Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner Ranked Best To Worst

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist February 25, 2014 at 3:48PM

117
Annie Hall

5. "Annie Hall" (1977)
Brilliant, absurd, hilarious, poignant and sad, Woody Allen’s finest hour is great for many things, among them: Diane Keaton, Diane Keaton’s hats, Diane Keaton’s vests, Diane Keaton’s delivery of “Lah-di-dah,” Diane Keaton’s line readings in general. To be fair, Allen gets a few good moments too and the skewering of a relationship in which neurosis and self-absorption will always overcome affection is pin-sharp, but Keaton’s peculiar, awkward charm deserved to have a film this good written for it.


4. "The Godfather" (1972)
The first in maybe the greatest four-movie run any American director has ever achieved (“The Conversation” was up next, followed by “The Godfather II” and “Apocalypse Now”), Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of the Mario Puzo novel is that rare film that has spawned so many parodies and references and yet still feels shockingly fresh each time you come to it. Simply one of the greatest films ever made, there have been times when the Academy got it wrong, but this was not one of them.


3. "Casablanca" (1943)
Michael Curtiz's miraculous WWII picture defies genre—is it a thriller? a romance? an adventure?—but whatever it is, it's pretty much perfect. Every element, from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as the leads, and the dense supporting cast, to the photography, to the music, to the all-timer of a script, works like gangbusters. It's soulful, funny, heartbreaking, hugely exciting cinema, and all while feeling totally effortless that belies how hard it is to get it this right.


2. "The Godfather Part II" (1974)
There was some internal debate at The Playlist as to which of Francis Ford Coppola's gangster classics would come ahead of the other. Ultimately, it was 'Part II' that won out: one of only two sequels to win Best Picture (the other being "Return Of The King,") it takes everything that made the original so great, and expands on it, filling in Vito's backstory thanks to a breakthrough performance from Robert De Niro, while pushing his son Michael into darker and darker territory. Impeccable stuff.


1. "Lawrence Of Arabia" (1962)
So here we are. While any of the top ten (at least) could have filled the top slot, what's most surprising (to us with our bloodied noses and bruised fists) is that the number one spot was the subject of exactly zero internecine wrangling—at the very top of the list you have as near to a unanimous choice as we've made on this whole 85-strong catalogue. Simply put, we'd argue that no Oscar-winner takes advantage of the artform in the way that David Lean's "Lawrence Of Arabia" does. It's sweeping, jaw-dropping cinema from minute one to minute 222, the rare film that captures the whole sweep of a man's life while still telling a remarkable, fat-free story. Both Lean and star Peter O'Toole are at the peak of the powers, but ultimately, it wins the top slot by managing to create images and moments that have never been—and perhaps could never be—equaled.


So that's our take, arrived at with not a little heartache on all our parts. Our capacious comments section is at your disposal for vitriol, death threats, allegations of insanity and unfounded rumormongering as to the modesty of our mothers. Oh, and reasoned argument too. — Jessica Kiang, Oliver Lyttelton

This article is related to: Features, Awards, Academy Awards, Oscars, Feature


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates