The 93rd Academy Awards have been delayed and pushed back to April 25, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but nothing can stop this Oscar debate: What's the best best picture of all time -- and what's the worst?
From "Wings" to "Parasite," 92 films to date have earned the Academy Award for best picture. But within that elite group, there are great movies and — yes — not-so-great ones. In fact, if you listen to the critics, some best picture Oscar winners are downright terrible.
Here's a look at every best picture winner, ranked from worst to best. We compiled our rundown using data from the movie-review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Where there were ties, we sorted films by their Rotten Tomatoes user score.
92. "The Broadway Melody" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36)
This 1929 "talkie" won the best picture award at the second Academy Awards. Reviewing the film 80 years after its release, ReelViews critic James Berardinelli said the film "has not stood the test of time." He wrote that MGM believed "viewers would be willing to ignore bad acting and pedestrian directing in order to experience singing, dancing, and talking on the silver screen."
91. "The Greatest Show on Earth" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43)
In 1952 this behind-the-scenes circus drama beat out the Gary Cooper Western "High Noon" for best picture.
Fast-forward to 2006, and the Chicago Reader wrote, "It won best-picture Oscar for 1952, but God... only knows why."
90. "Cimarron" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52)
This Western won the top honor in 1931. Since then, critics have soured on the film.
"As a motion picture, this is fairly worthless," writes Matt Brunson for Creative Loafing, "with its casual cruelty and condescension toward Native Americans, blacks... Jews and the handicapped."
89. "Out of Africa" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58)
Though this 1985 romance took home seven Oscars, not everyone was impressed. The New York Times' Vincent Canby was critical of the film's tone, writing, "I'm afraid that the film's most moving moments are those that recall what life was like back in the good old days on the plantation."
88. "Cavalcade" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63)
In this 1933 film, a wealthy London family laments changing times and losing loved ones. One son is killed in World War I and the other goes down with the Titanic.
In 2006, Time Out wrote, "Snobbery, sentimentality and jingoism run riot in Noël Coward's pageant of life."
87. "The Great Ziegfeld" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66)
This lavish 1936 musical is a tribute to real-life theater showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. In 2000, the Chicago Reader wrote, "It's amazingly dull... so of course it won the best picture Oscar for 1936."
86. "Forrest Gump" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70)
In 1994, Forrest Gump jogged into the hearts and minds of Academy voters and won six Oscars.
But not everyone was so enchanted by the slow-talking hero. Entertainment Weekly described the film as "glib, shallow, and monotonous."
85. "Around the World in 80 Days" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72)
Sure, the lead actors in this 1956 movie — David Niven and Shirley MacLaine — were famous, but the cameos were even bigger: think Red Skelton, Marlene Dietrich and Frank Sinatra.
In 2006, the Chicago Reader called this film, "Proof that you can buy an Academy Award."
84. "Gentleman's Agreement" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74; Audience Score: 77)
In this 1947 flick, Gregory Peck plays Philip Schuyler Green, a journalist who poses as a Jewish man to investigate anti-Semitism in New York.
83. "Crash" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74; Audience Score: 88)
An ensemble cast explores racism and socioeconomic tensions over two days in Los Angeles in this 2004 film.
The New York Times wasn't terribly impressed though, calling this movie "crudely manipulative when it tries hardest to be subtle."
82. "A Beautiful Mind" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74; Audience Score: 93)
Russell Crowe is John Nash, a Nobel-winning economist who struggles with schizophrenia in this 2001 biopic.
81. "Braveheart" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76; Audience Score: 85)
Mel Gibson starred in and directed this 1995 biopic on Scottish warrior William Wallace. In 2009, London's Times newspaper ranked "Braveheart" second on a list of the ten most historically inaccurate movies of all time.
80. "Gladiator" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76; Audience Score: 87)
A celebrated Roman war general (Russell Crowe) is forced into slavery by the ruthless son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in this 2000 film. But some critics were underwhelmed: Manohla Dargis of the LA Weekly wrote, "It's mournful, serious, beautiful and, finally, pointless."
79. "Terms of Endearment" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78; Audience Score: 84)
Star Shirley MacLaine was nominated for best actress four times before finally winning her first Oscar for this movie in 1983.
78. "Green Book" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78; Audience Score: 91)
Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen star in this 2018 film about the friendship between jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley and his driver and bodyguard, Tony Vallelonga.
77. "Gigi" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80)
In turn-of-the-century Paris, Gigi is raised to join her family's business and become a courtesan. But when an older playboy falls in love with her, he must decide whether to make her his mistress or his wife. The film was released in 1958.
76. "The Life of Emile Zola" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81; Audience Score: 73)
This 1937 biopic about French author Emile Zola was nominated for 10 Oscars and won three.
