All 93 Oscar best-picture winners, ranked from worst to best by movie critics

Travis Clark
·8 min read
nomadland searchlight pictures
"Nomadland" Searchlight Pictures

It's been a turbulent year for the movie business, but the show must go on.

The 93rd Oscars ceremony was Sunday after being pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. And the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also bent the rules a bit for this year's Oscars.

Movies that debuted on streaming services qualified as long as they had a planned theatrical release (a movie usually has to have a qualifying theatrical run). And movies released between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 qualified (it's usually only the calendar year).

The delay meant that last year's best-picture winner, "Parasite," was the reigning champion for a bit longer. It broke barriers as the first international feature to win the Oscars' top prize.

This year's winner was "Nomadland," which also won best director (Chloé Zhao) and best actresss (Frances McDormand).

Insider ranked all 93 best-picture winners - from the first winner, "Wings," in 1927 to "Nomadland" - based on their critic score on the reviews-aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

In the case of ties, we broke them based on their audience scores on the site. (And if those were the same, the film with more critic reviews came out on top.)

All 93 best picture Oscar winners are ranked below:

92. "The Broadway Melody" (1929)

broadway melody
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 33%

91. "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952)

greatest show on earth
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%

90. "Cimarron" (1931)

cimarron
RKO Radio Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

89. "Out of Africa" (1985)

Out of Africa
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 62%

88. "Cavalcade" (1933)

Cavalcade
Fox Film Corporation

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

User score: 26%

87. "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936)

great ziegfeld
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

User score: 50%

86. "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956)

around the world
Michael Todd Company

Rotten Tomatoes score: 69%

85. "Forrest Gump" (1994)

forrest gump
Paramount

Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%

84. "Crash" (2004)

Crash Lionsgate
Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%

Audience score: 88%

83. "A Beautiful Mind" (2001)

A Beautiful Mind
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%

Audience score: 93%

82. "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947)

gentleman's agreement
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Audience score: 78%

81. "Gladiator" (2000)

gladiator
Universal

Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%

Audience score: 87%

80. "Terms of Endearment" (1983)

Terms of Endearment
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Audience score: 83%

79. "Braveheart" (1995)

braveheart
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Audience score: 85%

78. "Green Book" (2018)

green book
Universal

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Audience score: 91%

77. "Going My Way" (1944)

going my way
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81% (31 reviews)

Audience score: 74%

76. "Gigi" (1958)

gigi
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81% (37 reviews)

Audience score: 74%

75. "Tom Jones" (1963)

tom jones movie
Woodfall Film Productions

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Audience score: 58%

74. "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937)

Life of Emile Zola
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Audience score: 73%

73. "Chariots of Fire" (1981)

Chariots of Fire
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Audience score: 80%

72. "Oliver!" (1968)

oliver!
Romulus Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82% (33 reviews)

Audience score: 81%

71. "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989)

Driving Miss Daisy
Zanuck Company

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82% (65 reviews)

Audience score: 81%

70. "A Man For All Seasons" (1966)

a man for all seasons
Highland Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83% (42 reviews)

Audience score: 87%

69. "Dances With Wolves" (1990)

dances with wolves orion
Orion

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83% (76 reviews)

Audience score: 87%

68. "The Sound of Music" (1965)

The Sound of Music

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Audience score: 91%

67. "The English Patient" (1996)

the english patient weinstein company
The Weinstein Company

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Audience score: 83%

66. "Gandhi" (1982)

Gandhi
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Audience score: 92%

65. "Grand Hotel" (1932)

grand hotel movie
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Audience score: 77%

64. "Chicago" (2002)

Chicago
Miramax

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Audience score: 83%

63. "Ben-Hur" (1959)

ben hur
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Audience score: 89%

62. "Platoon" (1986)

platoon
Orion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87% (69 reviews)

Audience score: 93%

61. "American Beauty" (1999)

American Beauty
Dreamworks

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87% (190 reviews)

Audience score: 93%

60. "Midnight Cowboy" (1969)

midnight cowboy
Jerome Hellman Productions

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

Audience score: 88%

59. "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979)

kramer vs kramer
Columbia

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

Audience score: 89%

58. "Titanic" (1997)

Titanic
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Audience score: 69%

57. "How Green Was My Valley" (1941)

how green was my valley 20th century fox
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Audience score: 81%

56. "Ordinary People" (1980)

Ordinary People
Paramont Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89% (54 reviews)

Audience score: 88%

55. "The Last Emperor" (1987)

Last Emperor
Record Picture Company

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89% (72 reviews)

Audience score: 88%

54. "Rain Man" (1988)

tom cruise rain man
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Audience score: 90%

53. "Million Dollar Baby" (2004)

