What’s the Greatest Best Picture of the 21st Century?

Oscar season is upon us again. That means a lot of opinions, predictions and chatter about what movies and movie makers will, should, and deserve to win awards. Particularly when it comes to Best Picture, this year’s race looks like a tight one—with nine nominees and no clear-cut favorite.

Of course, what it even means to win Best Picture is up for debate. I wrote last year that we should hold off 10 years on awarding Oscar winners for a given year to make decisions that hold up better from a historical perspective. Too many of the movies that win Best Picture end up just falling away with time, rather than standing the test of it like you’d hope they would.

But maybe that doesn’t really matter. Best Picture is what it is—a label that’s as much about the present moment and narrative as it is about actual movies. While Best Picture winners don’t always line up with what we consider our “greatest movies”, being labeled Best Picture is still something meaningful. It gives a movie a place in history even if it’s not in the conversation as the GOAT.

So assuming all Best Picture winners have some value on some level, what happens when we compare them to one another? How do they stack up against each other? Since there are a lot of Best Picture winners (this year’s Oscars will give us the 90th Best Picture), we decided to whittle it down a little and focus on just the current century of Best Pictures…

Best of the Best: Vote for Your Best Picture of the 2000s

Here are the 17 movies that have won Best Picture this century—along with a meme to quickly refresh your memory of each movie. Peruse the list and then vote for your favorite Best Picture winner below.

2000 – Gladiator

Gladiator Best Picture

2001 – A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind Best Picture

2002 – Chicago

Chicago Movie Best Picture

2003 – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Best Picture

2004 – Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby

2005 – Crash

Crash Movie Best Picture

2006 – The Departed

The Departed

2007 – No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

2008 – Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

2009 – The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker Best Picture

2010 – The King’s Speech

The Kings Speech Best Picture

2011 – The Artist

The Artist Best Picture

2012 – Argo

Argo Best Picture

2013 – 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

2014 – Birdman

Birdman Best Picture

2015 – Spotlight

Spotlight Best Picture

2016 – Moonlight

Moonlight Best Picture

And the Oscar Goes to… Now It’s Time to Cast Your Vote

Vote for the movie that has your heart, that made the biggest impact on you, that serves as a personal reminder of why movies are great. All others be damned!

AUTHOR: Shad Connelly
ORIGIN: Communications Director @ MONSTERS Unlimited

If you'd like to follow Shad on Twitter  /  @shadconnelly