30 best award-winning movies you should watch

30 Best Award-Winning Movies to Watch

Can you feel a movie while watching it? Many award-winning films throughout the years have proved a point. They might not feel like a blockbuster hit, but they contain some quirky elements, visual details, symbolic stories, and great acting performances, which an average viewer usually neglects. However, if you are one of those people who watch a movie, not for entertainment but to grasp and absorb it thoroughly, you came to the right place. Here is a list of the 30 best award-winning movies, mainly the recent ones, which I feel will tickle your brain. I have added movies that have won numerous Oscars, BAFTAs, Golden Globe Awards, etc. So, without any further ado, here are the 30 best award winning movies to watch right now.

30 Best Award-Winning Movies You Should Watch (2022)

Before we begin, please note that the Rotten Tomatoes score in the list is in critics/audience format. You can also find additional details like IMDb rating, the cast, creators, and the movie’s runtime to make an informed decision before dedicating your time to it. At last, make sure you find the perfect genre for your watch. The list contains everything from romantic drama to Sci-Fi adventures. Take the help of the table below to navigate to a movie that quickly raises your excitement. 

1. Dune (2021)

Dune
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 83%/90%
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Writer: Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth
  • Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 36 minutes

Dune (titled onscreen as Dune: Part One) is a 2021 American epic science fiction film, a two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert. The movie is set in the far future. It follows Paul Atreides and his family, the noble House Atreides. Tension arises between multiple houses, which leads to a war for the deadly and inhospitable desert planet Arrakis for a rare and valuable substance called “Spice,” which helps in interstellar travel. 

The film premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in 2021 before its international release. Now, the movie is available for streaming on various platforms like HBO Max, Prime Video, and more based on your country. It received ten nominations at the 94th Academy Awards, including Best Picture. This epic movie won the most awards in the ceremony with six titles Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects, and Best Cinematography.

Watch Trailer here

2. Coda (2021)

Coda
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/92%
  • Director: Sian Heder
  • Writer: Sian Heder
  • Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes

CODA is a 2021 coming-of-age comedy-drama film and a remake of the 2014 French-Belgian film La Famille Bélier. The film’s title, CODA, stands for children of deaf adults, which is the primary context of the plot. The movie follows Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones), the only hearing member of a deaf family. She helps her family’s struggling fishing business while pursuing her own aspirations of being a singer.

The film premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, after which Apple acquired the streaming rights, and it is now available on the Apple TV+ streaming service. You can check out our list of best movies on Apple TV+ to find more such gems. CODA won three Oscars at the 94th Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur), and Best Adapted Screenplay. It became the first movie distributed by a streaming service and the first starring deaf actors to win the Best Picture award.

Watch Trailer here

3. Encanto (2021)

Encanto
  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/93%
  • Director: Jared Bush, Byron Howard
  • Writer: Charise Castro Smith, Jared Bush
  • Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Encanto is a 2021 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation. Encanto follows the Madrigals, a multigenerational Colombian family whose members receive magical gifts on their 5th birthday, except for Mirabel. When Mirabel learns that the family is losing their magic, she starts to find out what is happening to save her family and their magical house.

Encanto received critical acclaim and praise from viewers for its characterization, music, animation, voice acting, emotional depth, and cultural fidelity. The movie won in the Best Animated Film category at the 94th Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and the Producers Guild of America. It is one of many Disney movies to win in the category. You can check out our dedicated article for the best Disney movies so far. 

Watch Trailer here

4. King Richard (2021)

King Richard
  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 90%/98%
  • Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
  • Writer: Zach Baylin
  • Cast: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes

King Richard is a 2021 American biographical sports drama film. The movie stars Will Smith in the title role of  Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. The two tennis players are also the producer of the movie. The National Board of Review awarded Best Actor to Smith and Best Supporting Actress to Ellis for their breathtaking performances. Will Smith went on to win many more awards as the Best Actor for the movie, including the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award.

Watch Trailer here

5. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire
  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/90%
  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Writer: Simon Beaufoy
  • Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan
  • Runtime: 2 hours

Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film loosely based on the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author Vikas Swarup. The movie begins with 18-year-old Jamal Malik from the Juhu slums of Mumbai as a contestant on Kaun Banega Crorepati, an Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Everyone is surprised to see how Jamal is able to answer each question correctly. However, the police torture him before the last question on accusations of cheating. We then see the movie as Jamal’s flashbacks when he searches for the answers from his life experiences. 

