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The Top 25: Best Visual Effects Winners

My friends, continuing on with one of the handful of weekly series that I do here at the site…we are talking about the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories out there. Aside from the shorts and something like Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing like I mentioned previously, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks and months, including of course the big eight categories. I’m also potentially going to do one that doesn’t exist (the fictitious for now at least Best Ensemble category), but that’s just an idea I currently am toying with. We’ll see about that one.

Today I’ll be knocking off another one of the technical categories, with this one being the always interesting Best Visual Effects field. Depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing pretty specifically or just giving more of a broad overview of the winners, but for now, I’ll still keeping it simple early on. Like I said over the past few weeks though, in all honesty, you all mostly just want to see the list anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs…

This time around, I’m just going the overview route, since seeing is believing for this category more than anything else. Also it really just depends on what sort of effects you prefer. We’ve got traditional in camera effects, blended animation, computer generated effects, and of course motion capture as well. Some folks might be partial to the older winners, while some really get it up for the newest winners. Me? Well, I’m caught somewhere in between.

I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit, which has stayed the same this time around. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date is and has been Jurassic Park, which captured the imagination in a way that few other works have ever been able to do. Some other recent and groundbreaking winners in my top echelon include Avatar, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Gravity. Plus, Ex Machina winning was a real change in what normally takes the prize from Oscar voters. Hell, even our newest winner 1917 stands out.. In most of those cases, they basically invented new technology for their films, and that’s worth something to me. I also have the unique Who Framed Roger Rabbit high up, as well as the immortal classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Those movies have stood the test of time in a big way. I also have a personal favorite flick in What Dreams May Come listed highly as well, since it’s one of the most beautiful effects winners ever.

Here now is how I’d rank the 25 top winners of the Best Visual Effects Oscar:

25. Spider-Man 2
24. Inception
23. Blade Runner 2049
22. Gladiator
21. Alien
20. 1917
19. First Man
18. Life of Pi
17. The Empire Strikes Back
16. Interstellar
15. The Abyss
14. Forrest Gump
13. Aliens
12. The Matrix
11. Superman
10. Star Wars
9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8. What Dreams May Come
7. Gravity
6. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
4. Titanic
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Avatar
1. Jurassic Park

Honorable Mention: Ex Machina, Independence Day, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Jungle Book, King Kong (2005), and Return of the Jedi

Stay tuned for the first acting category to get this treatment next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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