18 Best Oscar-Winning Movies on Netflix (That You Can Stream Tonight)

Award season is upon us. Is there a better time to grab a friend to Netflix and chill? This time of year reminds us of previous winners. So, it’s the best time to take a look back at all the great movie classics.

The great thing about watching Oscar-winning flicks? You know they are going to be good.

Netflix is ever expanding on their database of movies; you just have to know where to look. There are loads of Oscar award winning cinema to find on Netflix.

The Godfather part 1 and 2, Rain Man, Rocky, and Titanic are just some of them. Whether you like them for their makeup and music, costume design or sound, they have it all. These Award-winning movies make up our top Oscar Winning Movies on Netflix list just for your viewing pleasure.

So wothout further ado.

1. The Godfather

THE GODFATHER | 50th Anniversary Trailer | Paramount Pictures

The only reason to watch this classic? It’s perfect!  Nominated for several awards, The Godfather won Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Writing for a Screenplay.

2. The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather Part II - Trailer

Fans of these movies suggest that Part II is better than the first movie. While the first movie has Marlon Brando’s Oscar-winning Best Actor performance as the mafia boss, Vito Corleone. However, in Part II, Robert De Niro gives an amazing Best Supporting Actor Oscar-winning performance as the younger Vito Corleone.

3. Rocky

Rocky (1976) - Trailer (HD)

This beloved icon of an age is sure to grace any classic movie lovers shelf. Written and performed by Sylvester Stallone, this movie was shot in less than a month. It made the highest grossing movie of 1976.

The small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia takes on the reigning champion from Los Angeles, California. Does Rocky have the heart of a true fighter?

4. Rain Man

Rain Man Official Trailer #1 - Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman Movie (1988) HD

Earning eight Oscar nominations and winning four awards — Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay — Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise bring an amazing story to Rain Man. Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) learns he has an older autistic brother after the death of his estranged father.

His father’s fortune is left to the mental institution that his brother, Raymond (Hoffman) is staying at. Charlie decides to check Raymond out of the institution and bring him back to Los Angeles.

The cross-country road trip is sure to be one to remember.

5. Titanic

Titanic 3D Re-Release Official Trailer #1 - Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet Movie (2012) HD

EVERYONE knows about Titanic after the 1997 release. Out of a tremendous 14 nominations, Titanic won 11, tying it with Ben-Hur for the most ever. Not to mention, everyone is still debating if Jack could have fit on the door.

Set in April 1912, it is a story from the view of Rose DeWitt Bukater. Rose explains the events from the setting sail to the night it hit an iceberg on its last night, April 15, 1912.

6. 12 Years a Slave

12 YEARS A SLAVE - Official Trailer (HD)

The movie was adapted from the memoirs of Solomon Northup. It recollects the story of an African American man who was kidnapped from Washington, DC before being sold into slavery. 

12 Years a Slave won three Oscar awards for Best Motion Picture of the Year (2013), Best Performance by Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley).

7. The Aviator

The Aviator (2004) Official Trailer #1 - Leonardo DiCaprio

Successful public figure, billionaire and aviator tycoon Howard Hughes (DiCaprio) helps build TWA into a major airline. He also falls in love with leading ladies Audrey Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale). Unfortunately, he is a tormented soul that suffers from several phobias and depression. 

The Aviator won four time Oscar winning movie — Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actress (Cate Blanchett) — is sure to be on your list.

8. Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland | Official Trailer (HD) - Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet | MIRAMAX

Who doesn’t love a good story about Peter Pan and going to Neverland? Johnny Depp brings great imagination to this beautiful story. A play writer befriends a widowed mother and her four sons.

Based on the detailed experiences of “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie (Depp) who learns much from the boys. This, in turn, creates the classic children’s story “Peter Pan.”

Nominated for six Oscar award, yet only winning Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, Finding Neverland brings your imagination to life.

9. Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting (1997) Blu-Ray Release Movie Trailer

Could you turn down a Robin Williams movie? This is a story about Will Hunting, a genius janitor who works at MIT. He is discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), after solving a graduate-level math problem.

Problems ensue and the Professor promises to help Will only if he gets treatment from therapist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams).

Winner of two Oscar awards for Best Writing Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Robin Williams), Good Will Hunting is a great story of self-discovery.

10. Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump - Trailer

Rejected by several well-known actors, Forrest Gump is a wonderful story of slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks). He never thought of himself as disadvantaged. With the help of his mother (Sally Fields), he leads a life that anyone would be proud of.

Told through the eyes of Forrest himself, you journey through important life events of a young man who chooses his own destiny.

Forrest Gump surprised everyone by winning six Oscar Awards — Best Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Visual Effects, Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), Best Actor (Tom Hanks). Will this be on your Netflix and chill list?

11. The King’s Speech

The King's Speech Trailer

The King’s Speech was not widely regarded as a frontrunner for best picture, but it was a clear alternative and received 12 Academy Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Actor for Colin Firth. In addition to the best picture award, the film won for Best Original Screenplay and Best Art Direction.

The film was also nominated for Best Original Score.

Social Network was expected to take the Best Picture award for best film, but the critics had crowned The King’s Speech the winner. While Social Network dominated the early critics’ awards and the Golden Globe, The King’s Speech rallied to win the Producers Guild, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors’ Association, and BAFTA awards. But social media seemed to have swayed the Academy voters.

The King’s Speech won the Best Picture Oscar and was based on the real-life struggles of King George VI. His speech problem makes it difficult for him to speak, but Queen Elizabeth hires a speech therapist, Lionel Logue, to help him improve his speech. The speech therapist uses unconventional methods to help the King regain his voice.

The movie has won four Academy Awards and eight more nominations.

The King’s Speech is a gorgeous film, and Colin Firth’s performance elevates it to an art form. It’s inspiring, moving, and entertaining – but it shouldn’t have won the Best Picture Oscar. In my opinion, it’s more Oscar bait than worthy. It’s an art movie that won based on sentiment. It was also one of the best movies to win the Best Actor Oscar.

12. The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker (2008) Official Trailer - Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie Movie HD

“The Hurt Locker” has won an Oscar for best picture. It has also won numerous awards from the Producers Guild, BAFTA, Broadcast Film Critics Association, National Society of Film Critics, and more. It is the most expensive movie ever made, and has been receiving high marks from critics groups in New York and L.A.

In addition to being a highly acclaimed film, “The Hurt Locker” also won many other awards, including best director, best screenplay, and more.

Despite the controversy, the film was a surprise winner. The director, Kathryn Bigelow, became the first woman to win an Oscar for directing a film. She accepted the award at the Kodak Theatre, where she paid tribute to her fellow nominees. The film had a long road to the Oscars, including controversy and criticism. But ultimately, it was the film’s strong message and stunning visuals that helped it become one of the most popular films of the year.

The film also broke the “Iraq War Curse,” which is a myth that has plagued films about the war in Iraq. Its realism pushed back against military and media criticism. It also drew harsh criticism for the illicit campaign methods of its producer. It was the first film to win an Academy Award for directing a war movie. “The Hurt Locker” won the Best Picture category with six nominations and was the first film to have a woman write the script.

Although the film is not the most popular war movie, it won the Oscar for best picture. Kathryn Bigelow, the director, is a veteran and had been in Hollywood Director’s jail for years after making K-19: The Widowmaker and “The Hurt Locker.” The movie’s award-winning screenplay was praised by critics and won the Best Picture Oscar in the process.

13. Unforgiven

Unforgiven (1992) Official Trailer - Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman Movie H

It’s a rare honor for an independent film to win an Academy Award, but Clint Eastwood’s 1992 thriller “Unforgiven” did just that. The movie, which opened to strong box office numbers, also won a supporting actor Oscar.

Clint Eastwood was extremely emotional as he accepted the director’s prize, but the award was especially meaningful for him, who played a fading gunslinger with a complicated family life. His co-star, Emma Thompson, also won a Golden Globe for her role in “Howards End.”

The film is set in the late 1880s in Wyoming, where William Munny, a former outlaw, has settled down as a hog farmer and father. The film’s plot revolves around a young gunslinger, the “Schofield Kid,” who suggests joining Munny’s gang. Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), a local gangster, joins the trio.

Eastwood, a veteran of the film industry, returned to the western genre in his latest feature. Previously, he had starred in Sergio Leone westerns and directed Don Siegel in Two Mules for Sister Sarah. “Unforgiven” tells the story of William Munny, an aging outlaw who comes out of retirement to kill a group of violent cowboys who disfigure a prostitute.

Unforgiven and the other films of the year received multiple Oscar nominations. “The Crying Game” and “American Sniper” earned six nominations each. The year was also notable for another film, “My Cousin Vinny,” which won the Best Actress award. Both films also won the coveted Best Director award. Marisa Tomei, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress, was the youngest nominee for the acting category. In 1993, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences swept the Best Picture category, and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

14. Argo

Argo Official Trailer #1 (2012) Ben Affleck Thriller Movie HD

“Argo” has become the best-selling film of all time and has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It also won Golden Globes, Producers Guild, Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild awards. While Ben Affleck did not win the Best Director Oscar, it did take home the Best Actor Oscar for Jared Leto.

This is the first time since “The Artist” won Best Actor in a Best Picture category.

The movie Argo was first mentioned as a possible Oscar contender at the Toronto film festival last year, but ended up losing to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. While Lincoln won Best Picture, Argo’s star-studded cast made it a compelling contender for the Academy Award. It was a gripping, thrilling movie with excellent suspense and tension. The film’s high stakes and crackling pace made it a strong contender for the Oscar.

