My Top Ten Best Picture Oscar Winners (And Bottom Five!)

I’m continuing my Oscar-themed week with this list of my favorite (and least-favorite!) Best Picture Oscar winners.

The Academy does quite often get things very wrong (especially in recent years) but when looking at a list of all the winners, there are indeed a lot of true classics here that I’d highly recommend to everyone.

I have my little IMDB project where I’m trying to watch all the IMDB Top 250 Films so I’m not about to start attempting to watch all the Best Picture Winners. However, when making this list, I discovered that I’ve already seen 47 so I guess that isn’t too bad! So I ranked them ALL (because I’m sad like that). But I’ll of course focus on the top ten.

So now, counting down to My Top Ten Best Picture Oscar Winners, these are all of them that I’ve seen ranked from least favorite to favorite. My Bottom Five list will follow this one…

The King’s Speech
Out Of Africa
On The Waterfront
Driving Miss Daisy
Chariots Of Fire
Dances With Wolves
A Beautiful Mind
My Fair Lady
All About Eve
The Best Years Of Our Lives
The Silence Of The Lambs
β€ͺThe French Connection
West Side Story
Forrest Gump
The Shape Of Water
Rain Man
In The Heat Of The Night
Gone With The Wind
The Sting
Terms Of Endearment

We’re getting there… πŸ˜‰

15. Platoon
14. The Deer Hunter
13. The Departed
12. Million Dollar Baby
11. Titanic

My Top Ten Best Picture Winners:

10. TIE: American Beauty & Schindler’s List

9. Midnight Cowboy

8. The Apartment

7. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

6. Rocky

5. The Artist

4. TIE: The Godfather & The Godfather Part II (it made more sense to keep them together but I slightly prefer the first film)

3. The Bridge On The River Kwai

2. The Sound Of Music

1. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

I absolutely love Cuckoo’s Nest – it’s very easily my number one favorite. πŸ™‚

And now is when I’m going to be a bitch! Here are My Bottom Five Best Picture Oscar Winners (Counting down to the very worst):

5. Crash
4. Ordinary People (it beat Raging Bull & The Elephant Man!)
3. Shakespeare In Love (it famously beat Saving Private Ryan)
2. Slumdog Millionaire
1. The English Patient


It was fun making this list! I really should try to watch more Oscar winners – I seem to especially have not seen many of the winners from the past decade or so. I’d love to hear all of your favorite & least favorite Best Pictures in the comments now! πŸ™‚

**List updated 2/7/17 to add Spotlight, Million Dollar Baby & Rocky

**List updated 25/11/17 to add Moonlight

**List updated 28/1/18 to add The French Connection

**List updated December 2018 to add The King’s Speech & The Shape Of Water

**List updated February 2019 to add In The Heat Of The Night

65 thoughts on “My Top Ten Best Picture Oscar Winners (And Bottom Five!)

  1. Some pretty low placings for Amadeus, Silence of the Lambs, All About Eve and Casablanca! But for the most part really do agree with your list, especially the worst 5. Have you seen that Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets forced to see The English Patient twice?

    • Well, they’re not really that low considering they’re up against what are considered some of the all-time greatest movies. πŸ˜‰ Casablanca is the one I could do with re-watching as I saw it at the age of about 12 and really don’t remember it. However, I don’t really like Silence of the Lambs at all. Hmm – yeah, I remember that Seinfeld now that you mention it! Lol. Horribly boring movie! And I remember Jerry making out during Schindler’s List. πŸ™‚ I have to add Spotlight now! It would be quite low…

    • Awww. I’m sorry. lol. I take it you’re a fan, then?? πŸ˜‰ To be fair, I’m not sure if I even finished it. Or I may have watched the last half on fast forward… I just found it really boring. 😦

      • Well, I am glad that I am not alone re The English Patient coz the Academy sided with me πŸ™‚ I probably watched the English Patient more than 100 times. Anthony Minghella was a legend.

      • I’m glad you liked it so much. πŸ™‚ I always do these lists based on personal preference and I know that people quite often do NOT agree with some of my strange choices! Lol. Like Hardware. That movie is awesome & I stand by that opinion no matter how many people disagree with me. Daily. πŸ˜‰

    • Slumdog is a weird one – I do that Opinion Battles thing on Movie Reviews 101 & we were asked our favorite & least favorite Best Picture winners & Slumdog made both lists (but mainly on the least favorites list). Guess it’s a love it or hate it! But I’m glad we agree on The English Patient… Snoozefest!! πŸ˜‰

    • YES! I really don’t get the hype with that one. I almost chose it as my very least favorite but at least I made it all the way through that one, unlike The English Patient which was the longest & most boring thing I’ve ever attempted to watch. But Slumdog was chosen as the worst by the most people for Opinion Battles at Movie Reviews 101! Maybe I should have chosen that too. πŸ™‚

  2. Very fun and interesting list. I actually really like Slumdog. I’m glad to Birdman so far down. That’s a movie I don’t think will stand up well over time. And no Casablanca in the Top 10? A tear slowly makes its way down my cheek……..

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ It was fun putting this together. I should update it now with Spotlight! (It would be pretty low). Slumdog seems to be a love it or hate it as it made both categories for Opinion Battles at Movie Reviews 101 when we were asked what our favorite & least favorite Best Picture winners were. And to be fair, I need to see Casablanca again as I saw it when I was about 12 & can’t say I remember it very well now. Oh! And Birdman most definitely won’t stand the test of time. The Revenant is a FAR better film than Birdman & would’ve been a more worthy winner this year. :-/

  3. This is a fun post! Okay, here are mine…

    Favourites: 5.Casablanca 4.Gladiator 3.Titanic 2.The Godfather + The Godfather Part II 1.Rocky

    Least favourites: 5.12 Years a Slave 4.Argo 3.Chicago 2.Driving Miss Daisy 1.Gone With the Wind (Nevertheless, props to Hattie McDaniel!)

    • Thanks! It was actually a lot of fun to put this list together. πŸ™‚ I kept going back & forth on putting Titanic at number ten – I’d have to say any of my Top 15 could be changed around depending on my mood. Except Cuckoo’s Nest – it’s number one by a million miles… I really should watch Rocky someday. πŸ˜‰ And I admit to needing to rewatch Casablanca as I saw it as a kid so barely remember it. I agree with your bottom five other than Gone With The Wind, although I’d never ever call that a very favorite film of mine. Oh, and I’ve not seen 12 Years A Slave – I’ve been really bad about watching the Best Picture winners from recent years!

    • Yeah – Crash was shit. I had to look up what it beat. Brokeback Mountain, Capote & Good Night And Good Luck are all a million times better than Crash. And I’m sure Munich is too. The only decent winners since were The Departed & The Artist. But I’m still planning to stay up all night long on Sunday to watch it even though the voters vote for SHIT. πŸ˜‰

      • Lol. Totally agree! Brokeback Mountain is such a beautiful film – it should have been the winner. But, yes – ALL the other nominees were better than Crash. But the Academy voters are nuts. Nuts! πŸ˜‰

  4. Oh my god. The English Patient is so bad. I love movies. And I love going to the movie theater. I took a job in a movie theater because I loved being in them so much. And my worse experience I ever had at the movies, one of the most uncomfortable of my life, was watching The English Patient in a crowded theater. I stupidly sat in the middle of the theater. In the middle of the row. I was trapped. It was excruciating. It was so quiet and boring and I just wanted to stand up and say to everyone I am leaving and you all have to move. But it was one of those sophisticated (white) audiences and I’m a large black man and I didn’t want anyone to judge me. And I also didn’t want to disturb everyone. But I desperately wanted to leave. And I stayed. I stayed for the whole thing. The whole damn thing. I sat there and took it. To this day I have to know a movie is going to be great before I trap myself in the middle of a row of people on opening night. And even then if there’s any chance, I sit on the aisle, not near the aisle, on the aisle. And I am a center of the screen type of guy. But not any more. And it is all because of The English Patient.

    It left a scar.

    • Bwahaha! This is one of my favorite comments ever!! πŸ˜‰ And I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone in thinking that The English Patient was the most boring thing I’ve EVER sat through. Although, unlike you, I DIDN’T have to sit through it. πŸ˜‰ I saw it at home. I’m not even sure if I finished it… I’m thinking I watched most of it on fast forward just to get it over with and I’m really not one to do that as I like to finish even the bad movies once I’ve started them. But, man, that movie was absolute rubbish. This is why I don’t actually take the Oscars seriously as the voters clearly have horrible taste most of the time. I ALWAYS sit on the aisle toward the back (mainly due to being claustrophobic, I think!). I don’t like the thought of feeling trapped in my seat as I wouldn’t want to disturb anyone if I got up even though I very rarely do. Your story reminds me of when my friend made me go to Les Miserables (so not my kind of thing) and I unfortunately got stuck dead center. Then my hubby cracked a joke toward the end and I had an uncontrollable laughing fit after a character’s death but I couldn’t leave to contain myself because I was stuck in the middle of a bunch of teary-eyed people (including my friend, who was really annoyed with me… Lol).

