The Top 30 Best Picture Oscar Winners Every Guy Should Watch
[inline:oscar]The 82nd Academy Awards are just two weeks away, and with “The Hurt Locker,” “Up in the Air,” and “Avatar” among the favorites, it seems destined that yet another Bro-friendly flick will take home the Best Picture Oscar. Bro movies have a long tradition of winning the little gold guy, so we rounded up a list of the top 30 Best Picture winners every Bro should see at least once. Yes, there are some old movies among the bunch (they come from as far back as the 1940s and 1950s), but these were Oscar winners for a reason: they’re certified gold and we recommend every movie on this list. The accompanying videos, by the way, are a mixture of both trailers and famous clips. There’s definitely some strong language in some, and maybe a few slight spoilers, so beware.
30. “Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
FBI agent Jodie Foster seeks the help of one serial killer, a mentally deranged cannibal (Anthony Hopkins), to help her track down another mass murderer in one of the most suspenseful movies to ever win Best Picture. Deep down, Hannibal Lecter is a total bro — just not the one you want manning the grill at a summer barbecue.
29. “Platoon” (1986)
The first of Oliver Stone’s (anti-)Vietnam War trilogy, along with “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Heaven and Earth,” stars an all-star squad of soldiers, including Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Tom Berenger, and Willem Dafoe. This is the ugly side of Vietnam.
28. “The Departed” (2006)
Jack Nicholson’s horrendous Boston accent notwithstanding, this police-mob drama contains a satisfying helping of twists and turns, with everyone trying to figure out who the BPD mole in Frank Costello’s mob is, and vice versa. Nowhere near Martin Scorsese’s best film, but it’s his only one to win the big award.
27. “The Sting” (1973)
Two con artists (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) set up a con game to dupe a mob boss out of money. This was Newman and Redford’s follow up to their first hit together, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which, although it lost Best Picture to “Midnight Cowboy” at the 1970 Oscars, is just as worthy of a spot on your Netflix queue.
26. “Rainman” (1988)
Everyone remembers Dustin Hoffman’s turn as the autistic savant “rainman,” Raymond, but watch this one again and focus on Tom Cruise’s incredible performance as Ray’s brother, Charlie Babbitt. This late-’80s winner includes an oft-parodied (see: “The Hangover”) card-counting scene in Vegas and the most impressive counting of toothpicks ever captured on film.
25. “In the Heat of the Night” (1960)
Sidney Poitier’s breakthrough role as a black Philadelphia detective who gets involved in a Mississippi murder investigation is noteworthy for its confrontation of racism in the South, including Poitier’s slapping of a white man after first getting slapped himself, as well as the famous line “They call me Mister Tibbs.”
24. “No Country for Old Men” (2007)
“No Country for Old Men” is a modern western, demonstrating the staying power of the genre. Set in 1980s Texas, the story explores the themes of fate and circ*mstance, as hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds $2 million in a satchel after coming upon a drug deal gone awry. Moss tries to keep the fortune from a hitman (Javier Bardem) and protect his wife, while the sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) tries to protect Moss. Great cast in a story of intrigue, suspense, and action.
23. “Dances with Wolves” (1990)
There are many war films on this list, but this is the only one set during the Civil War (“Glory,” another classic, was never nominated). Kevin Costner directs and stars as John Dunbar, a First Lieutenant in the Union Army, who, after attempting suicide and facing the grim reality that his foot needs amputation, travels through the western frontier to a remote military post. There he finds the wild wolves and the Lakota tribe, who eventually accept him and bestow upon him the eponymous moniker.
22. “The Apartment” (1960)
If you like “The Office” and Steve Carrell’s antics, you’ll love “The Apartment,” one of the few comedies to win Best Picture. Every Bro can identify with C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), an office cog at an insurance company who lets four bosses commandeer his apartment to have four different extramarital affairs. The constant action at his apartment and his subsequent glowing work reviews draw the attentions of neighbors — and the company’s human resources department.
21. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1974)
Milos Foreman directs an adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel starring Jack Nicholson at his best. Set in a mental institute, it pits Jack’s McMurphy and his fellow prisoner/patients (including Chief Bromden) against the evil Nurse Ratched. [Awesome scene below, this one’s a must watch:]