The Best Movies of the Last 10 Years Without a Single Oscar Nomination
With Academy Award season now in full swing, everyone debates how deserving the nominees are (or aren’t), who got too much love, and who got snubbed. With Flickchart‘s data on the best movies of all time, we can look back at the past decade and discover who the best of the best were…that the Academy completely ignored.
Here are the best movies from each year of the past decade (according to Flickchart’s global rankings) that never got a single Oscar nomination.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller & Quentin Tarantino
Global Flickchart Rank: #410
2005 Rank: #2
At the time of its release, Sin City was easily one of the most unique-looking films that had ever graced the screen. Stodgy Academy voters likely would never have responded to the film’s brutality, but the unique visuals it afforded could have counted for something. Why no nominations for Best Cinematography, Art Direction or Makeup?
Directed by Martin Campbell
Global Flickchart Rank: #361
2006 Rank: #5
Daniel Craig‘s first foray as James Bond was ignored by the Academy, six years before Skyfall took the box office by storm and did garner some Oscar love, if only for Best Song. (Casino Royale‘s theme, “You Know My Name” by Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, was passed over in a year when Dreamgirls took three of the five slots in the category.) Some may forget that this Bond film was nearly every bit as gripping as Skyfall. No Oscar ceremony will ever nominate an actor for playing the world’s most famous superspy, but Craig owned the role with a steely intensity that most of his predecessors did not possess.
Directed by Edgar Wright
Global Flickchart Rank: #395
2007 Rank: #3
Believe it or not, this is the first of three appearances director Edgar Wright will make on this list. Comedies don’t often play well with the Academy, but Hot Fuzz lampooned the action genre in a very loving way. Perhaps it could have been acknowledged with a screenplay nomination?
Directed by Tomas Alfredson
Global Flickchart Rank: #314
2008 Rank: #4
Let the Right One In was nominated for a slew of awards, including a BAFTA for Best Foreign Language film, but the Academy could find no room for it in the same category. The best explanation for this might be the Academy’s general aversion to horror; combine vampires with teenage angst, and it doesn’t really make for Oscar bait, no matter how critically well-received your film might be. (Swedish director Alfredson’s next film, the English-language Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, did earn three Oscar nominations, for Best Adapted Screenplay, Score, and Actor for Gary Oldman.)
Directed by Duncan Jones
Global Flickchart Rank: #360
2009 Rank: #4
Of all the films on this list, Moon‘s total snub by the Academy is likely the most egregious. Sam Rockwell earned critical raves for his dual performance, and Duncan Jones made a nigh-miraculous feature directorial debut. 2009 was an epic year for science fiction, with Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek all garnering some Oscar love. Even with this being the first year the Best Picture category expanded to a possible ten nominees, the Academy couldn’t make room for Moon when they were already nominating Avatar and District 9.
Directed by Edgar Wright
Global Flickchart Rank: #516
2010 Rank: #5
There was no chance – zip, zero, zilch, none – that the wonderfully kinetic Scott Pilgrim would have been anywhere near the Academy’s radar. It would never have happened. Edgar Wright, however, took an extremely unusual, comic book-based concept and turned it into one of the decade’s most clever and visually unique films.
Directed by Jonathan Levine
Global Flickchart Rank: #586
2011 Rank: #3
50/50 takes a lighthearted look at a pretty serious subject (cancer). It was probably never going to be a big contender for the Oscars, but it did receive a largely positive response from critics, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). Flickchart users certainly responded to it, given its high ranking. Despite all this, how odd might it have seemed, having for an Oscar contender a film that features Seth Rogen as a co-lead?
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Global Flickchart Rank: #295
2012 Rank: #3
So, what happened? The Dark Knight is doubtlessly one of the films that led to the Academy expanding the number of nominees in the Best Picture category the very next year. Yet, while the Academy did find it in their hearts to posthumously grant Heath Ledger a Best Supporting Actor award as the Joker, Christopher Nolan’s third Batman movie earned precisely zero Oscar nominations – not even some of The Dark Knight‘s technical awards – despite earning some of the best reviews of the year. Of course, the fact that it is, in actuality, not as good as The Dark Knight may have something to do with that.
Directed by Edgar Wright
Global Flickchart Rank: #834
2013 Rank: #8
Science fiction is a tough sell to the Academy. So is comedy. So is Edgar Wright. Combine the three, for the third film in Wright’s unofficial “Cornetto trilogy”, and you’ve got a movie that audiences may respond to, but the Oscars won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
Directed by Doug Liman
Global Flickchart Rank: #656
2014 Rank: #10
Edge of Tomorrow is one of the best films of 2014. Neither its box office take nor its award recognition will tell you that. It is, however, blisteringly action-packed, and bitingly funny in its dark way. Doug Liman keeps everything straight, an impressive feat given the film’s time-loop format, and Tom Cruise gives one of the best performances of his career. Why is this not in contention this year – not even for some technical awards? Well, there was pretty stiff competition in the Visual Effects category. And it speaks to the quality of 2014 films in general that Edge of Tomorrow is the lowest-ranked film on this list within its own year.
Special thanks to my fellow Flickcharter, Ross Bonaime, for help compiling this list.