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The Top 25 Best Visual Effects Winners So Far (Updated for 2023)

Another week, another new 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 up to bat 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 in Avatar: The Way of Water? What about last year’s winner in Dune? How about a prior winner in Tenet? Does it still even crack the list? Find out where the Avatar sequel 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. Life of Pi
20. First Man
19. Aliens
18. The Empire Strikes Back
17. Interstellar
16. Superman
15. The Abyss
14. Forrest Gump
13. Dune
12. The Matrix
11. What Dreams May Come
10. Star Wars
9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8. Gravity
7. Avatar: The Way of Water
6. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
4. Titanic
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Avatar
1. Jurassic Park

Honorable Mention: 1917, Ex Machina, Gladiator, Independence Day, King Kong (2005), and Return of the Jedi

“Dune” (2021) Cinematography by Greig Fraser

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


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Robert Hamer
5 months ago

Out of curiosity, did you only consider winners of the Best Visual Effects Academy Award in this list? Because I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t mention any film older than 1964, which was when the award title was officially changed from Best Special Effects.

5 months ago

Some changes from last year but some are still in place

1.Jurassic Park
2.Who Framed Roger Rabbit
3.Blade Runner 2049
4.Indiana HJones The Temple of Doom
6.Avatar The Way of Water
7.The Life of Pi
8.The Empire Strikes Back
9.The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
14.Mary Poppins
15.Star Wars
20.Death Becomes Her
21.What Dreams May Come True
22.The Matrix
23.The Poseidon Adventure
24.Bedknobs and Broomsticks
25.Raider of The Last Ark

HM Babe ,Innerspace,The Abyss, The Hindenburg,Instellar



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