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The Top 25 Best Visual Effects Winners So Far (Updated)

"Dune" (2021) Cinematography by Greig Fraser

Another week, another list coming your way! 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!

So, Best Visual Effects is the field that’s 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 1917The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonDunkirkFirst ManForrest GumpGladiatorGravityInceptionLife of Pi, and Titanic, to be sure (plus our most recent winner in Dune). 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 victor fall here? What about last year’s winner in Tenet? Does it still even crack the list? Find out where Dune ranks below, along with all of the rest…

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. Alien
21. 1917
20. Life of Pi
19. First Man
18. The Empire Strikes Back
17. Interstellar
16. Aliens
15. The Abyss
14. Forrest Gump
13. Dune
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, Gladiator, Independence Day, The Jungle Book, King Kong (2005), and Return of the Jedi

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


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4 months ago

I wasn’t sure I would draw up a list for this one. What can be considered visual effects has quite a range making it a challenge.

1. Jurassic Park
2 . The Jungle Book
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
4. The Abyss
5. Gravity
6. 2001 A Space Odyssey
7. The Empire Strikes Back
8. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
9. Aliens
10. Star Wars
11. Hugo
12. Inception
13. Titanic
14. Superman
15. Mary Poppins
16. Alien
17. What Dreams May Come True
18. Spider-Man 2
19. Avatar
20. 1917
21. The Poseidon Adventure
22. Gladiator
23. Instellar
24.Death Becomes Her
25. Babe

HM The Hindenburg, E. T. The Extra Terrestrial, Innerspace , Forrest Gump



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