THE OSCARS(r) - The 89th Oscars(r) broadcasts live on Oscar(r) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2017, on the ABC Television Network. (Eddy Chen/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL, WARREN BEATTY

(Photo by Eddy Chen/ABC via Getty Images)

Oscar Ceremonies Ranked: The Best and Worst Academy Awards Shows from 1995 to 2020

Every year, after what feels like a lifetime of awards season campaigning, the industry awaits with bated breath to see which movies and artists will make their way to the biggest stage in Hollywood: The Oscars. Of course, the ceremonies are spectacles in and of themselves, subject as much as the films they honor jeers and adulation from critics, so we’re taking the last 25 years’ worth of Oscar shows and ranking them by Tomatometer!

Looking at the Tomatometer scores from the past decades of Oscar ceremonies proves there is no magic formula for Freshness. Master of ceremonies Billy Crystal runs the gamut on the Rotten-to-Fresh spectrum. Neil Patrick Harris, who’s hosted awards from coast to coast, can crash and burn. A snafu like the Moonlight/La La Land debacle can actually be a boon to the show’s watchability (and likability according to critics), while a cringeworthy misfire like Anne Hathaway and James Franco’s entire schtick can, predictably, earn terrible reviews.

Whoopi Goldberg may just be the most consistent host of them all despite not having done the gig in years, and the irreverent turn by David Letterman lands just about exactly where you would expect.

With all that in mind, take a look at how the past 25 years of Oscar ceremonies, from 1995 to 2020, have fared on the Tomatometer!

Adjusted Score: 13.665%
Critics Consensus: Anne Hathaway admirably braves her way through unfunny quips, while James Franco appears gallingly disengaged during the excruciatingly inert, completely unprepared 83rd Oscars ceremony.
Starring: James Franco

Adjusted Score: 27.045%
Critics Consensus: The multitalented Seth MacFarlane's appointment as Oscars host may have seemed like a surefire bet, but the edgy funnyman makes for a disappointing master of ceremonies during an 85th Oscars that is mired in distasteful jokes and misogynistic gags.

Adjusted Score: 28.121%
Critics Consensus: Awards season pro Neil Patrick Harris is uncharacteristically stilted during a sedate 87th Oscars that can't seem to grapple with controversy or execute a decent gag.

Adjusted Score: 31.974%
Critics Consensus: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin share an amiable comedic rapport, but their gentle barbs do little to liven up the placid 82nd Oscars, a ceremony that can't seem to decide whether it wants to be hip for the kids or staid for the old guard.
Starring: Steve Martin

Adjusted Score: 31.949%
Critics Consensus: Billy Crystal may be the unofficial Lord of the Oscars, but his musical hosting style yields diminishing returns in a ceremony that's almost as long as favorite The Return of the King.

Adjusted Score: 34.86%
Critics Consensus: Despite Billy Crystal's strong hosting reputation, the 84th Oscars flounders under flat jokes and lifeless producing.

Adjusted Score: 28.569%
Critics Consensus: Whoopi Goldberg brings polarizing raunch to a 71st Oscars that feels curdled from the outset due to controversially aggressive campaign tactics.

Adjusted Score: 33.772%
Critics Consensus: Parasite's sweep and some strong performances -- including the singular Janelle Monáe's opening number -- couldn't save a listless ceremony from its own host-less chaos.

Adjusted Score: 44.23%
Critics Consensus: David Letterman gives an irreverent turn as emcee to the delight of his fans and to the annoyance of those who wanted decorum out of the 67th Oscars, a predictable ceremony devoid of many highlights.

Adjusted Score: 46.493%
Critics Consensus: The 90th Oscars played it safe and hit no major snags -- but by clocking in at over four hours, returning host Jimmy Kimmel and company wore out their welcome long before the night's conclusion.
Synopsis: Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th annual ceremony. "The Shape of Water" leads with 13 nominations; "Dunkirk" has eight; and "Three... [More]

Adjusted Score: 48.251%
Critics Consensus: Billy Crystal remains a charming emcee, but his retread of old bits does little to enliven a painfully restrained 72nd Oscars that feels even longer than its gargantuan runtime.

Adjusted Score: 49.692%
Critics Consensus: Glamor bristles against national anxiety at the 75th Oscars, a ceremony that struggles to escape the shadow of the Iraq War despite capable host Steve Martin's best efforts.

