The 15 Worst Reviewed Best Picture Winners

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The 15 Worst Reviewed Best Picture Winners

The 15 Worst Reviewed Best Picture Winners

Just because a film wins Best Picture doesn’t mean it’s impervious to poor reviews. For the most part, the Best Picture has solid aggregate ratings on the Tomatometer, but not all the time. Some of these lowest-rated Best Picture winners are surprising…

15. Braveheart (1995): 78% Tomatometer – Again, a decent overall rating from critics, but this is a surprising entry on the list given the film’s admiration these days. Mel Gibson’s epic film was criticized for being “distractingly violent and historically dodgy.”

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14. Gladiator (2000): 76% Tomatometer – This is a great film in my opinion, even though it may resemble Spartacus a little too closely. Most of the critics praised the film, but not highly.

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13. Gentleman’s Agreement (1947): 76% Tomatometer – This film is deemed a little too important for its own good, though it is celebrated for having solid performances from actors like Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire.

Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

12. A Beautiful Mind (2001): 75% Tomatometer – This one may have an even lower rating if it were examined by critics in 2015. Ron Howard’s biopic is sketchy with the truth, and wholly unremarkable, nothing more than a middling film.

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11. Crash (2004): 75% Tomatometer – Easily the biggest upset win for Best Picture for 2004, beating out a much more deserving Brokeback MountainCrash is heave-handed and obvious. This is another film that would suffer from a reconsideration by critics.

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10. GiGi (1958): 75% Tomatometer – Continuing the line of Best Picture winners rated at 75%, Leslie Caron’s performance in GiGi is easily the best part of a film that has a better reputation than it has true quality.

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9. Around the World in 80 Days (1956): 73% Tomatometer – This was another Best Picture winner that pulled a minor upset, beating films like The King and I, Giant, and The Ten Commandments. It’s a fun adventure but definitely not Best Pic quality.

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8. The Life of Emile Zola (1937): 71% Tomatometer – We go way back for number 9 on this list, to 1937 and a film that is not remembered as anything special. Most critics call it more earnest than interesting in the long run.

Paul Muni in

7. Forrest Gump (1994): 71% Tomatometer – While many people of my generation absolutely love this film, critics weren’t quite as forgiving, calling the film overly sentimental and the message a bit mixed. It definitely rode momentum and box office on its way to Best Picture.

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6. Going My Way (1944): 71% Tomatometer – Another oldie and not-so-goodie, here is another film that has since been forgotten because it wasn’t that great to begin with. Critics point to the film being overly sweet and sentimental.

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5. The Great Ziegfeld (1936): 63% Tomatometer – We stay in the way bcd machine for this 1936 film, which is a well-known title but a mediocre film at best. It is called overly long, cliche, and definitely historically inaccurate.

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4. Cavalcade (1933): 56% Tomatometer – The 30s didn’t seem to be the best decade for Best Picture winners, as three have already made their way onto the list. Critics call the film “mawkish” and lacking of any cohesiveness.

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3. Out of Africa (1985): 52% Tomatometer – This snoozefest probably deserves this rating. Sydney Pollack’s drama beat a weak field and benefited from having Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in the lead roles.

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2. Cimarron (1931): 50% Tomatometer – And yet another film from the 30s that doesn’t pass the critical praise test. Ouch. This film is a victim of its time, as the racial stereotypes littering the story had not yet been regarded as distasteful back in 1931.

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1. The Greatest Show On Earth (1952): 44% Tomatometer – In last place is most certainly NOT the greatest show anywhere. Critis call the film excessively long, cliche, and lacking any real plot.

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Related topics Worst Best Pictures, Worst Reviewed
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