936.”

87. “Forrest Gump” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70)


Paramount Pictures

In 1994, Forrest Gump jogged into the hearts and minds of Academy voters and won six Oscars.

But not everyone was so enchanted by the slow-talking hero. Entertainment Weekly described the film as “glib, shallow, and monotonous.”

86. “Around the World in 80 Days” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72)


United Artists

Sure, the lead actors in this 1956 movie — David Niven and Shirley MacLaine — were famous, but the cameos were even bigger: think Red Skelton, Marlene Dietrich and Frank Sinatra.

In 2006, the Chicago Reader called this film, “Proof that you can buy an Academy Award.”

85. “Gentleman’s Agreement” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74; Audience Score: 77)


20th Century Fox

In this 1947 flick, Gregory Peck plays Philip Schuyler Green, a journalist who poses as a Jewish man to investigate antisemitism in New York.

The film was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress.

84. “Crash” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74; Audience Score: 88)


Lionsgate Films

An ensemble cast explores racism and socioeconomic tensions over two days in Los Angeles in this 2004 film.

The New York Times wasn’t terribly impressed though, calling this movie “crudely manipulative when it tries hardest to be subtle.”

83. “A Beautiful Mind” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74; Audience Score: 93)


Universal Pictures

Russell Crowe is John Nash, a Nobel-winning economist who struggles with schizophrenia in this 2001 biopic.

Jennifer Connelly won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Nash’s wife, Alicia.

82. “Braveheart” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76; Audience Score: 85)


Paramount Pictures

Mel Gibson starred in and directed this 1995 biopic on Scottish warrior William Wallace. 

In 2009, London’s Times newspaper ranked “Braveheart” second on a list of the 10 most historically inaccurate movies of all time.

81. “Gladiator” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76; Audience Score: 87)


DreamWorks Pictures

A celebrated Roman war general (Russell Crowe) is forced into slavery by the ruthless son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in this 2000 film. 

But some critics were underwhelmed: Manohla Dargis of the LA Weekly wrote, “It’s mournful, serious, beautiful and, finally, pointless.”

80. “Terms of Endearment” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78; Audience Score: 84)


Paramount Pictures

Star Shirley MacLaine was nominated for best actress four times before finally winning her first Oscar for this movie in 1983.

Jack Nicholson also picked up an Oscar for best supporting actor.

79. “Green Book” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78; Audience Score: 91)


Universal Pictures

Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen star in this 2018 film about the friendship between jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley and his driver and bodyguard, Tony Vallelonga. 

The tale is inspired by a true story.

78. “Gigi” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80)



In turn-of-the-century Paris, Gigi is raised to join her family’s business and become a courtesan. But when an older playboy falls in love with her, he must decide whether to make her his mistress or his wife. 

The film was released in 1958.

77. “The Life of Emile Zola” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81; Audience Score: 73)


Warner Bros. Pictures

This 1937 biopic about French author Emile Zola was nominated for 10 Oscars and won three.

In 2008, Dennis Schwartz of Ozus’ World Movie Reviews called this one “a piece of pap.”

76. “Driving Miss Daisy” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81; Audience Score: 81)


Warner Bros. Pictures

Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy explore prejudice and aging in the American South. 

Though it won four Oscars, some critics remained unconvinced. Thomas B. Harrison of the Tampa Bay Times lamented the movie as “self-righteous and silly.”

75. “Oliver!” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82)


Columbia Pictures

This musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic “Oliver Twist” was heralded when it was released in 1968. 

Roger Ebert wrote, “It is as well-made as a film can be.”

74. “Going My Way” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83; Audience Score: 75)


Paramount Pictures

Bing Crosby stars in this 1944 musical about a young priest who works to be accepted when he takes over at a new parish.

The film was the highest-grossing of 1944 and inspired a sequel, “The Bells of St. Mary’s.”

(TIE) 72. “Dances with Wolves” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83; Audience Score: 87)


Orion Pictures

Kevin Costner made his directorial debut in 1990 with this Western epic about a Union Army lieutenant who befriends Lakota Indians on the American frontier. 

Costner also picked up an Academy Award for best director.

(TIE) 72. “A Man for All Seasons” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83: Audience Score: 87)


Columbia Pictures

This 1966 biopic tells the story of Sir Thomas More, sentenced to death by King Henry VIII for opposing a royal divorce. 