      • I cried practically all the way through Les Miserables. My shirt was soaked. I love that movie a lot. But I hear you on feeling trapped. I felt like I wanted to bull rush my way out of the arena like a linebacker going after the QB. “Hulk Smash.”

      • Oh. Sorry! Lol! Be glad you didn’t see Les Miserables with me, then. The way Russell Crowe fell was just so funny…. But, no – you should have kicked them all out of the way & said “Road House”. Of course. πŸ˜‰

    • Lol. Thanks! πŸ˜‰ Crash very much didn’t deserve that win – every other nominee was far better. The Academy has been getting it very wrong, especially, in the last 15 years or so. It’s all political now. :-/

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ I know… It’s like Kill Bill! I’ll always just see them as one long movie. Although some people get annoyed with all my “ties” in my Top Tens, meaning my Top Tens often have 11 to 13 movies in them. Lol!

    • Thanks! It seems that most people are… I almost feel bad for things like Shakespeare In Love as part of the hatred is just because it SO didn’t deserve to win against the other nominees. But, well, Paltrow. Ugh. πŸ˜‰ And while Ordinary People isn’t the worst movie ever, I guess, beating The Elephant Man & Raging Bull is just ridiculous.

  5. I’ll be the brave person who says it nowadays: I liked Crash. Is it better than some of the other nominees that year? No. But I still liked it. I also liked Slumdog, but I’ve not seen The English Patient since I was a kid so can’t really comment on that.

    As for your favourites, Cuckoo’s Nest is on my must-see list this year, so I hope I enjoy it so much too. And I also slightly prefer the first Godfather, so hurrah.

    • Hehe. That’s okay – you can like Crash! πŸ˜‰ I very much did this list (and every list) on personal preference as opposed to “worthiness”. I want, first & foremost, to actually be entertained by the movies I watch. I didn’t totally hate Crash – just didn’t like it (especially when ranking it compared to a list of so many classics). Oh man – you’re in for a treat with Cuckoo’s Nest! It’s the ONLY one on this list that I consider an actual all-time favorite – it’s a million miles ahead of everything else on here for me. Shit – I’ve now hyped it too much! I hope you like it!! πŸ˜‰

  6. Both lists are great. The only thing I would have on my list that’s different is The Godfather I and II would be number one. I would add to my best list I would add 1934’s It Happened One Night. I also take pride in the fact that I’ve never seen The Sound Of Music and continue to successfully avoid it.

    • Thanks! I’ll watch It Happened One Night too at some point. πŸ™‚ I better add Spotlight now! (It’ll be quite low). But, man – you’ve broken my heart on The Sound Of Music!!! 😦 I adore that one, and I can’t say I like musicals all that much usually…

    • Lol. You’re definitely not alone! And I got one hilarious comment from someone else who REALLY hated it. πŸ˜‰ I just thought it was a complete snoozefest. I understand the Academy wanting to vote for “worthy” films but it’s possible to be worthy & still be entertaining. :-/

  7. only 47???? my top ten are pretty close to urs, but The Best Years of Our Lives, Titanic and Platoon make my top ten and i’d push down Cookoo’s nest, The Artist and Midnight Cowboy (which i hated actually)

    If Spotlight pulls off an upset tonight, It would make my top 15, the Revenant would probably crack my top 20 and The Big Short will be very low on the whole list.

    Have fun watching at 130am! I get to start MY day at 330. Thankfully, as with every year, I’m taking tom off of work πŸ™‚

    • Oh, I’ll have to add Spotlight now. It’ll be quite low. And Cuckoo’s Nest should NEVER be pushed down! πŸ˜‰ For me, it’s a million miles ahead of everything else on this list. And I loved Midnight Cowboy. And great soundtrack too.

  8. Fun list! Many of my all-time favorite movies, I must confess, have not been nominated for Oscars (I’m a sci-fi/superheroes kind of gal). πŸ˜‰ But there’s definitely some great films that the Academy has honored, along with some not-so-great ones. LOTR is great, and I’m glad the Academy recognized this fantasy movie. I really loved the Godfather. Mafia/Mob movies aren’t usually my thing, but this was such a good movie. Definitely a classic.

    • Hehe – I’ll happily confess that very few of my all-time favorites have been nominated for Oscars. Where are The Princess Bride & Aliens?? πŸ˜‰ Yes, The Godfathers are great! Although I wouldn’t consider them all-time favorites of mine, either. The only one on this list that I really would is Cuckoo’s Nest, actually!

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