Ranking the Best Pictures

Here we are — the big magilla. Ranking all the Best Picture winners.

Again, let me remind you:

  • The rankings are irrelevant. They’re just personal preference. The goal here is to help you discover more movies.
  • Don’t get hung up on the numbers, focus on the fact that it’s about getting people to see more movies. (And if you want to criticize, I require that you’ve seen at least 50 of the performances, otherwise you’ll be completely ignored.)

This list, unlike the rest of them, will be based solely on personal preference. It’s really the only way to do it. It’s simply a list of the order in which I enjoyed each Best Picture winner. And, like all of the lists, it’s irrelevant to category. It doesn’t matter if it should have won or shouldn’t have — it’s simply, “Here are all the winners, here’s the order in which I enjoyed them.”

Also, I’m not gonna break them down into tiers like I did for the other ones. It’s just a good, old-fashioned list.

The one question I have here is whether or not to include Sunrise. Since the Academy really doesn’t include it on its list of Best Pictures, I won’t. Just know that if I did, I’d put it right between 12 and 13. Or maybe 11 and 12.

So here are my rankings of all the Best Picture winners:

  1. Gone with the Wind
  2. Lawrence of Arabia
  3. The Godfather
  4. Casablanca
  5. The Godfather Part II
  6. The Apartment
  7. On the Waterfront
  8. The Sting
  9. The Deer Hunter
  10. The Silence of the Lambs
  11. Rocky
  12. It Happened One Night
  13. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  14. Unforgiven
  15. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  16. All Quiet on the Western Front
  17. Schindler’s List
  18. The Departed
  19. No Country for Old Men
  20. Amadeus
  21. Marty
  22. The French Connection
  23. West Side Story
  24. Forrest Gump
  25. The Bridge on the River Kwai
  26. The Best Years of Our Lives
  27. American Beauty
  28. 12 Years a Slave
  29. A Man for All Seasons
  30. My Fair Lady
  31. Kramer vs. Kramer
  32. Ben-Hur
  33. Platoon
  34. All About Eve
  35. The Great Ziegfeld
  36. From Here to Eternity
  37. Annie Hall
  38. The Artist
  39. Slumdog Millionaire
  40. Rain Man
  41. The King’s Speech
  42. The Hurt Locker
  43. Midnight Cowboy
  44. Gentleman’s Agreement
  45. The Sound of Music
  46. Shakespeare in Love
  47. Gladiator
  48. Argo
  49. Rebecca
  50. Wings
  51. Oliver!
  52. Terms of Endearment
  53. You Can’t Take it With You
  54. Going My Way
  55. Grand Hotel
  56. Braveheart
  57. Titanic
  58. Patton
  59. All the King’s Men
  60. The Lost Weekend
  61. Mrs. Miniver
  62. The Greatest Show on Earth
  63. How Green Was My Valley
  64. Around the World in 80 Days
  65. Mutiny on the Bounty
  66. Million Dollar Baby
  67. Cimarron
  68. Chicago
  69. Gigi
  70. In the Heat of the Night
  71. An American in Paris
  72. The Last Emperor
  73. Gandhi
  74. A Beautiful Mind
  75. Hamlet
  76. Dances with Wolves
  77. Ordinary People
  78. Driving Miss Daisy
  79. Tom Jones
  80. The Life of Emile Zola
  81. The English Patient
  82. Crash
  83. Cavalcade
  84. Out of Africa
  85. The Broadway Melody
  86. Chariots of Fire


Also check out:

Ranking the Best Actors

Ranking the Best Actresses

Ranking the Best Supporting Actors

Ranking the Best Supporting Actresses

Ranking the Best Directors


5 responses

  1. Why in the holy mother of God does Shakespeare in Love rank so high up on the list? It should be bottom 10 at best. Seriously that film was boring as shit!

    September 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm

  2. And another thing: Crash should be at the very bottom. That film was fucking horrible!

    September 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm

  3. Never mind my last two comments. But I do have one big question: Why does Schindler’s List rank lower than both The Silence of the Lambs and Unforgiven? Sure, they were both the best choices of their respective years, 1991 and 1992. But why does Schindler’s List rank only 17th?

    December 19, 2013 at 7:41 am

  4. Quick question, when are you planning on updating these rankings with last years winners?

    March 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm

  5. ROY

    Where would Birdman land on this list??

    December 11, 2015 at 1:29 am

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