Orson Welles logged a performance as Cardinal Wolsey.

71. “Chariots of Fire” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84; Audience Score: 80)


Warner Bros.

In this 1984 drama, two runners — one Christian, one Jewish — find different motivations to achieve athletic excellence in the 1924 Olympics. 

The film is based on a true story.

70. “The Sound of Music” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84; Audience Score: 91)


20th Century Fox

You might remember this Julie Andrews musical as a classic, but the film received mixed reviews when it was first released in 1965. 

The New York Times described it as “romantic nonsense and sentiment.”

69. “Gandhi” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84; Audience Score: 92)


Columbia Pictures

Ben Kingsley plays the title role in this 1982 biopic about India’s independence leader. 

Kingsley took home an Oscar for best actor.

68. “Tom Jones” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85; Audience Score: 58)


Lopert Pictures Corporation

The characters in this 1963 British adventure-comedy occasionally break the fourth wall and speak directly to the audience.

The wildly popular film got 10 Oscar nominations and won four.

(TIE) 66. “The English Patient” (Metascore: 85; Audience Score: 83)


Miramax Films

This 1996 war drama was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won nine.

“The English Patient” beat out “Fargo” and “Jerry Maguire” for best picture.

(TIE) 66. “Chicago” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86; Audience Score: 83)


Miramax Films

It had been 34 years since a musical won the best picture Oscar when “Chicago” tangoed onto the scene and won six Academy Awards, including the top prize in 2003.

The last musical to take home a Best-Picture Oscar? “Oliver!”

65. “Ben-Hur” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86; Audience Score: 89)

Ben-Hur (1959)


With 11 Academy Awards, this 1959 biblical flick shares the record for the most Oscar trophies with “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

The film had already gotten the Hollywood treatment twice by the time this iteration was released.

64. “American Beauty” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87)


DreamWorks Pictures

A man has a midlife crisis and fantasizes about his daughter’s friend. 

“American Beauty” won five Oscars, more than any other film in 2000.

63. “Grand Hotel” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 77)



Greta Garbo plays a suicidal, aging ballerina in this 1932 drama. 

Her line “I want to be alone” is one of the most famous in film history, placing No. 30 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes list.

62. “Ordinary People” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 88)


Paramount Pictures

Robert Redford made his directorial debut in 1980 with this film about a family coping with the death of their teenage son. 

He also won the Oscar for best director.

61. “Kramer vs. Kramer” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 89)


Columbia Pictures

Meryl Streep won her first Oscar in 1980 for her portrayal of Joanna Kramer, a woman who asks for a divorce from her workaholic husband and then fights over custody of their young son.

In the Los Angeles Times, critic Charles Champlin called this movie, “as nearly perfect a film as can be.”

60. “Platoon” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 93)


Orion Pictures

Writer and director Oliver Stone based this 1986 film on his experience as a U.S. infantryman during the Vietnam War. 

For filming, the Philippines stood in for Vietnam.

59. “Titanic” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89)


Paramount Pictures

James Cameron’s 1997 epic about the famously doomed luxury ship won 11 Academy Awards, tied for the most in history, and was hugely popular with moviegoers.

But even contemporary reviews weren’t unanimously hot on the film. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek wrote, “Cameron has little finesse, or originality, as a storyteller.”

(TIE) 57. “The Last Emperor” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90; Audience Score: 88)


Columbia Pictures

Based on the autobiography of Puyi, the last emperor of China, this 1987 Italian-British co-production was the first western feature authorized by the Chinese government to shoot in the Forbidden City. 

As a result, director Bernardo Bertolucci showcases the location heavily in the film.

(TIE) 57. “Midnight Cowboy” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90; Audience Score: 88)


United Artists

This 1969 film was the first and only X-rated movie ever to win best picture. 

The MPAA later replaced the “X” rating with an “R.”

56. “Rain Man” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90; Audience Score: 90)

Rain Man

MGM Pictures

In the 1988 film, Tom Cruise plays a Los Angeles hustler who discovers that he has an older brother, a savant, living in a mental health facility in Ohio. 

The two bond during a cross-country road trip.

55. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) ” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 77)


Fox Searchlight Pictures

Michael Keaton plays a self-involved actor trying to make a comeback with his career and his estranged daughter. 

Emma Stone co-stars in this 2014 film.

54. “How Green Was My Valley” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 81)


20th Century Fox

This film about the residents of a 19th-century Welsh mining town beat out “Citizen Kane” for best picture at the Academy Awards in 1942. 

The story is based on a best-selling novel.

53. “From Here to Eternity” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 84)

From Here to Eternity (1953) USA

Columbia Pictures

This 1953 film follows soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

But you probably remember it for this iconic scene on the beach with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr.

(TIE) 51. “Million Dollar Baby” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 90)


Warner Bros. Pictures

Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank star in this 2004 sports drama about a boxer and an ill-tempered manager

Eastwood also produced, directed and scored the film.

(TIE) 51. “Slumdog Millionaire” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 90)


Fox Searchlight Pictures

This 2008 film tells the story of a “slumdog” boy who wins the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” overcomes poverty, and gets the girl. 

The story is based on the award-winning novel “Q & A.”

50. “Gone with the Wind” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 93)


Bettmann/Getty Images

This 1939 Civil War melodrama was nominated for 13 Oscars and won eight. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award, but at the ceremony in 1940, she was made to sit in a segregated area from her co-stars.

In June 2020, the film was pulled from HBO Max after John Ridley, the Oscar-winning writer of “12 Years a Slave,” wrote an op-ed about the harm of its romanticized depiction of the Confederacy. “Gone With the Wind” subsequently was returned to the streaming service with a disclaimer pointing out that the film “denies the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality.”  

49. “The Departed” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 94)


Warner Bros. Pictures

Martin Scorsese won his first Academy Award for best director for this Boston Irish mob drama in 2007. 

It was his sixth nomination for the award.

48. “The Shape of Water” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92; Audience Score: 72)


Fox Searchlight Pictures

Guillermo del Toro directed this 2017 romantic fantasy about a woman who falls for an aquatic suitor. 

The male lead is played by accomplished creature actor Doug Jones.

47. “Shakespeare in Love” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92; Audience Score: 80)


Miramax Films

William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) falls for a wealthy young woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) in this 1998 rom-com. 

Paltrow took home a best actress Oscar for her role.

46. “West Side Story” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92; Audience Score: 84)


United Artists

With 10 Academy Awards, this 1961 “Romeo and Juliet” tale is the most decorated musical in Oscar history to date.  

The flick is based on a hit 1957 Broadway musical.

45. “Wings” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 78)


Paramount Pictures

This 1927 silent film starring Clara Bow was the first-ever Academy Awards best picture winner. 

It’s set during WWI.

44. “Mutiny on the Bounty” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 84)



The Hollywood Reporter wrote that this 1935 movie was “one of the greatest films of all time.” 

Charles Laughton plays the brutal Captain Bligh.

43. “Mrs. Miniver” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 85)


Loew’s Inc.

This World War II drama was particularly timely as it was released in the midst of the war, in June 1942.

Greer Garson won a best actress Oscar for her role.

(TIE) 41. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 86)


New Line Cinema

In 2004, the third and final installment of the Lord of the Rings franchise became the second sequel to ever win best picture.

The last such winner: “The Godfather II” from 1974.

(TIE) 41. “No Country for Old Men” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 86)


Miramax Films

Joel and Ethan Coen wrote and directed this 2007 Western thriller starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin. 

The film was adapted from a book by Cormac McCarthy.

40. “You Can’t Take It With You” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 88)


Columbia Pictures

Jimmy Stewart stars in this 1938 comedy about a couple — the wealthy son of a banker and a stenographer from an eccentric family — struggling to make it work, despite their different origins.

The iconic Frank Capra directed.

39. “The Deer Hunter” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 92)


Universal Pictures

Fighting in the Vietnam War changes the lives of three friends. 

The 1978 film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage.

38. “The Apartment” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 94)


United Artists

A clerk lets his bosses use his apartment for illicit trysts, all in hopes of a promotion, in this 1960 film. 

At the time of release, the subject matter was considered fairly scandalous.

37. “Amadeus” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 95)


Orion Pictures

F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce star in this 1984 biopic about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

Both men were nominated for the best actor Oscar; Abraham won the award.

36. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 96)


United Artists

In 1976, Jack Nicholson won his first Academy Award for best actor in this film.

He portrayed a convict who swindles his way into a mental institution.

35. “Rocky” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 69)


United Artists

In this 1976 film, Sylvester Stallone plays a small-time fighter in Philadelphia. 

The scrappy boxer gets a chance to compete for the world heavyweight championship.

34. “Nomadland” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 82)


Searchlight Pictures

Critics have compared this drama — about a van-dwelling woman who wanders the American West — to “The Grapes of Wrath.” 

Chloé Zhao also won for best director and Frances McDormand earned a best actress statuette.

33. “In the Heat of the Night” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 92)


United Artists

Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger star in this 1967 police drama about racism in small-town Mississippi. 

It’s based on a novel of the same name.

32. “Patton” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 93)


20th Century Fox

George C. Scott won the Oscar for best actor in 1971 for his portrayal of General Patton. 

But he famously refused to accept the award, as he disliked the voting process and acting competitions in general.

31. “The Sting” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 95)

The Sting 1973

Universal Pictures

Two charming grifters con a mob boss in this caper.

After nearly half a century of Academy Awards ceremonies, Julia Phillips became the first female producer to be nominated for, and to win, the award for best picture in 1973. 

30. “All the King’s Men” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 78)


Columbia Pictures

Based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren, this 1949 noir film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three. 

The plot follows the rise and fall of a ruthless politician.

29. “An American in Paris” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 79)


Loew’s Inc.

George Gershwin wrote the music for this 1951 film, which features songs like “I Got Rhythm” and “‘S Wonderful.” 

Critics especially loved the film’s final dance sequence.

28. “Hamlet” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 80)



Laurence Olivier stars in this 1948 adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. 

The film won four Academy Awards.

27. “The Artist” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 87)


Warner Bros. Pictures

In this 2011 black-and-white (mostly) silent film, an older movie star struggles with the transition to “talkies.”

A Parson Jack Russell terrier named Uggie played such a memorable role that some critics lobbied for a special dog Oscar for the pooch that year.

(TIE) 25. “12 Years a Slave” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 90)


Fox Searchlight Pictures

This 2013 film is based on the memoir by Solomon Northrup, a free-born black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.

Chiwetel Ejiofor starred.

(TIE) 25. “My Fair Lady” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 90)

My Fair Lady, Audrey Hepburn

Warner Bros. Pictures

In this 1964 musical, a conceited phonetics professor played by Rex Harrison bets a friend that he can teach a crass, Cockney flower girl “to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist’s shop.”

Audrey Hepburn starred.

24. “The King’s Speech” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 92)


Momentum Pictures

In this 2010 film, King George VI struggles with a stammer that makes public speaking a traumatic affair. 

Enter Lionel Logue, a speech therapist who will help the new king conquer his stammer and his associated fears.

23. “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 93)


Columbia Pictures

Twenty years before he picked up a lightsaber as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Alec Guinness won the Academy Award for best actor in 1958 for his portrayal of Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson in this war epic.

Many critics regard the film as one of the greatest of all time.

22. “Argo” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 90)


Warner Bros. Pictures

Ben Affleck directed this 2012 spy thriller that was based on a real-life, stranger-than-fiction CIA operation. 

Agents disguised a hostage rescue mission in Iran as a science fiction movie production.

(TIE) 20. “The Best Years of Our Lives” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 93)

dana andrews & virginia mayo - the best years of our lives 1946

RKO Radio Pictures

Three soldiers struggle to adjust to civilian life after fighting in World War II. 

This film told a prescient story in 1946, when many men had recently returned home from the war.

(TIE) 20. “Unforgiven” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 93)


Warner Bros. Pictures

Clint Eastwood produced, directed and starred in this 1992 Western about an aging outlaw who takes one last job.

In 2004, “Unforgiven” was added to the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

19. “Silence of the Lambs” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 95)


Orion Pictures

This thriller swept the top five categories at the 1992 Academy Awards and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2011.

Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins co-star.

18. “The Hurt Locker” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 84)


Summit Entertainment

Jeremy Renner stars in this 2009 film about a U.S. Army explosives disposal team in Iraq.

Kathryn Bigelow received praise from critics — and an Oscar — for her directing.

