Skip to main content

Main Area


Golden Globes Best Picture in Drama from the year you were born

  • Golden Globes Best Picture in Drama from the year you were born
    1/ Blueprint Pictures

    Golden Globes Best Picture in Drama from the year you were born

    For a long time, the Golden Globes hung its credibility on its position as Academy Award prognosticator. Unfortunately for the Hollywood Foreign Press, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver looked into the claim in 2013 and found that over the past 25 years, the Golden Globes’ Best Picture—Drama only correlated with the Best Picture Oscar 48% of the time. In fact, the Director Guild of America’s awards were the most predictive, matching the Oscars 80% of the time.

    Whether or not the Golden Globe Awards accurately predicts Oscar winners, the show is still something audiences tune in for each year. The awards began in 1944 with dramas, comedies, and musicals all considered for Best Picture. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association separated the category in two in 1951: drama, and musical or comedy. 

    While you're waiting to find out which film will take the cake at this year's awards, scroll through the slideshow to find out who won the Golden Globes' Best Picture in Drama the year you were born, beginning with 1944. 

    ALSO: Best Golden Globe nominated films for the February 2019 awards

  • 1944: The Song of Bernadette
    2/ Twentieth Century Fox

    1944: The Song of Bernadette

    Director: Henry King

    This 1943 film, based on a 1941 Franz Werfel novel that takes place in 1858 France, centers around the true story of a young peasant named Bernadette Soubirous (Jennifer Jones). The 14-year-old Bernadette reports having a vision of a beautiful woman whom townspeople assume to be the virgin Mary. Her claims spark outrage from authorities, who launch an investigation into whether the girl is lying or insane. Jones won Best Actress in 1944 for her portrayal of Bernadette, and Henry King was awarded Best Director. The year prior, “The Song of Bernadette” won four Oscars and was nominated for eight more categories.

  • 1945: Going My Way
    3/ Paramount Pictures

    1945: Going My Way

    Director: Leo McCarey

    “Going My Way” stars Bing Crosby as Father Charles “Chuck” O'Malley, a young priest in a tough neighborhood who’s having a difficult time winning over his superior, Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald). Luckily, O’Malley’s vibrant background helps him deal with troubled youth and right the church’s financial situation. Of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for in 1945, “Going My Way” took seven wins, including Best Picture. Leo McCarey won Best Director for “Going My Way,” while Barry Fitzgerald took home the award for Best Supporting Actor.

  • 1946: The Lost Weekend
    4/ Paramount Pictures

    1946: The Lost Weekend

    Director: Billy Wilder

    Chronic alcoholic Don Birnam (Ray Milland) manages to stay sober for 10 days before cravings result in a four-day bender. Milland won a Golden Globe and Oscar for his performance, and director Billy Wilder was awarded a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his work. The film also took home Best Picture and Best Screenplay—adapted from a 1944 novel by Charles R. Jackson—at the Academy Awards in 1945.

  • 1947: The Best Years of Our Lives
    5/ The Samuel Goldwyn Company

    1947: The Best Years of Our Lives

    Director: William Wyler

    Three veterans return home from serving in World War II in “The Best Years of Our Lives,” a film illuminating the challenges veterans face while reacclimating to civilian life after a war. The Golden Globes and Academy Awards gifted Harold Russell, a WWII veteran who appeared in the film, with special awards for the uplifting messaging for fellow veterans from his performance. Russell also won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, which was remarkable as he was not a professional actor. Altogether this movie was awarded eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

  • 1948: Gentleman’s Agreement
    6/ Twentieth Century Fox

    1948: Gentleman’s Agreement

    Director: Elia Kazan

    Gregory Peck stars in “Gentleman’s Agreement” as a reporter who goes undercover as a Jewish man to for a story on anti-Semitism. The film won all four of its Golden Globe nominations for Best Director, Juvenile Performance, Best Supporting Actress, and of course, Best Picture. The film also won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for, including Best Picture.  


  • 1949: Johnny Belinda (tie)
    7/ Warner Bros.

    1949: Johnny Belinda (tie)

    Director: Jean Negulesco

    “Johnny Belinda” is based on a 1940 Broadway hit by Elmer Blaney Harris that was inspired by a true story. The plot follows a deaf-mute woman named Belinda (Jane Wyman) who is being tutored by Dr. Robert Richardson (Lew Ayres) on a Nova Scotia farm. When Belinda is raped and becomes pregnant, rumors about her and her doctor begin to circulate. Jane Wyman was awarded a Golden Globe and Oscar for her work portraying Belinda in this film.

  • 1949: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (tie)
    8/ Warner Bros.

    1949: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (tie)

    Director: John Huston

    The second film to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture in 1949, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” tells the tale of the unlucky Fred Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Bob Curtin (Tim Holt), two American men traveling through Mexico in 1925 looking for work. The story follows the men as they join a prospector named Howard (Walter Huston) in his search for gold. The group must fight off robbers and survive challenging elements once they strike gold. John Huston won a Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Director, while Walter Huston took home both awards for Best Supporting Actor.

  • 1950: All the King’s Men
    9/ Columbia Pictures Corp.

