Usually, Oscar wins, and critical acclaim come hand in hand. If a movie is considered Oscar worthy it’s almost always going to be a movie that has critics gushing over it, right? Well, weirdly enough, this is not always the case. There have actually been movies over the years that have scooped Academy Awards but have been panned by critics.
You would think Oscar nominations would result in a movie being very successful and well reviewed, the same as is the case with many actors and actresses as well. Now, of course, a movie’s worth is entirely subjective, but an Oscar is perhaps the height of critical acclaim. Here are some of the movies that were destroyed by critics, but claimed Oscars nonetheless.
The Iron Lady (2011)
This biopic of Margaret Thatcher, the first-ever female British Prime Minister, starred Meryl Streep as the titular Iron Lady. Oscar slam dunk, right? Well, not exactly. Thatcher was a famously polarizing figure in British politics, and the movie glosses over much of this and ignores a lot of the historical events that occur. This left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of critics, who were none too kind to the movie.
The Wolfman (2010)
Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Emily Blunt chew up the scenery (sometimes literally) in this werewolf fare. The movie is promising, and has some very cool bits – and the werewolves look great. But, there are just too many problems with the movie, and critics didn’t like the pacing, the clunky plot, or the plot twists. However, the film did sink its teeth into a well deserved Oscar for Best Makeup, thanks to legendary makeup artist Rick Baker.
Suicide Squad (2017)
It’s no surprise that critics savaged Suicide Squad. The movie has some pretty great ideas but fails to execute any of them very well. It seems like DC want the success of Marvel, but they don’t want to put in the time and effort to get it. Suicide Squad has a narrative that is all over the place, a rushed script, and studio interference. Basically, the movie was a hot mess, but it did manage to scoop an Oscar for Best Makeup.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Tim Burton’s reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale was box office dynamite, grossing over a billion bucks during its run. Burton’s weird, gothic style was perfectly fitting for this strange and quirky tale, so why did critics hate it? Well, the main gripes seem to be the over-reliance on CGI, as well as the principal focus seeming to shift from Alice to the Mad Hatter. Despite this, the movie was box office gold, as well as bagging two Oscars for Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.
These are just some of the most critically panned movies that won Academy Awards. Many of them were hugely successful at the box office as well, and are beloved by audiences. But, it seems like they had too many problems that critics couldn’t get on board with them.