40 Movies That Should Have Won the Best Picture Oscar (But Didn’t)

2012. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'Argo.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Medium. 'Argo' is a good time, but 'Amour' is one of the most powerfully heartbreaking dramas in many years.
The Tree of Life
2011. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'The Artist.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: High. 'The Artist' is a fluffy, spineless gimmick, while The Tree of Life is a piercing, introspective philosophy piece.
The Social Network
2010. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'The King's Speech.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: High. 'TSN' is cutting, creative, and highlights the deep loneliness of a new generation. 'TKS' offers nothing fresh at all.
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Synecdoche, New York
2008. NOMINATED: No. WHAT WON? 'Slumdog Millionaire.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: High. As good as 'Slumdog' might have made you feel, the depression imparted by 'Synecdoche' is far more valuable and earned.
There Will Be Blood
2007. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'No Country for Old Men.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Low. 'NCFOM' is itself a terrific picture, but 'TWBB' outweighs the Coen Bros film in substance and character work.
Children of Men
2006. NOMINATED: No. WHAT WON? 'The Departed.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Medium. Scorsese's crime drama is good (not great), but Cuaron's sci-fi is the kind of creativity that cinema was invented for.
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Brokeback Mountain
2005. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'Crash.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Unparalleled.
The Aviator
2004. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'Million Dollar Baby.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Medium, although the real terror is that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get an Oscar for his best performance to date.
Lost In Translation
2003. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Low. We love the 'LOTR' trilogy, but Coppola's tribute to ennui may be the defining film of the 2000s.
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City of God
2002. NOMINATED: No. WHAT WON? 'Chicago.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: High, and this is coming from someone who actually digs 'Chicago.' 'City of God,' however, is the far more powerful and important film.
Mulholland Drive
2001. NOMINATED: No. WHAT WON? 'A Beautiful Mind.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Pretty high, considering the marvel of dark imagination that is David Lynch's best movie vs. the sweet but uninspired biopic.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2000. NOMINATED: Yes. LOST TO: 'Gladiator.' DEGREE OF ATROCITY: Almost 'Crash'-levels high. Why does the Academy snub Ang Lee so hard?
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