Best and Worst Best Pictures

Can you name the Best and Worst Best Pictures

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RankFilm TitleVerdict (Tomatometer)
86.[Film] is interesting as an example of an early Hollywood musical, but otherwise, it's essentially bereft of appeal for modern audiences. (38%)
85.[Film] is melodramatic, short on plot, excessively lengthy and bogged down with clichés, but not without a certain innocent charm. (42%)
84.[Film] is supported by a strong performance from Irene Dunne, but uneven in basically every other regard, and riddled with potentially offensive stereotypes. (50%)
83.Though lensed with stunning cinematography and featuring a pair of winning performances from Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, [Film] suffers from excessive length and glacial pacing. (57%)
82. This biopic is undeniably stylish, but loses points for excessive length, an overreliance on clichés, and historical inaccuracies. (61%)
81.Though solidly acted and pleasant to look at, [Film] lacks cohesion, and sacrifices true emotion for mawkishness. (59%)
80.Well-written, well-meaning and solidly acted, the film may ultimately be more earnest than interesting. (71%)
79.Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald are eminently likable, and film is pleasantly sentimental, but it suffers from a surplus of sweetness. (71%)
78.An overly sentimental film with a somewhat problematic message, but its sweetness and charm are occasionally enough to approximate true depth and grace. (71%)
77.It's undeniably shallow, but its cheerful lack of pretense -- as well as its grand scale and star-stuffed cast -- help make [Title] charmingly light-hearted entertainment. (71%)
76.It may not be one of Minnelli's best, but the charming and flawlessly acted [Film] still offers enough visual and musical treats to satisfy. (74%)
75.A raw and unsettling morality piece on modern angst and urban disconnect, [Film] examines the dangers of bigotry and xenophobia in the lives of interconnected Angelenos. (75%)
74.Solid cinematography and enjoyable performances from Paul Scofield and Robert Shaw add a spark to this deliberately paced adaptation of the Robert Bolt play. (79%)
73.Ridley Scott and an excellent cast successfully convey the intensity of Roman gladitorial combat as well as the political intrigue brewing beneath. (77%)
72.The well-acted [Film] is both a moving love story and a revealing look at mental illness. (77%)
71.Warm and smartly paced, and boasting impeccable performances from Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy. (79%)
70.It occasionally fails to live up to its subject matter -- and is perhaps an 'important' film more than a 'great' one -- but the performances from Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire are superb. (78%)
69.A frantic, irreverent adaptation of the novel, bolstered by Albert Finney's courageous performance and arresting visuals. (81%)
68.A grand, sweeping epic with inarguably noble intentions and arresting cinematography, but one whose center, arguably, is not as weighty as it should be. (80%)
67.Distractingly violent and historically dodgy, Mel Gibson's [Film] justifies its epic length by delivering enough sweeping action, drama, and romance to match its ambition. (81%)
66.It has aged somewhat awkwardly, but the performances are inspired, the songs are memorable, and the film is undeniably influential. (85%)
65.Though it suffers from excessive length and ambition, director Minghella's adaptation of the Michael Ondaatje novel is complex, powerful, and moving. (84%)
64.The divorce subject isn't as shocking, but the film is still a thoughtful, well-acted drama that resists the urge to take sides or give easy answers. (86%)
63.Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes. (85%)
62.A classic tearjerker, [Film] isn't shy about reaching for the heartstrings -- but is so well-acted and smartly scripted that it's almost impossible to resist. (87%)
61.Unapologetically sweet and maybe even a little corny, [Film] will win over all but the most cynical filmgoers with its classic songs and irresistible warmth. (84%)
60.Perhaps less a true film than a series of star-studded vignettes, [Film] still remains an entertaining look back at a bygone Hollywood era. (87%)
59.Informed by director Oliver Stone's personal experiences in Vietnam, [Film] forgoes easy sermonizing in favor of a harrowing, ground-level view of war, bolstered by no-holds-barred performances from Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe. (88%)
58.A well-executed labor of love from star and director Laurence Olivier, [Film] not only proved that Shakespeare could be successfully adapted to the big screen, it paved the way for further cinematic interpretations. (89%)
57.An excessively sentimental piece of propaganda, [Film] nonetheless succeeds, due largely to Greer Garson's powerful performance. (90%)
