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 from 2009 to 2018

The 2019 Oscars may have had trouble nailing down a host, but even with a multi-time veteran at the helm there’s no guarantee any given Academy Award ceremony goes smoothly. There’s the unpredictability of speech length that keeps run times fluctuating annually, the specific celebratory-yet-not-completely-insufferable tone that the hosts and writers must strike, the fact that there are 24 categories to squeeze into a network-mandated three hours, and the overall challenge of making an extremely rote process (presenter, award announcement, winner; presenter, award announcement, winner…) seem novel each year.

Looking at the Tomatometer scores from the past decade of Oscar ceremonies proves there is no magic formula. A veteran host like Billy Crystal can helm a Rotten ceremony as easily as a newbie like Hugh Jackman can headline a Fresh one. A snafu like the Moonlight/La La Land debacle can actually be a boon to the show’s watchability (and likability by critics), while a cringeworthy misfire like Anne Hathaway and James Franco‘s entire schtick can, predictably, earn terrible reviews.

With that in mind, take a look at how the past decade of Oscar ceremonies, from 2009 to 2018, have fared on the Tomatometer. (Yes, the Hathaway-Franco incident lands exactly where you think it will.)

Adjusted Score: 20.352%
Critics Consensus: Anne Hathaway admirably braves her way through unfunny quips, while James Franco appears gallingly disengaged during an excruciatingly inert 83rd Oscars ceremony that is sunk both by ill-considered stunt casting and an evident lack of preparedness.
Starring: James Franco

Adjusted Score: 18.124%
Critics Consensus: The multitalented Seth MacFarlane's appointment as Oscars host may have seemed like a surefire bet on paper, 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: 18.346%
Critics Consensus: Awards season pro Neil Patrick Harris is uncharacteristically stilted during a sedate 87th Academy Awards that can't seem to grapple with controversy or execute a decent gag.

Adjusted Score: 27.472%
Critics Consensus: Despite Billy Crystal's strong hosting reputation, the 84th Oscars flounders under flat jokes and lifeless producing.

Adjusted Score: 31.211%
Critics Consensus: Hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin share an amiable comedic rapport, but their gentle barbs do little to liven up a placid 82nd Oscars 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: 44.333%
Critics Consensus: The 90th Academy Awards 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 surprise ending.
Synopsis: Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th annual ceremony. "The Shape of Water" leads with 13 nominations; "Dunkirk" has eight; and "Three... [More]

Adjusted Score: 54.8%
Critics Consensus: Hugh Jackman acquits himself as an Oscars host with his trademark showman flair during a ceremony that goes to great lengths to liven up the formula -- although some of the innovations only serve to highlight how easily the production can teeter into cumbersome spectacle.

Adjusted Score: 76.168%
Critics Consensus: Jimmy Kimmel acquits himself commendably as a natural fit to host the Academy Awards, bringing a wry wit to a highly political 89th Oscars ceremony that culminates 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: 56.357%
Critics Consensus: Ellen Degeneres breaks the internet with a record-breaking viral selfie, impromptu pizza, and a genial warmth that smoothly pilots an Oscars ceremony free of glaring gaffes -- if a little bereft of spontaneously inspired moments.

Adjusted Score: 74.643%
Critics Consensus: Returning host Chris Rock addresses the #OscarsSoWhite controversy with cutting insight and a cathartic warmth during one of the strongest Academy Awards ceremonies in years.

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