Adjusted Score: 51.449%
Critics Consensus: Ellen DeGeneres brings her breezy affability to the 79th Oscars and director Martin Scorsese finally gets his due, but a succession of predictable winners saps this ceremony of spontaneity.

Adjusted Score: 51.745%
Critics Consensus: Jon Stewart returns as a more confident host who seems more at home at the 80th Oscars stage, but the ceremony's short preparation after the Hollywood writer's strike is evident throughout a telecast stocked with redundant montages.

Adjusted Score: 53.499%
Critics Consensus: Hugh Jackman brings his trademark showman flair to an 81st Oscars that goes to great lengths to liven up the formula, but much of the telecast's innovations only serve to highlight how easily the ceremony can teeter into cumbersome spectacle.

Adjusted Score: 54.152%
Critics Consensus: Jon Stewart's likable -- but unfortunately muted -- turn can't save the sluggish 78th Oscars -- though a surprising upset for the night's top honor at least gave viewers something to talk about.

Adjusted Score: 54.571%
Critics Consensus: The 70th Oscars pays touching tribute to previous winners and Billy Crystal does his best to keep things buoyant, but a predictable sweep by Titanic sinks the ceremony.

Adjusted Score: 60.149%
Critics Consensus: Chris Rock brings a welcome dose of irreverence to the 77th Oscars, but his polarizing barbs still can't fully elevate a ceremony that struggles to balance showtime efficiency and giving honorees their proper due.

Adjusted Score: 60.112%
Critics Consensus: Ellen Degeneres breaks the internet with a record-setting selfie, impromptu pizza, and a genial warmth that smoothly pilots an Oscars ceremony free of glaring gaffes -- if a little bereft of spontaneity.

Adjusted Score: 60.229%
Critics Consensus: Steve Martin proves himself a winning Oscars host with some gentle ribbing throughout a restrained ceremony that spreads the wealth among one of the most competitive lineups in years.

Adjusted Score: 60.598%
Critics Consensus: Kicking off with an innovative and memorable montage that plops Billy Crystal into the year's nominees, the 69th Oscars begins with enough energy to sustain itself through a decidedly repetitive evening of English Patient domination.

Adjusted Score: 68.556%
Critics Consensus: Jimmy Kimmel's wry wit elevates a highly political 89th Oscars ceremony that culminated in an awe-inspiring fiasco that may have been mortifying in the room, but proved to be unforgettable on the screen.
Synopsis: Honors for achievements in film take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.... [More]

Adjusted Score: 70.024%
Critics Consensus: Whoopi Goldberg is uncharacteristically absent as master of ceremonies during the 74th Oscars, which nevertheless proves memorable thanks to historic acting wins and a tasteful acknowledgement of national tragedy.

Adjusted Score: 72.516%
Critics Consensus: Strong musical performances, a steady, somewhat sluggish pace, and a few genuinely surprising moments helped the host-less 91st Oscars create an entertainingly efficient -- if not entirely satisfying -- ceremony.

Adjusted Score: 75.36%
Critics Consensus: Returning host Chris Rock addresses the #OscarsSoWhite controversy with cutting insight and a cathartic warmth during one of the strongest Oscars ceremonies in years.

Adjusted Score: 82.909%
Critics Consensus: Whoopi Goldberg is in crackling comedic form during a suspenseful 68th Oscars, with proceedings given an extra boost by producer Quincy Jones' energetic set-pieces.
Synopsis: March 25, 1996... [More]