Million Dollar Baby
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Audience score: 90%

52. "The Departed" (2006)

the departed jack nicholson matt damon
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Audience score: 94%

51. "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" (2014)

birdman michael keaton

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Audience score: 77%

50. "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Audience score: 90%

49. "Gone with the Wind" (1939)

Gone with the Wind
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Audience score: 92%

48. "Rocky" (1976)

rocky
Chartoff Winkler Productions

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 69%

47. "The Shape of Water" (2017)

the shape of water
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 72%

46. "Shakespeare in Love" (1998)

shakespeare in love miramax
Miramax

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 80%

45. "From Here to Eternity" (1953)

from here to eternity
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92% (61 reviews)

Audience score: 84%

44. "West Side Story" (1961)

West Side Story United Artists
United Artists

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92% (78 reviews)

Audience score: 84%

43. "The Deer Hunter" (1978)

the deer hunter
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 92%

42. "Wings" (1927)

wings
Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 79%

41. "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935)

mutiny on the bounty
Arcola Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 84%

40. "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (2003)

return of the king lord of the rings
New Line

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93% (275 reviews)

Audience score: 86%

39. "No Country for Old Men" (2007)

No country for old men javier bardem
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93% (288 reviews)

Audience score: 86%

38. "You Can't Take It With You" (1938)

you can't take it with you
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 88%

37. "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)

lawrence of arabia
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 93%

36. "The Apartment" (1960)

The Apartment
Mirisch Corporation

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 94%

35. "Amadeus" (1984)

Amadeus Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 95%

35. "Nomadland" (2020)

Frances McDormand Nomadland
"Nomadland" was directed by Chloé Zhao. Searchlight Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 82%

34. "The King's Speech" (2010)

kings speech
YouTube/Clevver Movies

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 92%

33. "Patton" (1970)

Patton
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 93%

32. "The Sting" (1973)

the sting
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 95%

31. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975)

one flew over
Warner Brothers

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 96%

30. "All the King's Men" (1949)

all the king's men
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 78%

29. "Hamlet " (1948)

hamlet
Two Cities Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 80%

28. "Mrs. Miniver" (1942)

Screen Shot 2018 02 21 at 11.25.05 AM
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 85%

27. "The Artist" (2011)

the artist movie
The Weinstein Company

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 87%

26. "My Fair Lady" (1964)

my fair lady audrey hepburn
Warner Brothers

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95% (58 reviews)

Audience score: 90%

25. "12 Years a Slave" (2013)

12 years a slave
Regency Enterprises

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95% (371 reviews)

Audience score: 90%

24. "In the Heat of the Night" (1967)

In the Heat of the Night
United Artists

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 92%

23. "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957)

bridge over river kwai Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 93%

22. "An American in Paris" (1951)

american in paris
MGM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 79%

21. "Argo" (2012)

argo
Warner Brothers

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 90%

20. "Annie Hall" (1977)

annie hall
United Artists

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 92%

19. "Unforgiven" (1992)

Unforgiven
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 93%

18. "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991)

Silence of the Lambs
Orion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 95%

17. "The Godfather Part II" (1974)

Godfather Part II
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 97%

16. "The Hurt Locker" (2009)

hurt locker trailer bomb explosion
Voltage Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Audience score: 84%

15. "Spotlight" (2015)

spotlight 1 final
Open Road Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Audience score: 93%

14. "The Godfather" (1972)

godfather
"The Godfather." Paramount

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Audience score: 98%

13. "Moonlight" (2016)

moonlight
A24

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Audience score: 79%

12 "Marty" (1955)

marty
Hecht-Lancaster Productions

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (42 reviews)

Audience score: 87%

11. "The French Connection" (1971)

french connection
Philip D'Antoni Productions

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (83 reviews)

Audience score: 87%

10. "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930)

all quiet on the western front
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Audience score: 89%

9. "The Lost Weekend" (1945)

the lost weekend movie
Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (44 reviews)

Audience score: 90%

8. "Parasite" (2019)

parasite
"Parasite" Neon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (458 reviews)

Audience score: 90%

7. "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946)

best years of our lives
Samuel Goldwyn Company

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Audience score: 93%

6. "Schindler's List" (1993)

Schindler's List
Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Audience score: 97%

5. "It Happened One Night" (1934)

it happened one night
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Audience score: 93%

4. "All About Eve" (1950)

all about eve
20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Audience score: 94%

3. "On the Waterfront" (1954)

on the waterfront
Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99% (102 reviews)

Audience score: 95%

2. "Casablanca" (1942)

casablanca
Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99% (122 reviews)

Audience score: 95%

1. "Rebecca" (1940)

rebecca movie
Selznick International Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

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