Oscar Oversights: Best Picture Not Nominated, By Year

by jacobyjhn-18-315763 | created - 25 Jul 2015 | updated - 16 Mar 2018 | Public

This is a list of the best movies that failed to garner a nomination in the Best Picture category, by year for every year, 1930 to the present, in descending order. Quite obviously, some years featured several wonderful films not nominated because of the sheer number of "outstanding films" for a particular year, e.g. 1997, 1999, 1955, 1959, 1939. Some years have but a few "best picture caliber" films. So, it's a fun and interesting project to select just one for each year from 1930 to the present. This not to say that any of these should have won Best Picture, but rather "might" have contended for a nomination. This list is inspired by the curious year of 1981, which featured three excellent and best picture worthy films, not even nominated: Body Heat, Ragtime, and Prince of the City. Mystifying. Enjoy!

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Jackie (V) (2016)

R | 100 min | Biography, Drama, History

81 Metascore

Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

Director: Pablo Larraín | Stars: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup

Votes: 69,609 | Gross: $13.96M

2. Trumbo (2015)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama

60 Metascore

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K.

Votes: 71,834 | Gross: $7.86M

3. Gone Girl (2014)

R | 149 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

79 Metascore

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

Votes: 806,525 | Gross: $167.77M

4. Blue Jasmine (2013)

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love...

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Sally Hawkins

Votes: 185,498 | Gross: $33.41M

5. Flight (I) (2012)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle, John Goodman

Votes: 313,081 | Gross: $93.77M

6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

R | 122 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong

Votes: 180,126 | Gross: $24.15M

7. 127 Hours (2010)

R | 94 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Sean Bott

Votes: 335,653 | Gross: $18.34M

8. Invictus (2009)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as President of South Africa, initiates a unique venture to unite the Apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng

Votes: 144,898 | Gross: $37.49M

9. Doubt (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Mystery

68 Metascore

A Catholic school principal questions a priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.

Director: John Patrick Shanley | Stars: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis

Votes: 117,582 | Gross: $33.42M

10. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei

Votes: 92,691 | Gross: $7.08M

11. Notes on a Scandal (2006)

R | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her fifteen-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond a platonic friendship.

Director: Richard Eyre | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson, Tom Georgeson

Votes: 72,764 | Gross: $17.51M

12. Syriana (2005)

R | 128 min | Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A politically charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved in and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan | Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak

Votes: 123,040 | Gross: $50.82M

13. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

PG-13 | 121 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Director: Terry George | Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Xolani Mali

Votes: 323,446 | Gross: $23.53M

14. Monster (2003)

R | 109 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

Director: Patty Jenkins | Stars: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen

Votes: 129,809 | Gross: $34.47M

15. Far from Heaven (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama

84 Metascore

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson

Votes: 42,495 | Gross: $15.85M

16. Monster's Ball (2001)

R | 111 min | Drama, Romance

69 Metascore

After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard re-examines his attitudes while falling in love with the African-American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Taylor Simpson, Gabrielle Witcher

Votes: 80,327 | Gross: $31.25M

17. The Contender (2000)

R | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

59 Metascore

Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for U.S. Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to derail her confirmation.

Director: Rod Lurie | Stars: Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater

Votes: 22,248 | Gross: $17.87M

18. Boys Don't Cry (1999)

R | 118 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A young man named Brandon Teena navigates love, life, and being transgender in rural Nebraska.

Director: Kimberly Peirce | Stars: Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III

Votes: 89,574 | Gross: $11.53M

19. A Simple Plan (1998)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

82 Metascore

Three blue-collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash and make a plan to keep their find from the authorities, but it isn't long before complications and mistrust weave their way into the plan.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda, Brent Briscoe

Votes: 60,594 | Gross: $16.31M

20. The Rainmaker (1997)

PG-13 | 135 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

72 Metascore

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent insurance company.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes, Jon Voight

Votes: 59,798 | Gross: $45.86M

21. Sling Blade (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter

Votes: 84,402 | Gross: $24.48M

22. Dead Man Walking (1995)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families.

Director: Tim Robbins | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry

Votes: 85,455 | Gross: $39.39M

23. The Client (1994)

PG-13 | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 56,954 | Gross: $92.12M

24. Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Drama

66 Metascore

When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman

Votes: 214,440 | Gross: $77.32M

25. The Player (1992)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A Hollywood studio executive is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected, but which one?

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg

Votes: 51,673 | Gross: $21.71M

26. The Doctor (1991)

PG-13 | 122 min | Drama

When a self-centered doctor is diagnosed with cancer, he becomes better able to empathize with his patients and appreciate a life outside his career.

Director: Randa Haines | Stars: William Hurt, Christine Lahti, Elizabeth Perkins, Mandy Patinkin

Votes: 4,926 | Gross: $38.12M

27. The Grifters (1990)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend, both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening, Jan Munroe

Votes: 24,336 | Gross: $13.45M

28. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

78 Metascore

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 116,151 | Gross: $26.83M

29. The Accused (1988)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

After a young woman suffers a brutal gang rape in a bar one night, a prosecutor assists in bringing the perpetrators to justice, including the ones who encouraged and cheered on the attack.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan | Stars: Kelly McGillis, Jodie Foster, Bernie Coulson, Leo Rossi

Votes: 30,186 | Gross: $32.07M

30. Wall Street (1987)

R | 126 min | Crime, Drama

56 Metascore

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Tamara Tunie, Franklin Cover

Votes: 138,448 | Gross: $43.85M

31. The Color of Money (1986)

R | 119 min | Drama, Sport

77 Metascore

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver

Votes: 70,980 | Gross: $52.29M

32. Cocoon (1985)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigor.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy

Votes: 54,572 | Gross: $76.11M

33. The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)

R | 121 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

58 Metascore

Two cousins unknowingly rob the mob and face the dangerous consequences.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Daryl Hannah, Geraldine Page

Votes: 7,440 | Gross: $6.14M

34. Silkwood (1983)

R | 131 min | Biography, Drama, History

64 Metascore

A worker at a plutonium processing plant is purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing worker safety violations at the plant.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson

Votes: 17,430 | Gross: $35.62M

35. Sophie's Choice (1982)

R | 150 min | Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live with Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin

Votes: 39,219 | Gross: $30.04M

36. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 29,330 | Gross: $24.06M

37. Melvin and Howard (1980)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of hard-luck Melvin E. Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Paul Le Mat, Jason Robards, Elizabeth Cheshire, Mary Steenburgen

Votes: 4,210 | Gross: $4.31M

38. And Justice for All (1979)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

A lawyer is forced to defend a guilty judge, while defending other innocent clients, and trying to find punishment for the guilty and provide justice for the innocent.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe, Lee Strasberg

Votes: 29,056

39. The Boys from Brazil (1978)

R | 125 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

40 Metascore

A Nazi hunter in Paraguay discovers a sinister and bizarre plot to rekindle the Third Reich.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, James Mason, Lilli Palmer

Votes: 24,458 | Gross: $19.00M

40. Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)

R | 136 min | Drama

64 Metascore

A dedicated schoolteacher spends her nights cruising bars, looking for abusive men with whom she can engage in progressively violent sexual encounters.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Tuesday Weld, William Atherton

Votes: 6,399 | Gross: $16.90M

41. The Front (1976)

PG | 95 min | Drama

In 1953, a cashier poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Woody Allen, Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, Michael Murphy

Votes: 7,708

42. The Sunshine Boys (I) (1975)

PG | 111 min | Comedy

A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a television special, but it turns out that they can't stand each other.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin, Lee Meredith

Votes: 5,308

43. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

PG | 128 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

63 Metascore

In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery

Votes: 52,346

44. The Day of the Jackal (1973)

PG | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel

Votes: 35,657 | Gross: $16.06M

45. Fat City (1972)

PG | 96 min | Drama, Sport

Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell, Candy Clark

Votes: 7,119

46. Klute (1971)

R | 114 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

7.1