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Travel Channel Box Office critics theme song DGA Red Carpet robots zombies sequel ghosts Photos sitcom Spring TV mission: impossible name the review justice league politics Masterpiece anthology Paramount Star Trek teaser Biopics Syfy Britbox historical drama SDCC 2015 kids cooking stand-up comedy 2018 nfl facebook New York Comic Con Paramount Network CNN Tarantino Cosplay Election Certified Fresh SundanceTV versus latino TV Netflix Christmas movies Apple romantic comedy Best and Worst green book Lucasfilm Drama finale RT21 screen actors guild dc Amazon Prime Video Nominations natural history PBS Toys Character Guide OneApp scorecard Amazon Prime richard e. Grant worst movies Trailer 45 christmas movies cults zombie cats slashers IFC Films Musicals Valentine's Day Disney Plus Grammys movie psychological thriller The Purge TCA 2017 Marathons Sneak Peek Pet Sematary Rocketman Vudu Shondaland GoT 20th Century Fox aliens festival Film The Witch sag awards Heroines TCM medical drama comiccon The Walking Dead documentaries History crime thriller what to watch 21st Century Fox First Look true crime asian-american Holiday Amazon Studios vampires universal monsters Winners casting Kids & Family Video Games doctor who canceled unscripted Freeform SXSW Country 007 blockbuster MCU Cannes American Society of Cinematographers DC Comics FX TCA PlayStation quibi Infographic Film Festival Arrowverse hollywood dramedy nature FXX boxoffice Acorn TV indie Hallmark Christmas movies BET Awards CW Seed Comedy dark Turner 72 Emmy Awards Tubi Horror Stephen King Comedy Central ABC Family See It Skip It Anna Paquin MSNBC Black History Month APB Awards Peacock Pirates crime drama Marvel Super Bowl 2019 Television Academy composers emmy awards Reality chucky Fantasy Martial Arts animated supernatural Women's History Month hist Marvel Television TNT documentary Dark Horse Comics E3 Mudbound DC Universe witnail science fiction movies VICE Esquire cancelled television Quiz YouTube Premium Trivia Shudder Bravo ABC 2017 E! A&E TCA Winter 2020 Marvel Studios El Rey Watching Series USA TruTV YA Captain marvel CBS All Access Superheroe series spider-man Set visit jamie lee curtis dceu Hear Us Out National Geographic Opinion RT History HBO Max Music all-time thriller obituary President strong female leads Polls and Games Rom-Com romance Universal FX on Hulu Holidays BET crime Thanksgiving south america breaking bad Mindy Kaling Pop VOD rotten movies we love Superheroes Podcast Action comedies VH1 travel BBC Academy Awards Endgame screenings 4/20 The Arrangement Crackle LGBTQ Pride Month toy story Disney Channel Disney+ Disney Plus Animation comic ratings cinemax GIFs Sci-Fi transformers Ellie Kemper WGN Brie Larson Spectrum Originals joker Schedule serial killer BAFTA reboot Song of Ice and Fire dragons Trophy Talk ESPN NYCC YouTube Red remakes spanish language 2020 blaxploitation Rock dogs Walt Disney Pictures Spike DirecTV WarnerMedia book cars political drama Chernobyl video spinoff FOX sports Classic Film renewed TV shows directors sequels TCA Awards films Lifetime Christmas movies a nightmare on elm street Oscars Lionsgate free movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt scary movies festivals tv talk period drama die hard Ghostbusters stoner Countdown ITV Tomatazos Pixar crossover Sundance TV Family AMC Summer Mystery adaptation indiana jones miniseries werewolf HBO foreign Rocky hispanic parents Starz concert Netflix diversity independent halloween spy thriller Crunchyroll BBC America Warner Bros. TIFF 71st Emmy Awards twilight DC streaming service Lifetime cancelled TV shows Elton John Television Critics Association franchise Pop TV disaster cops child's play rotten cancelled batman spain harry potter Hallmark anime zero dark thirty psycho Christmas news Nickelodeon venice Disney streaming service TLC superhero Discovery Channel war game of thrones LGBT cartoon mutant Baby Yoda technology Columbia Pictures Winter TV 2016 discovery golden globes Funimation Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Sundance X-Men MTV worst adventure Fall TV Star Wars nbcuniversal Turner Classic Movies video on demand Epix Extras First Reviews Mary poppins Ovation Sundance Now Disney based on movie talk show OWN Cartoon Network USA Network NBC football CMT toronto binge space Comic Book Western San Diego Comic-Con Fox News Avengers social media A24 biography revenge comics Year in Review IFC CBS elevated horror fast and furious GLAAD Mary Poppins Returns Food Network BBC One satire Apple TV+ Teen Adult Swim award winner Creative Arts Emmys 24 frames PaleyFest docudrama game show singing competition Binge Guide Calendar Mary Tyler Moore Apple TV Plus Showtime Reality Competition classics The CW Interview stop motion Nat Geo TBS HBO Go Emmys Emmy Nominations TV Land streaming mockumentary Awards Tour police drama laika Logo Writers Guild of America Hulu children's TV canceled TV shows Musical YouTube cancelled TV series criterion reviews television Tumblr best TV renewals Amazon Comics on TV Premiere Dates Sony Pictures Black Mirror