The Oscars: Best Picture Winners 2008-2012

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
February 5th, 2014

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The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the many Academy Awards awarded yearly by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to producers working in the film industry. It is the only category in which every member is allowed to enter a nomination. Best Picture is considered the most important of the awards of the evening and covers all aspects of film, including music, acting, writing and other efforts. Because of this, it is the final prize given at the conclusion of the annual Oscars ceremony. The previous five years have seen many amazing films take the award, but some rank higher than others.


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5. "The Hurt Locker"

Set during the Iraq war, the 2008 best picture winner "The Hurt Locker" features Jeremy Renner as a sergeant newly assigned to the bomb squad. He finds himself at odds with his co-workers due to his free-spirited work ethics. This is an intense, gripping and well-acted film with enough action to keep you glued to the edge of your seat, but the ending has a "wild west" feel that doesn't quite fit with the rest of the film. In all, this is a high-quality film about the extremely sensitive subject of war.


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4. "Argo"

The winner of 2012's Best Picture was "Argo," the story of a CIA agent, portrayed by Ben Affleck, who engages in a dangerous operation to rescue six American hostages from Tehran. This film, which is based on true events, takes a hard look at the 1980 U.S. hostage crisis in Iran, a story that most Americans were unaware of for decades. Also directed by Affleck, "Argo" is an authentic film that finds just the right balance of intensity, humor and action. Affleck shines both on and off the screen. In the historical fiction category, viewers would be hard pressed to find a more engaging pick. The story leaves audiences at the edge of their seat, wondering if the risky plan is going work.


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3. "The Artist"

Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist" is set in 1927 Hollywood, where a megawatt silent movie star, played by Jean Dujardin, meets a young dancer, played by Berenice Bejo. The introduction of talking pictures sends their once-intertwined careers in opposite directions. The silent star is able to tell a captivating story without uttering a word. "The Artist" is a visual masterpiece, a delightful homage to the golden age of the silver screen and a deeply moving film full of vision, heart and just the right amount of humor.


the-kings-speech-image.jpgPhoto Credit: The Weinstein Company

2. "The King's Speech"

Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce and Colin Firth star in 2010's "The King's Speech," the story of King George VI. "The King's Speech" follows King George's sudden rise to the throne and the speech therapist his wife, Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter, arranges to help George overcome his stuttering problem in the new age of media attention. Inspired by his therapist and those closest to him, the king overcomes his stammer to deliver a speech over the radio that unites and inspires his people in battle. The scenes between the trio of acting giants are unforgettable and inspiring without being "cheesy," the underlying story of friendship is both heartbreaking and memorable, and the unconventional camera work emphasizes each character to bring the film to new heights.


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1. "Slumdog Millionaire"

"Slumdog Millionaire" is the 2009 love story of an 18-year-old orphan from Mumbai. A street rat trying to win the heart of his dream girl, he snags a spot on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" While being questioned on suspicion of cheating, his back story is revealed, providing an explanation as to why he knows the answers. The foundation of the film uses his story to give audiences a glimpse of what life is like for the bottom the ladder in Indian society. This film strikes the right balance of colorful, upbeat optimism with dark, depressing reality and an ending that renews audience's faith in the world. "Slumdog Millionaire" is filled with extraordinary acting, well-timed cinematography and superb direction from Danny Boyle. One of Boyle's best works since "Trainspotting," it is a rags-to-riches story of destiny that leaves viewers with a positive feeling.

Since its inception in 1929, there has been more than 80 winners of the Best Picture Award. With so many amazing films taking the Oscar for Best Picture, ranking them is a difficult task and is purely subjective. It's hard to go wrong with any of the winners of the Best Picture Award of the last five years.