In 2008, Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World Movie Reviews called this one "a piece of pap."
75. "Driving Miss Daisy" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81; Audience Score: 81)
Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy explore prejudice and aging in the American South. Though it won four Oscars, some critics remained unconvinced. Thomas B. Harrison of the Tampa Bay Times lamented the movie as "self-righteous and silly."
74. "Oliver!" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82)
This musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic "Oliver Twist" was heralded when it was released in 1968. Roger Ebert wrote, "It is as well-made as a film can be."
73. "Going My Way" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83; Audience Score: 75)
Bing Crosby stars in this 1944 musical about a young priest who works to be accepted when he takes over at a new parish.
(TIE) 72. "Dances with Wolves" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83; Audience Score: 87)
Kevin Costner made his directorial debut in 1990 with this Western epic about a Union Army lieutenant who befriends Lakota Indians on the American frontier.
(TIE) 72. "A Man for All Seasons" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83: Audience Score: 87)
This 1966 biopic tells the story of Sir Thomas More, sentenced to death by King Henry VIII for opposing a royal divorce.
70. "Chariots of Fire" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84; Audience Score: 80)
In this 1984 drama, two runners — one Christian, one Jewish — find different motivations to achieve athletic excellence in the 1924 Olympics.
69. "The Sound of Music" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84; Audience Score: 91)
You might remember this Julie Andrews musical as a classic piece of cinema, but the film received mixed reviews when it was first released in 1965. The New York Times described it as "romantic nonsense and sentiment."
68. "Gandhi" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84; Audience Score: 92)
Ben Kingsley plays the title role in this 1982 biopic about India's independence leader.
67. "Tom Jones" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85; Audience Score: 58)
The characters in this 1963 British adventure-comedy occasionally break the fourth wall and speak directly to the audience.
(TIE) 66. "The English Patient" (Metascore: 85; Audience Score: 83)
This 1996 war drama was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won nine. "The English Patient" beat out "Fargo" and "Jerry Maguire" for best picture.
(TIE) 66. "Chicago" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86; Audience Score: 83)
It had been 34 years since a musical won the best picture Oscar when "Chicago" tangoed onto the scene and won six Academy Awards, including the top prize in 2003.
64. "Ben-Hur" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86; Audience Score: 89)
With 11 Academy Awards, this 1959 biblical flick shares the record for the most Oscar trophies with "Titanic" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."
63. "American Beauty" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87)
A man has a midlife crisis and fantasizes about his daughter's friend. "American Beauty" won five Oscars, more than any other film in 2000.
62. "Grand Hotel" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 77)
Greta Garbo plays a suicidal, aging ballerina in this 1932 drama. Her line "I want to be alone" is one of the most famous in film history, placing No. 30 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list.
61. "Ordinary People" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 88)
Robert Redford made his directorial debut in 1980 with this film about a family coping with the death of their teenage son. He also won the Oscar for best director.
60. "Kramer vs. Kramer" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 89)
Meryl Streep won her first Oscar in 1980 for her portrayal of Joanna Kramer, a woman who asks for a divorce from her workaholic husband.
59. "Platoon" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88; Audience Score: 93)
Writer and director Oliver Stone based this 1986 film on his experience as a U.S. infantryman during the Vietnam War.
58. "Titanic" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89)
James Cameron's 1997 epic about the famously doomed luxury ship won 11 Academy Awards, tied for the most in history. But even contemporary reviews weren't unanimously hot on the film. Salon's Stephanie Zacharek wrote, "Cameron has little finesse, or originality, as a storyteller."
(TIE) 57. "The Last Emperor" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90; Audience Score: 88)
Based on the autobiography of Puyi, the last emperor of China, this 1987 Italian-British co-production was the first western feature authorized by the Chinese government to show the Forbidden City.
(TIE) 57. "Midnight Cowboy" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90; Audience Score: 88)
This 1969 film was the first and only X-rated movie ever to win best picture. The MPAA later replaced the "X" rating with an "R."
55. "Rain Man" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90; Audience Score: 90)
In the 1988 film, Tom Cruise plays a Los Angeles hustler who discovers that he has an older brother, a savant, living in a mental health facility in Ohio. The two bond during a cross-country road trip.
54. "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) " (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 77)
Michael Keaton plays a self-involved actor trying to make a comeback with his career and his estranged daughter. Emma Stone co-stars in this 2014 film.
53. "How Green Was My Valley" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 81)
This film about the residents of a 19th-century Welsh mining town beat out "Citizen Kane" for best picture at the Academy Awards in 1942.
52. "From Here to Eternity" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 84)
This 1953 film follows soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. But you probably remember it for this iconic scene on the beach with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr.
