Ranked: Best Picture Winners

by xbutougames | created - 04 Apr 2018 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

This is my list for the films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Best by decade:

1920s: Wings 1930s: It Happened One Night 1940s: The Best Years of Our Lives 1950s: On the Waterfront 1960s: The Apartment 1970s: The Godfather 1980s: Amadeus 1990s: Schindler's List 2000s: The Hurt Locker 2010s: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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How my Ratings Work:

100-90: Masterpiece, or very close. Very rare. 089-80: Fan-freaking-tastic. Near-lock for yearly top 10 list. 079-70: Definitely something special. Do not miss. 069-60: Very good, but missing some crucial element. 059-50: Didn’t work, but has many redeeming qualities. 049-40: Demerits clearly outweigh merits. 039-30: Didn't enjoy the film, but talent was involved. 029-20: When will this picture end. When... 019-10: Outright fiasco and/or unwatchably boring. 009-00: One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Very rare.

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Note: Many years are missing because I haven't seen the Best Picture Winner of that year's Academy Awards.

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1. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,452,221 | Gross: $134.97M

45th Academy Awards

Score: 97

2. The Apartment (1960)

Not Rated | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

94 Metascore

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.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston

Votes: 145,734 | Gross: $18.60M

33rd Academy Awards

Score: 93

3. Annie Hall (1977)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

92 Metascore

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane

Votes: 237,445 | Gross: $39.20M

50th Academy Awards

Score: 91

4. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 53,596 | Gross: $23.65M

19th Academy Awards

Score: 89

5. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 85,344 | Gross: $4.36M

7th Academy Awards

Score: 87

6. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,009,847 | Gross: $57.30M

47th Academy Awards

Score: 87

7. The Sting (1973)

PG | 129 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning

Votes: 222,105 | Gross: $159.60M

46th Academy Awards

Score: 85

8. On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger

Votes: 129,641 | Gross: $9.60M

27th Academy Awards

Score: 82

9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

83 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman

Votes: 837,617 | Gross: $112.00M

48th Academy Awards

Score: 81

10. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 480,104 | Gross: $1.02M

16th Academy Awards

Score: 80

11. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,097,327 | Gross: $96.07M

66th Academy Awards

Score: 80

12. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama

87 Metascore

A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough

Votes: 523,009 | Gross: $42.34M

87th Academy Awards

Score: 80

13. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, Thriller, War

94 Metascore

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 394,429 | Gross: $17.02M

82nd Academy Awards

Score: 79

14. All About Eve (1950)

Passed | 138 min | Drama

98 Metascore

An ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm

Votes: 110,252 | Gross: $0.01M

23rd Academy Awards

Score: 78

15. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

After settling his differences with a Japanese P.O.W. 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.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 187,186 | Gross: $44.91M

30th Academy Awards

Score: 77

16. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 53,676 | Gross: $3.27M

3rd Academy Awards

Score: 76

17. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,083,492 | Gross: $132.38M

79th Academy Awards

Score: 75

18. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 111,526 | Gross: $4.36M

13th Academy Awards

Score: 75

19. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

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.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 772,217 | Gross: $74.28M

80th Academy Awards

Score: 74

20. West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

86 Metascore

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise | Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 88,371 | Gross: $43.66M

34th Academy Awards

Score: 73

21. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 244,662 | Gross: $44.82M

35th Academy Awards

Score: 72

22. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 202,649 | Gross: $74.70M

32nd Academy Awards

Score: 71

23. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

A Mumbai teenager reflects on his life after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan | Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor

Votes: 750,190 | Gross: $141.32M

81st Academy Awards

Score: 70

24. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporaneous composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 339,578 | Gross: $51.97M

57th Academy Awards

Score: 69

25. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 775,831 | Gross: $170.74M

74th Academy Awards

Score: 69

26. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 265,755 | Gross: $198.68M

12th Academy Awards

Score: 68

27. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 30,678 | Gross: $9.46M

18th Academy Awards

Score: 68

28. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of 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: 1,625,547 | Gross: $330.25M

67th Academy Awards

Score: 67

29. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

PG-13 | 132 min | Drama, Sport

86 Metascore

A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel

Votes: 589,374 | Gross: $100.49M

77th Academy Awards

Score: 67

30. Wings (1927)

PG-13 | 144 min | Drama, Romance, War

Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast | Stars: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen, Jobyna Ralston

Votes: 10,208 | Gross: $6.59M

1st Academy Awards

Score: 66

31. Rocky (1976)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport

70 Metascore

A small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers

Votes: 475,750 | Gross: $117.24M

49th Academy Awards

Score: 66

32. The French Connection (1971)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco

Votes: 100,015

44th Academy Awards

Score: 65

33. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 208,303 | Gross: $52.77M

55th Academy Awards

Score: 64

34. 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: 1,505,229 | Gross: $377.85M

76th Academy Awards

Score: 64

35. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

96 Metascore

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

Votes: 580,974 | Gross: $56.67M

86th Academy Awards

Score: 63

36. 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: 963,207 | Gross: $659.33M

70th Academy Awards

Score: 63

37. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,143,924 | Gross: $130.74M

64th Academy Awards

Score: 62

38. The Sound of Music (1965)

G | 172 min | Biography, Drama, Family

63 Metascore

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn

Votes: 183,963 | Gross: $163.21M

38th Academy Awards

Score: 62

39. An American in Paris (1951)

Passed | 114 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

84 Metascore

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary

Votes: 27,542 | Gross: $4.50M

24th Academy Awards

Score: 61

40. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 995,521 | Gross: $130.10M

72nd Academy Awards

Score: 60

41. Moonlight (I) (2016)

R | 111 min | Drama

99 Metascore

A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Director: Barry Jenkins | Stars: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Alex R. Hibbert

Votes: 230,756 | Gross: $27.85M

89th Academy Awards

Score: 60

42. 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: 1,221,313 | Gross: $187.71M

73rd Academy Awards

Score: 58

43. Spotlight (I) (2015)

R | 129 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

93 Metascore

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

Votes: 368,480 | Gross: $45.06M

88th Academy Awards

Score: 57

44. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

R | 113 min | Drama

79 Metascore

A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune, finding a new friend in the process.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver

Votes: 91,086 | Gross: $44.79M

42nd Academy Awards

Score: 56

45. Hamlet (1948)

Not Rated | 154 min | Drama

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former King.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie, Esmond Knight

Votes: 13,965

21st Academy Awards

Score: 55

46. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

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.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 285,916 | Gross: $48.98M

51st Academy Awards

Score: 54

47. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 537,131 | Gross: $136.03M

85th Academy Awards

Score: 53

48. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp

Votes: 19,233

14th Academy Awards

Score: 51

49. Chicago (2002)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical