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Oscar Winning Movies The Best Picture Winners 2000-2010

Updated on August 12, 2013

The Oscars

Oscar winning movies set a bar for future films; best picture winners take home the honor of being recognized as the best in the film industry. They are the cream of the crop, the best of the best.

Winning an Oscar in any category is quite the honor and highlight of many careers in the film industry.

The Oscars celebrate the art of film making in all its forms; directing, writing, acting, lighting, sound, music, costumes and more. It honors movie magic, all the moving parts and people that come come together to create a masterful piece of art in the media form of film.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science remind us of how movies transport us to a different time, inspire us; telling and showing us brilliant stories full of wondrous places and colorful characters. It is about honoring the art of visual storytelling.

Movies make up a significant part of our culture, they invoke memories, and emotions. They tell stories of the past, present and future. They inspire and entertain.

Since 1927 the Academy Awards have handed out 83 Oscars in the prestigious best picture category, in this article we look at the Best Picture Winners of the new millennium.

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The Oscar Legacy

Here is the list of Best Picture winners since 2000, a fantastic compilation of movies. These films make up part of the Oscar legacy and culture of the film industry.


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Tag lines, quotes, and trivia in this article sourced from

Gladiator - 2000 - "What We Do In Life Echoes In Eternity."


Historical Piece

Gladiator transports us back to time of the Roman Empire. A story focused around the powerful Roman general, Maximus, beloved by both the army and Emperor. When the Emperor passes away he claims Maximus as heir to his throne over his own flesh and blood son, Commodus. Enraged, Commodus orders the death of Maximus and his family before the wishes of the Emperor are known.

Maximus survives his attack but is taken in as a slave, a Gladiator, forced to fight for the entertainment of the people and now Emperor Commodus. Even as a lowly slave the people come to love him as he fights for his freedom and the truth.

A wonderful film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Connie Nelson. Oliver Reed who played Proximo unfortunately passed away before the film was done shooting. Rather than replace his brilliant performance the producers spent millions in CGI effects for scenes in which he needed to be in.

An amazing period and historical piece, a story about love, revenge and freedom. It always amazes me that it used to be entertainment to watch people fight to their death.

Gladiator was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won 5 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Effects and Best Sound.

Memorable Movie Quote:

[Maximus looks at images of his wife and son]

Juba: Can they hear you?

Maximus: Who?

Juba: Your family. In the afterlife.

Maximus: Oh yes.

Juba: What do you say to them?

Maximus: To my son - I tell him I will see him again soon. To keep his heels down while riding his horse. To my wife... that is not your business.

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A Beautiful Mind - 2001 - "The Only Thing Greater Than the Power of the Mind is the Courage of the Heart"

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind

Based on a True Story

A Beautiful Mind is based on the life of famed mathematician John Nash and his battle with mental health. A natural introvert he spends his time working to discover and create a new mathematical theorem. When he takes a secret job in cryptogram his life becomes a slippery slope of reality and delusion as he is institutionalized and treated with schizophrenia.

This is a film that touches on the important subject of mental health, how brilliant minds are affected by this issue. Russell Crowe does an outstanding job portraying John Nash and the performances of his fellow actors make this movie shine as well. Directed by Ron Howard he pulls all the pieces of this touching story together seamlessly.

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris and Christopher Plummer.

Nominated for 8 Academy Awards it won in 4 categories - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Writing Screenplay - Based on Previously Published Material. Russell Crowe received his second nomination for Best Actor in a row but did not take home the Oscar this year.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Nash: There has to be a mathematical explanation for how bad that tie is.

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Chicago - 2002 - "If You Can't Be Famous, Be Infamous."

An American Musical

Chicago brought the all American musical back to the Oscars. A fantastical story about fame and what one will do to achieve it.

The story takes place in the roaring 1920s of Chicago, surrounding two women who are seeking fame and fortune. Velma, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, is already known for her song and dance routines while Roxie, played by Renee Zellweger, is still looking for her big break. When both these beauties commit the act of murder they end up together in jail and compete to get the most out of their shared lawyer for freedom and fame.

The music in this film is fantastic with hits like "All That Jazz" and "Cell Block Tango", the musical numbers stand out with great performances and choreography. The way in which the elements of film and the stage are mixed is brilliant. Filled with show stopping numbers and great characters it reminds of our rich culture and love of Broadway Musicals.

Directed by Rob Marshall and starring the talents of Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Queen Latifah.

The film was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won in 6 categories - Best Picture, Best Sound, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Film Editing and Best Costume Design.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Billy Flynn: This trial... the whole world... it's all... show business.

