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The Top 25 Best Visual Effects Winners So Far

Warner Bros. Pictures

Folks, we’re back at it! Continuing a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, I’m ranking the new crop of Academy Award winners. For nearly all of the Oscar categories, you’ll see me list the top 25 recipients of that prize. Sometimes, our newest winner will appear. Other times, they’ll be relegated to the Honorable Mention category. Who knows, maybe one or two won’t even make the cut? It’s a list series that I’ll do each and every single year, in the weeks after the ceremony concludes. So, while this is a fun way to think about the Oscars in the aftermath of the latest telecast, it’s also a beginning for another column here on the site. Of course, definitely show us your own lists as well, in the comments section below. We’re definitely keen to know what you think!

Best Visual Effects is in the barrel today. This category is a bit of an Oscar outlier, considering a lot of the films that win aren’t Best Picture contenders. There are exceptions, including 1917, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Dunkirk, First Man, Forrest Gump, Gladiator, Gravity, Inception, Life of Pi, and Titanic, to be sure. However, you’ll just as soon see Academy Award winners here who barely show up in other categories. It’s part of what makes Visual Effects a fun field, but perhaps one slightly lacking in prestige. For my money, Jurassic Park is the tops in this category, but your mileage may vary. Where does the most recent Visual Effects winner, Tenet, fall here? Find out below…

Here are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Best Visual Effects Oscar, to date:

Jurassic Park

25. Spider-Man 2
24. Inception
23. Blade Runner 2049
22. Gladiator
21. Alien
20. 1917
19. First Man
18. Life of Pi
17. The Empire Strikes Back
16. Interstellar
15. The Abyss
14. Forrest Gump
13. Aliens
12. The Matrix
11. Superman
10. Star Wars
9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8. What Dreams May Come
7. Gravity
6. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
4. Titanic
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Avatar
1. Jurassic Park

Honorable Mention: Ex Machina, Independence Day, The Jungle Book, King Kong (2005), Return of the Jedi, and Tenet

Stay tuned for another category later on this week or early next week!

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  1. Joey, i’m surprised you didn’t have Independence Day in your top 25. The effects may not have aged particularly well but in 1996 they certainly had a wow factor. How close was it to cracking your top 25?

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Written by Joey Magidson

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