The Top 5 Best Picture Winners at the Oscars in the Past Decade – According to IMDb


The past 10 years have been very interesting for the Best Picture category at the Oscars. It has had many historic firsts, and it has also contained several controversies and embarrassments for the academy. But what has the public thought about the best picture winners? Join us as we look at the 5 highest-rated best picture winners (based on their IMDb scores) from the past 10 years. Where we will briefly look into their stories and provide some interesting pieces of information about each film.

5. The King’s Speech (8.0)

The winner of the 2011 Best Picture award concerns Britain’s King George VI (Colin Firth) working with speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to overcome his stammer and allow him to deliver his messages to the people of the UK and those in high positions with his own voice.

Despite some critics calling it Oscar bait, The King’s Speech charmed audiences. Not only scoring an 8 on IMDb but also becoming the highest-grossing British independent film of 2011. Initially, it was also involved in controversy because the BBFC gave the film a 15 certificate due to strong language. Despite the swearing serving the point of helping King George through his stammer. Ultimately thanks to the distributor’s appeal, the BBFC re-rated the film as a 12a. It also won Best Director for Tom Hooper, Best Actor for Colin Firth, and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler.

2011s best picture winner The King's Speech
Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth give fantastic turns in The King’s Speech // Credit: Momentum Pictures

4. Spotlight (8.1)

2016’s best picture recipient deals with another story based on true events. This time looking at several reporters working for the Boston Globe. Who uncover a series of child abuse crimes within the catholic church.

Spotlight was the first Best Picture winner since The Greatest Show on Earth to only win one other award at the ceremony. The other being Best Original Screenplay for Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy. It also was viewed as a surprise win, with many believing The Revenant would take the award home. Spotlight may have been a surprise winner but its high audience rating and great reviews from many critics show that it’s still something special.

The best picture winner that surprised everyone, Spotlight
The surprise best picture winner, Spotlight // Credit: Entertainment One

3. 12 Years a Slave (8.1)

Steve McQueen’s dark drama is about the horrors experienced and witnessed by Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man of colour living in New York who is captured, sold into slavery and must spend 12 years trying to survive.

12 Years a Slave was not only well-received by critics and general audiences but it also marked the first time that a film made by a black director won Best Picture. And it also earned statues for John Ridley’s screenplay and Lupita Nyong’o’s supporting performance. Showing that while 12 Years a Slave was a hard watch, it was also impactful and important.

Disturbing best picture winner 12 years a slave
Superb performances abound in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave // Credit: Entertainment One

2. Green Book (8.2)

Undoubtedly the most controversial Best Picture winner of the past decade. The story follows Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) who makes friends with Dr. Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali) as he ferries him around the southern United States in the 1960s, ensuring he is safely able to play music at venues.

Green Book received several negative responses upon its release for its dated use of the white saviour narrative to tell the story of African American persecution. But it became even more controversial when it won the Best Picture Oscar, even though films from prominent black filmmakers like Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) and Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) were also nominated. Although Green Book clearly won over many, as evidenced by its award wins (also winning Best Original Screenplay for Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, and Peter Farrelly and Best Supporting Performance for Mahershala Ali), and IMDb rating, its win remains an embarrassing moment for the modern film industry.

Controversial Oscar winner Green Book
Despite the controversy, Green Book features 2 great central performances // Credit: Universal Pictures

1. Parasite (8.6)

This South Korean masterpiece focuses on the relationship between two families, the rich Parks, and the poor Kims. Asking many pointed questions about class and inequality in an odd, funny, dark, and enthralling way.

Parasite, the highest-rated Best Picture winner of the decade is also one of the highest-rated Best Picture Winners of all time on IMDb and was a trailblazer in so many ways. It was the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture, on top of winning Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay for Bong Joon-ho and co-writer Han Jin-won and Best Director for Bong Joon-ho. Along with this, it became the highest-grossing foreign-language film of all time in the UK. And despite the many controversies with the Academy Awards these past 10 years, seemingly all agree that Parasite deserved to win.

The Decade's best best picture winner, Parasite
The poster to Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece // Credit: CJ Entertainment

This ends our brief look back at the highest-rated Best Picture winners of the past 10 years. What is your favourite Best Picture winner from the past decade? Let’s hope that the next 10 years bring more Best Picture winners that audiences will love.

Also Read: Parasite Director Bong Joon-Ho Once Described The Oscars As Very Local

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Posted by
Josh Greally

Writer and filmmaker. I have a masters in directing film and television and have written film reviews for several smaller sites in the past. Films are my life, but I also enjoy writing, reading, listening to music and debating.