Guest Post: The Top 10 Award-Winning Films on Netflix

There’s something satisfying about awards, even if you aren’t the one winning them. At the very least, they can indicate what movies are worth seeing! My thanks to entertainmenthappenings.com for featuring this post; if you’re into the Tony Awards, they’ve got a great list of who won for 2016.


As you’re no doubt aware, Netflix has a ton of movies. But quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality. A huge selection of bad movies would be little more than basic cable. Thankfully that isn’t the case; Netflix hosts a large variety of award-winning films, both old and new.

Before we delve into our list, a word of caution about Netflix: its library varies based on where viewers are physically located presently. If you’re interested in these movies but live outside the country where these movies are offered, you’ll need a service known as a Virtual Private Network (VPN), as described in this how-to article by Secure Thoughts.

Forrest Gump (1994)

“Forrest Gump” rightly deserves to be on this list, as it is both a fantastic film and has a very impressive list of awards to go along with it. The film itself follows the entire life of Forrest Gump, a man with a learning disability that lives through the very real challenges of the 20th century, emerging triumphantly but not without his share of wounds.

Robert Zemeckis (known for films such as “Back to the Future” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”) was awarded Best Director for his excellent work throughout the movie, and Tom Hanks (an actor of many, many awards including four Golden Globes and two Oscars, this included) was given Best Actor for his incredible performance of a mentally handicapped character.

The fantastic filming, amazing sets (Vietnam was very convincing) and awesome writing also awarded the film with Best Picture, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing and Best Writing Adapted Screenplay for a total of six awards!

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

For a great mix of humor and Nazi destroying action, we have “Inglourious Basterds.” Being a Tarantino film, it was bound to win some award, but it wasn’t Brad Pitt who came out ahead.

Instead, “Inglourious Basterds” received the Best Supporting Actor award (from several different groups) for Christoph Waltz’s performance as Hanz Landa, a German SS officer. This was Christoph’s first reward, but certainly not his last. He plays a superb German villain.

The English Patient (1996)

If ever a film has managed to clean house, “The English Patient” is it. Set in the World War II era, the film is an inspiring romantic drama that takes us through the tragic memories of a burn patient (later revealed to be named Almásy) in an Italian monastery. The film’s powerful telling drew an impressive nine Academy Awards.

Best Picture went to Saul Zaentz, bringing him to three following his wins for ”One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus.” Though several performers were nominated, only Juliette Binoche managed to take home an acting award, which she received for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, after commenting about how unexpected her win was over “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

With its incredible soundtrack and effects, “The English Patient” brought in the award for Best Original Score for Gabriel Yared (no songs, just music) and Best Sound Mixing for the team of Walter Murch, Mark Berger, David Parker and Christopher Newman. Walter Murch also pulled off a second award for Best Film Editing, giving him awards in two areas he is extraordinarily well respected for (the guy also did extensive work on the “Godfather Trilogy” and “Ghost”).

On the visual end, several winners were named; Best Costume Design went to Ann Roth for the realistic period outfits, Best Film Editing went to Walter Murch and Best Art Direction to the team of Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan. Best Cinematography was awarded to John Seale for his spot on camera direction.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Although the tale of Romeo and Juliet has been done to death from grade school to Hollywood, “Shakespeare in Love” still manages to portray things in a unique and interesting way by painting things (albeit with major historical liberties) from Shakespeare’s perspective as he writes the play.

Its reception went over quite well, as it was awarded Best Picture and a slew of other awards. Both Gwyneth Paltrow and Judi Dench were awarded for their acting with (respectively) Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for their roles as Viola de Lesseps (Shakespeare’s love interest) and Elizabeth I of England.

Accompanying these greater actors’ characters are awards for Best Costume Design (Sandy Powell; check out Elizabeth’s costume in the link above) and Best Art Direction (Martin Childs for Art and Jill Quertier for Set Decoration). Stephen Warbeck won the award for Best Original Music or Comedy Score, which you can find here.

As the film was an original screenplay, it also won Best Original Screenplay, given to Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, the latter who has written dozens of plays and won awards for them.

Tarzan (1999)

Disney isn’t necessarily known for its originality, but their depictions of popular myths and fairy tales often eclipse the originals, as was nearly the case in “Tarzan.” In this depiction, Tarzan must save the gorillas from the diabolical Clayton.

While the film didn’t net quite as many accolades as “Shakespeare in Love,” it did win Best Music, Original Song for “You’ll Be in My Heart,” by Phil Collins.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Between “Forrest Gump” and “Pulp Fiction,” ’94 gave us some incredible films that have become cult favorites with time. “Pulp Fiction” is difficult to describe; it follows three separate storylines in no particular order timeline wise but is just filled with witty dialogue, tasteful violence and amazing acting.

Unfortunately “Pulp Fiction” went up against “Forrest Gump” and only came out with a single award for Best Writing Original Screenplay, an award shared by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary, heavily recurring names in the world of film for movies such as “Django Unchained” and “Silent Hill” respectively.

Ghost (1990)

Back when Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg were hot stuff, “Ghost” decided to combine the two for a fantastic film about a man that was murdered over money (Patrick Swayze) but manages to save his surviving lover (Demi Moore) through the help of a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg). The special effects are somewhat cheesy, but it’s a great movie.

Hollywood seems to have agreed by awarding Bruce Joel Rubin, the film’s writer, with Best Original Screenplay. Whoopi also succeeded in taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress, ultimately completing her rare collection composed of an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy, and a Grammy. She certainly deserved it, as her psychic fraud was spot on.

Batman (1989)

Despite meeting with some mixed reviews, Tim Burton’s rendition of “Batman” is generally viewed favorably. In this iteration, Batman (Michael Keaton) faces off with his comically insane arch-nemesis, the Joker (Jack Nicholson). Quite the difference from the more recent Joker depictions seen in “The Dark Knight” and soon enough in “Suicide Squad.”

“Batman” managed to take home the Academy Award for Best Art Direction, given to Anton Furst and Peter Young for their excellent set design throughout the film. It was nominated for quite a few other awards, but only managed to bring home the one.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

As historically accurate films go, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” is most certainly one of the most recognizable. It details and recreates the attack on Pearl Harbor in a way that hasn’t been equaled since the film’s first run all the way back in 1970.

Though the movie is a tad slow-paced at times, its special effects afforded it the Best Special Effects award, given to L.B. Abbott and A.D. Flowers. As computers weren’t really a thing yet, all of the sets had to be created or borrowed, as was the case with the aircraft carrier used in the film.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

There are precious few films that mix animated characters with real actors, but the most well-known is most certainly “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” and not without good reason. Despite the film’s title, the movie is more about Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) and his investigation to exonerate Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer) and save Toontown from being destroyed.

In addition to its stellar reviews (a whopping 97 percent on modern day Rotten Tomatoes), “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was party to a number of awards, including Best Effects, Sound Editing to Charles L. Campbell and Louis Edemann.

Arthur Schmidt was given the Oscar for Best Film Editing for his fantastic work, and a hefty list including Ken Ralston, Richard Williams, Ed Jones, and George Gibbs all received the combined award for Best Effects, Visual Effects, not an unexpected reward for an excellent film featuring both real and animated characters occupying the same spaces.

These awards also made “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” to be the first animated film since “Mary Poppins” to win several Academy Awards.


Interested in other award-winning movies on Netflix? Leave us a comment about some of your favorites!

About the Author: Isa is an entertainment blogger by day and Netflix addict by night. As an entertainment blogger, she also enjoys keeping up with the latest news out of Hollywood.
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