If you will recall my discussion of the film website They Shoot Pictures
, I talked about their system for ranking films. They do NOT take the Oscars into account for the record. That's just an award and not a critics' list. So, how many times did the best reviewed film of the year win Best Picture? Let's find out.
Let's see what the "best" films were from that year and if they actually won...* means film won Best Picture. 1928: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans*
*On a technicality. There were Two "Best Picture" categories the first year. Academy retroactively recognizes this and "Wings" as sharing the award.
1929: Man with a Movie Camera 1930: L'Age D'or1931: City Lights 1932: Trouble in Paradise1933: King Kong 1934: L'Atlante1935: Bride of Frankenstein 1936: Modern Times1937: Grand Illusion1938: Bringing Up Baby 1939: Rules of the Game 1940: His Girl Friday 1941: Citizen Kane 1942: Casablanca*1943: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp1944: Double Indemnity 1945: Children of Paradise1946: It's a Wonderful Life1947: Black Narcissus1948: Bicycle Thieves1949: The Third Man 1950: Rashomon1951: The River1952: Singin' in the Rain 1953: Tokyo Story 1954: Seven Samurai 1955: Ordet 1956: The Searchers1957: Wild Strawberries1958: Vertigo 1959: The 400 Blows 1960: Breathless1961: Viridiana1962: Lawrence of Arabia*1963: 8 1/2 1964: Dr. Strangelove 1965: Pierrot Le Fou 1966: Persona 1967: Playtime 1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey 1969: The Wild Bunch 1970: The Conformist1971: A Clockwork Orange1972: The Godfather*1973: Amarcord 1974: The Godfather Part II*1975: Barry Lyndon 1976: Taxi Driver1977: Annie Hall*1978: Days of Heaven1979: Apocalypse Now1980: Raging Bull1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982: Blade Runner 1983: Sans Soleil1984: Once Upon a Time in America 1985: Shoah 1986: Blue Velvet 1987: Wings of Desire 1988: The Thin Blue Line
(The actual winner is a miniseries called The Decalogue
--which would have been ineligible) 1989: Do the Right Thing 1990: Goodfellas 1991: A Brighter Summer Day 1992: Unforgiven*1993: The Piano 1994: Pulp Fiction1995: Underground 1996: Breaking the Waves 1997: Happy Together 1998: The Thin Red Line (Histories du Cinema--
another miniseries that would have been deemed ineligible but is ranked higher)1999: Beau Travail 2000: In the Mood for Love 2001: Mulholland Drive 2002: Russian Ark 2003: Lost in Translation2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2005: Cache 2006: The Lives of Others2007: There Will be Blood 2008: WALL-E 2009: The White Ribbon2010: Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives 2011: The Tree of Life 2012: Amour 2013: Under the Skin 2014: Boyhood 2015: Mad Max: Fury Road 2016: Moonlight*
So there you have it. On the whole, I think I like this selection better. I saw quite a few Oscar films, and most of the films listed here aren't as boring or as pandering. Only EIGHT won Best Picture--including the most recent winner, Moonlight.
I do like most of these films. Although the stretch from 2010-2014 I don't really like at all. Though the last two more than make up for it.
As you can tell, there is some bias against musicals and comedies. Only ONE animated film gets in the mix--but it just so happens to be my favorite animated film, so no complaints.
But yeah, this is a pretty good list, and most of these I would consider to be among the best for their year.