The Worst Best Picture Oscar Snubs: 2000 to Present

Every year when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science announces their nominations for best picture, Oscar pundits and film critics inevitably cry foul over confounding inclusions and baffling exclusions. The academy is often criticized for their preference for dramas over comedies, as well as genre bias against horror, sci-fi and foreign films. In 2009, the academy expanded its best picture category to include up to 10 films instead of only five – similar to the academy's earlier days. Many thought it would help broaden the range of films vying for the prestigious award. But despite the wider nomination field, many films still miss out on a nomination. Here are some of the worst Oscar snubs for best picture since 2000.

Read more: Why Leonardo DiCaprio Has Never Won an Oscar — and It's Not His Acting Abilities

73rd Academy Awards (March 25, 2001)

Source: DreamWorks Pictures

No nomination for... Almost Famous, but a nomination for the insipid Chocolat?

Best picture: Gladiator, winning over Traffic and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, likely due to the academy's penchant toward awarding actors-turned-directors

74th Academy Awards (March 24, 2002)

Source: Universal Pictures

No nomination for... Mulholland Drive or Memento

Best picture: A Beautiful Mind, winning over The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

75th Academy Awards (March 23, 2003)

Source: Focus Features

No nomination for... Far From Heaven

Best picture: Chicago, winning over The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Pianist and The Hours

76th Academy Awards (Feb. 29, 2004)

Source: Pixar

No nomination for... Finding Nemo, but Seabiscuit slipped in? Finding Nemo did, however, win for best animated feature.

Best picture: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – the first fantasy film to win the top prize

77th Academy Awards (Feb. 27, 2005)

Source: Focus Features

No nomination for... Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but one for Finding Neverland?

Oscar winner: Million Dollar Baby, winning over Sideways

78th Academy Awards (March 5, 2006)

Source: Focus Features

No nomination for... A History of Violence or The Squid and the Whale

Best picture: Crash, winning over Brokeback Mountain – what countless critics, including Mic's Kevin O'Keefe, have criticized for being "one of the worst best picture choice[s] ever"

79th Academy Awards (Feb. 25, 2007)

Source: Universal Pictures

No nomination for... Children of Men, VolverPan's Labyrinth or United 93 – though Pan's Labyrinth did receive a nomination for best foreign language film.

Best Picture: The Departed – the film that finally granted Martin Scorsese his first Oscar for best director.

80th Academy Awards (Feb. 24, 2008)

Source: Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar

No nomination for... Zodiac or Ratatouille – though Ratatouille's snub arguably jumpstarted discussion on why animated films, particularly from Pixar, were getting passed over for best picture, despite their immense critical acclaim and box office draw. At the time, the only animated film to ever have been nominated for best picture was Beauty and the Beast, at the 64th Academy Awards in 1991. Ratatouille would go on to win the Oscar for best animated feature.

Best picture: No Country For Old Men, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

81st Academy Awards (Feb. 22, 2009)

Source: Mic/Warner Bros. Pictures / Pixar

No nomination for... The Wrestler, The Dark Knight or WALL-E – the outcry over the latter two films not getting nominated, especially when the critically divisive The Reader did, was arguably the catalyst that led to the academy expanding the number of best picture nominees. WALL-E would go on to win best animated feature.

Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle

82nd Academy Awards (March 7, 2010) – the first ceremony after the expansion of the best picture category

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The 10 nominated films were diverse and mostly fair from a critical standpoint, but there were supporters of more interesting projects like Where The Wild Things and Fantastic Mr. Fox getting nominated for best picture in lieu of middling fare like The Blind Side.

Best picture: The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow – the first female director to win the Oscar for best director

83rd Academy Awards (Feb. 27, 2011)

Source: The Weinstein Company

No nomination for... Blue Valentinelikely due to its initial NC-17 rating hindering its Oscar prospects

Best picture: The King's Speech, winning over The Social Network

84th Academy Awards (Feb. 26, 2012)

Source: Columbia Pictures

No nomination for... The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Driveor Melancholia, despite there being only nine nominated films, including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which received mixed reviews

Best picture: The Artist – the first silent film to win the top prize in 83 years

85th Academy Awards (Feb. 24, 2013)

Source: Columbia Pictures / Universal Pictures

No nomination for... The Master, despite there being only nine nominees, though many of the most critically acclaimed feature films of 2012 were represented in the category

Best picture: Argo, winning over Zero Dark Thirty – perhaps a consolation prize due to Ben Affleck's best director snub

86th Academy Awards (March 2, 2014)

Source: CBS Films

No nomination for... Inside Llewyn Davis, Fruitvale Station or Before Midnight, despite there being only nine nominated films

Best picture: 12 Years a Slave – the first film directed by a black director to win the top prize

87th Academy Awards (Feb. 22, 2015)

Source: 20th Century Fox

No nomination for... Gone GirlTwo Days, One Night or Ida, despite there being only eight nominated films – though Ida did win for best foreign language film

Best picture: Birdman, winning over Selma and Boyhood

88th Academy Awards (Feb. 28, 2016)

Source: The Weinstein Company

No nomination for... Carol, Straight Outta Compton or Creed, despite there being only eight nominated films

Best picture winner is still pending, although it does seems like a two-horse race between The Revenant an The Big Short.

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Andrew Leung

Andrew was an editorial fellow at Mic. He is based in New York and can be reached at aleungnyc@gmail.com

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