Oscars 2023: All 10 Best Picture Nominees Ranked from Worst to Best

From the spectacular to the bizarre (and everything, everywhere, in between), we attempt one last critical appraisal of the year's biggest contenders.
Oscars 2023: Best Picture Nominees, Ranked from Worst to Best

The end of every awards season often comes with, more than anything, a giant sigh of relief. After months of campaigning, talking endlessly about the same films and performances and crafts, hearing the same stories over and over, it’s all too easy to feel eager to move on from them. What that ignores (or, at least forgets) is the very reason why these are the films that have been singled out for fêting during this season: because they’re the best of 2022’s offerings.

So, step back from the nominations, wins, and other forms of seasonal adulation, and consider the quality of the films that have reached the upper echelons of cinema in recent months. No matter how you feel about the 10 films nominated in this year’s Best Picture race, this assortment of titles boasts some serious range: we’ve got festival favorites, two (!!) sequels, indie offerings, studio pictures, biopics, comedies, dramas, romances, remakes, and adaptations, and those are just the easiest terms to classify them by. Drill down, and there’s so much more to discover. And while the season is just days away from concluding, these are the films that will endure in the coming years (at least, we certainly hope so).

Among this year’s contenders, there are films directed by modern masters like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Todd Field, Baz Luhrmann, and Sarah Polley. There are major money-making, ass-saving blockbusters, like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and “Elvis.” There are awards season juggernauts like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “TÁR.” There are even two international entries, thanks to “Triangle of Sadness” and “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the latter of which is also nominated in the Best International Feature Film category.

A number of these Best Picture hopefuls earned high critical marks from IndieWire when they first debuted, including “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” and “TÁR,” all of which picked up Critic’s Pick designations upon their premieres. Others weren’t so lucky, but that didn’t stop them from enjoying wild awards run (looking at you, “Triangle of Sadness” and “Elvis”). Others, like the much-nominated “All Quiet on the Western Front,” snuck up on us. But, so many months on, how do these films stack up now? More importantly, how do they stack up against each other?

As of Tuesday evening, voting has closed for this year’s Academy Awards. The race is, for all intents and purposes, over. The winners are just hours from being announced. The statuettes? They’re ready! So, before these films and their creators are forever transformed by whatever unfolds on Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, we’ve decided to look at each of them head-on for one last time; not as winners or also-rans, but as a microcosm of the films that enthralled audiences, fans, cinephiles, critics, prognosticators, and more over the last few months.

From the spectacular to the bizarre (and everything, everywhere, in between), here are all of the Best Picture nominees of 2023, ranked from worst to best.

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