Blog | Ranking the Last 5 Best Picture Winners
Ranking the Last 5 Best Picture Winners
February 28, 2017
By: Movie Critic Dave
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The Oscars made headlines after this Sunday's broadcast culminated in the biggest gaffe in the history of the Academy Awards. After La La Land was mistakenly announced as the year's Best Picture, and its producers went on to offer their acceptance speeches, Moonlight was finally crowned as the true honorary of the prestigious award. Therefore, I've decided to devote February's Movie List of the Month to looking back and ranking the past 5 Best Picture winners.

#5. Birdman (2014)

The 2015 Academy Awards offered a heated battle in the Best Picture race between Richard Linklater's iconic coming-of-age story, Boyhood, and the eventual winner, Birdman. Alejandro G. Inarritu's superbly directed film delivered hard-hitting performances from Michael, Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton, but Birdman falls short of the other phenomenal recent Best Picture winners.

#4. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Steve McQueen's historical drama recounts the amazing true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from New York who's kidnapped and sold into slavery. 12 Years a Slave withstood the likes of the sci-fi drama Gravity and earned a Best Picture honor. There are some over-done elements to McQueen's direction, but a remarkable real-life journey transforms before your eyes.

#3. Moonlight (2016)

Although I personally had La La Land rated higher, Moonlight is a very minimal step down in terms of filmmaking and dramatic effect. Director Barry Jenkins is magnificent and his trio of actors that bring to life the character of Chiron, an inner city youth raised by a drug addicted mother as he struggles to come to grips with his sexuality, are all brilliant in their own right. Moonlight will always be remembered for this recent Oscar slip-up, but it's a small indie film that deserves a much wider audience and far more respect from the general public.

#2. Spotlight (2015)

Last year's Academy Award winner for Best Picture staved off a repeat from the aforementioned Alejandro G. Inarritu, for the bloody revenge tale The RevenantSpotlight endured the difficult job of cementing its early "frontrunner" status and fighting off the pack until the final ceremony. Tom McCarthy's dramatized depiction of the journalism team that uncovered the Catholic Church's decades long sexual abuse scandal is hard-hitting and completely engaging, making it a worthy Best Picture winner.

#1. Argo (2012)

If you ask me, the voting body of the Academy rebelled against its own omission of Ben Affleck from the Best Director race and awarded his film with the year's biggest honor. Argo ousted impressive competition such as Zero Dark ThirtySilver Linings PlaybookDjango Unchained and many more, thanks to a suspenseful and engaging screenplay sprinkled with more than enough comedy to keep things interesting. Argo is an exceptional piece of entertainment that continues to stand strong after multiple viewings.