(TIE) 51. "Million Dollar Baby" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 90)
Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank star in this 2004 sports drama about a boxer and an ill-tempered manager. Eastwood also produced, directed and scored the film.
(TIE) 51. "Slumdog Millionaire" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 90)
This 2008 film tells the story of a "slumdog" boy who wins the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," overcomes poverty, and gets the girl.
49. "Gone with the Wind" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 93)
This 1939 Civil War melodrama was nominated for 13 Oscars and won eight. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award, but at the ceremony in 1940, she was made to sit in a segregated area from her co-stars.
In June 2020, the film was pulled from HBO Max after John Ridley, the Oscar-winning writer of "12 Years a Slave," wrote an op-ed about the harm of its romanticized depiction of the Confederacy. "Gone With the Wind" subsequently was returned to the streaming service with a disclaimer noting the film "denies the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality."
48. "The Departed" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91; Audience Score: 94)
Martin Scorsese won his first Academy Award for best director for this Boston Irish mob drama in 2007. It was his sixth nomination for the award.
47. "The Shape of Water" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92; Audience Score: 72)
Guillermo del Toro directed this 2017 romantic fantasy about a woman who falls for an aquatic suitor.
46. "Shakespeare in Love" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92; Audience Score: 80)
William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) falls for a wealthy young woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) in this 1998 rom-com.
45. "West Side Story" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92; Audience Score: 84)
With 10 Academy Awards, this 1961 "Romeo and Juliet" tale is the most decorated musical in Oscar history to date.
44. "Wings" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 78)
This 1927 silent film starring Clara Bow was the first-ever Academy Awards best picture winner.
43. "Mutiny on the Bounty" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 84)
The Hollywood Reporter wrote that this 1935 movie was "one of the greatest films of all time."
42. "Mrs. Miniver" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 85)
This World War II drama was particularly timely as it was released in the midst of the war, in June 1942.
(TIE) 41. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 86)
In 2004, the third and final installment of the Lord of the Rings franchise became the second sequel to ever win best picture, after the 1974 winner, "The Godfather II."
(TIE) 41. "No Country for Old Men" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 86)
Joel and Ethan Coen wrote and directed this 2007 Western thriller starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin.
39. "You Can't Take It With You" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 88)
Jimmy Stewart stars in this 1938 comedy about a couple — the wealthy son of a banker and a stenographer from an eccentric family — struggling to make it work, despite their different origins.
38. "The Deer Hunter" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 92)
Fighting in the Vietnam War changes the lives of three friends. The 1978 film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage.
37. "The Apartment" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 94)
A clerk lets his bosses use his apartment for illicit trysts, all in hopes of a promotion, in this 1960 film.
36. "Amadeus" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 95)
F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce star in this 1984 biopic on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Both men were nominated for the best actor Oscar; Abraham won the award.
35. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93; Audience Score: 96)
In 1976, Jack Nicholson won his first Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of a convict who swindles his way into a mental institution.
34. "Rocky" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 69)
In this 1976 film, Sylvester Stallone plays a small-time fighter in Philadelphia who gets a chance to compete for the world heavyweight championship.
33. "In the Heat of the Night" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 92)
Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger star in this 1967 police drama about racism in small-town Mississippi.
32. "Patton" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 93)
George C. Scott won the Oscar for best actor in 1971 for his portrayal of General Patton but famously refused to accept the award, as he disliked the voting process and acting competitions in general.
31. "The Sting" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94; Audience Score: 95)
After nearly half a century of Academy Awards ceremonies, Julia Phillips became the first female producer to be nominated for, and to win, the award for best picture in 1973.
30. "All the King's Men" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 78)
Based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren, this 1949 noir film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three.
29. "An American in Paris" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 79)
George Gershwin wrote the music for this 1951 film, which features songs like "I Got Rhythm" and "'S Wonderful."
28. "Hamlet" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 80)
Laurence Olivier stars in this 1948 adaptation of Shakespeare's play. The film won four Academy Awards.
27. "The Artist" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 87)
In this 2011 black-and-white (mostly) silent film, an older movie star struggles with the transition to "talkies."
(TIE) 26. "12 Years a Slave" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 90)
This 2013 film is based on the memoir by Solomon Northrup, a free-born black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.
(TIE) 26. "My Fair Lady" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 90)
In this 1964 musical, a conceited phonetics professor bets a friend that he can teach a crass, Cockney flower girl "to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist's shop."
24. "The King's Speech" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 92)
In this 2010 film, King George VI struggles with a stammer that makes public speaking a traumatic affair. Enter Lionel Logue, a speech therapist who will help the new king conquer his stammer and his associated fears.
23. "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95; Audience Score: 93)
Twenty years before he picked up a lightsaber as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Alec Guinness won the Academy Award for best actor in 1958 for his portrayal of Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson in this war epic.
