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Critics and audiences often see Oscar best-picture nominees very differently

By Nikhil Sonnad
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Eight films are vying for best picture at this year’s Academy Awards. But have past winners actually been the “best” films of their respective years, or just the most popular?

Quartz has taken a stab at answering this question by looking at data from Rotten Tomatoes, a site that aggregates film ratings from both critics and everyday viewers. The graphic below shows how scores from these two groups have differed for every best-picture nomination since 1990. Tap or hover to see a specific score.

Averaged across all best picture winners, the scores are almost identical—88.3% audience versus 88.5% among critics. Still, not all winners do well on both counts.

Forrest Gump, for example, is liked by only 71% of critics. Titanic has an audience score of just 69%. Critics’ scores were higher for 13 of the 24 winners above. Audiences scores were for nine, and the scores were the same for two others.

Which film will win this year? We’ll leave that to Hollywood astrologers.

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