While Affleck was notably left out of the Best Director category at the Oscars in January, the “Argo” director has been on a tear this awards season. The film, about a plot to rescue six Americans from Iranian hostages during the Iranian revolution, won nearly every major award during the awards season. It won the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, Producers Guild Award, and Director’s Guild Award.

While the Academy’s decision was based on several factors, Argo rolled the most of them together. The film is the safest of the bunch. It was easy to root for and had no political controversy. In the end, it rolled up several factors to win Best Picture. A few of these factors made it one of the best movies of the year. Here are a few factors that made Argo so perfect for the Academy.

15. Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan (1998) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg, is a war film about a group of WWII soldiers looking for Pfc. James Francis Ryan. The film also focuses on the Sole Survivor Policy. It was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Director, and has been listed as one of the best American films of all time.

The film stars Tom Hanks as the title character, Matt Damon as his fellow soldier, Giovanni Ribisi as his boss, and Ted Danson as a neophyte. Other notable actors include Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Adam Goldberg, and Denis Farina.

The film begins and ends in the Normandy American Memorial and Cemetery. The story takes place at D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Climactic Battle of World War II. It features a platoon of soldiers trying to get Private Ryan back home. However, the platoon has several difficulties due to sea sickness and the difficult task of linking up with other units. Ultimately, the men pull together and save the day.

It’s hard to decide which movie is better. There were two notable exceptions: Shakespeare in Love, which won Best Director and Best Picture. Although both films were highly controversial, there was no denying that they were exceptional. Saving Private Ryan remained a classic, even if it lost in the Best Picture race to “Shakespeare in Love.”

16. The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs Official Trailer #1 - Anthony Hopkins Movie (1991) HD

In addition to The Silence of the Lambs’ Best Picture win, it was also the only horror movie to ever win. This crowning achievement is startling, but it is also a testament to how deserving it was. And it was a tough battle, too.

Here are four reasons why The Silence of the Lambs deserves its Best Picture win. First, it’s a career high for Anthony Hopkins. Second, it’s a well-made movie that demands the attention of moviegoers. Third, the movie’s makers deserve recognition for their efforts. Fourth, it’s based on a best-selling novel by Thomas Harris.

Currently the only psychological thriller to win four Oscars, The Silence of the Lambs is still a favorite for many fans. The movie stars Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, and Lawrence A. Bonney. It also won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

The Silence of the Lambs was a controversial movie upon its release. The subject matter, the use of blood, and the fact that the film was released early, made it difficult to forget. It is nightmare fuel, but it is also quotable and the Oscars ceremony centered on this film. The film is a classic, and deserves to win. And for all of its criticism, it still remains one of the best films of the last decade.

The Silence of the Lambs’ best picture win is particularly surprising given the film’s popularity. Despite its controversial subject matter, critics loved this film. But, with its dark, twisted plot, it was the first horror film to win Best Picture. But there are dozens of other films that deserve Best Picture trophies, including Schindler’s List, Birdman, and The Big Lebowski.

17. It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night (1934) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

It Happened One Night is a classic romantic road trip film with an unusual plot. The film follows the unlikely love story of a spoiled socialite named Ellie Andrews and a wayward New York City newsman named Peter Warne. The film is based on a short story by Samuel Hopkins Adams. Peter and Ellie are both out of work, but they meet on the road and sparks fly.

This film has a unique place in American cinema. Made in the Depression era, it has a gritty realism that transcends age and genre. Capra recast class divisions through love, using the Depression as a backdrop. The relationship between Gable and Colbert was a symbol of upward mobility for Gable and for Colbert. It Happened One Night was made during a critical period of American history, and its story resonates today as well.

When it came to acting, It Happened One Night was a surprising choice. Aside from winning Best Picture, the film earned awards for Actor, Actress, and Screenplay. Gable’s popularity was on the rise and he had already turned down roles with the top studios. But the film’s success was enough to propel Columbia Pictures into the spotlight and change the course of Hollywood.

18. Goodfellas

Goodfellas (1990) Official Trailer #1 - Martin Scorsese Movie

Another classic is Goodfellas. A classic movie, this film stars Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. It won five Oscar categories and became a classic for many viewers.

It also became the first Best Picture won by a woman. The movie is an enduring classic and deserves to be rediscovered.

And, as a bonus, the film’s soundtrack is reminiscent of the music of the Godfather.

Netflix and Chill with Oscar-Winning Movies

There are many more classic Oscar-winning movies than just the list above. Award season gives us a reminder that we have access to our favorite award-winning movies at our fingertips with Netflix.

Whether you’re in it for the story, the music or costume design, you’re sure to find your favorites on Netflix. And the Oscar goes to…

Stephen R.

Hi my name is Stephen and I am the founder of NetflixUpdate.com. I created this site to help give some information about what is happening in the streaming world.

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