    1950: All the King’s Men

    Director: Robert Rossen

    Based on Robert Penn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, “All the King’s Men” follows the rise and fall of corrupt politician Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford). The 1949 film did particularly well at the award shows, winning five of its seven Golden Globe nominations and three of seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

    Runner-up: “Come to the Stable”

  • 1951: Sunset Boulevard
    10/ Paramount Pictures

    1951: Sunset Boulevard

    Director: Billy Wilder

    Unsuccessful screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) is commissioned to help bring former silent film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) out of obscurity in “Sunset Boulevard.” The film was one of the first to be selected by the U.S. Library in Congress for placement in the National Film Registry. The film was nominated for seven Golden Globes and took home four for Best Original Score, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Picture. Of the 11 Oscars “Sunset Boulevard” was nominated for, it took home three wins for Art Direction, Music, and Writing.

    Runners-up: “Born Yesterday,” “Cyrano de Bergerac”

  • 1952: A Place in the Sun
    11/ Paramount Pictures

    1952: A Place in the Sun

    Director: George Stevens

    This 1952 classic tells the story of George Eastman (Montgomery Clift), a new arrival in California who falls for two women—a factory worker (Shelley Winters) whom he gets pregnant, and a high-society beauty played by Elizabeth Taylor. George is a social climber, but his first love won’t let him get away that easy.

    Runners-up: "Bright Victory," "Detective Story," "Quo Vadis," "A Streetcar Named Desire"

  • 1953: The Greatest Show on Earth
    12/ Paramount Pictures

    1953: The Greatest Show on Earth

    Director: Cecil B. DeMille

    If you had to write an elevator pitch for Cecil B. DeMille’s "The Greatest Show on Earth," it could be, “Love triangles, risky tricks, guilty clowns, and crime at the circus.” And that only starts to explain the weird, wonderful classic starring James Stewart, Betty Hutton, and Charlton Heston.   

    Runners-up: "Come Back, Little Sheba," "The Happy Time," "High Noon," "The Thief"

  • 1954: The Robe
    13/ 20th Century Fox

    1954: The Robe

    Director: Henry Koster

    "The Robe" tells the story of the first-century Roman leader Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton) who gets the order to crucify Jesus of Nazareth. Once the horrible deed is done, Gallio wins Jesus’ robe, but is haunted by a guilty conscience—so he searches through Palestine to understand more about the life of the man he killed.


  • 1955: On the Waterfront
    14/ Columbia Pictures

    1955: On the Waterfront

    Director: Elia Kazan

    Marlon Brando burst on the scene in 1951 with his performance as Stanley Kowalski in "Streetcar Named Desire," but some argue that it was his performance as fighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy that showed the range of his talents. "On the Waterfront" tells the story of Malloy standing up against the corrupt union bosses who have killed his brother and best friend.

  • 1956: East of Eden
    15/ Warner Bros.

    1956: East of Eden

    Director: Elia Kazan

    Based on the John Steinbeck masterpiece, "East of Eden" tells the story of a young man (James Dean) trying to win the love of his religious father (Raymond Massey), who clearly favors his brother (Richard Davalos). Eventually, in this Cain and Abel retelling, Dean’s character falls for his brother’s girlfriend (Julie Harris). This was James Dean’s first starring role in a film, and one of only three movies he starred in that were released before his untimely death.

  • 1957: Around the World in 80 Days
    16/ United Artists

    1957: Around the World in 80 Days

    Director: Michael Anderson

    Although the 2004 film retelling of this Jules Verne novel left a fair amount to be desired, the 1957 version is a wonderful, cheerful romp. David Niven plays a Victorian Englishman who wagers that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days.

    Runners-up: "Giants," "Lust for Life," "The Rainmaker," "War and Peace"

  • 1958: The Bridge on the River Kwai
    17/ Columbia Pictures

    1958: The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Director: David Lean

    Often lauded as one of the greatest movies ever made, "The Bridge on the River Kwai" tells the story of a group of British World War II prisoners-of-war, tasked with building a bridge for their Japanese captors. David Lean, who also directed "Lawrence of Arabia," is a master at war epics that manage to investigate the interior life of people at war. Alec Guinness won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Col. Nicholson.

    Runners-up: "12 Angry Men," "Sayonara," "Wild is the Wind," "Witness for the Prosecution"

  • 1959: The Defiant Ones
    18/ United Artists

    1959: The Defiant Ones

    Director: Stanley Kramer

    This film tells the story of two convicts (played by Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis) who escape from a transport truck and must evade authorities while chained together. The two men—one black and one white—hate each other, but must learn to coexist in order to stay out of the grips of the law. The film tackles a social issue with a level of grace (much of it due to the genius of Poitier), especially impressive given the state of the country in 1959.

    Runners-up: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Homes Before Dark," "I Want to Live!" "Separate Tables"

  • 1960: Ben-Hur
    19/ Loew’s, Inc

    1960: Ben-Hur

    Director: William Wyler

    In this Mount Rushmore of epics, "Ben-Hur" tells the story of a Jewish prince sent into slavery who comes back for revenge after winning his freedom. The film stars Charlton Heston in the role of Judah Ben-Hur, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance. The legendary biblical epic is fantastic throughout, but its chariot race scene is the best part—it’s considered one of the greatest action sequences ever filmed.

    Runners-up: "Anatomy of a Murder," "The Diary of Anne Frank," "The Nun’s Story," "On the Beach"

  • 1961: Spartacus
    20/ Universal International

    1961: Spartacus

    Director: Stanley Kubrick

    In 73 B.C., a slave named Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) leads a revolt at a gladiator school—and the freed slaves begin a revolt that continues to build as more men are freed to fight. After many battles, the army led by Spartacus must face off with the Romans. This Stanley Kubrick film is the first in an impressive five-movie run: "Spartacus," "Lolita," "Dr. Strangelove," "2001: A Space Odyssey," and "A Clockwork Orange."

    Runners-up: "Elmer Gantry," "Inherit the Wind," "Sons and Lovers," "Sunrise at Campobello"

  • 1962: The Guns of Navarone
    21/ Columbia Pictures

    1962: The Guns of Navarone

    Director: J. Lee Thompson

    Based on the novel by Alistair MacLean, "The Guns of Navarone" tells a World War II story of the British troops sent across occupied Greece to destroy the massive German guns that have them trapped. The film stars Gregory Peck as the small group’s leader, David Niven as the demolition expert, and Anthony Quinn as the Greek resistance officer. 

    Runners-up: "El Cid," "Fanny," "Judgment at Nuremberg," "Splendor in the Grass"

  • 1963: Lawrence of Arabia
    22/ Columbia Pictures

    1963: Lawrence of Arabia

    Director: David Lean

    David Lean’s film tells the story of T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole), an English officer who works to unite a diverse set of Arab tribes to defeat the Turks during World War I. There are a lot of amazing scenes in this film—putting out matches between fingers, Lawrence arriving from his desert ride, and many more—but none more provocative than the drawing of the Middle East borders near the end of the film. It’s been theorized that much of the 20th century’s upheaval in the region came from the crude divisions drawn after the conflict.

    Runners-up: "The Chapman Report," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Freud," "Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man," "Lisa," "The Longest Day," "The Miracle Worker," "Mutiny on the Bounty," "To Kill a Mockingbird"

  • 1964: The Cardinal
    23/ Columbia Pictures

    1964: The Cardinal

    Director: Otto Preminger

    This film—which follows the journey of a young Catholic priest from Boston through his rise to the office of the cardinal—covers a lot of ground. At different stages in his career, Stephen Fermoyle (Tom Tryon) deals with issues of morality, from children born out of wedlock, falling in love as a priest, racial bigotry, and Nazism. John Huston, the legendary director and father of actress Anjelica Huston, made his acting debut in the feature as Cardinal Glennon.

    Runners-up: "America America," "Captain Newman, M.D.," "The Caretakers," "Cleopatra," "The Great Escape," "Hud," "Lilies of the Field"

  • 1965: Becket
    24/ Paramount Pictures

    1965: Becket

    Director: Peter Glenville

    When King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) puts his friend and confidant Thomas Becket (Richard Burton) in the position of archbishop of Canterbury, he expects loyalty from the church. Instead, Becket rises up against the King and his immoral acts, setting off a battle between church and crown. The film is based on a Broadway play that starred Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn in its opening run—interestingly, O’Toole played Quinn’s role and Burton played Olivier’s in the big-screen adaptation.

    Runners-up: "The Chalk Garden," "Dear Heart," "The Night of the Iguana," "Zorba the Greek"

  • 1966: Doctor Zhivago
    25/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

    1966: Doctor Zhivago

    Director: David Lean

    Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, "Doctor Zhivago" tells the story of a Russian physician (Omar Sharif) who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Christie)—all while the WWI and Russia’s October Revolution upends his life. This film is incredibly long, but it does a great job of finding humanity among violence. The book was banned in the Soviet Union, so the director David Lean had to build an entire Moscow set near Madrid.

    Runners-up: "The Collector," "The Flight of the Phoenix," "A Patch of Blue," "Ship of Fools"

  • 1967: A Man for All Seasons
    26/ Highland Films

    1967: A Man for All Seasons

    Director: Fred Zinnemann

    In another battle between the church and the crown, "A Man for All Seasons" tells the story of Thomas More (Paul Scofield)—who took a stand against King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) when he notoriously separated England from the Roman Catholic Church so he could get divorced. Orson Welles plays the king’s advisor, Cardinal Wolsey, in this adaption of the famous stage play.   

    Runners-up: "Born Free," "The Professionals," "The Sand Pebbles," "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

  • 1968: In the Heat of the Night
    27/ United Artists

    1968: In the Heat of the Night

    Director: Norman Jewison

    After being wrongfully arrested for a murder in a bigoted Southern town, Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier)—a well-established Philadelphia homicide detective—is instead enlisted by the local police chief to help solve the murder. Director Norman Jewison takes a bold stance on racism throughout the film, but manages to break the tension with funny moments. Poitier is incredible as usual, as is Rod Steiger, who plays the police chief.

    Runners-up: "Bonnie and Clyde," "Far from the Madding Crowd," "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner," "In Cold Blood"

  • 1969: The Lion in Winter
    28/ AVCO Embassy Pictures

    1969: The Lion in Winter

    Director: Anthony Harvey

    Another King Henry II story, this one centers on the monarch’s heirs to the throne. Based on a stage play, "The Lion in Winter" focuses on a Christmas in 1183 during which the king (Peter O’Toole) expresses his desire for his youngest son (Nigel Terry) to assume the throne, rather than the oldest (Anthony Hopkins). Royal intrigue and infighting occurs, partly spurred on by Katharine Hepburn, who plays the estranged queen.

    Runners-up: "Charly," "The Fixer," "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," "The Shoes of the Fisherman"

  • 1970: Anne of the Thousand Days
    29/ Universal Pictures

    1970: Anne of the Thousand Days

    Director: Charles Jarrott

    Another look at the royals acting badly, "Anne of the Thousand Days" follows Henry VIII (Richard Burton) as he dispatches with his wife Katherine of Aragon (Irene Papas) in favor of the young, intriguing Anne Boleyn (Geneviève Bujold). It seems the best path to award season in the late ‘60s was a film about an ancient English king—the ghost of Edward I is still shocked that Peter O’Toole or Richard Burton never played him.

    Runners-up: "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Midnight Cowboy," "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," "They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?"

  • 1971: Love Story
    30/ Paramount Pictures

    1971: Love Story

    Director: Arthur Hiller

    Arthur Hiller’s award-winning film tells the story of mismatched lovers who fall deeply in love. Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O’Neal) is a Harvard Law student, while Jennifer Cavilleri (Ali MacGraw) studies music—when they tie the knot, Oliver’s father is furious and threatens to disown him.

    Runners-up: "Airport," "Five Easy Pieces," "I Never Sang for My Father," "Patton"

  • 1972: The French Connection
    31/ 20th Century Fox

    1972: The French Connection

    Director: William Friedkin

    A couple of tough New York City narcotics agents (Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider) have a drug bust in Brooklyn, leading them to an international case of drug smuggling, murder, and millions of dollars. Director William Friedkin pits the gritty, alcoholic Hackman character against a classy, well-mannered nemesis: heroin supplier Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey). The film’s crescendo is probably the greatest car chase to ever be filmed.

    Runners-up: "A Clockwork Orange," "The Last Picture Show," "Mary, Queen of Scots," "Summer of ‘42"

  • 1973: The Godfather
    32/ Paramount Pictures

    1973: The Godfather

    Director: Francis Ford Coppola

    Starting with a wedding at the Corleones’ palatial mansion and ending with the influential mob family crowning a new leader, Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of the Mario Puzo novel is cinema perfection from beginning to end. In one of his most iconic roles, Marlon Brando plays Vito Corleone (the Godfather himself), and Al Pacino plays his youngest son, Michael—who attempts to live outside of crime, but is eventually pulled back in. Its robust cast includes James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, and Talia Shire.

    Runners-up: "Deliverance," "Frenzy," "The Poseidon Adventure," "Sleuth"

  • 1974: The Exorcist
    33/ Warner Bros.

    1974: The Exorcist

    Director: William Friedkin

    "The Exorcist" tells the story of a girl possessed by an evil force, and the two priests brought in to try to exorcise her demons. The film is dense with blood-curdling screams and horrified expressions, which may have been based in real terror—director William Friedkin was known to have put actors through absolute hell on set (like slapping an actor playing a priest, firing blanks without warning, and yanking actors in harnesses).

    Runners-up: "Cinderella Liberty," "The Day of the Jackal," "Last Tango in Paris," "Save the Tiger," "Serpico"

  • 1975: Chinatown
    34/ Paramount Pictures

    1975: Chinatown

    Director: Roman Polanski

    A story about the politics of water in Los Angeles should never have been this good. But Roman Polanski’s noir masterpiece about a private detective (Jack Nicholson) hired to catch a cheating husband by the beautiful and wealthy Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) and is instead brought into a world of lies, corruption, and murder.

    Runners-up: "The Conversation," "Earthquake," "The Godfather Part II," "A Woman Under the Influence"

  • 1976: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    35/ United Artists

    1976: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Director: Miloš Forman

    Based on the Ken Kesey novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" tells the story of a constantly in trouble criminal Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), who fakes mental illness in order to serve his sentence at a mental institution instead of a prison farm. But soon, the troublemaking McMurphy learns he may have to stay in the institution indefinitely. Director Miloš Forman’s film is beautiful and tragic, and is peppered with amazing performances from the ensemble of actors portraying the other mental patients.

    Runners-up: "Barry Lyndon," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Jaws," "Nashville"

  • 1977: Rocky
    36/ United Artists

    1977: Rocky

    Director: John G. Avildsen

    The sports movie classic tells the story of a struggling boxer from Philadelphia (Sylvester Stallone) who gets the chance of a lifetime when, as a publicity stunt, heavyweight champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) picks him for an exhibition fight. There are endless iconic scenes throughout the film, none more so than when Rocky runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Stallone was nominated for both Best Actor and Best Screenwriter at the 1977 Academy Awards.

    Runners-up: "All the President’s Men," "Bound for Glory," "Network," "Voyage of the Damned"

  • 1978: The Turning Point
    37/ 20th Century Fox

    1978: The Turning Point

    Director: Herbert Ross

    "The Turning Point" follows the lives of two women: Emma (Anne Bancroft) who gave up everything for her career in ballet, and Deedee (Shirley MacLaine) who gave up ballet for the chance at a family. Now, when Deedee’s daughter joins Emma’s dance company, the two realize they both want the other’s life.

    Runners-up: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden," "Julia," "Star Wars"

  • 1979: Midnight Express
    38/ Columbia Pictures

    1979: Midnight Express

    Director: Alan Parker

    After trying and failing to smuggle hash out of Istanbul, American college student Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) is thrown in a brutal Turkish prison under the watchful eye of a maniacal guard (played by Paul L. Smith). Director Alan Parker went on to help create Pink Floyd’s psychedelic film version of "The Wall."

    Runners-up: "Coming Home," "Days of Heaven," "The Deer Hunter," "An Unmarried Woman"

  • 1980: Kramer vs. Kramer
    39/ Columbia Pictures

    1980: Kramer vs. Kramer

    Director: Robert Benton

    When Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) tells her workaholic husband Ted (Dustin Hoffman) that she’s leaving him and their son, he’s left to learn how to be a dad. When she returns 15 months later to try to gain custody of their kid, a custody battle ensues. The film, based on the book by Avery Corman, is a showcase performance of the two of the greatest actors of all time—and appropriately, both Hoffman and Streep won Oscars for their performances.

    Runners-up: "Apocalypse Now," "The China Syndrome," "Manhattan," "Norma Rae"

  • 1981: Ordinary People
    40/ Paramount Pictures

    1981: Ordinary People

    Director: Robert Redford

    Based on a novel by Judith Guest, Robert Redford’s "Ordinary People" tells the story of an affluent family attempting, unsuccessfully, to pick up the pieces after the accidental death of their oldest child. Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore play the parents, but the real standout is Timothy Hutton, who won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the surviving son.

    Runners-up: "The Elephant Man," "The Ninth Configuration," "Raging Bull," "The Stunt Man"

  • 1982: On Golden Pond
    41/ ITC Entertainment

    1982: On Golden Pond

    Director: Mark Rydell

    When Chelsea (Jane Fonda) comes by her parents’ cottage on Golden Pond, she has two reasons for her visit: to celebrate her curmudgeonly father’s (Henry Fonda) birthday, and to drop her boyfriend’s child off while they travel through Europe. While she’s gone on a trip that leads to her engagement, her mother (Katharine Hepburn) and father fall for the little kid. Henry Fonda, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance, holds the record for the longest gap between nominations (41 years after "Grapes of Wrath").

    Runners-up: "The French Lieutenant’s Woman," "Prince of the City," "Ragtime," "Reds"

  • 1983: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    42/ Universal Pictures

    1983: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    When a young boy (Henry Thomas) discovers a friendly space alien, he takes him home and introduces the outsider to his siblings (Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore). Steven Spielberg is the master of capturing the interior lives of kids; this film is a perfect window into the unfairness of grownups and the imagination of children.

    Runners-up: "Missing," "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Sophie’s Choice," "The Verdict"

  • 1984: Terms of Endearment
    43/ Paramount Pictures

    1984: Terms of Endearment

    Director: James L. Brooks

    Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry, "Terms of Endearment" follows 30 years of a relationship by a mother and daughter who butt heads, but are extremely connected. Throughout the film, the daughter Emma (Debra Winger) falls for two very different men (Jeff Daniels and John Lithgow), while the mother Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) is unendingly pursued by the astronaut next door (Jack Nicholson). The film takes a dark emotional turn that changes it from a wonderful comedy to one of director James L. Brooks’ masterpieces.

    Runners-up: "Reuben, Reuben," "The Right Stuff," "Silkwood," "Tender Mercies"

  • 1985: Amadeus
    44/ Orion Pictures

    1985: Amadeus

    Director: Miloš Forman

    Based on the play by Peter Schaeffer, "Amadeus" tells the fictionalized biography of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). Director Miloš Forman manages to tell Mozart’s fascinating story with an inventive framing: the jealous eyes of his older, less genius rival Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) as a filter.

    Runners-up: "The Cotton Club," "The Killing Fields," "Places in the Heart," "A Soldier’s Story"

  • 1986: Out of Africa
    45/ Universal Pictures

    1986: Out of Africa

    Director: Sydney Pollack

    "Out of Africa" tells the story of a Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep), who moves to Nairobi in 1913 for a marriage of convenience. Karen’s husband is reckless and inattentive, and she eventually falls for a big game hunter (Robert Redford). The film looks beautiful, but runs sluggish and has moments that don’t translate well in 2017.

    Runners-up: "The Color Purple," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Runaway Train," "Witness"

  • 1987: Platoon
    46/ Orion Pictures

    1987: Platoon

    Director: Oliver Stone

    "Platoon" follows Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) from his arrival in Vietnam as a young idealistic soldier trying to prove himself to his eventual psychological breakdown. This is a dark glimpse into the internal lives of American soldiers in Vietnam, and features incredible performances from Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe: playing Taylor’s two noncommissioned officers with different leadership styles.

    Runners-up: "Children of a Lesser God," "The Mission," "Mona Lisa," "A Room with a View," "Stand by Me"

  • 1988: The Last Emperor
    47/ Columbia Pictures

    1988: The Last Emperor

    Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

    "The Last Emperor" tells the story of Pu-Yi (John Lone), the last emperor of China, who was captured by the Red Army in 1950. Pu-Yi tells the story of his life from a prison cell, and Bernardo Bertolucci delivers one beautiful shot after another. This is a fascinating epic about a lavish, sheltered life, one that’s completely disconnected from the unrest in the Empire. Incredibly, Bertolucci hired 19,000 extras during the shooting of the film.

    Runners-up: "Cry Freedom," "Empire of the Sun," "Fatal Attraction," "La Bamba," "Nuts"

  • 1989: Rain Man
    48/ United Artists

    1989: Rain Man

    Director: Barry Levinson

    Self-centered car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is left out of his father’s $3 million estate. Charlie finds out the money has been left to his autistic brother, whom he’s never met, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). Charlie takes Raymond, a highly intelligent savant, on a roadtrip across the country in an effort to get his hands on some of the inheritance, and the two form an unlikely bond. Director Barry Levinson gets memorable performances from Hoffman and Cruise.

    Runners-up: "The Accidental Tourist," "A Cry in the Dark," "Gorillas in the Mist," "Mississippi Burning," "Running on Empty," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"

  • 1990: Born on the Fourth of July
    49/ Universal Pictures

    1990: Born on the Fourth of July

    Director: Oliver Stone

    Oliver Stone dives back into the Vietnam War with "Born on the Fourth of July," the biography of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise). Kovic is a patriotic young marine who is paralyzed in Vietnam. Upon his return, he becomes an outspoken anti-war activist who fights to end the war he now finds unjust and unconscionable.

    Runners-up: "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Dead Poets Society," "Do the Right Thing," "Glory"

  • 1991: Dances with Wolves
    50/ Orion Pictures

    1991: Dances with Wolves

    Director: Kevin Costner

    Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner), a Civil War hero, takes his post at a fort on the Western frontier. There he befriends a nearby Native American tribe and as the title suggests, makes friends with a wolf.

    Runners-up: "Avalon," "The Godfather Part III," "Goodfellas," "Reversal of Fortune"

  • 1992: Bugsy
    51/ TriStar Pictures

    1992: Bugsy

    Director: Barry Levinson

    Barry Levinson’s "Bugsy" tells the story of how gangster Bugsy Siegel’s trip to Los Angeles and love affair with actress Virginia Hill (Annette Bening) leads to him creating the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Warren Beatty portrays the titular character perfectly, and it’s a thrill to see incredible actors show up as other famous 1940s gangsters (like Harvey Keitel as Mickey Cohen, Ben Kingsley as Meyer Lansky, and Elliot Gould as Harry Greenberg.

    Runners-up: "JFK," "The Prince of Tides," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Thelma & Louise"

  • 1993: Scent of a Woman
    52/ Universal Pictures

    1993: Scent of a Woman

    Director: Martin Brest

    A prep-school student (Chris O’Donnell) takes a job looking after a blind and disagreeable retired lieutenant colonel named Frank Slade (Al Pacino) in order to pay for a flight home for Thanksgiving. When Frank takes Charlie to New York and tells him the lavish trip is a last hurrah before he commits suicide, the two begin to form a deep bond—with both protecting the other over the course of the film. It’s this performance that finally won Pacino an Academy Award statue for Best Actor.

    Runners-up: "The Crying Game," "A Few Good Men," "Howards End," "Unforgiven"

  • 1994: Schindler's List
    53/ Universal Pictures

    1994: Schindler's List

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    Steven Spielberg’s beautiful and heartbreaking "Schindler’s List" tells the story of a greedy Polish businessman, Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who becomes an unlikely hero during the Holocaust. Horrified by what he sees during the German Occupation, he converts his factory into a refuge for Polish Jews, saving more than 1,000 Jews from Auschwitz. Neeson and Ralph Fiennes both won Oscars for their roles in the film, and Spielberg won Best Director at the 1994 Academy Awards.

    Runners-up: "The Age of Innocence," "In the Name of the Father," "The Piano," "The Remains of the Day"

  • 1995: Forrest Gump
    54/ Paramount Pictures

    1995: Forrest Gump

    Director: Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis covers Baby Boom generation milestones like the JFK assassination, the Vietnam War, hippie culture, and table tennis through Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), an Alabama man with a low intelligence who just happens to stumble into great moments in history. Incredibly, John Travolta was offered the role of Forrest first, but turned it down to play Vincent Vega in "Pulp Fiction"—and it’s impossible to know how deeply that butterfly effect would’ve changed the next 20 years of film.

    Runners-up: "Legends of the Fall," "Nell," "Pulp Fiction," "Quiz Show"

  • 1996: Sense and Sensibility
    55/ Columbia Pictures

    1996: Sense and Sensibility

    Director: Ang Lee

    Based on the Jane Austen novel with a script written by Emma Thompson, Ang Lee’s "Sense and Sensibility" tells the story of three daughters who are left penniless when their father dies because the rules of inheritance say his wealth must pass to his first son. While their lack of wealth hurts their chances of marriage, both sensible Elinor (Emma Thompson) and idealist Marianne (Kate Winslet) search for suitable husbands.

    Runners-up: "Apollo 13," "Braveheart," "The Bridges of Madison County," "Leaving Las Vegas"

  • 1997: The English Patient
    56/ Miramax Films

    1997: The English Patient

    Director: Anthony Minghella

    This film follows a badly burned patient (Ralph Fiennes) whose life story is told through flashbacks as a nurse tends to him at a church near the end of World War II. But the film is polarizing with audiences, possibly due to its more than three-hour timeline.

    Runners-up: "Breaking the Waves," "The People vs. Larry Flynt," "Secret & Lies," "Shine"

  • 1998: Titanic
    57/ Paramount Pictures

    1998: Titanic

    Director: James Cameron

    It’s hard to explain the importance of this film to a certain generation of teenagers—it had a "Star Wars" movie-level impact, which is wild, because James Cameron’s "Titanic" is a three-hour tragic love story about poor artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and aristocrat Rose Dewitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) who fall in love on that fateful transatlantic boat ride. Part of the film’s magnetism comes from young DiCaprio, but the film itself is a beautiful, romantic vision of star-crossed love.

    Runners-up: "Amistad," "The Boxer," "Good Will Hunting," "L.A. Confidential"

  • 1999: Saving Private Ryan
    58/ DreamWorks Pictures

    1999: Saving Private Ryan

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    When three of Mrs. Ryan’s sons are killed in action during World War II, Gen. George C. Marshall makes the decision to send a group of eight Army Rangers to bring her fourth son, Private Ryan (Matt Damon) home safely. Though the premise is a bit of a stretch, Steven Spielberg’s war epic is wonderfully shot and has a cast for the ages. Tom Hanks was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor, and Damon, Ed Burns, Tom Sizemore, Ted Danson, Paul Giamatti, and a young, unknown Vin Diesel are all standouts.

    Runners-up: "Elizabeth," "Gods and Monsters," "The Horse Whisperer," "The Truman Show"

  • 2000: American Beauty
    59/ DreamWorks Pictures

    2000: American Beauty

    Director: Sam Mendes

    The near-perfect debut by director Sam Mendes is forever altered by the allegations of sexual misconduct with minors made against Kevin Spacey, who won Best Actor for his role in this film. "American Beauty" follows the last weeks of the life of Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey); morose in a loveless marriage with Carolyn (Annette Bening), he pursues an affair with a cheerleader (Mena Suvari) at his teenage daughter’s (Thora Birch) high school.

    Runners-up: "The End of the Affair," "The Hurricane," "The Insider," "The Talented Mr. Ripley"

  • 2001: Gladiator
    60/ DreamWorks Pictures

    2001: Gladiator

    Director: Ridley Scott

    When Emperor Marcus Aurelius dies and leaves the throne to beloved General Maximus (Russell Crowe) over his terrible son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), his son kills Maximus’ family and condemns him to die as a gladiator while Commodus takes control. Ridley Scott’s epic follows Maximus’ rise as a gladiator, fueled by vengeance, until he eventually can come face-to-face with Commodus. 

    Runners-up: "Billy Elliot," "Erin Brockovich," "Sunshine," "Traffic," "Wonder Boys"

  • 2002: A Beautiful Mind
    61/ Universal Pictures

    2002: A Beautiful Mind

    Director: Ron Howard

    The third film in Russell Crowe’s ridiculous three-year run ("The Insider," "Gladiator," and "A Beautiful Mind") is based on the true story of mathematician John Nash, who worked to quash a Soviet plot while suffering from schizophrenia. Crowe is convincing as Nash, and Ed Harris stands out as a shadowy government connect that may or may not be what he seems. Ron Howard manages to keep the viewer as disoriented as Nash himself, which is a perfect introduction to the weird world of academia during the start of the Cold War.

    Runners-up: "In the Bedroom," "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "The Man Who Wasn’t There," "Mulholland Drive"

  • 2003: The Hours
    62/ Miramax

    2003: The Hours

    Director: Stephen Daldry

    Director Stephen Daldry’s "The Hours" tells the story of three women in different eras confronting the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" at distinct moments in their lives. In one timeline, a pregnant 1950s housewife (Julianne Moore) plans a party for her husband; in the second, a 2000s New Yorker (Meryl Streep) plans a party for her poet friend who is dying of AIDS; and in the third, Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) writes the aforementioned novel while struggling with depression and mental illness. This film is an acting showcase, with three of the world’s most acclaimed actresses delivering moving performances—Kidman won Best Actress for her portrayal of Woolf.

    Runners-up: "About Schmidt," "Gangs of New York," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "The Pianist"

  • 2004: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    63/ New Line Cinema

    2004: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    Director: Peter Jackson

    The third in director Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy, "The Return of the King" was awarded Best Picture as kind of a lifetime achievement award for actually pulling off a 10-hour epic over the course of three years. The film wraps up J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy about the younger Baggins (Elijah Wood) who must destroy the “one ring” that will let the forces of evil rule the world.

    Runners-up: "Cold Mountain," "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," "Mystic River," "Seabiscuit"

  • 2005: The Aviator
    64/ Warner Bros. and Miramax

    2005: The Aviator

    Director: Martin Scorsese

    This film suffers a bit from its close psychic relationship with "Catch Me If You Can," which came out two years before. Both star Leonardo DiCaprio as larger-than-life characters coming of age in the grand old days of air travel. This Scorsese film tells the story of Howard Hughes, the billionaire director, risk-taker, and founder of Trans World Airlines, from his rise to prominence to his eventual decline into mental illness. DiCaprio is outstanding as Hughes, but Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Katharine Hepburn is the film’s standout performance.

    Runners-up: "Closer," "Finding Neverland," "Hotel Rwanda," "Kinsey," "Million Dollar Baby"

  • 2006: Brokeback Mountain
    65/ Focus Features

    2006: Brokeback Mountain

    Director: Ang Lee

    Based on the short story by Annie Proulx, Ang Lee’s "Brokeback Mountain" details the tragic love story of two ranchers (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) who try and fail to ignore the affection they feel for each other. The film covers the relationship from its start in 1963 through its heartbreaking end in 1983. In addition to the two leads, the movie offers notable performances from Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams.

    Runners-up: "The Constant Gardener," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "A History of Violence," "Match Point"

  • 2007: Babel
    66/ Paramount Vantage

    2007: Babel

    Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

    Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is the master of the interlocking story; "Babel" tells four seemingly disconnected stories that take place in Morocco, Japan, the United States, and Mexico. Brad Pitt, Adriana Barraza, and Rinko Kikuchi were all nominated for Golden Globes in acting for their performances.

    Runners-up: "Bobby," "The Departed," "Little Children," "The Queen"

  • 2008: Atonement
    67/ Focus Features

    2008: Atonement

    Director: Joe Wright

    Based on the novel by Ian McEwan, "Atonement" tells the story of a wealthy 13 year old (Saoirse Ronan) who spies the servant’s son (James McAvoy) watching her sister (Keira Knightley) dip into a fountain, which sets off a series of crimes and accusations that change everyone’s lives forever.

    Runners-up: "American Gangster," "Eastern Promises," "The Great Debaters," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood"

  • 2009: Slumdog Millionaire
    68/ Fox Searchlight Pictures

    2009: Slumdog Millionaire

    Director: Danny Boyle

    One question from winning India’s "Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?)," 18-year-old Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is arrested on suspicion of cheating. The orphan from the slums must tell the police the story of his life to convince them how he knew the answer to each increasingly difficult question.

    Runners-up: "Frost/Nixon," "The Reader," "Revolutionary Road," "The Curious case of Benjamin Button"

  • 2010: Avatar
    69/ 20th Century Fox

    2010: Avatar

    Director: James Cameron

    The effects in James Cameron’s gigantic 3D blockbuster made the release a cultural event. A paraplegic marine (Sam Worthington) is sent to Pandora to gain intel for an evil corporation that hopes to destroy the natives and mine the planet for its natural resources. When Worthington falls for Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), he must choose between his job and his heart.

    Runners-up: "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious," "Up in the Air"

  • 2011: The Social Network
    70/ Columbia Pictures

    2011: The Social Network

    Director: David Fincher

    Director David Fincher’s take on the birth of Facebook is a fast-paced, sometimes hilarious, and always intriguing look into the heart and mind of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), who today is one of the most powerful men on the planet. Framed around depositions stemming from lawsuits brought by his co-founder (Andrew Garfield) and twin Harvard classmates (Armie Hammer) who claim he stole their idea, the Aaron Sorkin film portrays the dichotomy between the wide-eyed idealism of founding a company and the darkness when the company grows to a global force.

    Runners-up: "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The King’s Speech"

  • 2012: The Descendants
    71/ Fox Searchlight

    2012: The Descendants

    Director: Alexander Payne

    Director Alexander Payne is amazing at building dark comedies, and "The Descendants" stands out as another sweet, bruised familial dramedy. In this film, Matt King (George Clooney) is the trustee of 25,000 acres of land in Kauai, which he will control for seven years. He must hold off his extended family’s calls to sell it for millions of dollars, while an accident leaves his wife (Patricia Hastie) in a coma. Standout characters in this film are King’s two daughters, played by Amara Miller and Shailene Woodley.

    Runners-up: "The Help," "Hugo," "The Ides of March," "Moneyball," "War Horse"

  • 2013: Argo
    72/ Warner Bros. Pictures

    2013: Argo

    Director: Ben Affleck

    "Argo" is the story of the CIA’s plot to use a fake sci-fi film as a way into Tehran in order to save the hostages from the U.S. Embassy. The film takes place in 1979 and stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, plus a notable performance from Alan Arkin.

    Runners-up: "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Zero Dark Thirty"

  • 2014: 12 Years a Slave
    73/ Plan B Entertainment

    2014: 12 Years a Slave

    Director: Steve McQueen

    Based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, "12 Years a Slave" tells the story of a free African-American musician who is kidnapped while playing in Washington, D.C. and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The history this film covers is brutal and heartbreaking, and director Steve McQueen helps show the inhumanity of slave ownership on film. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northup, alongside a terrifying Michael Fassbender as the plantation owner. Lupita Nyong’o won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in a star-making performance.

    Runners-up: "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "Philomena," "Rush"

  • 2015: Boyhood
    74/ IFC Films

    2015: Boyhood

    Director: Richard Linklater

    However one feels about the movie itself, the making of "Boyhood" was a true feat of filmmaking by Richard Linklater. Shot over 12 years with the same cast (Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane), "Boyhood" tells the story of a boy and his parents, from the age of 6 through his departure to college.

    Runners-up: "Foxcatcher," "The Imitation Game," "Selma," "The Theory of Everything"

  • 2016: The Revenant
    75/ 20th Century Fox

    2016: The Revenant

    Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

    Ever since Alejandro González Iñárritu released "Amores Perros" in 2000, it was clear he was one of the most exciting voices in the industry. "The Revenant" has the grand look and fantastic performances of an Iñárritu classic, but doesn’t ever deliver emotionally like his best films. Still, the frigid tundra on which they filmed looks incredibly gorgeous and stark, and lends itself well to the story of an 1820s fur trader (Leonardo DiCaprio) who must fight to survive after an unfortunate run-in with a grizzly bear.

    Runners-up: "Carol," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Room," "Spotlight"

  • 2017: Moonlight
    76/ A24

    2017: Moonlight

    Director: Barry Jenkins

    The coming-of-age story, told in three parts, follows a young gay African-American man in a rough part of Miami. This film has stunning performances from everyone, but especially Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali. Director Barry Jenkins’ next film will be an adaptation of the James Baldwin novel "If Beale Street Could Talk," which could be nominated again.

    Runners-up: "Hacksaw Ridge," "Hell or High Water," "Lion," "Manchester by the Sea"

  • 2018: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    77/ Blueprint Pictures

    2018: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Director: Martin McDonagh

    In this darkly comic drama, a woman named Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is propelled into action by her deep frustration and grief over her daughter’s brutal rape and murder seven months earlier. In an attempt to pressure the town’s beloved chief of police, William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), into doing more, she rents three billboards leading in to their small town of Ebbing, Missouri. The three provocative messages she posts are met with a wide range of reactions among the townspeople, especially from the town's hot-headed and violent sheriff’s deputy, Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell). The unpredictable characters and surprising plot line will keep you off-balance as the tension and heartbreak continue to escalate.

    Runners-up: "Call Me By Your Name," "Dunkirk," "The Post," "The Shape of Water"

2018 All rights reserved.