56.A rousing and energetic adaptation of the Broadway musical, [Film] succeeds on the level pure spectacle, but provides a surprising level of depth and humor as well. (87%)
55.This road-trip movie about an autistic savant and his callow brother is far from seamless, but Barry Levinson's direction is impressive, and strong performances from Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman add to its appeal. (88%)
54.Director Richard Attenborough is typically sympathetic and sure-handed, but it's Ben Kingsley's magnetic performance that acts as the linchpin for this sprawling, lengthy biopic. (89%)
53.Uneven, but in terms of epic scope and grand spectacle, [Film] still ranks among Hollywood's finest examples of pure entertainment. (89%)
52.It has perhaps aged poorly, but this languidly paced WWII romance remains an iconic, well-acted film, featuring particularly strong performances from Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift. (89%)
51.Though shot through with bitterness and sorrow, Robert Redford's directorial debut is absorbing and well-acted. (91%)
50.John Schlesinger's gritty, unrelentingly bleak look at the seedy underbelly of urban American life is undeniably disturbing, but Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight's performances make it difficult to turn away. (88%)
49.Though it perhaps strays into overly maudlin territory, this working-class drama is saved by a solid cast and director John Ford's unmistakeable style. (89%)
48.Flawlessly cast and brimming with dark, acid wit, [Film] is a smart, provocative high point of late '90s mainstream Hollywood film. (88%)
47.While decidedly imperfect, Bernardo Bertolucci's epic is still a feast for the eyes. (92%)
46.Tense, funny, and thought-provoking all at once, and lifted by strong performances from Sydney Poitier and Rod Steiger, director Norman Jewison's look at murder and racism in small-town America continues to resonate today. (93%)
45.Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help [Film] to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving. (91%)
44.Its greatness is blunted by its length and one-sided point of view, but the film's weaknesses are overpowered by Michael Cimino's sympathetic direction and a series of heartbreaking performances from Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken. (92%)
RankFilm TitleVerdict (Tomatometer)
43.This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints. (92%)
42.Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill prove that charm, humor, and a few slick twists can add up to a great film. (92%)
41.The historical inaccuracies in this high-seas adventure are more then offset by its timeless themes, larger-than-life performances from Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, and Frank Lloyd's superb direction. (93%)
40.Endlessly witty, visually rapturous, and sweetly romantic, [Film] is a delightful romantic comedy that succeeds on nearly every level. (93%)
39.Fans of the play may miss Julie Andrews in the starring role -- particularly when Marni Nixon's singing comes out of Audrey Hepburn's mouth -- but the film's charm is undeniable. (95%)
38.Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos. (93%)
37.Subsequent war epics may have borrowed heavily from the original Best Picture winner, but they've all lacked Clara Bow's luminous screen presence and William Wellman's deft direction. (97%)
36.A mostly unqualified triumph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama. (88%)
35.Director Jonathan Demme's smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. (94%)
34.Colin Firth gives a masterful performance in [Film], a predictable but stylishly produced and rousing period drama. (94%)
33.Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast that includes Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon, [Film] is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality that has infused director Martin Scorsese's past triumphs. (92%)
32.Broderick Crawford is spellbinding as politician Willie Stark in director Robert Rossen's adaptation of the Robert Penn Warren novel about the corrosive effects of power on the human soul. (96%)
31.Buoyed by Robert Wise's dazzling direction, Leonard Bernstein's score, and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, [Film] remains perhaps the most iconic of all the Shakespeare adaptations to visit the big screen. (94%)
30.It's predictably uplifting fare from Frank Capra, perhaps the most consciously uplifting of all great American directors -- but thanks to immensely appealing performances and a nimble script, [Film] is hard not to love. (96%)
29.Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, [Film] is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy. (94%)
28.Boasting masterful cinematography to match its well-acted, wonderfully romantic storyline, [Film] is perhaps the final -- and arguably definitive -- statement of the silent era. (98%)
