Should Have Won the Oscar!

The Movies that should have won the Oscar for Best Picture, starting with 2010 and going backwards. I am limiting myself to English language movies, because that is in essence what Oscar does. Only if Oscar has recognized the foreign film with important nominations beyond the foreign film category do I use a foreign film.
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1.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. (104 mins.)
 
2.
Life of Pi (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger. (127 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
3.
A Separation (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease. (123 mins.)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
“ I still have many movies to see from 2011, but if any of them are better than this one I'll eat my keyboard. Since AMPAS nominated its screenplay, I'll say they should have nominated this film, and it should have been the easy winner. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
4.
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. (100 mins.)
Director: Debra Granik
“ A dark glimpse at a violent underbelly. Terrific performance by Lawrence and especially Hawkes. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
5.
A Serious Man (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking. (106 mins.)
“ I have no real problem with The Hurt Locker winning, an excellent, deserving picture. But my vote goes to the Bros Coen's brilliant retelling of Job. Maybe. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
6.
In Bruges (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be. (107 mins.)
Director: Martin McDonagh
“ I like Slumdog. But the dialogue in this movie crackles and pops with snappy wit like a bowl of Rice Krispies. And the movie deserves the Oscar for the "Inanimate Object" line reading alone. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
7.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande. (122 mins.)
“ Chalk. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
8.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. (118 mins.)
“ I am making an exception here to the English language rule because, mostly, Pan's Labyrinth had Oscar recognition beyond the foreign film category. And also because otherwise my pick is Borat. Having honored Scorsese elsewhere, I have no need to throw him a bone for a good but not great movie this year. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
9.
Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy. (93 mins.)
Director: George Clooney
“ Weak year. But then I still haven't seen Brokeback Mountain, or for that matter, all of Crash. I can always edit. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
10.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. (108 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
“ By a nose over Sideways. Charlie Kaufman is the best addition to the movies in the last 15 years, and this is his best, most moving and most thought provoking screenplay. Winslet as Clementine walks that fine line between the reality and the fiction of the manic pixie dream girl. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
11.
American Splendor (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar. (101 mins.)
“ Completely overlooked by Oscar, including Giamatti's great, great, lead performance. And let me shout it to the heavens: Paul Giamatti gave the two best lead actor performances of the decade in back to nack years, and never even got freaking nominated! AMPAS, AMPAS, you have your head up your rectum! ” - Hairy_Lime
 
12.
Adaptation. (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen. (114 mins.)
Director: Spike Jonze
“ More Kaufman! Cage as lead, as well as Cooper, Streep, and Cage in supporting roles, are wonderful. Worth it for the script writing seminar alone. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
13.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A meek Hobbit and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the One Ring and the Dark Lord Sauron. (178 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ The virtue of doing this backwards is I get to honor the whole of the trilogy in its first year, where the competition is so so - The Pianist would be my second choice. I have come around to seeing this as the best of the trilogy anyways. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
14.
Traffic (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business. (147 mins.)
“ Again, not a great year. Thought about O Brother, but it's minor Coens. Maybe Crouching Tiger, but I decided to go with an English language film instead, since Oscar would. OK. mostly English language. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
15.
Magnolia (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley. (188 mins.)
“ Still Paul Thomas Anderson's best movie. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
16.
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays. (123 mins.)
Director: John Madden
“ It was too! Suck on it, haters! Saving Private Ryan won the Oscars it deserved, neither more nor less. Shakespeare in Love is a better movie; better screenplay, better acting, more thought provoking and more interesting for its full length. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
17.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice. (138 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
“ Brilliant neo-noir, with top notch acting, including surprisingly good performances by a couple of people I normally do not like (Crowe, Basinger). There were a couple of times I cursed the director and wanted to through my feces at the screen like a chimp in a zoo (I hate directors that insult my intelligence, PM me for details) but the strength of the movie otherwise overcomes the flaws. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
18.
Fargo (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. (98 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ The best film by our best current film makers. This is where the Coens matured - the addition of a major character that contains a human message in the middle of nihilistic bleakness elevates the movie beyond the normal brilliant technical work the Coens always give us. In other words, I heart Margie! ” - Hairy_Lime
 