17. “Annie Hall” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 92)


United Artists

Woody Allen wrote the titular role specifically for Diane Keaton, and she ultimately won the Oscar for best actress in 1978.

The film won four Oscars in total.

16. “Spotlight” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 93)


Open Road Films

In this 2015 film, journalists at the Boston Globe investigate sexual assault allegations against a local priest only to discover a much broader pattern in the Catholic Church.

Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams star.

(TIE) 14. “The Godfather Part II” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 97)


Paramount Pictures

The second installment in the Godfather franchise was released in 1974. 

It is both a sequel and a prequel to the first film, telling the stories of father and son Vito and Michael Corleone.

(TIE) 14. “Schindler’s List” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 97)


Universal Pictures

Liam Neeson plays German businessman Oskar Schindler, who employs hundreds of Jewish refugees at his enamelware factories during World War II. 

The 1993 film is based on true events.

13. “Moonlight” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 79)



“Moonlight” follows the life of a young, gay Black man in Miami as he grows up in poverty and struggles with bullying and abuse. 

“Moonlight” famously won the best picture Oscar in 2017 after Warren Beatty erroneously announced that the award had gone to “La La Land.”

12. “The French Connection” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 87)


20th Century Fox

Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider star as New York detectives who investigate a French heroin smuggler in this 1971 crime thriller.

The film is based on a non-fiction book.

11. “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 89)


Universal Pictures

This 1930 World War I epic opened to critical acclaim in the United States, but in Germany, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party quickly banned it. 

Nazi soldiers disrupted early German screenings with stink bombs and sneezing powder.

(TIE) 9. “It Happened One Night” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 93)


Columbia Pictures

This 1934 romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert was the first film to win in each of the top five categories at the Oscars.

Film historians consider the film a classic example of screwball comedy.

(TIE) 9. “Lawrence of Arabia” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 93)


Columbia Pictures

Peter O’Toole stars in this 1962 epic about a real-life British soldier who fought alongside Arab desert tribes in World War I.

In 2006, the Chicago Reader called this movie “one of the most intelligent, handsome, and influential of all war epics.”

(TIE) 7. “Casablanca” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 95)

humphrey bogart & dooley wilson - casablanca 1943

Warner Bros. Pictures

World War II becomes personal for Rick, a cynical American expatriate, when an ex-lover, Ilsa, shows up at his nightclub in French-occupied Morocco. 

The film premiered in 1942, just a few weeks after the Allied invasion of North Africa.

(TIE) 7. “On the Waterfront” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 95)


Columbia Pictures

Marlon Brando won his first Oscar in 1955 for his portrayal of dockworker Terry Malloy. 

It was his fourth nomination.

6. “The Godfather” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 98)


Paramount Pictures

In 1972, the first film in the Godfather franchise introduced the world to the Corleone crime family and its patriarch, Don Vito Corleone.

The Austin Chronicle said this film is “just about as great as a movie’s ever gonna be.”

5. “Parasite” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99; Audience Score: 92)


Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

This 2019 South Korean film about two families — one wealthy, and one not — became the first non-English language film to win best picture. 

It took home four awards overall — three for its writer-director-producer, Bong Joon Ho. 

4. “All About Eve” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99; Audience Score: 94)


20th Century Fox

This 1951 flick is the only film in Oscars history to receive four nominations for actresses. 

Bette Davis and Anne Baxter received best actress nominations, and Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter were both nominated for best supporting actress. Surprisingly, none of the four women won.

3. “Marty” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100; Audience Score: 87)


United Artists

Ernest Borgnine won his only Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of unlucky-in-love bachelor Marty Piletti in this 1955 drama.

It’s been preserved by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

2. “The Lost Weekend” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100; Audience Score: 90)


Paramount Pictures

Ray Milland stars as Don Birnam, an alcoholic writer who goes broke and nearly kills himself before he chooses to stop drinking in this 1945 drama.

In 2003, The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther revisited this movie, calling it “a shatteringly realistic and morbidly fascinating film.”

1. “Rebecca” (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100; Audience Score: 92)


United Artists

This 1940 Gothic film earned Alfred Hitchcock his first Oscar nomination for best director. He was nominated five times over the course of his career but never won.

Reflecting on the film in 2015, the New York Daily News said this work “may justly be called Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece.”

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