Regarded as a sleeper hit, initially unsuccessful but succeeding, Slumdog Millionaire was widely acclaimed for its plot, soundtrack, cinematography, editing, direction, and performances. It won eight Academy Awards in 2009 out of ten nominations becoming the most Oscars winning movie of the ceremony; apart from the Best Original Score and Best Original Song – “Jai Ho” for A. R. Rahman, the movie succeeded in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It makes it one of the best Award-winning movies in the list.

Watch Trailer here

6. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind
  • IMDb: 8.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 74%/93%
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Writer: Akiva Goldsman
  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 15 minutes

A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of mathematician John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The movie was inspired by the 1997 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar. The story begins in John’s life as a graduate student at Princeton University. He begins to develop paranoid schizophrenia and endures delusional episodes, which hardens his relationship with his wife Alicia and friends. The movie won four Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress in the 74th Academy Awards. 

Watch Trailer here

7. Argo (2012)

Argo
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/90%
  • Director: Ben Affleck
  • Writer: Chris Terrio
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman
  • Runtime: 2 hours

Argo is a 2012 American historical drama-thriller film adapted from the 1999 book of the same name by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez. The film shows the story of “Canadian Caper,” in which Mendez rescued six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, under the guise of filming a science fiction film during the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis. 

Argo was praised for Alan Arkin’s and John Goodman’s acting and Affleck’s direction. The movie won three Oscars out of seven nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing at the 85th Academy Awards. It also won Best Film, Best Editing, and Best Director at the 66th British Academy Film Awards. 

Watch Trailer here

8. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump
  • IMDb: 8.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 70%/95%
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Writer: Eric Roth
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

You will love Tom hanks in and as Forrest Gump. If you haven’t yet watched this movie, I must say you were missing out on one of the brightest gems of Hollywood cinema. Forrest Gump is loosely based on the 1986 novel by the same name and revolves around a dim-witted and kindhearted man from Alabama. He witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century United States. 

Forrest Gump won six Oscars, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Tom Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing, in the 67th Academy Awards. Later, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Watch Trailer here

9. The Shape of Water (2017)

The Shape of Water
  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/72%
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
  • Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 3 minutes

If you are a fan of fantasy movies and find solace in romantic ones, The Shape of Water will fill you with plenty of emotions and introduce you to an uncommon world. This 2007 American romantic fantasy film is set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland. It follows a mute cleaner at a high-security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured humanoid amphibian creature. The protagonist then decides to help him escape from an evil colonel. 

The movie was screened at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion, the highest award of the ceremony. Critics and audiences acclaim the Shape of Water for the acting, screenplay, direction, visuals, production design, cinematography, and musical score. The film got thirteen nominations at the 90th Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.

Watch Trailer here

10. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Shakespeare in Love
  • IMDb: 7.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/80%
  • Director: John Madden
  • Writer: Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard
  • Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 3 minutes

Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 romantic period comedy-drama film talking about the fictional story of Shakespeare and his love life. It shows William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) knowing each other while Shakespeare was writing Romeo and Juliet. Many characters are based on historical figures. Meanwhile, a few characters, lines, and plots pay homage to Shakespeare’s plays. The movie won seven Oscars at the 71st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. 

Watch Trailer here

11. The Hurt Locker (2008)

The Hurt Locker
  • IMDb: 7.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/84%
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Writer: Mark Boal
  • Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 11 minutes

Are you on the hunt for an action-packed war epic film? If yes, give a chance to “The Hurt Locker” as it’s one of the most loved war-drama movies. It has a palpable star cast led by Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty. The story is centered around the Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, which is on the hit list of insurgents. Find out their bravery and how they tackle huge challenges.

The movie was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It also became the first Oscar-winning movie in the Best Picture category to be directed by a female director. 

