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The Top 25 Best Picture Winners So Far

All good things must come to an end, and we’ve reached the end of this series. A new one will start soon, but first, a reminder. Yes, this is a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, 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!

It’s all come down to this…Best Picture. The big one. Any Oscar ceremony, barring the last one, wraps up with this massive category. Historically, my favorite films of any given year are not what win Best Picture at the Oscars, but occasionally, it does happen. Argo and Spotlight are two such examples. In terms of the best winners of this Academy Award, I think the upper echelon includes Annie Hall, The Apartment, Parasite, Schindler’s List, and The Silence of the Lambs. Not far behind are the likes of American Beauty, Casablanca, The Departed, The Hurt Locker, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, and obviously plenty more (including the aforementioned Argo and Spotlight). Where do I place Nomadland, our most recent Picture winner? Find out below, but I’ll only guarantee that it made the Top 25. Read on for more, but also be sure to chime in as well…

Here now are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Oscar for Best Picture, to date:

Producers Peter Spears, from left, Frances McDormand, Chloe Zhao, Mollye Asher and Dan Janvey, winners of the award for best picture for “Nomadland,” pose in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

25. Rain Man
24. Nomadland
23. The Godfather
22. The Godfather Part II
21. Forrest Gump
20. The French Connection
19. Midnight Cowboy
18. No Country for Old Men
17. On the Waterfront
16. Platoon
15. Moonlight
14. The Departed
13. Spotlight
12. Million Dollar Baby
11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
10. Argo
9. Casablanca
8. Rocky
7. The Hurt Locker
6. American Beauty
5. The Apartment
4. Schindler’s List
3. Parasite
2. The Silence of the Lambs
1. Annie Hall

Honorable Mentions: 12 Years a Slave, All About Eve, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs Kramer, Marty, Ordinary People, Shakespeare in Love, and The Shape of Water

Stay tuned for the next series, starting up early next month!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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