Is there a film that received critical acclaim and a nomination for Best Picture that has you scratching your head? Then, you've got company. After someone asked a popular online forum, “Which terrible movie somehow got nominated for Best Picture?” These were the top-voted films.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
“Bohemian Rhapsody was dull, historically inaccurate to the actual events, and had bad editing, but somehow it won the Golden Globe. And gets multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture,” one said. Another replied, “I watched Bohemian Rhapsody with my boyfriend a few weeks ago.
He said it was his favorite music movie. He likes musicals and musical movies. I couldn't say it to his face, but I hated it. The writing was so unbelievably bland. And it ends with us watching the entire Live Aid performance?? It felt hokey and a little too light-hearted for a story about one of history's biggest bands and most famous singers. I did not like Bohemian Rhapsody at all.”
2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)
“I'll always be in a rage the year the nominees got extended to ten,” confessed one. Instead of Tinker Tailor or Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, they picked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Many people stated they will always be salty they didn't get The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy with Fincher, Mara, and Craig.
Several continued, “all because of some sorry sappy sad movie (no disrespect to those lost in 9/11 and events to follow), with the gorgeous Sandy B. and some annoying little kid who won't listen to his mother.”
3. Crash (2004)
A moviegoer explains, “Crash. What a forgettable schmalzy overhyped pile of rubbish movie that was. Brokeback Mountain was the far superior movie that year. Watching the movie Crash was like being lectured to by a college freshman who just discovered racism exists in the real world.” Others suggest they picked the worst film that year. Munich was great, Good Night, Good Luck was amazing, and Brokeback Mountain was incredible.
4. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
“Shakespeare in Love is not a bad movie, though. It's certainly not my movie choice to win Best Picture that year, and Saving Private Ryan should have won, but Shakespeare in Love is excellent,” shares one critic. It won against Saving Private Ryan! The forgettable Oscar bait beat the movie that redefined the war film genre. Thin Red Line was, as a whole, a better movie as well. I don't think Shakespeare in Love should have won.
5. Black Panther (2018)
Are you a Black Panther fan? One notes, “I always feel weird that I didn't like it as much as the entire world. Loved the production design and casting, though.” They continue that they would have liked to have gotten to know the characters better. Their favorite comic-based movies are the ones where it goes into the protagonist's background.
Another states, “I loved Black Panther. I think it was great and rewatched it as many times as most of the other MCU joints. But, in no way did it deserve a “best picture” nomination.”
6. The Boss Baby (2017)
The Boss Baby got nominated for best animation. Bad movies always get nominated if they're from a major studio. The academy is allergic to nominating foreign animation in the category. And even if a few make it through, they don't win.
A filmgoer suggests, “The academy also considers animation to be for children. Some voters have admitted they just asked their kids what to vote for rather than actually watch anything. It's a farce category, as far as I'm concerned.” Some voters have admitted to just not watching the movies in general. Like, voting for movies based on the title or the cast and crew alone. I've even heard some voters let their kids do it.
7. Gigi (1958)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof lost Best Picture (and several other categories) to the musical Gigi, which is about a teenager being trained by her grandmother to be a courtesan/high-class companion to a man who has known her since she was a child.
Poorly aged subject matter aside, Gigi is not very good compared to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or even director Vincent Minnelli's other films like An American in Paris.
Gigi didn't just win the Best Picture Oscar. It won NINE Oscars. It wasn't nominated for any acting awards. Still, of the remaining possible Oscars it was eligible for, it only missed out on the best sound and special effects. It won everything else.
8. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
The 1952 winner of Best Picture and Best Writing and three other nominations, I present The Greatest Show on Earth, a biopic about the Ringling Brothers Circus.
One suggests, “Every performance is hokey and over the top. The drama isn't just manufactured; it's the most shoddily produced nickel and dime stuff from the most disreputable factory on earth. I swear I could smell the elephant manure permeating my house when I watched it. That's how awful this movie is. So save yourself the time, and don't watch this one.”
9. American Hustle (2013)
American Hustle is a textbook example of all style, no substance, and Hollywood stroking its own ego. At least the film went home empty-handed, according to one.
One film critic says, “Oh man, what a bad movie. I saw it in theaters with my family, and the car ride home was completely silent. The only memorable scene is Bradley Cooper beating up Louis CK. David O. Russell gets some great performances out of the cast, but none amounts to much. And not in a fun slice-of-life way, but I have no idea what happened in this story way.”
10. Godfather Part III (1990)
The Godfather Part III. Maybe it's because I didn't care for it as much as the first or second films. Of course, I don't think ANYONE cares for it as much as the first two, but I still think it gets unfairly trashed.
Another film lover suggests, “It's perfectly fair to dump on that movie. The plot is as confusing as ever. Sofia Coppola can't act, and it's insane that The Godfather theme isn't universal in the movies. The plot felt like a caricature of the first two films. It has its moments, but it has many ridiculous ones as well. Al Pacino and Andy Garcia carried this film.”
11. Avatar (2009)
“I'm going to say it, but even though the visuals and CGI were great, I never liked the story for Avatar,” one lamented. “I could not tolerate the movie at home when I watched it again a few years later. I enjoyed it well enough in theaters, but after the spectacle wore off, the issues with the movie were glaringly obvious.”
“Avatar ” is a cinematic experience but not a good movie. If you want a story, it's not a good choice because this one is weak sauce.”
12. The Blind Side (2009)
One individual claims, “The Blind Side is just one gigantic Under Armour advertisement. It was an enormous bore. I get it, though, Michael Oher overcame tremendous adversity, and The Tuohys helped. But God, was that movie a snoozefest.”
Another user vows, “The Blind Side was a hallmark movie that was given a big studio budget and a script writer with more than two brain cells to rub together. So patronizing towards Michael Oher. Portrayed him like a drooling imbecile instead of a normal guy who fell through the cracks of Southern states' awful education and social services systems.”
