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10 most Oscar-nominated movies ever, ranked

Leonardo DiCaprio stands on the edge of a railing and puts his hands in the air.
Paramount Pictures

The Oscars are still the pinnacle of achievement for anyone working in movies. It’s not the be-all and end-all of success, however, it’s undeniable that an Oscar win elevates a film’s prestige and reputation. But while there are no participation trophies handed out at the ceremony, receiving an Oscar nomination is a win in and of itself.

The 2024 Oscars marks the 96th edition of the Academy Awards. In the ceremony’s nearly 100-year history, 11 films have been nominated for 13 Oscars, and three films own the record for most nominations with 14. Which films belong to these exclusive categories? Ranked below are the films with the most Oscar nominees.

10. Oppenheimer (2023), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Mary Poppins (1964), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – 13 nominations

Cilliam Murphy looks at the sjy.
Universal Pictures

Out of the 11 films nominated for 13 Oscars, four did not win Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonMary PoppinsThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? However, each of the four films won multiple Oscars, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins and Best Cinematography for The Fellowship of the Ring.

After March 10, we’ll know how many awards Oppenheimer wins at the 2024 Oscars. Oppenheimer is a heavy favorite to win Best Picture, with Christopher Nolan expected to take home Best Director. In fact, Oppenheimer could walk away with at least eight Oscar wins.

Stream Oppenheimer on Peacock, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Peacock and Paramount+, Mary Poppins on Disney+, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Tubi, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring on Max.

9. The Shape of Water (2017) – 13 nominations

A woman and a creature tough glass in The Shape of Water
Searchlight Films

Looking back at the 2018 Oscars, The Shape of Water’s dominance is still baffling. The Shape of Water depicts a love story between a mute custodian (Sally Hawkins) and a humanoid amphibian creature (Doug Jones). Films like The Shape of Water were once considered too weird or strange to win Oscars. A sci-fi romance from a genre filmmaker like Guillermo del Toro isn’t an easy sell.

However, the Academy bought into del Toro’s fantasy and nominated The Shape of Water for 13 Oscars. The film with the second most nominations that year was Dunkirk at eight. Receiving double-digit nominations is a great accomplishment, but The Shape of Water took it further by winning Best Picture. The film also won Best Director (del Toro), Best Original Score, and Best Production Design.

Rent The Shape of Water on YouTube, Google, Prime Video, and Apple.

8. Forrest Gump (1994) – 13 nominations

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.
Paramount Pictures

No actor was bigger in the 1990s than Tom Hanks. Beginning with A League of Their Own in 1992, Hanks was Hollywood’s top movie star for the rest of the decade. One of Hanks’ defining films of the era was Forrest Gump. Hanks starred in the titular role of Forrest, the slow-witted boy from Alabama who went on to experience some of his generation’s defining moments – the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and the rise of Apple. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Forrest Gump became the second-highest-grossing film of 1994 with $677 million.

At the 1995 Oscars, Forrest Gump led the field with 13 nominations, six more than the seven nominations received by a trio of films – Bullets Over Broadway, Pulp Fiction, and The Shawshank RedemptionForrest Gump won six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), Best Director (Zemeckis), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. Hanks became the first actor since Spencer Tracy in the 1930s to win Best Actor in consecutive years. 

Stream Forrest Gump on Paramount+ and Prime Video.

7. Chicago (2002) – 13 nominations

Catherine Zeta-Jones dancing alongside two dancers.
Miramax Films

Entering the 21st century, the last musical to win Best Picture was Oliver at the 1969 Oscars. That all changed in 2002 with Chicago. Based on the Broadway musical from the 1970s, Chicago stars Renée Zellweger as housewife Roxie Hart and Catherine Zeta-Jones as vaudevillian Velma Kelly. These two women are arrested for murder in 1920s Chicago and hire an egotistical lawyer (Richard Gere) to defend them. Roxie and Velma engage in a publicity war as they fight for stardom, which could save them from prison.

Directed by Rob Marshall, Chicago led the 2023 Oscars with 13 nominations, followed by Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. By the end of the ceremony, Chicago stood tall with six wins, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Zeta-Jones), Best Sound, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound.

Steam Chicago on Paramount+.

6. From Here to Eternity (1953) – 13 nominations

A group of soldiers gather around a table.
Columbia Pictures

From Here to Eternity was destined for success because of its cast. Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, and Donna Reed all appeared in From Here to Eternity. Good luck finding more star power in a film from 1953 than From Here to Eternity. Based on James Jones’ novel of the same name, From Here to Eternity depicts the lives of soldiers at an Army base in Hawaii in the lead-up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The story revolves around a boxer (Clift) who refuses to fight and a sergeant (Lancaster) engaging in an affair with a commanding officer’s wife (Kerr).

