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The List: Picking the best of the best films

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 3:17 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 3:19 p.m. CDT

Ellen DeGeneres will host the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night.

Blockbuster and independent films will collide in many categories, including the award for best picture. The nominations for Best Picture are: "Captain Phillips," "American Hustle," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska," "Philomena," "12 Years A Slave," and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

That's a pretty impressive list. Far too many of those films are still on my list to see.

With an impressive crop of nominees, the Oscar will be awarded to an almost-certain future classic film, and it will join a profound list of some of the best movies ever made.

With that in mind, I took a look back and came up with a list of some of my favorite Best Picture winners ever.

Bear with me; I am almost a month away from being 27, so the majority of my choices will be within that frame of time.

"No Country for Old Men" (2007)

For me, the Coen brothers are hit or miss. But with "No Country for Old Men," they hit me so hard I can still feel it. The brothers are different. This time, different is good. So breathtakingly good.

"Crash" (2005)

I'm a huge fan of ensemble casts. The film includes Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Brendan Frasier, Terrance Howard, and more delivering some of the best performances of their careers. The film outlines the racial tensions in Los Angeles, and sometimes it's hard to watch.

"Lord of The Rings: Return of The King" (2003)

Move over Skywalker and Solo, LOTR is the best trilogy of all time. The crazy thing is that this isn't even the best film of the trilogy. Peter Jackson recreated J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world better than anyone could have imagined.

"West Side Story" (1961)

I envy those who grew up in a time when American musicals were as beautiful as "West Side Story." I remember wearing out the VHS, trying to decide if I was a Jet or a Shark. To this day, "America" can still get stuck in my head for weeks at a time.

"The Departed" (2006)

It's one of my favorite films of all time. Easily in the top 10; perhaps in the top 5. The pace of this intense, modern crime thriller is perfect. There isn't a bad performance in the entire film. Sometimes it's fun when a film punches you in the gut. Over, and over, and over.

"Forrest Gump" (1994)

This film has had the unfortunate problem of possibly becoming more well-known for a catchphrase than the movie itself. I'll agree with some critics who say the movie isn't perfect. Lucky for us, Tom Hanks is. The award-winning actor delivers one of his best performances with one of the most memorable characters in the history of film.

There's so many other movies that deserve to be mentioned, including: "Argo," "The Godfather," "Ben-Hur," and "The Sound of Music."

I welcome you to take a look back and share some of your favorites. Perhaps, like me, you'll realize just how lucky we are to have seen so many wonderful movies.

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