Even though the Academy Awards are largely considered the most important award show in Hollywood, it doesn't mean everyone always agrees on the eventual Oscar winners. Just go on social media during any awards season and you will see plenty of debates about the merits of particular films that won over films people thought were overrated.
Academy Awards should be seen more as a guidepost for popular, prestigious films, but not necessarily a hard and fast rule declaring the best of the best. Everyone has differing opinions. That said, there are some Oscar winners that truly have not stood the test of time.
10 The English Patient (1996)
The English Patient is the romantic story of the relationship between Laszlo de Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) and Hana (Juliette Binoche). Laszlo has suffered a terrible injury that has left him heavily burned and Hana is his nurse. The main issue with this movie is that, frankly, it's boring, long, tedious, and offers nothing new to the romantic drama.
If it hadn't robbed the Oscar from superior movies, it might not be reviled by many in the film community. It's a film that would have been fine had it not made it into the awards circuit but as it stands, watching it now makes you wonder why anyone thought it so deserving of an Oscar.
9 Sound of Music (1965)
This may make some people mad but the truth is, The Sound of Music doesn't really hold up if you watch it now. The movie's best assets are Julie Andrews and some of its songs, but the problem is, the film really doesn't have a strong narrative.
It's overly-long and while some of the visuals are impressive, it mostly is just tedious and boring in many scenes. The movie is about the Von Trapp Family singers and how Andrews' character, Maria, must take care of seven children and introduce them into the world of music.
8 Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Shakespeare in Love is still appreciated and beloved by many, but it still baffles many that it won Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan. Perhaps if the movie wasn't up against such stiff competition it wouldn't have aged as badly but now it's hard to rewatch the movie and understand exactly why it won Best Picture.
The movie was about a fictional relationship between William Shakespeare and a young woman that poses as a man so she can be cast in one of his plays. It also involves a forbidden relationship between Shakespeare and a beautiful woman he encounters in Gwyneth Paltrow's character.
7 Chicago (2002)
At the time, Chicago was a pretty revolutionary movie because the Hollywood market wasn't clogged with big-screen musical adaptations. However, when you look back at the film, it's hard to figure out why it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The movie wasn't bad and as far as musical adaptations go, it is one of the better ones, but that said, it's nothing extraordinary.
Especially by today's standards. Had the same movie been released in the last five years, it probably would have been shuffled to the side and at best, gone through the Golden Globes. Chicago instead kickstarted the trend of putting every Broadway show in theaters when possible.
6 Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Considering Green Book's win last year, it doesn't appear the Academy has learned its lesson on movies like this but Driving Miss Daisy hasn't aged all that well due to its racist elements and emotionally manipulative story arc. It also went on to beat out a Spike Lee film that was far better which doesn't help its reputation.
The movie starred Morgan Freeman as Hoke Colburn, the driver of an elder woman named Daisy Werthan. The two become close friends and slowly Daisy learns to be... less racist. It's not the best concept for a movie. At the time, it was considered revolutionary but doesn't do well with today's standards.
5 Crash (2004)
Crash was not a beloved movie at the time of its premiere and it's, even more, hated these days. The movie focused on several connected stories about race, family, gender, and more in Los Angeles during the aftermath of 9/11. The film was packed with excellent actors including Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton, Matt Dillon, and more. But watching the movie now reveals how tone-deaf the entire film was.
Most of the characters were poor stereotypes and many of the villain's most vile characters present no purpose other than to perpetuate the suffering of other characters in the film. There are tons of essays on the internet about why Crash is terrible, needless to say, it's one of the most-hated Best Picture winners.
4 Dances With Wolves (1990)
Dances With Wolves is basically the ultimate white savior movie and it has aged terribly since its debut in 1990. The movie follows the relationship between a Civil War soldier and a band of Lakota Indians. He winds up leaving behind his former life to live amongst them because he finds himself believing so strongly with their way of life.
They eventually give him the name, Dances With Wolves, which is how he gets his name. As an inducted member of the tribe, he falls in love with another white woman and the film kind of devolves into a mess.
3 Braveheart (1995)
To this day, Braveheart is largely considered one of the worst Best Picture winners of all time. The movie is widely thought of as a joke among the film community, even modern-day critics don't necessarily understand how this movie made such a big impact on Academy voters to win the biggest prize of the night.
To make matters worse, Mel Gibson's career has taken a nose-dive since he has been publically outed as a racist on more than one occasion. Braveheart wasn't a good film by any stretch of the imagination. It was cheesy, over-the-top, and essentially a popcorn blockbuster movie that would probably have won a Razzie if nominated now.
2 American Beauty (1999)
Sam Mendes is a pretty popular film director, but American Beauty was a misstep. At the time it was created, many people thought the movie was incredibly brave and indicative of how talented Mendes was and, Kevin Spacey. Nowadays, that name comes with a much different, darker, reputation and this movie doesn't help matters.
The entire premise of this film is about how Spacey's character is sexually attracted to an underage teenage girl and wants to groom her to be with him. It's predatory behavior but not really treated as such in the movie. Then you can add in the homophobic man next door, and the film's frequent sexism to realize how poorly it has aged.
1 Gone with the Wind (1939)
Gone with the Wind has largely been considered one of the best movies of all time by many critics and professional film listings in Hollywood. Perhaps, in the time period when it came out, that made more sense but nowadays this movie fails miserably when considering how poorly it has aged.
Gone with the Wind is a film full of antiquated and extremely offensive depictions of black people. The is undeniably racist and it also has a depiction of marital rape. At the time, the scene in question, between the film's titular romance, Scarlett and Rhett, was not considered forced due to them being married. Obviously, society has evolved to understand the concept now.