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: 13.629%
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: 27.043%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 28.11%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 31.783%
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: 31.946%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 34.863%
Critics Consensus: Despite Billy Crystal's strong hosting reputation, the 84th Oscars flounders under flat jokes and lifeless producing.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 28.165%
Critics Consensus: Whoopi Goldberg brings polarizing raunch to a 71st Oscars that feels curdled from the outset due to controversially aggressive campaign tactics.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 33.784%
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: 44.257%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 46.496%
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]
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 48.26%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 49.681%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 51.441%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 51.758%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 53.498%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 54.167%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 54.574%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 60.164%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 60.093%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 60.234%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 60.599%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 68.576%
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]
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 69.981%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 72.531%
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.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: 75.377%
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.
Starring:

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]
Starring:


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

Tag Cloud

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