All best visual (special or engineering) effects Academy Award winner movies

by kadashman | created - 31 Mar 2012 | updated - 23 Aug 2016 | Public
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1. Ex Machina (2014)

R | 108 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

Director: Alex Garland | Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno

Votes: 410,469 | Gross: $25.44M

2. Interstellar (2014)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy

Votes: 1,250,593 | Gross: $188.02M

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

70 Metascore

As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford

Votes: 633,011 | Gross: $259.77M

4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

79 Metascore

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

Director: Matt Reeves | Stars: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Votes: 383,260 | Gross: $208.55M

5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

76 Metascore

A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe.

Director: James Gunn | Stars: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana

Votes: 902,601 | Gross: $333.18M

6. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy

Votes: 605,000 | Gross: $233.92M

7. Gravity (2013)

PG-13 | 91 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

96 Metascore

Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident leaves them stranded in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen

Votes: 691,872 | Gross: $274.09M

8. Life of Pi (2012)

PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

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.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu

Votes: 522,322 | Gross: $124.99M

9. Hugo (2011)

PG | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

83 Metascore

In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret, who lives in the walls of a train station, is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 280,361 | Gross: $73.86M

10. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 1,789,203 | Gross: $292.58M

11. Avatar (2009)

PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

83 Metascore

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

Votes: 1,020,261 | Gross: $760.51M

12. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

PG-13 | 166 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

70 Metascore

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond

Votes: 528,944 | Gross: $127.51M

13. The Golden Compass (2007)

PG-13 | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

51 Metascore

In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

Director: Chris Weitz | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker

Votes: 165,356 | Gross: $70.11M

14. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

PG-13 | 151 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

53 Metascore

Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones' service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport

Votes: 602,414 | Gross: $423.32M

15. King Kong (2005)

PG-13 | 187 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

81 Metascore

In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann

Votes: 360,305 | Gross: $218.08M

16. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

83 Metascore

Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina, James Franco

Votes: 487,916 | Gross: $373.59M

17. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

PG-13 | 201 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

94 Metascore

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,454,529 | Gross: $377.85M

18. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

PG-13 | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,315,157 | Gross: $342.55M

19. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

PG-13 | 178 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

92 Metascore

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean

Votes: 1,471,158 | Gross: $315.54M

20. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

A former Roman General sets out to exact vengeance against the corrupt emperor who murdered his family and sent him into slavery.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,181,366 | Gross: $187.71M

21. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,466,444 | Gross: $171.48M

22. What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | 113 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

44 Metascore

During a holidays in Switzerland, a young Chris Nielsen meets by chance Annie Collins in a lake when their boats slightly collide. Sharing a snack when they meet a few hours later, Chris ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow

Votes: 94,035 | Gross: $55.49M

23. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 931,256 | Gross: $659.33M

24. Independence Day (1996)

PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell

Votes: 486,901 | Gross: $306.17M

25. Babe (1995)

G | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

83 Metascore

Babe, a pig raised by sheepdogs, learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett.

Director: Chris Noonan | Stars: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, Christine Cavanaugh, Miriam Margolyes

Votes: 106,891 | Gross: $66.60M

26. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,561,048 | Gross: $330.25M

27. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 763,274 | Gross: $402.45M

28. Death Becomes Her (1992)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

56 Metascore

When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 92,455 | Gross: $58.42M

29. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 885,504 | Gross: $204.84M

30. The Abyss (1989)

PG-13 | 145 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Leo Burmester

Votes: 148,864 | Gross: $54.46M

31. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer

Votes: 165,392 | Gross: $156.45M

32. Innerspace (1987)

PG | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy

Votes: 48,772 | Gross: $25.89M

33. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 587,486 | Gross: $85.16M

34. Cocoon (1985)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigor.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy

Votes: 51,415 | Gross: $76.11M

35. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure

57 Metascore

In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri

Votes: 394,864 | Gross: $179.87M

36. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 330,082 | Gross: $435.11M

37. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 791,622 | Gross: $248.16M

38. Alien (1979)

R | 116 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

83 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 695,649 | Gross: $78.90M

39. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,095,571 | Gross: $322.74M

40. Logan's Run (1976)

PG | 119 min | Action, Sci-Fi

53 Metascore

An idyllic science fiction future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of thirty.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne

Votes: 46,254 | Gross: $25.00M

41. King Kong (1976)

PG | 134 min | Adventure, Horror

61 Metascore

A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.

Director: John Guillermin | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph

Votes: 26,872 | Gross: $52.61M

42. The Hindenburg (1975)

PG | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A film that chronicles the events of the Hindenburg disaster in which a zeppelin burst into flames.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, William Atherton, Roy Thinnes

Votes: 4,575 | Gross: $27.95M

43. Earthquake (1974)

PG | 122 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

56 Metascore

Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene

Votes: 12,264 | Gross: $79.70M

44. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

70 Metascore

Nine people explore a cruise ship at sea in a manner that turns their whole lives upside down.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons

Votes: 37,151 | Gross: $84.56M

45. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

G | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in WWII.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall, Sam Jaffe

Votes: 30,544 | Gross: $18.53M

46. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 28,620 | Gross: $29.55M

47. Marooned (1969)

G | 134 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

Three American astronauts are stranded in space when their retros won't fire. Can they be rescued before their oxygen runs out?

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus

Votes: 4,072 | Gross: $4.35M

48. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi