Most Undeserving Best Picture Oscar Winners

Movies that did not deserve to win the Best Picture Academy Award. It's never easy picking a Best Picture winner but some years you have to wonder why some movies win over movies that are much more deserving.
The Top Ten
1 Shakespeare in Love Shakespeare in Love Product Image

Of the best picture winners I've personally seen, this one was the least deserving. It looked pretty enough, nice costumes and whatnot. Decent art direction, whatever. The movie looked fine. I'm sure it was acted fine as well, I don't remember. And that's just it - I don't remember this movie. It was entirely forgettable. It was just a sappy, silly period romance film. It was a trifle. Nothing about it struck me as special, profound, or worthy of the title of "best picture of the year". It's frequently listed as the least (or one of the least) deserving films to ever win the award, so I guess I'm not the only one who feels this way. Saving Private Ryan may have been an imperfect film, but it was a far greater cinematic achievement than this.

Uhhh that movie was terrible. It felt as if it was an ordinary fan fiction about Shakespeare. It's a shame "Saving Private Ryan" didn't get it. A good cast (besides Ben Affleck) with poor acting throughout the whole film, and an old reused dynamic for a romance story, just with Shakespeare. Definitely the #1 worst chosen movie to win best picture.

This is so weird. Why would Shakespeare In Love win over Saving Private Ryan. I never seen either film but Saving Private Ryan should have won. It doesn't sound right if Schindler's List was the only film by Spielberg that actually did win best picture.

Every one who voted for Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan for best picture all deserve the hell they've made for themselves.

2 Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire Product Image

I wonder how many of the voters who made this film the number one choice are just angry because The Dark Knight didn't win instead. And truth be told, it probably should have. But it wasn't even nominated (the main reason why the best picture category was expanded to include more films the following year) and, of the films that DID get the nod, I feel that Slumdog was the best. Contrived and manipulative? Sure. But extremely well-made? Unquestionably. This is far from the worst best picture winner to come down the pike.

Slumdog Millionaire is nothing compared to The Dark Knight. It is considered one of the greatest films ever made and didn't even get nominated

Why the dark knight don't was nominated?

This was fine. Not deserving at all.

3 How Green Was My Valley How Green Was My Valley Product Image

If Citizen Kane is suppose to be the greatest movie of all time than how in the world did it lose to this forgettable movie.

4 Chicago Chicago Product Image

The Oscars love movie musicals and all that "Old Hollywood" glitz and glamour nonsense. In that category Moulin Rouge (one year prior) was a better film and of the other best picture choices of 2002, Gangs of New York was the better choice.

Gangs of New York should have won but apparently the academy loves musicals better than movies better than movies that are really good.

The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers should have won best picture

Gangs of New York, or The Pianist should have won!

5 Crash Crash Product Image

This movie proves that Oscars is all politics. It deals with racist issues so the political correct thing to do is give this movie an oscar. But the movie itself was very lame and there were too much cliches being used. As for the acting nobody was standing out for this picture. All this actors and actresses ( some are overrated ) were certainly not giving their best performances, despite what the press told us. This is the kind of movie you only watch one time and than you forget about it, because there's no one scene in it that will stuck in your mind afterwards. It's so lame in fact that this movie will not give you something to think about.

The film that ham-fistedly beat its audience over the head with the message that "racism is bad" has the dubious distinction of being widely acknowledged by pretty much every ranking everywhere as one of the least deserving best picture winners in the nearly 100 year history of the Academy's existence. You're welcome to have a different opinion on the matter, just don't let the loneliness get to you.

This was such a pretentious, silly movie. It was all, "People are still racists even when they think they're not." Yeah, we know. This film beat "Brokeback Mountain" for best picture which was a mistake. People still talk about, refer to, joke about "Brokeback"; who ever references "Crash"? I'm still bitter about it, obviously.

Not as bad as everyone says but it was just too contrived. And obviously much better films nominated that year.

6 Titanic Titanic Product Image

A greedy cash in on a tragic story about people who didn't even EXIST. James Cameron, you can do better than this! But still a better love story than Twilight...and 50 shades trilogy

Best romance movie ever, hands down. So much better than that garbage Twilight!

To be fair, most of the nominated that weren’t that muck good either

7 The Artist The Artist Product Image

Not a bad movie, just no where near as good as the likes of Hugo, Midnight in Paris, or The Tree of Life.

Did anyone actually see this movie it even surprises me that this movie was nominated at all.

Booriing I really don't care much for silent movies.

It Won Only Because It Is B/w


8 The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker Product Image

This wasn't the most intriguing film for me and I think the Oscar was a bit over estimated but it did present a lot of good war themes and had a lot great actors and acting within. It's still worth watching.

Inglourious Basterds should have won.

Nothing against Kathryn Bigelow but Avatar was the movie everyone paid their hard earned money to see that year

9 Dances with Wolves Dances with Wolves Product Image

An excellent film, the kind of sweeping epics that the Academy loves to recognize. It's a passionate film, a love letter to the old frontier and the noble people who all but disappeared along with it. The only reason people tend to crap on it is because "Goodfellas be the bast thang avur, yo". To each their own, we're all entitled to our own opinions. Mine is that, good though it may be, Goodfellas wasn't even Scorsese's best movie let alone the best film of 1990.

Goodfellas should have won the award. Great storyline, great acting (Joe Pesci and Robert de Niro). Truly it was a masterpiece by Martin Scorsese.

An over-long epic film that doesn't do much for me in the way of movies.

Goodfellas was better than this.

10 The English Patient The English Patient Product Image

I fell asleep in the theatre attempting to watch one of the most boring films ever made, and if that wasn't bad enough, the pace of the film and the editing was absolutely atrocious. If they gave out awards for the worst film of all time to win the Oscar for best picture, this monstrosity would be my pick, and I've seen all the crap that's rated even worse by others. You're all wrong, the English Patient is definitely the worse.

Incredibly boring. I couldn't believe how slow and uneventful this film was. Artfully made, and a slog to sit through. 1996 was a relatively tepid year for American cinema (it was dubbed "the year of the indies" at the time) and of the films up for best picture that year I'd have readily chosen Fargo and Jerry Maguire before even thinking about this one.

Overlong and dull. It looks nice but is really just a melodrama

The Contenders
11 The King's Speech The King's Speech Product Image

There are a lot of super dumb Best Picture wins, but this has to take the cake. I am willing to say that this was the WORST Best picture nominee in its year, and as proof, just look at the other ones:
127 Hours - Amazing movie, James Franco is stunning.
Black Swan - Story, direction, and acting are lightyears ahead of this
The Fighter - Not a lot better, but the acting is top-notch
Inception - Possibly one of the most original movies ever. Astounding in visuals, acting, and storyline
And so on. I can do this for every movie nominated. The King's Speech sucks

2010 is the only year that I have watched all of the Oscar contenders. Black Swan or The Fighter should have won. The Kids are All Right would have been a great choice too.

The King's Speech was middle of the pack of the nominees. It was still better than Toy Story 3, The Descendants, and The Social Network, though. But I have to admit, I HATED Inception. 127 Hours was cool for what it was, but depended on Franco, so didn't deserve Best Picture.

Not bad, but inception really deserved the oscar

I find it hard to believe this boring movie beat out such greats as The Social Network, 127 Hours and Inception

12 Ordinary People Ordinary People Product Image
13 American Beauty American Beauty Product Image

1999 was a highly competitive year. Three of the other best picture nominees were, in my opinion, great films, and for anyone who wanted to vote for a film that wasn't there was The Cider House Rules too. American Beauty was the most artsy-fartsy and supposedly "deep" of the lot, so it's no surprise that it won, but I'm not necessarily convinced that it didn't deserve to. It had an interesting script, great dialogue and strong performances all around.

Can you name any movie that resembles American Beauty? You can't.

No, it deserves it

14 Annie Hall Annie Hall Product Image

I don't even personally hold the original Star Wars in extremely high regard but let's look at the facts nonetheless: One of the 1977 best picture nominees was a profound landmark in the field of cinematic achievement, an Earth-shattering milestone of popular and critical success the likes of which hadn't been seen since Gone With the Wind and which has only increased in recognition and intensity throughout multiple generations of fans and critics, young and old, in the forty years since its release.

The other is a Woody Allen comedy.

Woody Allen beat Star Wars. Do I really need to say anything else?

Stupid jokes, bad acting, do I need to say more?

15 A Beautiful Mind A Beautiful Mind Product Image

A Beautiful Mind is a SUPERB, Oscar-winning movie and hands down, Russell Crowe should've won the Oscar for Best Actor that year.

I liked A Beautiful Mind. It was a good movie. It was also a relatively safe, soft, false crowd-pleaser of a movie. I'm of the opinion that The Fellowship of the Ring was an astonishing cinematic and pop culture achievement the likes of which the film industry has rarely seen, and also the (slightly) superior of the three Rings films. It should have won this year.

16 Out of Africa Out of Africa Product Image

Commonly regarded as one of the most boring, empty films to ever win an Academy Award. I haven't seen it myself, I just know that its reputation has certainly not grown with time.

Boring as almost every Meryl Streep movie.

The Color Purple OBVIOUSLY needed to win! OBVIOUSLY!

Like almost every Meryl Streep movie ; BORING!

17 Argo Argo Product Image

I was astonished by how much I loved Argo. I had virtually no interest whatsoever in watching it but decided to do so on a whim and found it to be one of the best films I'd ever seen. Taut pacing, sharp direction, consistently solid acting, great humor, and almost unbearable suspense. In my opinion Argo was near-perfection, a dream of a film, and nowhere near even the periphery of a conversation of "least deserving best picture winners".

Lost to Lincoln, Les Miserable, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, and Django Unchained. enough said.

Though les mis shoulda won this was OK

18 Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance Product Image

Outstanding performances of the actors and actresses ( especially Naomi Watts as usual ) and exeptional camera and lightning techniques but the story or script wasn't worthy enough to be nominated in the first place.

This was a particular year of bad movies, but this was the worst. Pretentious crap

In my opinion, boyhood was better, and why they don't nominated interstellar?

It' boring, the grand budapest hotel was better

19 Oliver! Oliver! Product Image
20 The Shape of Water The Shape of Water Product Image
21 The Broadway Melody The Broadway Melody Product Image
22 The Greatest Show on Earth The Greatest Show on Earth Product Image
23 Driving Miss Daisy Driving Miss Daisy Product Image

I didn't see all the other nominees that year but I did see this one and it was tremendously boring. An old white bitty learns to be nice from her wise black chauffeur. Yawn.

24 Chariots of Fire Chariots of Fire Product Image

This was a great film. So Raiders might've won. But this was probably the right film to win.

Won against Reds.

25 Rocky Rocky Product Image

Rocky has been called "a movie that came along at the right time", implying either that it had the fortuitous timing of being rightfully noticed and appreciated for the wonderful little movie that it was or that it was nothing more than a lame trifle that, in a fairer world, wouldn't have been recognized at all. I agree with the first sentiment.

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