27.Bolstered by powerful lead performances from Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones, [Film] finds the Coen brothers spinning cinematic gold out of Cormac McCarthy's grim, darkly funny novel. (94%)
26.Visually dazzling and emotionally resonant, [Film] is a film that's both entertaining and powerful. (94%)
25.As both director and star, Clint Eastwood strips away decades of Hollywood varnish applied to the Wild West, and emerges with a series of harshly eloquent statements about the nature of violence. (96%)
24.[Film] blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece. (97%)
23.The onscreen battle between Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher serves as a personal microcosm of the culture wars of the 1970s -- and testament to the director's vision that the film retains its power more than three decades later. (96%)
22.Director Lewis Milestone's brilliant anti-war polemic, headlined by an unforgettable performance from Lew Ayres, lays bare the tragic foolishness at the heart of war. (97%)
21.A lavish, entertaining, powerful film about the life and influence, both positive and negative, of one of Western culture's great artists. (96%)
20.An engrossing look at the triumphs and travails of war veterans, [Film] is concerned specifically with the aftermath of World War II, but its messages speak to the overall American experience. (97%)
19.This complex war epic asks hard questions, resists easy answers, and boasts career-defining work from star Alec Guinness and director David Lean. (96%)
18.George C. Scott's sympathetic, unflinching portrayal of the titular general in this sprawling epic is as definitive as any performance in the history of American biopics. (98%)
17.Scriptwriter Paddy Chayefsky's solid dialogue is bolstered by strong performances from Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair in this appealingly low-key character study. (100%)
16.Realistic, fast-paced and uncommonly smart, [Film] is bolstered by stellar performances by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, not to mention William Friedkin's thrilling production. (98%)
15.Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, [Film] represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic. (98%)
14.A crowd-pleasing tribute to the magic of silent cinema, [Film] is a clever, joyous film with delightful performances and visual style to spare. (98%)
13.Director Billy Wilder's unflinchingly honest look at the effects of alcoholism may have had some of its impact blunted by time, but it remains a powerful and remarkably prescient film. (100%)
12.A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's [Film] is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War. (97%)
11.Tense, exciting, and often darkly comic, [Film] recreates a historical event with vivid attention to detail and finely wrought characters. (96%)
10.Drawing on strong performances by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola's continuation of Mario Puzo's Mafia saga set new standards for sequels that have yet to be matched or broken. (98%)
9.The epic of all epics, [Film] cements director David Lean's status in the filmmaking pantheon with nearly four hours of grand scope, brilliant performances, and beautiful cinematography. (98%)
8.Capturing its stars and director at their finest, [Film] remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired. (98%)
7.Hitchcock's first American film (and his only Best Picture winner), [Film] is a masterpiece of haunting atmosphere, Gothic thrills, and gripping suspense. (100%)
6.Filmed and presented on a scale not seen in modern productions, [Film] is, if not the definitive Hollywood film, then certainly near the top of the list. (96%)
5.The plot may be problematic, but such concerns are rendered superfluous by Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron's star power, the Gershwins' classic songs, and Vincente Minnelli's colorful, sympathetic direction. (96%)
4.With his electrifying performance in Elia Kazan's thought-provoking, expertly constructed melodrama, Marlon Brando redefined the possibilities of acting for film and helped permanently alter the cinematic landscape. (100%)
3.An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood's quintessential statement on love and romance, [Film] has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. (97%)
2.Smart, sophisticated, and devastatingly funny, [Film] is a Hollywood classic that only improves with age. (100%)
1.One of Hollywood's greatest critical and commercial successes, [Film] gets everything right; not only did the movie transcend expectations, it established new benchmarks for American cinema. (100%)
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  • 'Every year, Rotten Tomatoes revisits every Best Picture winner of Oscars past (...) sorting them by the strict and rigorous standards of Tomatometer science.' As of 2013, including Sunrise and Wings
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Last Updated: Feb 16, 2017

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