The list of films that have taken home the coveted Best Picture award at the Oscars is a small and exclusive one. Theoretically, these are the best movies from each year dating back to the late 1920s, even though a few years have had winners who were deemed controversial.
Many of the users on Letterboxd are major film buffs who have seen plenty of these Best Picture winners. They’ve given out reviews to these Academy Award winners, with some of them being among the movies with the highest average rating on the website. The ones with the best average scores come from a range of eras and genres.
10 All About Eve (4.3)
A lot of the past Best Picture winners to score high on Letterboxd are considered true classics from decades past. Among them is All About Eve, which was released in 1950. At the time, the 14 Academy Award nominations it received were a record and it won six of them.
Among those nominations were four for the actresses. The story follows a fan who wiggles her way into the life of a famous Broadway star. On Letterboxd, All About Eve has mostly received the perfect five star rating (31%) but four stars follows closely (30%).
9 The Apartment (4.3)
Fast-forwarding a decade, 1960’s The Apartment took home the prestigious Best Picture Academy Award. Starring acting legends like Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, the film is an all-time great despite the fact that the subject matter is somewhat controversial.
The film centers around an insurance clerk who lets senior co-workers use his residence for their affairs in the hopes that it will help him move up in the company. Along with Best Picture, it won Best Director and Best Screenplay. 34% of ratings have it at five stars, while 28% are at four stars.
8 No Country For Old Men (4.3)
There’s no doubt that the Coen Brothers are among the greatest filmmakers in history. Their movies are often well-received immediately or they become that way as cult hits over time. 2007’s No Country for Old Men was one that was an instant sensation.
Both a critical and commercial success, this crime thriller focuses on three characters. One is a war veteran who finds a bag full of cash, one is a sheriff investigating it, and one is a hired killer out to retrieve the money. Five stars comes up 33% of the time for this modern classic.
7 The Silence Of The Lambs (4.3)
History was made in 1991 when The Silence of the Lambs took home the Best Picture Oscar. It became the first (and remains the only) horror film to win the award. To add to how impressive it was, the movie also won for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The outstanding film remains an icon of the genre thanks to the work of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. The plot sees an FBI agent get help from a cannibalistic murderer while hunting down a different serial killer. Once again, five stars is the most common rating (35%).
6 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (4.3)
Jack Nicholson is one of Hollywood’s greatest actors for several reasons and one of them was his performance in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Released in 1975, this film did what The Silence of the Lambs did years later, winning in the five most prominent categories.
Among those wins was Nicholson as Best Actor. The film tells the tale of a new attendee at a mental institution who riles up his fellow patients to rebel against the system. Four star reviews happen often (30%) but like most Best Picture winners, five stars is the most common (32%).
5 Schindler’s List (4.4)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a powerful film than Schindler’s List. Arriving at theaters in 1993, this Steven Spielberg epic blew away audiences as soon as they laid eyes on it. Taking place during World War II, it followed a German industrialist who became concerned for his Jewish workers.
The reviews of Schindler’s List are overwhelmingly positive with next to nobody giving it fewer than three stars and a whopping 44% of users giving it the perfect five stars. Along with Best Picture, it won awards for Best Original Score, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and three others.
4 The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (4.4)
2003 was a year where some true history was made at the Academy Awards. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King set a record by sweeping the awards, winning all eleven Oscars that it was nominated for, with the two biggest being Best Picture and Best Director.
It remains the biggest Oscar sweep in history. This Peter Jackson epic managed to wrap up The Lord of the Rings trilogy in a way that was both true to the source material and a masterpiece of a film. An incredible 46% of the user ratings have this at five stars.
3 The Godfather Part 2 (4.5)
Only two sequels have ever taken home the Best Picture trophy. Nearly 30 years before The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King pulled off the feat, The Godfather Part II did it. Directed again by Francis Ford Coppola, the 1974 drama is seen as just as good, if not better, than the original.
The film worked as both a sequel and a prequel, telling the journeys of Vito and Michael Corleone during the 1910s and 1950s, respectively. The middle leg of this trilogy racked up six Oscars, including Best Director, and on Letterboxd, more than half of the ratings (53%) consider it perfect.
2 The Godfather (4.6)
In 1972, moviegoers were first introduced to the world of the Corleone family between the ’40s and ’50s. Hollywood has seen many mafia movies throughout history but it has arguably never been done better than with The Godfather, which still holds up decades later.
The film took home three key Oscars, winning Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay along with Best Picture. It is held up as one of the greatest films ever made and the scores reflect that as an incredible 57% of the reviews have given it the five star rating.
1 Parasite (4.6)
Most of the highest-rated Best Picture winners are the ones that made history. 2019’s Parasite is one of them as it was the first and only non-English movie to win Best Picture. The Bong Joon-ho film is one of the most unique to ever be nominated for such major awards.
Telling the story of a poor Korean family who infiltrates a rich family by hustling into key roles in their lives, it delivered in terms of acting, directing, and emotion. Parasite also won Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and on Letterboxd it received five stars 57% of the time.
NEXT: Parasite & 9 Other Non-English-Language Movies That Became Big Hits In America
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