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10 Sci-fi Films That Didn't Win Best Picture

Well, Avatar didn't win Best Picture at the Oscars. Frankly, I'm relieved. Not just that James Cameron is an egomaniac who doesn't need any more stroking of his ego. And not just that Avatar even being nominated as Best Picture seemed to me more a publicity stunt than serious recognition. No, I'm relieved, because if you consider the truly great science-fiction films that didn't win an Oscar, you'll see that Avatar would have gotten something that far better films should have received. Here's a list of the 10 greatest sci-fi films that didn't win an Academy Award.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Blade Runner (1982)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Metropolis (1927)
Star Wars (1977)
Alien (1979)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
War of the Worlds (1953)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

UPDATE: This list has been greatly expanded and updated. Go to the new version for more detail.


  1. I don't think Star Wars would've deserved it any more than Avatar, although Close Encounters should've received the honor.
    And I would certainly add Aliens to the list, which did garner Sigorney Weaver an Oscar nomination.

  2. I agree that Avatar was mainly a publicity stunt that worked, since the 41.3 million viewer figure is Oscar’s best since 2005. 2001 won for Best Director, so they got close. Blade Runner was nominated for two awards even though they didn't win any. The Matrix? I dunno 'bout all that, especially after the horrible sequels. This is a good list of milestone movies though.

  3. Yeah, that list needed editing. Specifically, the last two were eleven and twelve of ten. I'm going to revise this post to include explanations of how and why the films didn't win Best Picture.


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