Watch Trailer here

12. The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game
  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/91%
  • Director: Morten Tyldum
  • Writer: Graham Moore
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Based on the 1983 biography Alan Turing: The Enigma, the Imitation game occurred during the second world war when Alan Turing deciphered the Enigma by creating a machine. It played a significant role in the U.S. winning the war. Alan is considered the father of artificial intelligence and answered an important question of the time, “Can machines think?” Words are not enough to say how much Turing has helped humanity on the technological path we are headed. It won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, which shows you will love the movie, and it will leave you thinking about the beginning of the new age we are living in currently. 

Watch Trailer here

13. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Million Dollar Baby
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 90%/90%
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Writer: Paul Haggis, F.X. Toole
  • Cast: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 12 minutes

If you find sports exciting, looking into the life of a sportsperson can be a huge motivation. Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film based on short stories by F.X. Toole, pen name adapted by Jerry Boyd, a fight manager, and cutman. The film follows Margaret “Maggie” Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), an underdog amateur boxer helped by an underappreciated boxing trainer (Clint Eastwood) to achieve her dream of becoming a professional. The film bagged seven nominations at the 77th Academy Awards and won four in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (for Swank), and Best Supporting Actor (for Freeman).

Watch Trailer here

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • IMDb: 8.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/86%
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
  • Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin
  • Runtime: 3 hours, 21 minutes

Boasting a fascinating story, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is an epic fantasy adventure movie. The award-winning Netflix film is directed by Peter Jackson based on the third volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It’s the third installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and features an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, and Cate Blanchett.

The fantasy adventure received critical acclaim and grossed $1.142 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2003 and the second highest-grossing film of all time. Moreover, it won all the eleven Academy Awards for which it had been nominated, including Best Film Editing, Best Picture, and Best Director. It also became the most Oscar-winning movie tying with Ben-Hur and Titanic.

Watch Trailer here

15. Titanic (1997)

Titanic
  • IMDb: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 87%/69%
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Writer: James Cameron
  • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher
  • Runtime: 3 hours, 15 minutes

R.M.S. Titanic was the biggest ship at the time publicized as an unsinkable one. However, destiny took a wrong turn, and we all know what happened afterward; it sank. Well, on a good note, it gave director James Cameron an excellent film story. Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film casting Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the lead roles. They belong to different social classes and fall in love aboard the boat during its ill-fated maiden voyage. It was the most expensive film ever made at the time, with a production budget of $200 million.

After its release, Titanic achieved significant critical and commercial success. It was nominated for 14 Oscars, becoming the second film tied with All About Eve (1950) for the most Oscar nominations. It went on to win 11 Academy Awards in categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and more. The 2017 re-released 3D version of the movie is selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Watch Trailer here

16. No Country for Old Men (2007)

No Country for Old Men
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/86%
  • Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 2 minutes

A neo-western crime thriller film like “No Country for Old Men” can seamlessly find a top spot in your watchlist. The movie is based on Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel of the same name and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin in pivotal roles.

The plot revolves around a Texas welder in the desert landscape. With thrilling high-voltage scenes and an engaging storyline, the movie has received four prestigious Academy Awards like Best Picture, Best Director (Joel and Ethan Coen), Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Watch Trailer here

17. Nomadland (2020)

Nomadland
  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/82%
  • Director: Chloé Zhao
  • Writer: Chloé Zhao
  • Cast: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Nomadland is a 2020 American drama film based on the 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder. The movie follows a widow who leaves to travel around the United States in her van as a nomad. Several real-life nomads appear as fictionalized versions of themselves, including Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells. 

Nomadland premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion, the highest achievement. It also won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for McDormand, from a total of six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards. 

Watch Trailer here

18. Parasite (2019)

Parasite
  • IMDb: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/90%
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Writer: Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
  • Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 12 minutes

Parasite, one of the most popular foreign films, is a 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller. The film follows a poor family who cleverly becomes employed by a wealthy family while posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals. The movie’s name suggests someone depending on another living thing for its benefit. The concept is brilliantly shown while using the economic gap in urban societies. 

Parasite premiered and became the Cannes Film Festival Winner in 2019. It is the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or, the highest achievement in the Cannes Film Festival. Later, the movie went on to garner numerous accolades, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film in the 92nd Academy Awards. It is the first non-English movie to win an Oscar in the Best Picture category. In addition, Parasite also bagged the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. 

