Worst Best Pictures

“It’s ‘shock-o-law,’ sucker!”

“It’s ‘shock-o-law,’ sucker!”

The 10 Best Picture Oscar nominees this year have all been front-runners and awards-show fixtures for months, but there was one surprise: None of them stank. Most fall in the “pretty good to good” range, and there certainly isn’t another Lawrence of Arabia in the mix, but the Academy bucked its decades-long trend of nominating at least one film that made you roll your eyes in embarrassment:

Chocolat (2000): The highlight of Lasse Hallström’s saccharine snoozer—becoming source material for an I Love You, Man bit nine years later.

Moulin Rouge! (2001): Baz Luhrmann redefined “strident” for a new generation … it remained a pejorative word.

Gangs of New York (2002): Stripped of the Miramax-mafia hype, it’s practically unwatchable.

Seabiscuit (2003): That’s your ass, Secretariat!

Finding Neverland (2004): A nauseatingly sentimental take on J.M. Barrie, but I also hear bad things about Ray.

Crash (2005): Arguably the worst film to ever win the Best Picture Oscar.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006): The picture that a movie-making robot would produce if you turned its dial to “Auto-Quirk.”

Juno (2007): Annoying as hell, although Jennifer’s Body would never have been made without it.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Naked Kate Winslet earns The Reader a pass, but there’s no excusing David Fincher’s interminable Forrest Gump rip-off.

The Blind Side (2009): Bad movies get nominated for Best Picture for several reasons—box-office popularity; TV ratings-minded starfucking; and/or a misguided faith in the “importance” of the film’s ultimately insane message. Jackpot!