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Best Movies for Grownups Hall of Fame

Take a look at our winners over the years

  • Everett Collection

    Movies for Grownups Hall of Fame

    Go all the way back to 2002 to recall the “Best Movie” winners of our Movies for Grownup Awards.

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  • Liam Daniel/Universal Pictures International

    2014: 'The Theory of Everything'

    Director: James Marsh The true story of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his first wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), starts out as a tale of young love. But as Stephen falls ill, the film supernovas into matters both painfully personal and mind-blowingly cosmic.

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  • Pictorial Press/Alamy

    2013: '12 Years a Slave'

    Directed by Steve McQueen The true story of a free black man sold into slavery in the years before the Civil War manages to crystalize the diabolical combination of savage brutality and condescending paternalism that sustained America’s original sin. Through sheer artistry, it remains a beautifully realized film.

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  • Fox Searchlight Pictures

    2012: 'The Descendants'

    Directed by Alexander Payne George Clooney gives the performance of his career as Matt, whom we find sitting mournfully at the bedside of his comatose wife — unaware that his life is about to be shattered by a shocking revelation.

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  • Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2011: 'The King’s Speech'

    Directed by Tom Hooper A wondrous mix of inspired direction, breathtaking performances and compelling, true human drama, The King’s Speech is darn close to perfect. Seldom in film have the currents of history and the eddies of human frailty been so gingerly interwoven.

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  • Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2010: 'Invictus'

    Directed by Clint Eastwood Nelson Mandela’s decision to use rugby to unite his splintered country of South Africa in 1994 was just one strategy of many. But here it takes center stage as Eastwood, the consummate storyteller, makes the game an allegory for what tough, dirty work the business of nation building can be.

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  • Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2009: 'Frost/Nixon'

    Directed by Ron Howard Howard’s astonishing take on Richard Nixon’s historic 1977 TV interviews with British talk-show host David Frost is based not on a history book but on a Broadway play. Still, between his restrained guidance and his stars’ uncanny channeling of the individuals they portray, we feel this is more than one person's version of history.

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  • Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2008: 'The Savages'

    Directed by Tamara Jenkins Usually, movies try to tell us that our family quirks make us unique and somehow wonderful. But in a distinctly grownup (and oddly funny) approach, writer-director Jenkins refuses to sanctify her characters — or demonize them. One of the lessons they learn is that you can’t really undo all the nasty stuff you’ve done to each other. Another lesson is to get over it.

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  • Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2007: 'The Last King of Scotland'

    Directed by Kevin Macdonald As the 1970s Ugandan strongman Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker smiles a thousand-watt grin, reaches out with teddy bear arms — then goes all grizzly on us. Even though we know the hellish depths to which Amin is going to drag his country, as an audience we are buying whatever Whitaker is selling.

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  • Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2006: 'Capote'

    Directed by Bennett Miller When defiantly strange author Truman Capote dropped in on Holcomb, Kan., to research a notorious murder, he must have seemed extraterrestrial. In the performance of a lifetime, Philip Seymour Hoffman captures a guy who’s uncomfortable in his own skin yet uses that uneasiness to bend others to his will.

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  • Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2005: 'Ray'

    Directed by Taylor Hackford Ray is beautiful — in its evocation of a man’s passion for life and in its celebration of the universal power of music. It’s also ugly — in its unblinking excavation of that same man’s selfishness, duplicity and self-destruction. In other words, it’s a lot like life.

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  • Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2004: 'Mystic River'

    Directed by Clint Eastwood The fearless juxtaposition of innocence and horror is just one of the elements that make director Eastwood’s Mystic River a visually riveting, emotionally scorching grownup movie.

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  • New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2003: 'About Schmidt'

    Directed by Alexander Payne Luckily for us, Jack Nicholson fell in love with the charming subtleties of the book About Schmidt and put all his power into ensuring that the movie reached the screen. The story of a newly widowed man hitting the road in a motor home, it's one of the most perceptive, honest comedies ever made about life beyond 50.

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  • Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

    2002: 'Lantana'

    Directed by Ray Lawrence Australian star Anthony LaPaglia is compelling as a philandering middle-aged cop who becomes hopelessly enmeshed in a tangle of deceit involving his mistress (Rachael Blake), his suspicious wife’s therapist (Barbara Hershey) and the shrink’s cold-as-a-cod hubby (Geoffrey Rush). 

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