The 88th Oscar ceremony is quickly approaching, and film fanatics are trying to squeeze in those last-minute viewings. But they have trouble finding all of this year's Oscar-nominated movies in theatre or even available to stream. But if you can't get your hands on this year's award-worthy flicks, you can find a wide selection of previously Oscar nominated movies on Netflix.
The way I see it, watching an Oscar nominee is like killing two birds with one stone. You get entertained and cultured at the same time. You can't say the same about a movie like Ted, or about an obscure foreign film you can barely understand. But with an Academy Award winner, you usually get the best of both worlds. You'll enjoy the movie, as well as be able to talk about important films and classic characters in the presence of cinema aficionados.
If you're looking to watch critically-acclaimed films, you have to go no further than your own couch. Thanks to Netflix, some of the best movies of all time are available to you with very little effort. From dramas to thrillers to even a comedy or two, you can find an Oscar winning movie no matter what your mood. There’s enough flicks on this list to watch two a week from now until the Oscars, which should more than satisfy your craving for Academy Award winning pieces.
1. 'Good Will Hunting'
The movie that shot Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to stardom, Good Will Hunting won the dynamic duo the Oscar for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) and earned Robin Williams his only Oscar Best Supporting Actor.
2. 'Silver Linings Playbook'
The first of many Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper films, Silver Linings Playbook won Lawrence her Oscar, in addition to being nominated in seven other categories. And since Lawrence is nominated this year for her role in Joy — which also stars Cooper and Robert Dinero, and is written and directed by David O. Russell — it's a good one to watch to get excited for the Oscars.
3. 'Django Unchained'
This Quentin Tarantino film won the 2013 Oscar for Best Writing (Original Screenplay), and Christoph Waltz was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr. King Schultz. The movie is very violent, so be prepared for some graphic scenes.
4. 'Shakespeare In Love'
This classic romance won seven Oscars. Seven! Gwyneth Paltro and Judy Dench both won for their roles, and the film was awarded Best Picture and Best Writing (Original Screenplay). And, even though he didn't win an Oscar for it, Joseph Fiennes, who plays the young Billy Shakes, is absolutely gorgeous, so that's a plus.
5. 'Silence Of The Lambs'
Silence of the Lambs is one of only three films in history to win all of "the big five" awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published). You should be warned, however, that watching this movie may prevent you from sleeping with the lights off for at least a week.
6. 'American Beauty'
This poetic take on a midlife crisis won five Oscars in 2000, including Best Picture. The film is funny, disturbing, tragic and moving — all at the same time.
7. 'Annie Hall'
Annie Hall is the quintessential Woody Allen film, and is one of only seven true comedies to have won Best Picture. It's quirky and charming — an great, easy watch in comparison to some of the darker Best Picture winners.
This animated classic was revolutionary, and was thereby awarded two Honorary Awards at the 1942 Academy Awards for its "creation of a new form of visualized music." Even if it seems outdated now, it revolutionized the landscape of what was possible on film.
9. 'A Room With A View'
This romance won three Oscars and was nominated in five other categories. Plus, it stars Helena Bonham Carter in a role that is not absolutely bizarre or crazy, which is a nice for a change. (Although if you don't love her portrayal of Bellatrix Lestrange...well, you're wrong. It's amazing).
10. 'Rain Man'
Dustin Hoffman is outstanding in this role — which is why he was won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Rain Man also won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Writing (Original Screenplay). Definitely watch with a box of tissues on hand.
11. 'To Kill A Mockingbird'
To Kill A Mockingbird won Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium), which should come as no surprise since it is based on Harper Lee's fantastic novel. Gregory Peck also won Best Actor for his portrayal of Atticus Finch.
12. 'Pulp Fiction'
Another Tarantino classic, Pulp Fiction was nominated for almost all of the big categories (the only exception being Best Actress in a Leading Role), and won Best Writing (Original Screenplay). It's also a movie that is embedded into pop culture, so a good one to be familiar with.
13. 'Forrest Gump'
Tom Hanks has had many incredible roles, but his portrayal of the lovable Forrest Gump is perhaps his most iconic. He won the Best Actor Oscar, and the film was awarded five other Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. It is consistently ranked as one of the best movies of all time, and for good reason.