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The First Best Picture Winner

WIngs directed by William A. Wellman was the first movie to win Best Picture, it starred Clara Bow and Charles "Buddy" Rogers. A film about WWI fighter pilots it also starred Gary Cooper launching his Hollywood career. Wings is the only silent film ever to win Best Picture. This year The Artist, a silent film, is nominated in the same category. Will it become the second ever silent film to win Best Picture?

Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King - 2003 - "The eye of the enemy is moving."

A Trilogy

Lord of the Rings-The Return of the King is part of an epic story, the finale of the journey Frodo has been on to destroy the ever important, powerful ring. In this third and final installment of this wondrous tale, Frodo and Sam are reaching their destination to finally ridding their world of the ring, while across the lands wars have been breaking out and is reaching the a final battle. Who will claim victory?

This is truly a film of epic proportions, the story itself is a masterpiece. A creation of a whole new world filled with its own creatures, lands and even languages. Even though the world in the LOTR is full of magic and properties unlike ours we still relate with the characters and the challenges they face.

The ensemble cast is made up of many talented actors and actresses, a few include Elijah Wood, Viggio Mortensen, Sean Astin and Ian McKellen. Directed by Peter Jackson this film and the two preceding it definitely made movie magic history.

This film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and made a clean sweep winning all 11 nominations. LOTR won for - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Film editing, Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Make-Up, Best Music - Original Song, Best Music-Original Score, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Sam: [Both are overcome by exhaustion] Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?

Frodo: No, Sam. I can't recall the taste of food... nor the sound of water... nor the touch of grass. I'm... naked in the dark, with nothing, no veil... between me... and the wheel of fire! I can see him... with my waking eyes!

Sam: Then let us be rid of it... once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!

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Million Dollar Baby - 2004 - "Beyond his silence, there is a past. Beyond her dreams, there is a feeling. Beyond hope, there is a memory. Beyond their journey,

For the Love of the Fight

Million Dollar Baby is a film that will not soon leave your thoughts. A story based on the determination and strong will of a woman who loves boxing and is seeking a mentor and coach. Against all odds she wins over Frankie Dunn, a manager and coach with a history of training and working with some of the best boxers in the industry. The bond and relationship that forms between these two characters is touching and inspiring.

This film touches that part of us who strive for our dreams, never giving up. It also shows us both the joy of our accomplishments and the harsh realities life can throw at us. The characters are real, down to earth people. Clint Eastwood truly delivered an amazing film as both Director and Actor.

The film starred Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman.

Million Dollar Baby was nominated for 7 Academy Awards it won 4 for - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: If there's magic in boxing, it's the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.

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How Do You Watch The Oscars?

The Oscars are a great reason to get your movie buff friends together for a fun evening of food and entertainment. Oscar parties can be a blast!

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Crash - 2005 - "Moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other."

We Are All Intertwined

Crash is a film that shows us how even among our differences we are all interconnected. Sometimes it is those differences that bring us together. The story takes place over 36 hours in Los Angeles, following the lives and views of very different characters that collide and become intertwined on issues of race, lose and forgiveness.

This film focuses on a subject that many of us feel uncomfortable about and yet plays an important role in our society. Directed by Paul haggis he has created a masterpiece that forces us to look at ourselves and our views.

Crash has an outstanding ensemble cast among who are Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon.

This film was nominated for 6 Academy Awards and won 3 - Best Picture, Best Film editing, and Best Writing- Original Screenplay

Memorable Movie Quote -

Graham: It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.

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The Departed - 2006 - "Lies. Betrayal. Sacrifice. How far will you take it?"

Good vs. Bad

The Departed is a film that illustrates the complexity of undercover work in the police force. Set against the background of Boston, this films focuses on infiltrating the Irish-American mafia and the efforts to bring it down. Things get messy as cops are moles and moles are cops, the line becomes blurred, who really is good and bad?

The film takes you on an incredible journey of identity - losing it, having it misunderstood and fighting for it. How far would you go for fighting for the truth or justice? The viewer is taken on a roller coaster ride by the brilliant Martin Scorsese in this film of honor, loyalty and justice. It is as though the characters who are undercover have entered the rabbit's hole and are now trying to find their way back out with their lives and sense of self intact.

A fabulous film directed by none other than Martin Scorsese and starring an ensemble cast from both the new and older generations of outstanding actors the film stars - Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg.

The film was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and almost took home all of them, it walked away with 4 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Frank Costello: You do well in school?

Young Colin: Yeah

Frank Costello: Good. So did I. They call that a paradox.

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No Country For Old Men - 2007 - "You've never been anywhere like No Country"

Finders Doesn't Mean Keepers

No Country for Old Men dives into the depths of corruption and greed. It shows us that the old childhood saying "finders keepers, losers weepers" does not apply in the world of true bad guys.