19.
Richard III (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The classic Shakespearean play about a murderously scheming king staged in an alternative fascist England setting. (104 mins.)
“ A weak year, and I am a sucker for Shakespeare anyway. See, 1998, above. Great performances in a great play. It's hard for a good actor to do Richard badly, but Ian McKellan does him great. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
20.
Three Colors: Red (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Final entry in a trilogy of films dealing with contemporary French society concerns a model who discovers her neighbour is keen on invading people's privacy. (99 mins.)
“ Kieslowski's nomination for Best Director brings this under my rules. I'd otherwise go with Pulp Fiction, but I am not a huge fan of that movie, as much as I admire the technique. And the other two of 1994's Big Three... well, I'm not a fan. Red is Kieslowski's last film, and it is a brilliant envoy to the series and his career. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
21.
Naked (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Parallel tales of two sexually obsessed men, one hurting and annoying women physically and mentally, one wandering around the city talking to strangers and experiencing dimensions of life. (126 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
“ I think David Thewlis's performance is brilliant. The Oscar went to Schindler's List, and picking against that seems rather... heartless. But I have problems with the emotional hammer Spielberg whangs us with at the end. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
22.
The Player (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A Hollywood studio executive is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected - but which one? (124 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ Despite my dislike for Tim Robbins, this is my second favorite Robert Altman film. No real complaint with the very deserving Unforgiven. My big complaint for the year is giving the Oscar to Pacino's god awful one note screech of a performance. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
23.
Thelma & Louise (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird. (130 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ A wonderful evocation of the lure of the open road, distaff style! And I prefer it to a slasher movie with A List stars, yes I do. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
24.
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ The best movie ever "about" the mob - the Godfather is not "about" the mob - and it has one of the best supporting performances ever. No, I don't think you're funny, Tommy. No sir. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
25.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife, while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated by another woman. (104 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Woody Allen's best movie that is not primarily funny. Great acting performances from Landau and Huston, and a unsettling glimpse of a world that is not under the eyes of God. And I pee better movies than Driving Miss Daisy. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
26.
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot. (108 mins.)
“ Comedy is Oscar's least appreciated genres, and this is one of the best comedies of the last 30 years. Kevin Kline is great in particular, but the whole film is full of great comic performances. Rain Man is on my list of least deserving winners. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
27.
My Life as a Dog (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A boy and his brother don't get along well. In order to let their ill mother rest, they're separated and sent each one with their relatives. (101 mins.)
“ I'd normally not really look to a writing Oscar to justify the inclusion on this list, but this was a dog of a year (pun intended) and this is a wonderful, touching, brilliant movie. Oscar eligible for 1987 despite being a 1985 film. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
28.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly. (103 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Another Allen movie, structured like an episodic novel, well acted all around, except by Woody himself who never really acts. But it is a great screenplay, and a wonderful, evocative movie. Room With A View as a nice runner up. Platoon? Not in the picture. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
29.
Witness (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial. (112 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ A love story, a slice of life documentary, and a thriller, and it does all of them very, very well. Peter Weir has not been at this level since, not even near it. Out of Africa is a dull movie with star power, nothing more. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
30.
Paris, Texas (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family. (147 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ It has my ten favorite minutes of dialogue - mostly monologue - in any movie, ever. It's Harry Dean Stanton, turning his back on his ex-wife behind a one way mirror, and telling her, I knew these people... these two people... and absolutely breaking everyone's heart. God I wish I could write like that. Amadeus is an OK winner, but there were several other better movies. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
31.
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer. (115 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ Yep, Peter Weir used to be great. One of the few times I've really liked Mel Gibson in a movie, and Linda Hunt is brilliant as a (male) Indonesian/Chinese midget. Or is it dwarf? No wonder the kill themselves.... Again a release date for Australia, Oscar eligible for 1983. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
32.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world. (115 mins.)
“ This is the movie Spielberg deserves to be remembered for. Spielberg is always at his best when he gives us emotional film making, not intellectual film making. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
33.
Atlantic City (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer finds themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger. (104 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
“ Lancaster, Sarandon, and lemons. Oh, to be a lemon.... I like Chariots of Fire more than a lot of people do, but this is a wonderful, and much better, film.

Once again, this was its Oscar year. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
34.
Raging Bull (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it. (129 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ The biggest screw up in AMPAS's long history of screw ups. Worse even than How Green Was My Valley over Kane and The Maltese Falcon because at least How Green Was My Valley was a pretty good movie. DeNiro and Pesci and Scorsese are all at their absolute best. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
35.
All That Jazz (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer. (123 mins.)
Director: Bob Fosse
“ A glorified A List Cast Lifetime Movie Network Movie of the Week over this and Apocalypse Now? Criminies, Oscar! Talk about cranial rectal immersion! I prefer this innovative and daring deconstruction of the director's life and - eventually - death over Coppola's great Nam picture, but people who feel otherwise get no argument from me. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
36.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania. (183 mins.)
Director: Michael Cimino
“ Chalk. I love love love the first half of the movie; the second half not so much. But it was better than anything else that year. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
37.
Annie Hall (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall. (93 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ More chalk. Good show, Oscar, honoring an intelligent adult comedy over teen fantasy sci fi special effects stuff. Even real, real good teen fantasy sci fi special effects stuff. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
38.
Taxi Driver (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ I understand why Oscar did not honor this movie - I never want to see it again. But it is a brutal, brilliant masterpiece, and easily the best movie of the year. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
39.
Nashville (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed. (159 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ The best movie of my lifetime; a sprawling, funny, sad, and biting slice of America at 200 years. It may not all add up, but what of that? It comes close enough, and frankly, it don't worry me.... ” - Hairy_Lime
 
40.
Chinatown (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ Nicholson's best performance, a neo-noir that is memorable in every way, except for the plot which is barely comprehensible in one viewing. As it should be. Who the Hell could follow the plot of The Big Sleep? The plot's almost as meaningless as in a Marx Brothers movie. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
41.
Badlands (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands. (94 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ Not sure between this and The Last Detail. I know the best picture was NOT The Sting. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
42.
The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
“ The sine qua non of chalk. The best movie ever to win an Oscar. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
43.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene. (120 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ Yes, more Altman. Like the Coens and Woody Allen and Billy Wilder, Altman's best movies reach me in ways most films do not even approach. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
44.
Little Big Man (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Indians and fighting with General Custer. (139 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ Yeah, a little revisionist. But the Massacre at the Washeetah (deliberately misspelled to avoid a beep) River scene is one of the few scenes that gets me to cry openly, every time. No real problem with Patton's win. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
45.
Z (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles. (127 mins.)
Director: Costa-Gavras
“ Another foreign film, but Oscar nominated it for the BP, so who am I to complain? It's my second favorite foreign film of the year, but we cannot expect Oscar to appreciate Melville. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
46.
The Lion in Winter (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
1183 AD: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him. (134 mins.)
Director: Anthony Harvey
“ One of my favorite Christmas movies ever. What is more in the holiday spirit than a dysfunctional family reuniting over Christmas to plot and plan with and against each other to destroy everyone and everything? In my family at least. The less said about Oliver! beating this and 2001, the better. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
47.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang. (111 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ Where would Tarantino and the Coens be without Arthur Penn? Bonnie and Clyde is a rich masterpiece of film making, acting, editing, and cinematography. In The Heat of the Night has some great moments, but its world view is - pardon this but I know no other way to put it - too black and white. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
48.
The Fortune Cookie (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury. (125 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Actually not a favorite Wilder movie, but this was a down year. So let me just toss in a recommendation for the actual best movie of the year, Au hasard Balthazar. It's about a donkey. No, seriously, that's what it's about. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
49.
Chimes at Midnight (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413. (113 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Falstaff and Welles are both larger than life, and Welles has only been better once - and since he was only in the other movie for 8 minutes and running through the sewer for most of it, this gets the award for his best substantial performance. It's available on youtube but hard to find otherwise. Watch the opening segment, and Welles's reactions to the foolish, prating Shallow. And the battle scene. Brilliance. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
50.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. (95 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ I really need to reappraise Kubrick, but this one I do not need to. It's the one Kubrick movie I unreservedly love. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
51.
(1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies. (138 mins.)
“ Thank God Fellini got that Best Director nod. I had nowhere else to go. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
52.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. (126 mins.)
“ The ultimate political mind muck movie. Wonderfully constructed, written, and shot. Angela Landsbury is chillingly great in this. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
53.
West Side Story (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy. (152 mins.)
“ I could argue for La Dolce Vita, but again, with a deserving nominee, I am preferring English language movies. And Yojimbo's only Oscar nom was a costume design nom in 1962. Not enough. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
54.
The Apartment (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. (125 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Oscar gets it right again. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
55.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Unnominated. Billy Wilder's great farce is far better than the actual winner, the rather stiff and stultifying - chariot race excepted - Ben Hur. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
56.
Vertigo (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her. (128 mins.)
“ Why oh why had Oscar no use for Hitch? Because they were too busy watching Gigi and mistaking it for something that didn't suck, that's why. This is Hitch's best, most personal, and most intriguing movie. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
57.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. (161 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ 1957 was the second best year for movies ever. I might prefer Roshomon or Seventh Seal, but whatever. Witness for the Prosecution, 12 Angry Men, Paths of Glory.... Of the English Language films, this was the best. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
58.
The Searchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe. (119 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ Yes, there has probably never been so great a movie with such bad acting, But this is John Ford's masterwork, a complex and moving portrait of a man consumed by racist hate. And maybe unrequitable love. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
59.
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A one-handed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary. (81 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
“ Never been a Marty fan. Love Tracy and Ryan in this movie. Sort of a template for some of Eastwood's midperiod westerns. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
60.
Rear Window (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. (112 mins.)
“ Yeah, On the Waterfront was the best of the nominees, and a deserving win. But Rear Window is all of us, gaping and gazing like voyeurs into the lives of others on a huge screen, rooting for murders and unspeakable crimes to lighten our days. Really, we are the most frightening ghouls I have ever known. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
61.
Shane (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act. (118 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
“ One of the landmark westerns. I could've gone with Stalag 17 here, and I actually prefer it, but I got a lot of Wilder already. A bit of a compromise of my standards, but what good are standards if you cannot undermine them? ” - Hairy_Lime
 
62.
High Noon (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him. (85 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
“ Over Singin in the Rain in a coin flip - or rather because High Noon was nominated. Need some reason to choose. What is indefensible is the thoroughly bad pile of poo that got the Oscar when the greatest traditional musical could not even get a nod. I can barely bring myself to type its name, and so won't. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
63.
Ace in the Hole (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus. (111 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ "Too cynical" they all said back then. Well, they did not sit wide eyed and gaping at some murderer in a slow speed chase in a white Ford Bronco. Or watch a 24 hour news cycle. Or think about what the news coverage would have been like had the Chilean miners not gotten out. Cynical my hairy bum. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
64.
The Third Man (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. (104 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
“ All About Eve is the best movie to not deserve its Oscar. And Sunset Blvd., also eligible in 1950, is my second favorite movie ever. Which tells you what I think of this movie. And my screen name should tell you what I think of the way Welles completely dominates the memory of this movie despite only being in it for 8 minutes. This was its Oscar year, despite the 1949 release. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
65.
The Fallen Idol (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A butler working in a foreign embassy in London falls under suspicion when his wife accidentally falls to her death, the only witness being an impressionable young boy. (95 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
“ I thought about using The Third Man here and Sunset Blvd. in 1950, but that would be contrary to my standards. And I wouldn't want to violate my standards, now would I? Same director, same screen writer, so close enough. Another delayed Oscar year. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
66.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Huston's brutal look at greed and madness and suspicion. As good as any film on the subject since, well, Greed. And better than the Anderson movie modeled on it be a longshot. Especially in the lead performance. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
67.
Great Expectations (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor. (118 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ Its Oscar year, and proof that Lean was a great director before he went all epic on us. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
68.
Notorious (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? (101 mins.)
“ Arguably Hitch's best made movie. Grant and Bergman and Rains are all fantastic. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
69.
Spellbound (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory. (111 mins.)
“ Hitch is sort of a default "Best" through these years. The Oscar went to Lost Weekend, which is a close second. Because if the best movie of the year was not Hitch, it was usually Wilder. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
70.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ A ground breaking movie, visually and story wise, for noir. Tremendously written and acted. Who knew Fred MacMurray could be such an arse? Well, who besides Billy Wilder. Well, Edward Dmytryk. Who besides them? ” - Hairy_Lime
 
