16 Best Picture Oscar champs trashed by critics

Movies that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards received rave reviews from most film critics when they opened in theaters, of course, but not all. Since critics are grouchy contrarians by nature, some of them lambasted movies that may have seemed flawed at the time, but they went on to become classics crowned by Oscar glory. We have compiled some of the worst reviews of Oscar Best Picture champs and added reminders of how many Academy Awards they won. VIEW GALLERY

Here is just a sampling of some of the most savage criticisms. 

“The Hurt Locker” (2009)
“Mark Boal’s script stirs a little of everything into the pot, which boils down into seven setpieces divided by brief intervals of camaraderie/conflict among the three protags.”
Derek Elley, Variety, Sep. 4, 2008

Won 6 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow), and Best Original Screenplay


“All About Eve” (1950)
“The bitchiest fabrication since Mrs. Luce’s ‘The Women.’ It is not true, as you may have heard, that ‘All About Eve’ is a great picture and proof that Hollywood has grown up overnight. Its highly polished, often witty surface hides an unenterprising plot and some preposterous human behavior.”
Richard Hatch, New Republic, Nov. 6, 1950

Won 6 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Joseph L. Mankiewicz), and Best Supporting Actor (George Sanders)


“No Country for Old Men” (2007)
“I admire ‘No Country for Old Men’ for the way it tightens its grip as it progresses, taking us deeper and deeper into a hellish world. I just don’t like it very much …. You can’t say it cuts to the chase. There was never anything to cut from to the chase. It’s all chase, which means that it offers almost zero in character development. Each figure is given, a la standard thriller operating procedure, a single moral or psychological attribute and then acts in accordance to that principle and nothing else, without doubts, contradictions or ambivalence …. It’s unsatisfying, with a capital U.”
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2007

Won 4 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Joel and Ethan Coen), and Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem)

To see all 16 Best Picture winners that were losers with reviewers click here.  

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