13. The English Patient (1996)
Elaine Benes, is that you? One shared, “I thought that The English Patient wasn't that good. Especially considering it beat Fargo. While The English Patient is the go-to answer for this (thanks, Seinfeld), I consider Out of Africa a far worse example. I can’t remember The English Patient’s story, but I remember it being one of the most gorgeous looking movies I’d seen, but it wasn't Best Picture quality.
14. Green Book (2018)
“Green Book. Maybe not terrible, but it feels too “Oscar bait,” if that's the word for it,” one stated. “That's about all I remember from that movie. Its message was racism is bad. Friendship is good. Classic white savior movie, like The Blind Side. It could easily have been an HBO movie. I mean, I liked the movie but not Oscar-worthy.”
15. Shark Tale (2004)
In 2004, Shark Tale was nominated to go up against The Incredibles and Shrek 2. It didn't go well (as it should've), but the fact that it even got nominated is a tragedy. There are scenes where they forgot to put the lighting in. It was enjoyable but a terrible movie. But it has its bright spots.
A movie buff suggested, “Oh, Scot Aukerman KNOWS what the outcome of Sharks Tale was like… he doesn't portray it as his finest work. And I'm not going to either, that's for sure!”
16. Gravity (2013)
I don’t fault anyone for not liking this movie. But this is the best 3D/Atmos experience I’ve had in a theater. It was just on another level then, but I wasn't much focused on the story.
One claims, “I put Gravity in the same category as Avatar. I thought they were great 3D theater movies, but the story isn't captivating enough to watch again at home. Visually stunning.” It's like Avatar, only worth watching for the theatrical 3D spectacle. Otherwise not worth anyone's time.
17. The Shape of Water (2017)
The Shape of Water. Not only did it get nominated, but it won over far superior films, in my opinion. One agreed, “I thought the characters were one-dimensional, and the creature was just never established to be anything more than an animal. It was hard enough to get past the premise without the caricature villain and lackluster characterization.”
18. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Kramer Vs. Kramer was somehow deemed superior to Apocalypse Now (not to mention Alien). A filmgoer notes, “It's a good film for what it is, but at the time, I recall Siskel and Ebert saying something to the effect that in a few years, it would be forgotten while Apocalypse Now would be remembered for decades to come. So it came off as a movie that could easily have been done for TV.”
19. Doctor Dolittle (1967)
The TV series Musical H-ll has a deservedly scathing review of this mess of a film. They probably thought, “Well, it can't be worse than RDJ's Doctor Dolittle. They were mistaken.
A movie fan shared, “Seeing as it was a box office bomb, critically panned by contemporaries and future critics, and that Fox had to book 16 straight nights of free screenings for Academy members just to get it nominated makes me think that it was not a very good film.
The movie is lost to time unless you read Pictures at the Revolution. I fully agree with you; it's a musical comedy that isn't funny, and the songs are bad. It only got a nomination because Fox gave enough For Your Consideration dinners to the below-the-line voters to get nominated.”
20. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
One asked, “Am I the only one who hates Silver Linings Playbook? Maybe it's because my parents dragged me to it when I was 17, but I couldn't stand that movie.” Another replied, “Yeah, it's weird because I didn't buy Bradley Cooper at all as an ‘Italian guy from Philly' even though he's an Italian guy from Philly. I thought it was very overrated, and I did not understand the love for Jennifer Lawrence's performance in it either.”
21. Don't Look Up (2021)
Oof. One said, “The fall of Adam McKay from one of the best comedy filmmakers of the modern era to a pretentious f-sniffing hot water bag is so depressing. Yet, Step Brothers is somehow more insightful than Don't Look Up was. I loved The Other Guys and The Big Short, so I was excited about Don't Look Up, but man, when your satire has to be SO obnoxiously heavy-handed to make any kind of impact, maybe focus less on the “metaphor” or don't even bother with the satire at all.
Unlike the previous two, where there was plenty of detail and facts to dig through and serve to audiences in genuinely funny movie packages, this one just felt like an “Idiocracy” type hammer blow of cynicism designed to preach to the choir of the very same helpless people depicted as the protagonists.”
22. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscars. It wasn't terrible, but that is the most Oscar wins I have heard of for a film nobody ever talks about, except for Michael Scott. One confessed, “I saw it at the theatre when it was released. I even own it on Blu-ray because I nabbed it when it was dirt cheap on a sale.
I always forget that I own the movie. I have watched this movie only once. Although I loved it on the first watch, I tried to rewatch it and didn't care for it.”
23. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
“The vast majority of Best Picture winners are mediocre (to my taste, anyway). I think Driving Miss Daisy winning over Dead Poets Society and Field of Dreams was the most egregious – imagine a world where Driving Miss Daisy was the best film of the year,” one disgusted moviegoer shared. Driving Miss Daisy winning Best Picture while Do the Right Thing wasn't even nominated was criminal.
24. American Sniper (2014)
“Can't believe I had to scroll down so far to find this,” one stated. “I remember reading a giant headline that said “AMERICAN SNIPER SNUBBED” when it didn't win, and a bunch of folks screaming, it was better than Selma!”
A second film buff confessed, “I didn't even watch it because the overly aggressive Facebook push to make it a must-see turned me off. I never saw The Passion of the Christ because someone at church insinuated it was unchristian of me to have not seen it yet, so I was like, you know what, I ain't watching it. So anyway, I've read the book.”
25. Nomadland (2020)
“Nomadland—the feel-bad hit of the year. It wasn't just nominated; it won Best Picture,” one lamented. “I couldn't stand it. It felt more like a documentary. They had real Nomads with zero acting skills in the film, and it showed.”
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