Special Report

20 Films That Earned the Most Award Nominations

Carlo Allegri / Getty Images

The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, Apr. 25. Among many others, Oscars will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the best films of 2020. 

It has been a strange year, with cinemas around the world shuttered for much of the time, new releases delayed, and new productions stalled. As a result of lockdowns and limited entertainment options, many people have been watching classic films at home. 

Fortunately, due to the proliferation of streaming services, audiences have thousands of movies to choose from. And at this time of year, they often focus on major award winners from years past. Here is a list of the best of the best: Oscar winners for Best Picture ranked.

But it’s not only the Best Picture winners that are worth viewing. With that in mind, 24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of the 20 films that have earned the most award nominations over the past 25 years. While the Oscars may be the most famous and coveted of film awards, a number of other bodies also honor excellence, including the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which awards the Golden Globes), the Critics Choice Association, Screen Actors Guild, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 

Of course nominations don’t always mean wins. “The Favourite” was nominated for ten Oscars and won one, for instance, while “Lincoln” was nominated for 12 and won two. There’s a lot of subjectivity involved, in any case. These are 25 of the Oscars’ most egregious snubs.

Whatever your taste, however, you’re sure to find a lot of films to enjoy on our list. 

Click here to see 20 films that earned the most nominations

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

20. Mank (2020)
> Total nominations: 35
> Golden Globes: 6 nominations, 0 awards
> Critics Choice: 12 nominations, 0 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 1 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 6 nominations, TBD
> Oscars: 10 nominations, TBD
> Domestic box office gross: Not available

“Mank” is a biographical drama about Herman J. Mankiewicz, a notorious character who co-wrote the screenplay for the iconic film “Citizen Kane.” Its 10 Oscar nominations include Best Picture and Best Director for David Fincher.

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

19. Les Misérables (2012)
> Total nominations: 35
> Golden Globes: 4 nominations, 3 awards
> Critics Choice: 9 nominations, 0 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 1 award
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 10 nominations, 4 awards
> Oscars: 8 nominations, 3 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $148.8 million

“Les Misérables” is a period musical based on a theater adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. It stars an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

18. The Hours (2002)
> Total nominations: 35
> Golden Globes: 7 nominations, 2 awards
> Critics Choice: 4 nominations, 0 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 11 nominations, 2 awards
> Oscars: 9 nominations, 1 award
> Domestic box office gross: $41.7 million

“The Hours” is a psychological drama based on Michael Cunningham’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about three women of different generations whose lives are linked by Virginia Woolf’s novel “Mrs Dalloway.” The cast includes Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman, who won an Oscar for Best Actress.

Source: Courtesy of DreamWorks Distribution

17. Gladiator (2000)
> Total nominations: 36
> Golden Globes: 5 nominations, 2 awards
> Critics Choice: 3 nominations, 3 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 3 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 13 nominations, 4 awards
> Oscars: 12 nominations, 5 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $187.7 million

“Gladiator” is a historical epic set in ancient Rome. The film won numerous awards, including five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor for Russell Crowe, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects.

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

16. Gravity (2013)
> Total nominations: 37
> Golden Globes: 4 nominations, 1 award
> Critics Choice: 11 nominations, 7 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 1 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 11 nominations, 6 awards
> Oscars: 10 nominations, 7 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $274.1 million

“Gravity” is a science fiction thriller directed by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as American astronauts who are trying to get back to earth after being stranded in space. It won seven Oscars, including Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects — but didn’t win Best Picture.

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

15. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
> Total nominations: 37
> Golden Globes: 5 nominations, 2 awards
> Critics Choice: 9 nominations, 2 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 1 award
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 9 nominations, 1 award
> Oscars: 10 nominations, 2 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $142.5 million

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a comedy-drama written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. It was nominated for 10 Oscars and won two — Best Supporting Actor for Pitt and Best Production Design.

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Source: Courtesy of Miramax

14. The English Patient (1996)
> Total nominations: 38
> Golden Globes: 7 nominations, 2 awards
> Critics Choice: 2 nominations, 1 award
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 13 nominations, 6 awards
> Oscars: 12 nominations, 9 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $78.7 million

“The English Patient” is a romantic drama set during World War II, based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje. It was nominated for 12 Oscars and won nine, including Best Picture, Best Director (for Anthony Minghella), and Best Supporting Actress (for Juliette Binoche). It was also the first digitally edited film to receive a Best Editing Oscar.

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

13. The Aviator (2004)
> Total nominations: 38
> Golden Globes: 6 nominations, 3 awards
> Critics Choice: 4 nominations, 2 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 3 nominations, 1 award
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 14 nominations, 4 awards
> Oscars: 11 nominations, 5 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $102.6 million

“The Aviator” is a biopic about Howard Hughes, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, and Kate Beckinsale. It was nominated for 11 Oscars and won five, including Best Supporting Actress for Blanchett.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

12. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
> Total nominations: 38
> Golden Globes: 5 nominations, 0 awards
> Critics Choice: 6 nominations, 0 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 3 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 11 nominations, 3 awards
> Oscars: 13 nominations, 3 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $127.5 million

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a romantic drama loosely based on the short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse and Cate Blanchett as the love of his life. It received 13 Academy Award nominations, the most of any film in 2009, but only won three.