22. "Argo" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 90)
Ben Affleck directed this 2012 spy thriller that was based on a real-life, stranger-than-fiction CIA operation. Agents disguised a hostage rescue mission in Iran as a science fiction movie production.
(TIE) 21. "The Best Years of Our Lives" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 93)
Three soldiers struggle to adjust to civilian life after fighting in World War II. This film told a prescient story in 1946, when many men had recently returned home from the war.
(TIE) 21. "Unforgiven" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 93)
Clint Eastwood produced, directed and starred in this 1992 Western about an aging outlaw who takes one last job.
19. "Silence of the Lambs" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96; Audience Score: 95)
This thriller swept the top five categories at the 1992 Academy Awards and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2011.
18. "The Hurt Locker" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 84)
Jeremy Renner stars in this 2009 film about a U.S. Army explosives disposal team in Iraq.
17. "Annie Hall" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 92)
Woody Allen wrote the titular role specifically for Diane Keaton, and she ultimately won the Oscar for best actress in 1978.
16. "Spotlight" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 93)
In this 2015 film, journalists at the Boston Globe investigate sexual assault allegations against a local priest only to discover a much broader pattern in the Catholic Church.
(TIE) 15. "The Godfather Part II" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 97)
The second installment in the Godfather franchise, released in 1974, is both a sequel and a prequel to the first film, telling the stories of father and son, Vito and Michael Corleone.
(TIE) 15. "Schindler's List" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97; Audience Score: 97)
Liam Neeson plays German businessman Oskar Schindler, who employs hundreds of Jewish refugees at his enamelware factories during World War II. The 1993 film is based on true events.
13. "Moonlight" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 79)
"Moonlight" follows the life of a young, gay black man in Miami as he grows up in poverty and struggles with bullying and abuse.
"Moonlight" famously won the best picture Oscar in 2017 after Warren Beatty erroneously announced that the award had gone to "La La Land."
12. "The French Connection" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 87)
Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider star as New York detectives who investigate a French heroin smuggler in this 1971 crime thriller.
11. "All Quiet on the Western Front" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 89)
This 1930 World War I epic opened to critical acclaim in the United States, but in Germany, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party quickly banned it. Nazi soldiers disrupted early German screenings with stink bombs and sneezing powder.
(TIE) 10. "It Happened One Night" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 93)
This 1934 romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert was the first film to win in each of the top five categories at the Oscars.
(TIE) 10. "Lawrence of Arabia" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 93)
Peter O'Toole stars in this 1962 epic about a real-life British soldier who fought alongside Arab desert tribes in World War I.
In 2006, the Chicago Reader called this movie "one of the most intelligent, handsome, and influential of all war epics."
(TIE) 8. "Casablanca" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 95)
World War II becomes personal for Rick, a cynical American expatriate, when an ex-lover, Ilsa, shows up at his nightclub in French-occupied Morocco. The film premiered in 1942, just a few weeks after the Allied invasion of North Africa.
(TIE) 8. "On the Waterfront" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 95)
Marlon Brando won his first Oscar in 1955 for his portrayal of dockworker Terry Malloy. It was his fourth nomination.
6. "The Godfather" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98; Audience Score: 98)
In 1972, the first film in the Godfather franchise introduced the world to the Corleone crime family and its patriarch, Don Vito Corleone.
The Austin Chronicle said this film is "just about as great as a movie's ever gonna be."
5. "Parasite" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99; Audience Score: 92)
This 2019 South Korean film about two families — one wealthy, and one not — became the first non-English language film to win best picture. It took home four awards overall — three for its writer-director-producer, Bong Joon Ho.
4. "All About Eve" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99; Audience Score: 94)
This 1951 flick is the only film in Oscars history to receive four nominations for actresses. Bette Davis and Anne Baxter received best actress nominations, and Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter were both nominated for best supporting actress. Surprisingly, none of the four women won.
3. "Marty" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100; Audience Score: 87)
Ernest Borgnine won his only Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of unlucky-in-love bachelor Marty Piletti in this 1955 hipster rom-com.
2. "The Lost Weekend" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100; Audience Score: 90)
Ray Milland stars as Don Birnam, an alcoholic writer who goes broke and nearly kills himself before he chooses to stop drinking in this 1945 drama.
In 2003, The New York Times' Bosley Crowther revisited this movie, calling it "a shatteringly realistic and morbidly fascinating film."
1. "Rebecca" (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100; Audience Score: 92)
This 1940 Gothic film earned Alfred Hitchcock his first Oscar nomination for best director. He was nominated five times over the course of his career but never won.
Reflecting on the film in 2015, the New York Daily News said this work "may justly be called Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece."