Greatest Movies That Should’ve Won an Oscar

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

26. The Color Purple (1985)
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg
> Starring: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey
> IMDb rating: 7.8/10
> Oscar nominations: 11

The work of famed filmmaker Steven Spielberg has historically done exceptionally well at the Academy Awards, with movies such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “Schindler’s List” (1993), and “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) all winning multiple Oscars. It’s surprising that the director’s 1985 film “The Color Purple” — about the difficult life of an abused young black girl in the early 20th Century — did not win any awards. The movie, which received 11 nominations, is tied for having received the most nominations in the Awards’ history without a win. Amongst the losses was Best Actress in a Leading Role award for Whoopi Goldberg. She would win an Oscar in 1991 for her supporting role in “Ghost.”

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

27. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
> IMDb rating: 8.4/10
> Oscar nominations: 0

Superhero movies are exceptionally popular, and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy ranks among the most loved series by fans and critics. The last of the three films, “The Dark Knight Rises,” is the 72nd top rated movie on IMDb, and it also has a Certified Fresh rating of 87% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet while its predecessor “The Dark Knight” won two Oscars in 2009, “The Dark Knight Rises” failed to even receive a nomination.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

28. The Great Escape (1963)
> Directed by: John Sturges
> Starring: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough
> IMDb rating: 8.2/10
> Oscar nominations: 1

The all-male international ensemble about the failed escape of Allied prisoners of war during World War II earned just one Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing. It lost to “How the West Was Won,” which took home three golden statues. “The Great Escape” was a hit and grossed more than $11 million. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 94% Freshness rating, and 95% of audiences liked the movie. Other major films that came out in 1963 were the budget-busting epic “Cleopatra” and the freewheeling comedy “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

Source: Courtesy of Janus Films

29. The Seventh Seal (1957)
> Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
> Starring: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot
> IMDb rating: 8.2/10
> Oscar nominations: 0

The brooding, thought-provoking offering from Swedish director Ingmar Bergman introduced Max von Sydow to American audiences. The film focuses on a disillusioned knight returned from the Crusades who plays Death in a chess match. It was not nominated for any Oscars, but it is in the pantheon of the greatest movies ever made for its visual aesthetic and storytelling approach. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 93% Freshness rating, as did audiences. “The Bridge on the River Kwai” dominated the Oscars in 1958.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

30. The Thin Man (1934)
> Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke
> Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O’Sullivan
> IMDb rating: 8.0/10
> Oscar nominations: 4

Four Oscar nominations went to “The Thin Man,” that led to five sequels about the urbane sleuth. The film starred William Powell and Myrna Loy, one of movie history’s greatest onscreen couples. It was the movie’s misfortune to be nominated for four Oscars the same year as “It Happened One Night,” which beat “The Thin Man” for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Writing. The film holds a 97% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 94% rating among audiences.