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

11. Titanic (1997)
> Total nominations: 39
> Golden Globes: 8 nominations, 4 awards
> Critics Choice: 2 nominations, 1 award
> Screen Actors Guild: 3 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 10 nominations, 0 awards
> Oscars: 14 nominations, 11 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $659.3 million

“Titanic” is an epic romance and disaster film by James Cameron about the famous ship that sank in 1912. It tied with the 1959 movie “Ben-Hur” by winning 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Source: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

10. Birdman (2014)
> Total nominations: 39
> Golden Globes: 6 nominations, 2 awards
> Critics Choice: 13 nominations, 7 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 1 award
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 7 nominations, 1 award
> Oscars: 9 nominations, 4 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $42.3 million

“Birdman” is a black comedy-drama directed by Alejandro Iñárritu about a faded Hollywood actor trying to mount a Broadway show. It won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.

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Source: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

9. The Favourite (2018)
> Total nominations: 39
> Golden Globes: 4 nominations, 1 award
> Critics Choice: 11 nominations, 2 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 2 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 12 nominations, 7 awards
> Oscars: 10 nominations, 1 award
> Domestic box office gross: $34.4 million

“The Favourite” is a 2018 period black comedy set in 18th-century England. Two noblewomen, played by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, compete to be the favorite of Queen Anne, played by Olivia Colman. It was nominated for 10 Oscars but only won one — Best Actress for Colman.

Source: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

8. The Artist (2011)
> Total nominations: 40
> Golden Globes: 6 nominations, 3 awards
> Critics Choice: 9 nominations, 4 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 3 nominations, 1 award
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 12 nominations, 7 awards
> Oscars: 10 nominations, 5 awards

“The Artist” is a comedy drama set in Hollywood about a silent film star whose career is being eclipsed by the talkies and his relationship with a rising young performer. It won five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. It was the first mostly silent film to win since 1929 and the first entirely black-and-white film to win since 1960’s “The Apartment.”

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

7. Chicago (2002)
> Total nominations: 40
> Golden Globes: 8 nominations, 3 awards
> Critics Choice: 2 nominations, 2 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 5 nominations, 3 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 12 nominations, 2 awards
> Oscars: 13 nominations, 6 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $170.7 million

“Chicago” is a musical black comedy crime film based on the stage show of the same name. It won six Oscars in 2003. It was the first musical to win Best Picture since “Oliver!” in 1968.

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Source: Courtesy of Miramax

6. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
> Total nominations: 40
> Golden Globes: 6 nominations, 3 awards
> Critics Choice: 1 nominations, 0 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 5 nominations, 2 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 15 nominations, 4 awards
> Oscars: 13 nominations, 7 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $100.3 million

“Shakespeare in Love” is a romantic comedy drama about the Bard’s amorous adventures while writing “Romeo and Juliet.” It won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress (for Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (for Judi Dench), and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.

Source: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

5. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
> Total nominations: 40
> Golden Globes: 7 nominations, 1 award
> Critics Choice: 10 nominations, 1 award
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 1 award
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 10 nominations, 2 awards
> Oscars: 9 nominations, 3 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $56.7 million

In the biographical drama “12 Years a Slave,” a freeborn African-American man is kidnapped and sold into slavery. It won three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o).

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Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

4. La La Land (2016)
> Total nominations: 43
> Golden Globes: 7 nominations, 7 awards
> Critics Choice: 10 nominations, 7 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 2 nominations, 1 award
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 10 nominations, 4 awards
> Oscars: 14 nominations, 6 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $151.1 million

In the musical romantic comedy drama “La La Land,” a jazz pianist, played by Ryan Gosling, and an aspiring actress, played by Emma Stone, fall in love in Los Angeles. It won six Oscars, including Best Director and Best Actress for Stone.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

3. The Shape of Water (2017)
> Total nominations: 43
> Golden Globes: 7 nominations, 2 awards
> Critics Choice: 10 nominations, 4 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 2 nominations, 0 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 11 nominations, 2 awards
> Oscars: 13 nominations, 4 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $63.9 million

In “The Shape of Water,” a romantic fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro, a lonely janitor at a government laboratory falls in love with a humanoid amphibian. It won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score

Source: Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

2. Lincoln (2012)
> Total nominations: 43
> Golden Globes: 7 nominations, 1 award
> Critics Choice: 10 nominations, 2 awards
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 2 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 10 nominations, 1 award
> Oscars: 12 nominations, 2 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $182.2 million

The historical biopic, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, focuses on the Civil War president’s efforts to abolish slavery by getting the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed. It was nominated for 12 Oscars but only won two, including Best Actor for Day-Lewis.

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Source: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

1. The King’s Speech (2010)
> Total nominations: 45
> Golden Globes: 7 nominations, 1 award
> Critics Choice: 8 nominations, 1 award
> Screen Actors Guild: 4 nominations, 2 awards
> British Academy of Film and Television Arts: 14 nominations, 7 awards
> Oscars: 12 nominations, 4 awards
> Domestic box office gross: $138.8 million

“The King’s Speech” is a historical drama about the relationship between the future King George VI of England, who suffered from a stammer, and his Australian speech therapist. It’s set against the backdrop of the abdication of King Edward VII and the impending war with Germany. It won four Oscars, including Best Picture.

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