71.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ Of course! And it saves me from having the BP being 3 Hitch in 4 years. I love Shadow of a Doubt. But Casablanca is the movie that screams "Movie!" ” - Hairy_Lime
 
72.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved. (88 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Oh, if only the studio hadn't messed with it! Even as is, great, great, great. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
73.
Citizen Kane (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (119 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Well, I guess AMPAS didn't want to bite one of the hands that fed it. But that's no excuse for a middling John Ford film over The Maltese Falcon! ” - Hairy_Lime
 
74.
Rebecca (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife. (130 mins.)
“ Hitch's only Best Picture winner. Who am I to argue? ” - Hairy_Lime
 
75.
Ninotchka (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest. (110 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
“ In the greatest year for movies, I take a RomCom over seriously great movies like Gone With the Wind - which I wish I could hate! - or Wizard of Oz, or Stagecaoch, or Dark Victory, or Rules of the Game? yes, I do. Because Ninotchka is a witty, funny, charming work, that's why. And Garbo laughs! And Wilder writes! Not incidentally. Have I mentioned I adore Wilder? ” - Hairy_Lime
 
76.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby. (102 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ I admit for a thing for screwball, especially if it stars Cary Grant. I also admit to not finding frenetic funny, which is my problem with You Can't Take it With You. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
77.
The Awful Truth (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance. (91 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
“ See supra. And The Life of Zola is one of the Oscar winners I haven't seen. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
78.
Modern Times (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. (87 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
“ In the great dichotomy of silent comedy, I'm a Buster Keaton kind of guy. But I love this Chaplin film, if only to watch him get force fed. And skate. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
79.
Top Hat (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer. (101 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
“ All I know is it's heaven.... I'm in heaven... and there follows five minutes of beautiful elegance and grace and whirling ostrich feathers. Mutiny on the Bounty was a good choice, but I also prefer Captain Blood and Midsummernight's Dream. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
80.
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ Chalk. Screwball chalk. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
81.
Duck Soup (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale. (68 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
“ Like Oscar, even back then, was going to recognize how great the Marx brothers were. No, Cavalcade was their idea of a great movie. Screw 'em. This is the best of the many great Marx Brothers comedies. This year apparently worked for two years, so the runner up is also Marxist propaganda, Horse Feathers. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
82.
M (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. (117 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ A German movie with no nominations? What gives Mr. Standards? Back then, there was no differentiation between English language and foreign language films. Plus, I got nothing else I've seen worth the award. And I've seen Grand Hotel. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
83.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew. (70 mins.)
“ I actually do not know the chronology of films released in the first few Oscar years; they seemed to have been honoring two separate years, with an overlap (1927-1928, 1928-1929, etc.). I don't care. I get to put some Keaton on this list, and that's what matters. ” - Hairy_Lime
 
84.
Sunrise (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
“ Sort of chalk. ” - Hairy_Lime