films The Biggest Oscar Bait Films of All Time  

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List Rules Dramas that were released late in the year (Oct-Dec) and seem obviously catered toward Oscar voters. Can be from any year.

There are a number of ways in which a film could be classified as "Oscar bait," and not all Oscar bait movies are the same, but there are some qualities that you can plainly see are tailor-made for film's highest awards. For starters, Oscar bait movies are released in the winter, which is the season where the nominating committee will decide what earns a nomination (so they're fresh in the committee members' minds). With this list of Oscar bait films, you'll find plenty of movies - both good and bad - that are specifically trying to bait the committee and voters into picking them.

What many consider to be the "original" Oscar bait movie, The Deer Hunter, used the Academy Awards as a way to market the movie. They were having a difficult time getting people to watch, but they found that, after getting an award nomination, the average moviegoer was more inclined to come to the movie in a more open frame of mind. This practice has now become standard business practice for films like Shakespeare in Love and Seven Pounds, which had differing levels of success. 

So take a look at this list of films that were (probably) made just to win someone an Oscar and upvote the most blatant Academy Awards bait offenders, whether you liked the movie or not.

1
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The Revenant December 25, 2015

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2
106 42
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Lincoln November 9, 2012

3
108 49
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The King's Speech September 6, 2010

4
129 67
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Schindler's List December 15, 1993

5
101 49
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Les Misérables December 25, 2012 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

6
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The Aviator December 25, 2004 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

7
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J. Edgar November 3, 2011

8
67 40
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Seven Pounds December 19, 2008

9
66 40
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War Horse December 25, 2011

10
55 31
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The Iron Lady January 13, 2012

11
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The Danish Girl 2015

12
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13
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Chicago December 10, 2002 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

14
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Born on the Fourth of July December 20, 1989

15
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Brokeback Mountain December 9, 2005

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Monster December 17, 2003 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

17
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Gone with the Wind December 15, 1939

18
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Shakespeare in Love December 11, 1998 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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carlybobarly added American Hustle 2013

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Terms of Endearment December 9, 1983

21
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Monster's Ball February 8, 2002

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Amelia October 23, 2009

23
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Joy 2015 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

24
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The Lovely Bones December 11, 2009

25
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mercedesr added Atonement 2007

26
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The Deer Hunter December 8, 1978

27
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The People vs. Larry Flynt December 25, 1996

28
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The Reader December 12, 2008 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

29
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Nine December 18, 2009

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30
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Conviction November 5, 2010

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Snubbed added The Fighter 2010

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andrelr22 added Birdman 2014

33
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The Sessions October 19, 2012

34
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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind December 31, 2002 - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

35
5 11
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest Oscar Bait Films of All Time
Snubbed added The Dark Knight 2008

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Snubbed added The Big Short 2015

37
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Come See the Paradise December 23, 1990

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Flawless November 26, 1999

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