The Oscars, known officially as the Academy Awards, are considered the pinnacle of achievement in the film industry. The awards annually recognize excellence in cinema and are selected by a group of over 9,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. However, despite being considered one of the greatest honors in the film industry, some great movies don’t manage to make the cut to get nominated. Here are 25 great movies that didn’t receive a single Oscar nomination.
1. The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is an 80s classic that spans multiple genres, from comedy to romance to adventure. Despite its enduring popularity, it was not recognized by the Oscars.
2. Donnie Darko (2001)
The surreal sci-fi thriller Donnie Darko has become a cult favorite in the years since its release, but it was overlooked by the Academy.
3. The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic The Shining is now widely regarded as a masterpiece, but it was not nominated for a single Oscar upon its release.
4. Do the Right Thing (1989)
Spike Lee’s classic examination of race relations in the United States was a controversial film upon its release, but it has since been recognized as an essential part of American cinema.
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Another Kubrick masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey was a critical and commercial darling but failed to make the cut for an Oscar nomination.
6. The Big Lebowski (1998)
The cult classic The Big Lebowski is beloved by many, but it was not recognized by the Academy.
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
The Charlie Kaufman-penned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a moving and thought-provoking film that didn’t get the recognition it deserved.
8. The Fifth Element (1997)
The dazzling sci-fi epic The Fifth Element is now a cult classic, but it was not recognized by the Oscar voters upon its release.
9. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton’s stop-motion masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas is a beloved childhood favorite, but it was not nominated for an Oscar.
10. Spirited Away (2001)
The enchanting Japanese anime Spirited Away received critical acclaim and numerous awards, but it was not nominated for an Oscar.
11. Heat (1995)
The gritty crime drama Heat features a powerhouse cast and expert direction from Michael Mann, but it failed to receive any Oscar nominations.
12. King Kong (1933)
One of the most iconic films of all time, King Kong was groundbreaking in its use of special effects and storytelling, but it failed to receive an Oscar nomination.
13. Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher’s provocative and enthralling Fight Club received critical acclaim, but it was not recognized by the Oscars.
14. Scarface (1983)
Brian De Palma’s gangster epic Scarface has become a cultural touchstone, but it was not nominated for a single Oscar.
15. Boogie Nights (1997)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights was a critical and commercial success, but it was shut out of the Oscars.
16. The Truman Show (1998)
The Truman Show, featuring Jim Carrey’s breakthrough dramatic performance, is a fascinating examination of reality television, but it didn’t receive any Oscar nominations.
17. High Fidelity (2000)
The charming and insightful High Fidelity, based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name, was not recognized by the Academy.
18. The Prestige (2006)
Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending thriller The Prestige features an all-star cast and expert storytelling, yet it was overlooked by the Oscars.
19. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix revolutionized action cinema with its groundbreaking special effects and complex narrative, but it received no Oscar nominations.
20. Heat (1995)
Michael Mann’s gripping crime drama Heat, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, was overlooked by the Academy.
21. Memento (2000)
Christopher Nolan’s fractured and haunting Memento was a critical darling, but it didn’t earn a single Oscar nomination.
22. The Lobster (2015)
The surreal and thought-provoking The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell, had a limited release and went unrecognized by the Academy.
23. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Steven Spielberg’s WWII epic Saving Private Ryan is often cited as one of the greatest war movies ever made, but it won only five Oscars, none of them for Best Picture.
24. Blade Runner (1982)
Ridley Scott’s visionary sci-fi classic Blade Runner was ahead of its time and didn’t garner a single Oscar nomination.
25. Children of Men (2006)
Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian thriller Children of Men was a critical success, but it failed to earn an Oscar nomination.
While the Academy awards represent the highest level of recognition for films, not all great movies make it to the nominations lists. These 25 great movies show that great cinema is not defined by awards and honors but instead by the timeless stories, performances, and direction that endure for years to come.