Who doesn’t love watching a good movie? There are so many great films out there, and everyone has a favorite. Each year, when the Academy Awards come around, one movie earns the award of “best picture.” You might not always agree with the choice, but the winning movie usually deserves all its praise. In this list, in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, I’m going to pick what I think are the ten best picture Oscar winners of all time.
If you don’t see your favorite movie on the list, please leave a comment and let me know what you would have picked instead!
In my opinion, Titanic is the greatest film ever created. I have watched it at least twenty times throughout my life, and I’m sure I’ll watch it at least twenty more times. It’s a masterpiece in acting, cinematography, music, special effects, and costume. Who can forget the tragic love story between Jack and Rose? Or the climatic scene where the ship begins to sink? Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet deliver excellent, unforgettable performances, as well as the rest of the cast. Titanic is both a beautiful romance, and an epic disaster film, bringing something for every audience member to love. If you haven’t yet watched this brilliant film, please do yourself a favor and watch it!
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
I wish I could include the other two films in this trilogy as well, Fellowship of the Ring, and the Two Towers. When I watch Lord of the Rings, I watch all three as one complete film. It makes for a long day, but my goodness is it always a good day when Lord of the Rings is involved. Though the other two films didn’t win best picture, I can see why Return of the King did. It has everything an amazing film can possibly offer, with some of the most memorable action sequences in cinematic history, and perhaps my favorite soundtrack. Gorgeous landscapes dot the entire film, making it almost seem as if I’m watching a painting brought to life. I could go on speaking about this movie forever.
Driving Miss Daisy
We all love Morgan Freeman, and if you haven’t seen him in this award-winning film, you’re missing out. Exploring the unlikely friendship between a white woman and a black man during the heated racist time period of the 1950s and 60s in the American South, Driving Miss Daisy is a heartwarming, touching film, showing that good can always be found.
Schindler’s List is not a film that should be watched multiple times. It’s heart-wrenching, depressing, and dark, yet it is a film that demands to be watched at least once by everyone. Shot entirely in black and white (except for one little scene that I won’t spoil) your first impression may be that it will be boring. That is certainly not the case. You won’t be entertained, but you won’t be able to look away from this horrific look into the lives of Jewish concentration camp victims, fighting to stay alive during the Holocaust.
The Sound of Music
“The hills are alive with the sound of music.” One of the opening lines of this warm musical, and part of one of the most unforgettable songs. None of the films on this list are quite as just plain happy as The Sound of Music is. It’s filled with so many catchy, fun songs, and an adorable love story. I can’t get enough of this lovely film, and it sure would be a good one to watch after Schindler’s List. (Both are about World War II.)
I honestly don’t usually like crime films, but I can appreciate The Godfather for the masterpiece it is. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are some of the most famous names ever, and from their performances in this film, I can see why. Telling the story of a New York mafia family, The Godfather is full of action, entertainment, and family ties.
Tom Cruise plays a selfish, arrogant character named Charlie, while Dustin Hoffman plays his autistic brother, Raymond. When their father dies, he leaves his estate to Raymond, leading Charlie to discover the brother he didn’t know he had and begin to become a better person. It’s a touching film, and both Hoffman and Cruise deliver excellent performances.
The King’s Speech
It’s a shame this fantastic movie received an R rating for the use of the “f-word,” a few too many times. It’s not a vulgar film whatsoever, and because of its rating, many people will likely refuse to watch it. If you are one of those people, please don’t refuse. There is nothing offensive in the King’s Speech, it is all about a man attempting to overcome a speech impediment and insecurity. Colin Firth’s performance cannot be missed, for it is spectacular, as are Helena Bonham Carter’s and Geoffrey Rush’s.
I can quote probably a dozen different lines from this movie, which makes me think that it has one of the best scripts ever written. The dialogue and acting make this film the masterpiece it is, and I believe it is one of Tom Hank’s greatest performances. Numerous historical events are showcased throughout the film, placing the beloved character of Forrest Gump into them. It makes for sometimes humorous, yet also sometimes somber situations. Forrest Gump shows us that no matter who you are, love is possible to find.
A Beautiful Mind
Partly based on a true story, A Beautiful Mind is a beautiful film. When John Nash develops schizophrenia, we are taken on his journey of finding a way to deal with his crippling illness. Russell Crowe’s performances is haunting and emotional, the struggles his character must deal with seem so real and painful, it’s hard to believe Crowe himself did not suffer from schizophrenia.