I thought I would use Metacritic to look at the past ten years of Best Picture winners. I use Metacritic because they are easier to pin down in terms of having fewer critics and (for the most) seasoned, experienced writers.  There are a couple of their chosen critics I would swap out for other better critics out there – like Glenn Kenny should absolutely be on Metacritc and he’s not. That’s just one example.  But I digress.

The Artist
Metacritic: 89 – nothing approaches The Artist’s score this year, except Lincoln at 87.
box office: $44 million

The King’s Speech
Metacritic: 86
box office: $138 million

Slumdog Millionaire
Metacritic: 86
box office: $141 million

The Hurt Locker
Metacritic: 94
box office: $17 million

No Country for Old Men
Metacritic: 91
box office: $74 million

The Departed
Metacritic: 86
box office: $132 million

Crash
Metacritic: 69
box office: $54 million

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Metacritic: 94
box office: $378 million

Chicago
Metacritic: 82
box office: $170 million

While Oscar clearly prefers movies that rate in the mid-80s on Metacritic, there are no absolutes. A film with as low a review as 69% can win Best Picture and a film that made $17 million can win Best Picture. But I thought it was interesting to note.