Once a movie has won Best Picture at the Oscars, it essentially gets the highest accolade a movie can get (at least as far as US awards go). People like to talk about the Oscars more than other award shows. It might help that the Academy is an institution that has held the awards for nearly a century at this point, or perhaps being the last of the major awards for a given year also helps.
Either way, love ’em or hate ’em, they get attention, and as such, the movies that win the biggest prize of the night – best picture – achieve a certain level of fame (or sometimes infamy). Still, it’s possible to gauge which of the 94 Best Picture winners go above and beyond in terms of popularity by looking at their average ratings on IMDb. The following Best Picture winners are considered the best of the best, according to users of the entertainment-related site, and are ranked below by average user rating.
ten ‘Gladiator’ (2000)
IMDb rating: 8.5/10
An action-packed, emotional epic reminiscent of some of the greatest films of the 1950s and 1960s, Gladiator always seemed destined to please the crowd. It has a simple yet satisfying revenge story at its core, features a talented cast to match its powers, has an immense sense of scale, and contains some great action sequences that still hold up today.
The average review rating for Gladiator on IMDb – provided by Metacritic – is only a 67/100, but audiences have been more receptive to it, as it has an average rating of 8.5/10. As a result, it simply sneaks into the top 10 Best Picture winners, and rightfully so; it’s a hard movie not to get carried away, after all.
9 “The Departed” (2006)
IMDb rating: 8.5/10
It’s always a bit strange that The dead was the movie that finally got Martin Scorsese a Best Picture win. After all, he had made some of the greatest films of the 20th century, including Taxi driver, angry bulland Freedmenwith all three feeling they would have been worthy winners of the Academy’s top prize.
But at the end of the day, it’s still a really good movie, and it gets its 8.5/10 rating on IMDb. It’s also a rare remake that doesn’t disappoint from the original, as it picks up the complex story of undercover gangsters and undercover cops from the 2002s. Hellish Affairs and gives it a respectable reinvention.
8 “Parasite” (2019)
IMDb rating: 8.5/10
Make history by being the first foreign film to win Best Picture (a category usually dominated by American or British films), Parasite might also be the top winner for Best Picture of the 2010s. It’s a darkly comedic thriller about a troubled family who become indoctrinated into the lives of another, wealthier family, but soon discover a dark secret inside. interior of the wealthy family’s mansion that changes everything.
It is a surprisingly original and always captivating film, at once funny, sad, tense, exciting and stimulating. On the contrary, the (still very high) average rating on IMDb of 8.5/10 might be a little low, especially considering that the average critic rating is even higher at 96/100, according to Metacritic.
7 “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Whether Thesilenceofthelambs is considered more of a horror film than a crime/thriller, so it’s significant to be the only movie of its kind to win Best Picture (only a few others were even nominated). It is also perhaps the most popular depiction of the cannibal/serial killer Hannibal Lecter on screen, with the uneasy alliance between him and a young FBI agent working together to track down another serial killer, making it a compelling film.
Even those who generally dislike horror movies are likely to be entertained by Thesilenceofthelambs, as it features great stories and characters, pitch-perfect performances, and admittedly infrequent (though still unnerving) horror scenes. Its accessibility and timelessness make it easy to see why it sits at 8.6/10 on IMDb.
6 “Flight Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
Flight over a cuckoo’s nest is one of the greatest American films of the 1970s, which is no small feat considering what a good decade it was for movies. It tells the story of a rebellious patient named McMurphy who makes a splash in a mental hospital in the 1960s and continually clashes with the domineering and often terrifying Nurse Ratched.
With great characters, a story that offers a roller coaster of emotions and an unforgettable ending, Flight over a cuckoo’s nest is unquestionably a classic. Few films have achieved an average rating as high as 8.7/10, and in this film’s case, it’s well deserved.
5 “Forrest Gump” (1994)
IMDb rating: 8.8/10
Tell the story of a seemingly simple man who advances at his own pace in life, Forrest Gump is an effective and enjoyable blend of comedy, romance, tragedy, and historical drama. The title character is shown to have been unknowingly present at many of the most important moments of 1960s and 1970s America, with the film offering an often tongue-in-cheek look at a relevant recent period in US history. .
It’s far from a perfect film, which might make its near-perfect score a little too generous at first. However, when you consider the fact that parts of the movie are undeniably well done, and that it’s ultimately likely to be a likeable movie in the eyes of most viewers, the praise from the IMDb community becomes understandable.
4 “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
IMDb Rating: 9.0/10
bringing The Lord of the Rings trilogy to a triumphant (and suitably epic) conclusion, The king’s return earns its place among the best of the Best Picture of the 21st Century winners so far. Everything comes to a head, there are almost no outstanding threads, and it builds on – and in many ways surpasses – the other two films in the acclaimed trilogy.
Only a handful of films on IMDb can boast a rating of 9.0/10 or better, but The king’s return is one of them. It’s a classic example of how to do an epic fantasy film well, and it’s hard to imagine many people coming away from the conclusion of this trilogy unsatisfied or disappointed.
3 ‘The Godfather: Part II’ (1974)
IMDb Rating: 9.0/10
Best Picture winning sequels are a rarity, which makes The Godfather: Part II come out. It builds perfectly on the first film, taking the family’s new boss, Michael Corleone, down a dark and morally questionable path, while also featuring flashbacks of how Vito Corleone (by Marlon Brando character from the first film) created the Corleone crime family.
Its rating of 9.0/10 places it just behind the first Godfatherhelping the cement The Godfather: Part II legacy as one of the best sequels in movie history. Even more impressive was the fact that it was one of two 1974 releases made by Francis Ford Coppolawith his other – The conversation – winning the first prize at the Cannes Film Festival: the Palme d’Or.
2 “Schindler’s List” (1993)
IMDb Rating: 9.0/10
A haunting and emotionally intense three-hour war drama shot in black and white, Schindler’s list is a difficult but essential watch. It tells the story of Oskar Schindlera once greedy industrialist who used his immense wealth to save the lives of over 1,000 Jewish prisoners during World War II.
Considering it’s a seemingly impossible film not to move, it’s clear to see why it has the high average rating of 9.0/10 on IMDb. It finds a tiny shred of hope and humanity in a horrific real-life event, while being honest in describing the atrocities that happened in flawless detail. It’s a powerful and historically significant film, and easily one of the directors by Steven Spielberg better.
1 “The Godfather” (1972)
IMDb Rating: 9.2/10
What more can I say about The Godfather? As well-regarded as its 1974 sequel was, this one has a slightly higher average rating, at 9.2/10. It’s also the second highest-rated film on the site, beaten only by the 1994 prison drama. The Shawshank Redemption.
While not the first major crime film, it helped redefine what the genre could do, mostly by telling a crime-related story on a grander scale than had been seen before. It’s a beautiful, moving, and almost perfectly made film, and one of those rare highly acclaimed films that feels like it deserves every ounce of praise it receives.
NEXT: Actors Who Appeared in Most Best Picture Winners