Worst "Best Picture" Winner of the last 40 years?


This is how I feel about The Shape of Water. The purpose of the movie was to win awards.

I haven’t seen all of them but I am still confident Shakespeare in Love is the worst.

You can do a search in this forum and find numerous threads over the years where Crash has been trashed. There are some forum members who are very opinionated on the subject.

I loved it, FWIIW.

I voted for the wrong movie, accidentally. I intended to vote for Shakespeare In Love, but managed to hit American Beauty instead. I wish you could change poll votes on this board. :frowning:

I’ve seen about two thirds. Titanic was one I walked out of. Dreck. There are others I should have walked out of, but sheerly due to its popularity I’m voting for Titanic.

I guess I’m an academy voter now! Sweet! :smiley:

I loved Birdman. One of my favorite movies in years. I really enjoyed the gimmick of it (the faux one shot filming) as well.

FTR, I also loved Shakespeare in Love and still believe it’s not only deserving of the award but one of the most criminally underrated films due to the fact it won (justly) over Saving Private Ryan.

There are quite a few that did not deserve to win over their competition that year, but are not necessarily bad movies on their own.

I voted Million Dollar Baby, which has to be one of Eastwood’s worst films as a director. But I wish I had read the list more carefully and remembered that Gladiator, inexplicably, won also. I would have voted for that one instead.

Crash is definitely in the bottom half in terms of quality, but it also gets extra venom heaped upon it for beating out the darling Brokeback Mountain. If it hadn’t beaten Brokeback I don’t think it would be as despised.

Agreed. There are a number of very good films that get over the top hate because they beat out a fan favorite - Annie Hall (over Star Wars), Shakespeare in Love (over Saving Private Ryan), and Dances with Wolves (over Goodfellas) are the obvious ones that come to mind.

I haven’t seen all of Titanic or Forrest Gump, because I got bored with both. If I felt okay voting for something I wandered away from when it was on TV, I would vote for Gump–I found it treacly and manipulative and not nearly as wise as it believed itself to be.

Of the ones I’ve seen all the way through, American Beauty leaves me feeling the grossest, even though I enjoyed it at the time, so I voted for that.

I saw it opening weekend and left thinking, “Hey, pretty neat action movie.” I was stunned when it was taken seriously enough to give a Best Picture award. I mean, Mad Max: Fury Road is an action movie, but is 1000x the accomplishment of Gladiator.

I still voted for Shakespeare in Love because it was a pretty bad movie and literally worse than all other movies nominated that year. Saving Private Ran, Life is Beautiful, Thin Red Line, and Elizabeth.

Literally any of those would have been a better pick, especially Saving Private Ryan.

Movies on the list I find to be bad:

Argo - this was a terrible movie
Shakespeare in Love(my vote). Such a strange mix-up to make this BP.
Chicago - maybe my backup pick. I hated this musical.

I haven’t seen some of these (Crash in particular), so I can’t really rule on them.

But I truly do loathe The English Patient

Platoon. I’m sorry, but this has to be one of the most overrated films of the last thirty years. I couldn’t believe this was the same movie people were raving about; at the end, I was literally, “Is that it? THIS is the OMG-best-war-movie-ever-made??” Could not believe it won Best Picture, regardless of what competition it had that year. Sap Gathering in Maine? Gidget Surfs to Rome? What were the contenders? :smack:

I need to change my vote; I realize now I have seen 15 of the 40. (I think I need to get out more. :rolleyes: )

Of the ones I have seen, my least favorite was Lord of the Rings. Tolkien has always bored me to tears.

Shakespeare in Love is one of my favorite movies I have to contradict all you naysayers on that one.

Of the ones I’ve seen, Birdman was most boring, so I went with that. The Shape of Water was weird and stupid, because the central premise of “woman falls in love with the Creature from the Black Lagoon” didn’t work, but that failure wasn’t confirmed until the end of the picture, so I was at least watching all the way to the end. Gladiator was just another action film, not particularly bad but no better than run-of-the-mill. Shakespeare in Love much the same, except a rom-com.

In some ways I’d rather see a movie that I actively hated rather than one that was tepidly unsuccessful, and most of the unworthy Oscar winners struck me as artsy-fartsy films that didn’t impress, or OK but nothing that leaps out as the best of the year.

Chacun à son gout of course.


I can barely remember it because of how boring it was. I should have added it to my list of “bad movies” that won the award.

Seinfeld was right when they made an episode about how boring it is.

Oh my gosh, I forgot Out of Africa as well, another snooze-fest. Terrible movie.

I found Driving Miss Daisy an entirely loathesome movie which would have been substantially improved if the chauffeur had pitched his abusive employer through a window somewhere in the middle of it. Beside it, merely boring films don’t have a chance of my vote

“Crash” is a popular choice for worst Best Picture movie of all time, and was generally regarded as such from about thirty seconds after they announced it.

A lot of the choices here were not the right choice; I agree with Shodan, for instance, that “Gladiator” is just an action flick with a good cast. However, it wasn’t a BAD movie. It had a clear, relatable story and was competently made. The same can be said for almost all the movies that I don’t think should have won; “The English Patient,” “Chicago” and “Dances With Wolves” were maybe not worthy winners but were all competently made films. Way above average, really. I don’t like ludicrously long costume dramas - Gandhi, Amadeus, The Last Emperor - but they are technically impressive films, at least.

I’d also point out that one sometimes has to be charitable in analyzing movies in the past. “Platoon” might seem a little cliched now but at the time - I mean, that was 32 years ago - it was quite modern, cutting edge stuff. Kramer Vs. Kramer is basically a TV movie by today’s standards, but, again, it was topical and damned good in 1978. Rain Man really doesn’t look great today, but in 1988 it did.

But I didn’t pick Crash. I picked “Return of the King.”

Look, I’m sorry, but it was a really shitty movie. It just was. I loved, loved loved The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers was pretty good, but Return of the King was bad. I don’t mean bad by Oscar winning standards; I mean it was a bad movie, long and dull and with plot points that meant nothing. It was really, really badly made in a lot of ways and has aged really poorly. It is much more like the Hobbit movie than its predecessors. I realize most of its awards were “Trilogy achievement awards” but that’s not how the awards are supposed to work.

I expound at length:

I think I’ve seen most of these. I haven’t seen Crash, which seems to get a lot of hate.

Most of them, I liked. The English Patient was kinda dull in places. Kramer vs Kramer isn’t that great (but, as pointed, it was groundbreaking in its day)

But the worst of the worst was The Artist There is a reason that we don’t make silent, black and white films anymore.