The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selects the year’s greatest and most influential films each year. The Academy Awards are a celebration of excellence in all aspects of filmmaking in that year, with an Academy Award for Best Picture serving as the pinnacle achievement that every film tries to reach.

In recent years, with the media and public opinion increasingly playing a role in the greater conversation around the Academy Awards, the candidates and eventual winners have been subjected to intense examination. The Best Picture award, in particular, draws the greatest attention and generates the most debate. Each ceremony’s Best Picture winner can be viewed as a reflection of where the public discussion is at the time. These are films that deal with issues of race and class, and they range from epic period dramas to contemporary crime dramas. Some of these films, especially the older ones, may not appeal to today’s audiences.

Below are 10 greatest Best Picture Oscar winning films.

1. The Godfather (1972)

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Director- Francis Ford Coppola

Vito Corleone is the Corleone Mafia Family’s ageing don (leader). Michael Corleone, his youngest son, returned from WWII just in time to witness Connie Corleone’s (Michael’s sister) wedding to Carlo Rizzi. Michael’s entire family is in the Mafia, but he simply wants to live a normal life. Virgil Sollozzo is a drug dealer. He is looking for Mafia groups to provide him with protection in exchange for a cut of the drug money. He approaches Don Corleone about it. But the Don, despite the counsel of his lawyer Tom Hagen, is morally oppose to heroin use and declines the offer. This irritates Sollozzo, who dispatches some of his hit men to assassinate the Don. The Don barely makes it out alive, prompting his son Michael to wage a bloody mob war against Sollozzo. Also, tearing the Corleone family apart.

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2. Casablanca (1942)

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Director- Michael Curtiz

Rick Blaine, an exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightclub in Casablanca during World War II. Blaine, a cynical lone wolf, gets his hands on two valuable letters of transportation. When Nazi Major Strasser comes in Casablanca, sycophantic police Captain Renault does everything in his power to appease him, including capturing Victor Laszlo, a Czechoslovak underground leader. Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one-time sweetheart, much to Rick’s surprise. Rick is enrage with Ilsa for abandoning him in Paris. But when he discovers she had good reason, they plan to reunite via the letters of transit. That was, after all, their original plan.

3. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

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Director- Jonathan Demme

Clarice Starling is a fragile and untried F.B.I. trainee. She is sent to help Special Agent Jack Crawford in the manhunt. After being perplex by a spate of brutal murders expertly conducted by the elusive mass-killer nicknamed “Buffalo Bill”. In order to gain a better understanding of the psychotic serial killer’s methods, the young detective unwillingly accepts the assistance of another ugly monster: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic mass murderer. Clarice now goes a little deeper into the dark psyche of a homicidal lunatic with each visit to the deceptive doctor’s strongly protected prison cell.

4. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

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Director- Milos Forman

McMurphy, who has a long history of assault convictions, is back in prison. When it was discovered that his partner had lie about being eighteen and was actually fifteen, he gets charge with statutory rape (or, as McMurphy puts it, “fifteen going on thirty-five”). Rather than serving his sentence in prison, he persuades the guards that he is insane and needs psychiatric treatment, and he is taken to a hospital. He blends in eerily well, and his unique perspective causes some of the patients to improve. As his resistance to the hospital routine grate on Nurse Ratched’s nerves, she becomes his personal cross to bear.

5. Amadeus (1984)

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Director- Milos Forman

It’s the turn of the nineteenth century. After attempting suicide, an elderly man is commit to an insane institute. He is Antonio Salieri, and he is visited by a priest in the asylum, to whom he confesses that he murdered Mozart. He then describes his stint as Emperor Joseph II of Austria’s court composer. Mozart appears at the Emperor’s court and is commission to write an opera. His brilliance is undeniable. Salieri is a devoted Christian who thinks that God bestows all artistic aptitude and inspiration. Salieri is disturb by Mozart’s personal life and extracurricular activities. He can’t reconcile Mozart’s skill with his way of life, so he decides to exclude him from the court.

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6. Gone With The Wind (1939)

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Director- Victor Fleming

Scarlett O’Hara, the pampered socialite and petulant Southern Belle, basks in the limelight, enjoying a sumptuous lifestyle, despite the impending U.S. Civil War. Knowing that the rich, red-hued soil of Tara—the familial cotton estate in Georgia—is the only thing worth fighting for, the tenacious woman will do everything she can to maintain her superior social status, including marrying the wrong men. However, death appears to be following Scarlett, and as she pledges never to be poor again while standing on the dazzling ashes of her beloved but burned-to-the-ground home, the cynical playboy Rhett Butler offers a way out and a fresh lease on life. Scarlett is headstrong, passionate, and resolute, and not even war—or death—can stand in her way; but, love is delicate and elusive, and it always seems to be one step ahead of her.

7. Parasite (2019)

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Director- Bong Joon-Ho

Jobless, impoverished, and, most all, miserable, Ki-taek and his equally unmotivated family—his loving wife, Chung-sook; his cynical twentysomething daughter, Ki-jung; and his college-age son, Ki-woo—occupy themselves in their dismal basement-level apartment by working for peanuts. Then, by chance, a profitable business opportunity will pave the way for an ingeniously devious ploy, as Ki-woo musters the guts to masquerade as an English tutor for the affluent Park family’s adolescent daughter. The stage appears to be prepare for a never-ending winner-take-all class conflict.

8. Moonlight (2016)

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Director- Barry Jenkins

The sensitive nine-year-old child, Chiron, or Little, is an easy target in 1980s Miami because of the way he walks. The terrified child, who has spent virtually his entire life escaping bullies, seeks safety in a run-down crack house, where Juan, the disposable drug dealer, takes him under his wing. Chiron, on the other hand, is doomed to live a predestined existence, stuck in a vicious circle of antitheses, in a world where everything can change at the sight of a knife or a pistol. To put it another way, Juan has taken on the role of the boy’s pale father figure, while Paula, Chiron’s inattentive mother, has become Juan’s best customer.

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But, as Little matures into an introspective sixteen-year-old kid struggling with his identity, only a thick exterior can protect him from the outside world. Three eras define a sensitive young adult Chiron who, above all, is still grappling with complex pent-up emotions after all these years.

9. The Departed (2006)

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Director- Martin Scorsese

Billy Costigan, a young police officer, puts his morals and sanity on the line to enter the local mob boss Frank Costello’s American-Irish group. Colin Sullivan, a Massachusetts State police investigator, becomes Costello’s hired informant as Billy gains Costello’s trust. And each individual immerses himself deeper and deeper in his double existence, accumulating information about the plans and operations of both side. When it becomes evident that there is a mole among them, both impostors realise that this explosive situation has the potential to break their cover, putting in motion a frantic race against time to disclose the other’s identity in order to preserve their skin.

10. 12 Years A Slave (2013)

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Director- Steve McQueen

Solomon Northup, an Afro-American musician, is a free man in 1841, residing in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and children. Two men employ him for a two-week tour with their theatre group in Washington. Solomon, on the other hand, is kidnapped and sold as a slave in New Orleans under the name Platt. He works on the plantations for twelve years and is subjected to cruel treatment by his masters, until one day he encounters Canadian abolitionist Bass, who pledges to write a letter to his family.