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The 40 Lowest-Rated Best Picture Nominees Of All Time

A Certified Fresh movie winning the Best Picture Oscar? That’s expected. The last time that didn’t happen was in 1995 when the “just” Fresh Forrest Gump took home the big gold. And you’d have to go back to 1985 for the last Rotten winner of Best Picture: Out of Africa, the creaky and nearly three-hour romantic epic starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

Out of Africa may not be looked back upon with much fondness among critics, but the movie’s got plenty of company in our guide of the 40 Lowest-Rated Best Picture Nominees. Across 92 Academy Awards ceremonies, we’ve collected every Best Picture nominee with less than 70% on the Tomatometer. From recent times, this includes popular favorites that may have divided critics but hit big-time with audiences, like Joker and Bohemian Rhapsody – both Fresh at 68% and 60% respectively, and both with astronomical Audience Scores – and already almost-forgotten curiosities such Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, the most recent Rotten film to be nominated for Best Picture. (If you want to see only the winners, check out All 92 Best Pictures Ranked.)

Rotten movies to actually take home the Best Picture statue, besides Out of Africa, include Cimarron, The Greatest Show on Earth, and The Broadway Melody. The latter won in the second Academy Awards ceremony, and is part the most Rotten crop of Best Picture nominees ever, with The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and In Old Arizona. This was the year sound film became the new standard in filmmaking, so it’s easy imagining the Academy being dazzled by these on a technical level.

Other famous movies to nearly win despite not being that great – according to the Tomatometer, at least – include The Big Chill, Babel, and The Godfather: Part III. We guess Francis Ford Coppola will just have to take solace in the fact that he’s directed one of only two series where every movie was nominated for Best Picture (the other being Lord of the Rings). See more of the movies that got less than 70% in our guide to the Lowest-Rated Best Picture Nominees!

#40

Babel (2006)
69%

#40
Adjusted Score: 75.857%
Critics Consensus: In Babel, there are no villains, only victims of fate and circumstance. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu weaves four of their woeful stories into this mature and multidimensional film.
Synopsis: The tragic aftermath of human carelessness travels around the world in this multi-narrative drama from filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu. Richard... [More]

#39

Les Misérables (2012)
70%

#39
Adjusted Score: 79.698%
Critics Consensus: Impeccably mounted but occasionally bombastic, Les Misérables largely succeeds thanks to bravura performances from its distinguished cast.
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion,... [More]
Directed By: Tom Hooper

#38

Joker (2019)
68%

#38
Adjusted Score: 94.032%
Critics Consensus: Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star -- and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema.
Synopsis: "Joker" centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 71.866%
Critics Consensus: Although the central romance arguably suffocates the heart of the drama, a moving performance by Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand's deft direction give The Prince of Tides a soulful edge.
Synopsis: Nick Nolte stars as Tom Wingo, a football coach grappling with his family's tragic history with the help of psychiatrist... [More]
Directed By: Barbra Streisand

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 72.232%
Critics Consensus: The final installment of The Godfather saga recalls its predecessors' power when it's strictly business, but underwhelming performances and confused tonality brings less closure to the Corleone story.
Synopsis: After a break of more than 15 years, director Francis Ford Coppola and writer Mario Puzo returned to the well... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#35

The Big Chill (1983)
69%

#35
Adjusted Score: 72.001%
Critics Consensus: The Big Chill captures a generation's growing ennui with a terrific cast, a handful of perceptive insights, and one of the decade's best film soundtracks.
Synopsis: A re-release of the 1983 classic. The gathering of old college friends for a funeral brings out their real personalities.... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 71.361%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This colorful remake of the 1935 version again concerns the crew and treatment of the HMS Bounty by a cold... [More]

#33

Love Story (1970)
68%

#33
Adjusted Score: 70.968%
Critics Consensus: Earnest and determined to make audiences swoon, Love Story is an unabashed tearjerker that will capture hearts when it isn't inducing eye rolls.
Synopsis: This distaff romantic tear jerker concerns a young couple who fall in love despite the objections of their families. Taken... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Hiller

#32

Sons and Lovers (1960)
67%

#32
Adjusted Score: 67.278%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Motion Picture Production Code was still in effect (albeit weakly) when Sons and Lovers was filmed in 1960, so... [More]
Directed By: Jack Cardiff

#31

Vice (2018)
65%

#31
Adjusted Score: 80.871%
Critics Consensus: Vice takes scattershot aim at its targets, but writer-director Adam McKay hits some satisfying bullseyes -- and Christian Bale's transformation is a sight to behold.
Synopsis: VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 70.93%
Critics Consensus: This biopic is undeniably stylish, but loses points for excessive length, an overreliance on clichés, and historical inaccuracies.
Synopsis: In this biopic, William Powell stars as the titular theatrical impresario, whose show business empire begins when he stage manages... [More]
Directed By: Robert Z. Leonard

#29

Peyton Place (1957)
65%

#29
Adjusted Score: 66.656%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Grace Metalious' once-notorious bestseller Peyton Place is given a lavish -- and necessarily toned-down -- film treatment in this deluxe... [More]
Directed By: Mark Robson

#28

The Mission (1986)
64%

#28
Adjusted Score: 65.634%
Critics Consensus: The Mission is a well-meaning epic given delicate heft by its sumptuous visuals and a standout score by Ennio Morricone, but its staid presentation never stirs an emotional investment in its characters.
Synopsis: In director Roland Joffe's historical epic The Mission, Jeremy Irons stars as Gabriel, an 18th-century Jesuit priest sent to the... [More]
Directed By: Roland Joffé

#27

America America (1963)
67%

#27
Adjusted Score: 67.192%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This film chronicles the story of a young Greek immigrant who dreams of going to America in the late 1890s.... [More]
Directed By: Elia Kazan

#26

Viva Villa! (1934)
60%

#26
Adjusted Score: 61.311%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A far from factual filmed biography of Mexican patriot Pancho Villa, Viva Villa! was written by lengendary screenwriter Ben Hecht.... [More]
Directed By: Jack Conway, Howard Hawks

#25

Anchors Aweigh (1945)
62%

#25
Adjusted Score: 63.131%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This mammoth musical is at base the story of two sailors on leave in Hollywood. Brash Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly)... [More]
Directed By: George Sidney

#24

Chocolat (2000)
62%

#24
Adjusted Score: 65.864%
Critics Consensus: Chocolat is a charmingly light-hearted fable with a lovely performance by Binoche.
Synopsis: The most tempting of all sweets becomes the key weapon in a battle of sensual pleasure versus disciplined self-denial in... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom

#23

Cleopatra (1963)
62%

#23
Adjusted Score: 66.165%
Critics Consensus: Cleopatra is a lush, ostentatious, endlessly eye-popping epic that sags collapses from a (and how could it not?) four-hour runtime.
Synopsis: In 1963, this colossal and opulent $60 million spectacular was epic in every sense of the word -- an epic... [More]
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 66.934%
Critics Consensus: The Turning Point is a handsomely-made resuscitation of Old Hollywood melodramas with a compelling duo at its center, but the formulaic script keeps this story from realizing its symphonic potential.
Synopsis: One of a cycle of '70s post-Women's Liberation "women's pictures," Herbert Ross's drama uses the ballet world to examine the... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 77.761%
Critics Consensus: Bohemian Rhapsody hits a handful of high notes, but as an in-depth look at a beloved band, it offers more of a medley than a true greatest hits collection.
Synopsis: Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#20
Adjusted Score: 60.272%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A movie with more ambiance than actual substance, this remains a classic romance movie nonetheless, receiving numerous production awards. Beginning... [More]
Directed By: Jean Negulesco

#19

Out of Africa (1985)
62%

#19
Adjusted Score: 68.575%
Critics Consensus: Though lensed with stunning cinematography and featuring a pair of winning performances from Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, Out of Africa suffers from excessive length and glacial pacing.
Synopsis: Out of Africa is drawn from the life and writings of Danish author Isak Dinesen, who during the time that... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#18

Picnic (1955)
44%

#18
Adjusted Score: 44.305%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: One of the biggest box-office attractions of the 1950s, Picnic was adapted by Daniel Taradash from the Pulitzer Prize-winning William... [More]
Directed By: Joshua Logan

#17

In Old Arizona (1928)
56%

#17
Adjusted Score: 56.245%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Warner Baxter, sporting a black mustache and a musical-comedy Mexican accent, stars as the Cisco Kid, the "Robin Hood of... [More]

#16

Cimarron (1931)
52%

#16
Adjusted Score: 55.535%
Critics Consensus: Cimarron is supported by a strong performance from Irene Dunne, but uneven in basically every other regard, and riddled with potentially offensive stereotypes.
Synopsis: Cimarron was the first Western to win the Oscar for Best Picture--and, until Dances with Wolves in 1990, the only... [More]
Directed By: Wesley Ruggles

#15

The Alamo (1960)
52%

#15
Adjusted Score: 53.981%
Critics Consensus: John Wayne proves to be less compelling behind the camera than he is before it in The Alamo, a blustery dramatization of the fort's last stand that feels more like a first draft.
Synopsis: John Wayne's directorial debut The Alamo is set in 1836: Wayne plays Col. Davy Crockett, who, together with Colonels Jim... [More]
Directed By: John Wayne

#14

Alibi (1929)
50%

#14
Adjusted Score: 50.349%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A brutal gangster suspected in a warehouse robbery is ruthlessly dogged by a pair of persistent detectives, one of whom... [More]
Directed By: Roland West

#13
Adjusted Score: 54.175%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Set in Hong Kong during the Korean War, Henry King's drama is an account of the romance between an American... [More]
Directed By: Henry King

#12

Naughty Marietta (1935)
56%

#12
Adjusted Score: 57.066%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this film, Jeanette MacDonald plays an 18th-century French princess who escapes an arranged marriage by posing as a "cake... [More]
Directed By: W.S. Van Dyke

#11

The White Parade (1934)
57%

#11
Adjusted Score: 57.618%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dedicated to "the memory of Florence Nightingale," this film chronicles the probationary period of a new team of student nurses... [More]
Directed By: Irving Cummings

#10
Adjusted Score: 51.94%
Critics Consensus: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has a story worth telling, but it deserves better than the treacly and pretentious treatment director Stephen Daldry gives it.
Synopsis: Oskar (Thomas Horn) is convinced that his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade... [More]
Starring: James Gandolfini
Directed By:

#9
Adjusted Score: 53.258%
Critics Consensus: The Greatest Show on Earth is melodramatic, short on plot, excessively lengthy and bogged down with clichés, but not without a certain innocent charm.
Synopsis: Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth is a lavish tribute to circuses, featuring three intertwining plotlines concerning romance... [More]
Directed By: Cecil B. DeMille

#8

Hello, Dolly! (1969)
43%

#8
Adjusted Score: 46.298%
Critics Consensus: Though Streisand charms, she's miscast as the titular middle-aged widow in Gene Kelly's sluggish and over-produced final directorial effort.
Synopsis: Twenty-seven-year-old Barbra Streisand seemed an inappropriate choice for middle-aged, match-making widow Dolly Levi, but her energy carries her right through... [More]
Directed By: Gene Kelly

#7
Adjusted Score: 43.18%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this musical revue, MGM introduced its silent-film stars. Conrad Nagel and Jack Benny host the event. Stars include: Buster... [More]
Directed By: Charles Reisner

#6
Adjusted Score: 38.863%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This film adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's stage play concentrates on the romance between Britain's King Henry VIII and his ill-fated... [More]
Directed By: Charles Jarrott

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 36.046%
Critics Consensus: The Broadway Melody is interesting as an example of an early Hollywood musical, but otherwise, it's essentially bereft of appeal for modern audiences.
Synopsis: This landmark MGM backstage musical of the early sound era about broken dreams on the Great White Way features a... [More]
Directed By: Harry Beaumont

#4

The Robe (1953)
32%

#4
Adjusted Score: 33.942%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Historically important as the first CinemaScope feature film, 20th Century-Fox's The Robe is fine dramatic entertainment in its own right.... [More]
Directed By: Henry Koster

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 33.6%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Greer Garson is dignity and integrity personified in the role of the real-life Edna Gladney. After several life experiences which... [More]
Directed By: Mervyn LeRoy

#2

Doctor Dolittle (1967)
29%

#2
Adjusted Score: 30.61%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rex Harrison, although not at all like the portly man described in Hugh Lofting's charming series of children's stories, is... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#1

Anthony Adverse (1936)
20%

#1
Adjusted Score: 21.203%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This film version of Hervey Allen's best-seller stars Fredric March as Anthony Adverse, the illegitimate offspring of Anita Louise, the... [More]
Directed By: Mervyn LeRoy

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