When a hunter stumbles upon a scene of a drug deal gone bad out in the middle of the desert he finds over 2 million dollars in cash, being on the side of poor it is too tempting to pass up. Not thinking the repercussions through he takes the cash. What ensues after is a cat and mouse game in which he is the mouse. The man hired to find him and the cash is not one who can be reasoned with, there is no going back.

The Coen brothers hit it big again with No Country for Old Men as both writers and directors of this film, starring Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Martin Sheen and Woody Harrelson.

The film was nominated for 8 Academy Awards winning 4 in the categories of - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Writer - Adapted Screenplay.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Llewelyn Moss: If I don't come back, tell mother I love her.

Carla Jean Moss: Your mother's dead, Llewelyn.

Llewelyn Moss: Well then I'll tell her myself.

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Add These Great Films to Your Collection

First Female Best Director Winner

Kathryn Bigelow is not only the first female in Oscar history to have won Best Director but the first female to also take home Best Picture for The Hurt Locker.

Slumdog Millionaire - 2008 - "What does it take to find a lost love? A. Money B. Luck C. Smarts D. Destiny"

It is Destiny

Slumdog Millionare truly is a feel good movie; however, it is not full of rainbows and butterflies. The story is based on a young male, Jamal, who grew up a poor orphan in the slums of India, he has by a fluke become a contestant on the game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" in India. To everyone's surprise and suspicion he is winning the game, the film beautifully intertwines his life experiences to the answers of the questions.

The unique story and idea of this film makes it a fabulous story within itself, mixing in with that; the rich culture of India, real life hardships, and the quest for love you have an Oscar winning film. Even through the harsh realities of the characters life, the love, hope, and determination stands out and inspires.

Danny Boyle's direction on this film was nothing short of amazing, even as he worked with a cast of young then unknown stars. The film introduced to us Dev Patel and Freida Pinto among others.

The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won 8 of them in - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Music - Original Score, Best Achievement in Music - Original Song, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Writing- Adapted Screenplay.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Jamal Malik: I knew you'd be watching.

Latika: I thought we would meet only in death.

Jamal Malik: This is our destiny.

Latika: Kiss me


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The Hurt Locker - 2009 - "You'll know when you're in it."

The Effects of War

The Hurt Locker is about an elite bomb squad that put their lives in danger disarming bombs on a daily basis. The main character William James is a bit of a daredevil, confident and cocky in his knowledge and know how of disarming bombs, this gets him mixed reactions from his fellow squad members.

William James comes across as if death and it happening to him means nothing. Over the course of the film his true fears, loves and psychology of what he does come through.

This film touched the heart of many as it portrayes the perils, hardships and sacrifices of the many people involved or touched by war. Brilliantly directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring an amazing ensemble cast this film touches on today's day in age of war.

Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Ralph Fiennes to name only a few. It was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 6 in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing-Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Staff Sergeant William James: [Speaking to his son] You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your Mommy, your Daddy. You love your pajamas. You love everything, don't ya? Yea. But you know what, buddy? As you get older... some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore. Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you'll realize it's just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.

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The King's Speech - 2010 - "When his nation needed a leader, when the people needed a voice, an ordinary man would help him find the courage."

Triumph Over Challenges

The King's Speech is a based on the true story of King George, his trials of overcoming his speech impediment of stuttering. When his brother the true heir to the throne decides he does not wish to be King the responsibility falls on George. As King he must address his country with confidence and clarity in his speeches, a difficult task for one who stutters.

With the help of his wife and new found friend, who uses the then unconventional methods of speech therapy, he overcomes his fears and becomes a great leader. A touching, heartwarming look at the pressures of being in a royal family or leadership position, and how they have many of the same problems as anyone. In the end, it is about George finding his own strength and voice along with overcoming his stutter.

Tom Hooper directed this great film and star studded cast. Colin Firth stars as King George and does an outstanding job, one finds themselves rooting for him quickly and easily. Helen Bonham Carter also does a wonderful job and is accompanied with Geoffrey Rush who plays the pivotal role that changes King George's life.

The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won 4 in the categories of - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Writing - Original Screenplay.

Memorable Movie Quote -

Lionel Logue: Do you know any jokes?

King George VI: ...Timing isn't my strong suit.

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Are You a Movie Buff? - Is One of Your Favorite Films on This List?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My favorites are Gladiator and Million Dollar Baby!

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      6 years ago from USA

      Nice lens! I like Raising Arizona. Twisted and hi-larious.

    • laughingapple profile image


      6 years ago

      Some really great films. I especially liked NCFOM and The Departed. The Departed had one of the best trailers in recent years.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i love the Lord of the Rings

    • sstock93 lm profile image

      sstock93 lm 

      6 years ago

      The Hurt Locker is my Favorite on the list. Great lens!


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