At the 1954 Oscars, it was a horse race between From Here to Eternity and Roman Holiday. By the end, From Here to Eternity won eight Oscars compared to three from Roman Holiday. From Here to Eternity‘s wins include Best Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Supporting Actor (Sinatra), Best Supporting Actress (Reed), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography – Black-and-White, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Recording.

Stream From Here to Eternity on Sling TV.

5. Shakespeare in Love (1998) – 13 nominations

Gweneth Paltrow in Victorian regalia in a scene from Shakespeare in Love.
Miramax Films

If you love drama, look no further than the 1999 Oscars. On one side of the spectrum was Shakespeare in Love, a romantic comedy about how a love affair between William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) inspired the playwright to pen Romeo and Juliet. On the other side was Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg’s World War II epic masterpiece. When nominations were announced, Shakespeare in Love received 13, narrowly edging Saving Private Ryan‘s 11. That was only the beginning.

Thanks to an aggressive campaign from producer Harvey Weinstein, Shakespeare in Love defeated Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture in one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history. Shakespeare in Love won Oscars in six additional categories: Best Actress (Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score.

Stream Shakespeare in Love on Max.

4. Gone with the Wind (1939) – 13 nominations

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh embracing in Gone with the Wind.
Image via Loew's Inc.

If you thought Killers of the Flower Moon was long, wait until you see Gone with the Wind, which has a runtime of 221 minutes. Set during the Civil War, Gone with the Wind follows Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), the daughter of a Southern plantation owner, and her romantic encounters with Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). Soon after its release in 1939, Gone with the Wind turned into a cultural sensation as it became the highest-grossing film of all time.

At the 12th Academy Awards in 1940, Gone with the Wind broke the then-record for nominations (13) and wins (10). The film received eight competitive Oscars – Best Picture, Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Actress (Leigh), Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography – Color, and Best Film Editing – and two honorary awards. With her win, McDaniel became the first African American actor to receive an Oscar.

Stream Gone with the Wind on Max.

3. All About Eve (1950) – 14 nominations

Eve Harrington shadows Margot Channing in All About Eve.
20th Century Fox

Joseph L. Mankiewicz gave the audience a peak at the cutthroat and manipulative worldof Hollywood with All About Eve. Margo Channing (Bette Davis) is a 40-year-old Broadway star worried about how aging might affect her future. One night after a show, Margo meets her biggest fan, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Originally believed to be a harmless admirer, Eve becomes a manipulative fame monster with plans to replace Margo as a top star.

At the 1951 Oscars, All About Eve became the first film to receive 14 nominations. It remains the only movie to receive four female acting nominations – Best Actress for Davis and Baxter, and Best Supporting Actress for Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter. Overall, All About Eve won six Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director (Mankiewicz), Best Supporting Actor (George Sanders), Best Screenplay, Best Costume Design – Black and White, and Best Sound Recording.

Rent All About Eve on YouTube, Google, Prime Video, and Apple.

2. La La Land (2016) – 14 nominations

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in La La Land.
Lionsgate / Lionsgate

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a beautiful homage to Hollywood musicals, spoke to all the dreamers. Mia (Emma Stone) is a barista and struggling actress searching for a role to change her life. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a gifted musician who wants to keep the spirit of jazz alive by opening a club. Bonded by ambition, Mia and Sebastian fall in love. As they chase down their dreams, the two aspiring artists grapple with the harsh realities of the world and contemplate the sacrifices they must make to achieve their ultimate goals.

At the 2017 Oscars, La La Land became the third film to receive 14 nominations, winning six: Best Director (Chazelle), Best Actress (Stone), Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Production Design. La La Land was famously awarded Best Picture by mistake in one of the most viral moments in Oscars history. As we all quickly learned, Moonlight won Best Picture, not La La Land.

Stream La La Land on Hulu.

1. Titanic (1997) – 14 nominations

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic.
Paramount Pictures

Titanic’s success was nothing short of a miracle. Plagued by a difficult production and a record-high budget ($200 million in 1997 dollars), Titanic might have been a flop had it not been placed in the capable hands of James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Winslet. Backed by Cameron’s direction and the performances of DiCaprio and Winslet, Titanic became a global phenomenon and the highest-grossing film of all time, a title it held until 2009’s Avatar.

Titanic became the second film to receive 14 Oscar nominations. The records didn’t stop there as Cameron’s epic romance ended the night with 11 Oscars wins, a feat only matched by Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingTitanic’s 11 Oscar wins include Best Picture, Best Director (Cameron), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects.

Stream Titanic on Paramount+.

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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