21 Movies You Can't Believe Didn't Get Any Oscar Nominations
Some of the most acclaimed, most groundbreaking and most beloved movies never got a single Oscar nom.
'The Seventh Seal' (1957)
Legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was nominated for 12 Oscars and won Best Foreign Film three times. But arguably his most famous film, the arthouse classic "The Seventh Seal" wasn't one of them.
'The Searchers' (1956)
Widely regarded as not only one of John Wayne's best performances, but one of the greatest Westerns ever made, it received zero nominations. Wayne eventually won Best Actor for "True Grit." And director John Ford won an impressive 7 Oscars in his career, just none for this.
Terrence Malick's inspired-by-a-true-crime saga starred Martin Sheen as a shotgun happy teen and Sissy Spacek as his naive girlfriend. It's one of the undisputed great American films. We would have least given nods for the cinematography of Tak Fujimoto, Stevan Larner and Brian Probyn.
'The Shining' (1980)
Despite giving one of his all-time great performances, no recognition for Jack Nicholson as unraveling writer Jack Torrance. And no love for the brilliant Steadicam camerawork? Believe it or not, it received two Razzie nominations, one for Shelley Duvall and one for director Stanley Kubrick. The horror.
'The Road Warrior' (1981)
Is it crazier that this much-imitated apocalyptic action film got no Oscar nominations for makeup and costumes -- or that its even wilder sequel, "Mad Max: Fury Road" won six Oscars (and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director)? If Stunts were an Oscar category, this would surely have gotten in.
'The Thing' (1982)
Horror has never had a great track record at the Oscars and John Carpenter's gory thriller took years to be established as a classic. But sad to see there was no love for the special effects makeup by Rob Bottin and creature designs by Stan Winston. Winston would go on to win Oscars for "Aliens," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," and "Jurassic Park." And Bottin was awarded a Special Achievement Award at the 1991 Academy Awards. No recognition yet for Carpenter.
Is Brian De Palma's gangster pic too campy? Too over the top? Too violent? If fans had their way, this would have won all the Oscars.
'The Terminator' (1984)
While "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"'s cutting-edge digital technology rightly won a Special Effects Oscar, there was no love for the first film. (The Oscar that year went to "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.") And okay, we have to agree with the make-up Oscar that year going to Best Picture winner "Amadeus."
"Tombstone" is one of those movies that just gets better with each rewatch, especially Val Kilmer's scene-stealing Doc Holliday. The whole movie should surely have been up for Best Picture... if Clint Eastwood's much grimmer "Unforgiven" hadn't just swept the Oscars the year before.
Hard to believe Michael Mann's brilliant crime epic didn't get a nod for Robert De Niro or Al Pacino, two acting legends who shared the screen for the first time ever. Not even a nod for Dante Spinotti's masterful cinematography.
'The Big Lebowski' (1998)
Would it have messed with this film's cult status to have gotten Oscar attention? Not even a production design nomination for those trippy dance sequences? Jeff Bridges went on to win Best Actor for "Crazy Heart” and the Coen Bros. would win Best Picture and Director for "No Country for Old Men." Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman also went on to earn Oscars. And The Stranger, Sam Elliott finally got nominated "A Star is Born."
'The Iron Giant' (1999)
This glorious Brad Bird film came out two years before the Academy created the "Best Animated Feature" category, alas. But surely it could have been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. And Best Movie That Always Makes Us Cry Even Though It Has a Happy Ending. (Okay, that's not a real category. Yet.)
'Three Kings' (1999)
If David O. Russell's terrific action satire came out today, you bet there'd be Oscar noms, including for director Spike Jonze in a rare (but memorable) small part. It's set during the final days of Gulf War as soldiers George Clooney, Ice Cube, and Mark Wahlberg try to find Saddam's lost gold.
'Kill Bill: Vol. 1' (2003)
Uma Thurman got her first (and so far only) Oscar nomination for "Pulp Fiction." But no nom for her even more stunning work in another Tarantino movie, "Kill Bill"? Even worse now that we realize she was nearly killed while making the film. Also, no love for Lucy Liu's O-Ren Ishii? At least the BAFTAs gave the film 5 nominations, including for Thurman and editor Sally Menke.
'The Notebook' (2004)
Okay, so maybe the Academy didn't swoon over Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling like the rest of the public. But to deny recognition to supporting actors James Garner and Gena Rowlands? Criminal! (And apologies for reminding you of the saddest movie endings of all time. Hands you all the Kleenex.)
'Casino Royale' (2006)
Maybe Best Picture was never going to happen, but no technical or craft nominations? BAFTA gave it an award for Best Sound, it won the Art Directors Guild award for Production Design and its Special Effects won at the Visual Effects Society, not to mention nominations elsewhere for cinematography and costume design.
David Fincher's ultra-tense thriller about the still-unsolved Zodiac murders received bupkus at Oscar time. At least Fincher was nominated for Best Director at Cannes. And hey, Jake Gyllenhaal was up for a Teen Choice Award! (If you're wondering why we're not mentioning the epic "Nightcrawler" snub, the film was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.)
It's pretty much just Sam Rockwell (and Sam Rockwell) in Duncan Jones's terrific sci-fi debut film. Rockwell finally has an Oscar (and a second Oscar nom), but we would have dived in here. And also put the screenplay and production design on some short lists as well.
'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' (2012)
We loved, loved, loved the brilliant cast of this angsty indie film: Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. And the film itself, which author Stephen Chbosky directed based on his own book. Maybe it helped pave the way for films like "Lady Bird" to get some recognition (besides from the Independent Spirit Awards).
'Fruitvale Station' (2013)
Ryan Coogler won a "Best First Feature" Independent Spirit Award for this harrowing true story. Both he and Michael B. Jordan, who received a bunch of accolades as well, have yet to get any Oscar recognition, despite going on to make “Creed” and “Black Panther” together. “Black Panther” is up for a Best Picture Oscar, but neither would be going home with statues if it wins.
'Sing Street' (2016)
This thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy set in '80s Dublin had the bad luck to come out the same year as "La La Land." Otherwise, it surely would have gotten some recognition for its insanely catchy songs, including "Drive It Like You Stole It."