Watch Trailer here

19. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Silence of the Lambs
  • IMDb: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/95%
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Writer: Ted Tally
  • Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American psychological horror film adapted from Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel. The story follows a young F.B.I. trainee who is hunting a serial killer who skins his female victims. On her mission, she seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist, and cannibalistic serial killer. 

The Silence of the Lambs became the third film to win Academy Awards in all five major categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It is the only horror movie to win in the Best Picture category.

Watch Trailer here

20. Summer of Soul (2021)

Summer of Soul
  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 99%/98%
  • Director: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
  • Cast: Dorinda Drake, Barbara Bland-Acosta, Darryl Lewis
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

Summer of Soul, A.K.A., …Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised is a 2021 American documentary film examining the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It was held at Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) in Harlem and lasted for six weeks. Despite having a large attendance and performers, the festival isn’t commonly known. Documentarians find this pop-culture phenomenon intriguing and usually investigate it.

Summer of Soul received praise for footage restoration and won several awards. The Oscar-winning documentary also bagged the Best Documentary award at the 75th British Academy Film Awards and became the Best Music Film at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

Watch Trailer here

21. My Octopus Teacher (2020)

My Octopus Teacher
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/91%
  • Directors: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
  • Writers: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
  • Cast: Craig Foster, Tom Foster
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Bagging the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards, My Octopus Teacher documents the year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster as he forged a relationship with a wild common octopus. The movie provides a great insight into the world of Octopus. How they live, sleep, hunt, and more. Besides, the emotional bond between Foster and the wild Octopus seems natural and lovable. 

Watch the Trailer here

22. Belfast (2021)

Belfast
  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86%/92%
  • Director: Kenneth Branagh
  • Writer: Kenneth Branagh
  • Cast: Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Morgan
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Belfast is a 2021 British coming-of-age drama film starring newcomer Jude Hill. The movie shows a young boy and his working-class Belfast family experiencing the confusing late 1960s. The film received seven nominations at the 94th Academy Awards and won Best Original Screenplay. The movie received praise from critics for Branagh’s direction and screenplay, cinematography, and the performances of the cast. 

Watch Trailer here

23. Birdman (2014)

Birdman
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/78%
  • Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • Writer: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone
  • Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Birdman, A.K.A., The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a 2014 American black comedy-drama film that appears as a single shot movie. The whole movie seems to be recorded in a single long shot and revolves around the period of previews leading to the play’s opening, establishing the effect of theater drama. It follows Riggan Thomson, a faded Hollywood actor best known for playing the superhero “Birdman.” The unpopularity takes a toll on his confidence, and he struggles to mount a Broadway adaptation of a short story by Raymond Carver.

The movie received widespread critical acclaim, with praise for its screenplay, direction, cinematography, and the performances of the cast (particularly Keaton, Norton, and Stone). Birdman won the Oscar for Best Picture, along with Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, from a total of nine nominations at the 87th Academy Awards.

Watch Trailer here

24. Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained
  • IMDb: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86%/92%
  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Writer: Quentin Tarantino
  • Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Django Unchained is a 2012 American Revisionist Western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, who is famous for creating award-winning movies with a cult following. Set in the Old West, it is a highly-stylized homage to the Spaghetti Western style of movies. The plot follows Django, an enslaved Black person, who trains under a German bounty hunter. Django has the ultimate aim to find his long-lost wife. 

The movie grossed over $425 million worldwide against the $100 million budget. Thus, becoming Tarantino’s highest-grossing movie till now. Apart from a few controversies over the use of ill-mannered words, the movie won critical acclaim and viewers’ praise for its direction and screenplay. The movie won two Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (for Christoph Waltz) at the 85th Academy Awards. Tarantino and Waltz also won awards for similar categories in Golden Globes and BAFTAs.

If you enjoyed Django’s journey in this movie, I would also recommend watching Pulp Fiction — another Tarantino film that won numerous awards. And, you can check out Inglourious Basterds as well.

Watch Trailer here

25. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • IMDb: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/94%
  • Director: Michel Gondry
  • Writer: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth
  • Cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Should you wish to give a shot at a fascinating romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film, I would suggest you kickstart “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” straight away.

Featuring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in the prominent roles, the movie is set around an estranged couple who have entirely thrown each other from their respective lives and even memories. But their romance gets an all-new start when they meet again. Beyond the story, the movie has won the 77th Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It is one of Jim and Kate’s best performances, and the ensemble cast has garnered the movie a cult following.

Watch Trailer here

26. Soul (2020)

Soul
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/88%
  • Director: Pete Docter
  • Writer: Pete Docter, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers
  • Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Soul is a 2020 American animated comedy-drama. The film revolves around a music teacher Joe Gardner excited about his big break as a jazz musician. However, an accident removes his soul from the body and seeks to reunite to continue his performance. The movie brilliantly portrays how human personalities and the concept of determinism came into being.

Soul premiered at the London Film Festival and is now available to stream on Disney+. The movie received praise for its craftsmanship, story, characters, and musical score. It won two Oscars in the category of Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score at the 93rd Academy Awards and two awards for the same categories at the 78th Golden Globe Awards.

Watch Trailer here

27. The Father (2020)

30 Best Award-Winning Movies to Watch
  • IMDb: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/92%
  • Director: Florian Zeller
  • Writer: Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton
  • Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

The Father is a 2020 drama film based on Zeller’s 2012 play Le Père. The movie follows an aged man who refuses all assistance from his daughter in his old age. Meanwhile, he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances due to his medical condition of Dementia. Critics praised Hopkins and Colman’s performances, production values, and their portrayal of Dementia. Hopkins won Best Actor, and Zeller and Hampton won Best Adapted Screenplay at the 93rd Academy Awards. 

Watch Trailer here

28. The Revenant (2015)

30 Best Award-Winning Movies to Watch
  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 78%/84%
  • Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • Writer: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 36 minutes

The Revenant is a 2015 American epic survival drama film based in part on Michael Punke’s 2002 novel of the same name. Set in the 1820s, Leonardo DiCaprio plays the lead role of a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition. He fights for survival after a bear injures him seriously, and his own hunting team leaves him to die. 

The movie won three Golden Globe Awards and five BAFTA Awards, including Best Film at both ceremonies. The film received 12 nominations at the 88th Academy Awards and won in the categories Best Director, Best Actor (DiCaprio), and Best Cinematography. It was Leonardo’s first Oscar after five years of nominations. 

Watch Trailer here

29. Gravity (2013)

Gravity
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/79%
  • Director: Alfonso Cuarón
  • Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
  • Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as American astronauts. Both of them are stranded in space after the mid-orbit destruction of their Space Shuttle. Their continuous struggle to land back on Earth successfully makes this movie a survival drama as well. 

The movie was a huge success grossing $723 million against a production budget of around $100 million. It won seven Oscars, including Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects at the 86th Academy Awards. In addition, the movie also bagged six BAFTA Awards, seven Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Director.

Watch Trailer here

30. Inception (2010)

30 Best Award-Winning Movies to Watch
  • IMDb: 8.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 87%/91%
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Writer: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 28 minutes

Inception is a 2010 science fiction action film written and directed by legendary Christopher Nolan. You can experience the details of scientific facts and time conception accurately in the movie. The movie follows a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating his target’s mind using a dream gadget. He is assigned the role of implanting an idea in a victim in exchange for clearing his criminal history. 

The movie garnered viewers and critical acclaim for stunning visual effects, the performance of the ensemble cast, unique ideation, action sequences, and musical score. It led the movie to win four Oscars: Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects at the 83rd Academy Awards. 

Watch Trailer here

Watch the Best Award-winning Movies

The article covered a wide range of movies in almost every genre you can imagine. Some movies are a slow watch and require you to understand the depths, like Shakespeare in Love and Belfast. In comparison, some of them are action-packed, fast stories like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Inception. Most of these movies are available to stream on various O.T.T. platforms like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and more.

However, you might have to wait for others to come on the streaming platforms or buy/rent them from Prime video, YouTube, or other sources of your liking. I hope you enjoyed this article and that your watchlist is more extensive than before. Let me know any award-winning movie you think should be on the list in the comments below. Meanwhile, you should also check out some of the best Bollywood movies on Netflix.

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