Following is a list of movies that should have won a Best Picture Oscar but didn't because the Academy was either too shortsighted, or the competition was just too good that year to overcome.
Brokeback Mountain (lost to Crash) - Even the Academy thought it best to shy away from the subject matter.
Saving Private Ryan (lost to Shakespeare in Love) - Spielberg takes on The Bard...and loses.
Pulp Fiction (lost to Forrest Gump) - Gump's first victim.
Shawshank Redemption (lost to Forrest Gump) - Gump's second victim. Best picture in any other year.
Goodfellas (lost to Dances With Wolves) - One of the best Mob movies ever made takes on Costner's best. DeNiro gets clipped.
Raging Bull (lost to Ordinary People) - DeNiro loses another one.
Apocaplypse Now (lost to Kramer Vs. Kramer) - The horror! One of the most beautifully horrible films. Brando's short performance alone is enough to see this one.
Taxi Driver (lost to Rocky) - DeNiro loses yet another.
Dog Day Afternoon (lost to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) - Tough battle here, but Dog Day remains strong over time.
Chinatown (lost to Godfather 2) - Should a sequel win an Oscar?
American Graffiti (lost to The Sting) - Tough competition.
M*A*S*H (lost to Patton) - The year of the military pic.
The Graduate (lost to In the Heat of the Night) - A serious injustice here!
Bonnie and Clyde (lost to In the Heat of the Night) - What a great year this was.
Dr. Zhivago (lost to Sound of Music) - Lost to the most over-rated Best Picture winner of all time.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (lost to My Fair Lady) - Up against My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins.
The Ten Commandments (lost to Around the World in 80 Days) - Doesn't hold up so well over time, but still a classic at Easter time.
A Streetcar Named Desire (lost to An American in Paris) - Won 3 awards for acting but not Best Picture.
Miracle on 34th Street (lost to Gentleman's Agreement) - Think the Academy Wants a Do-Over?
It's A Wonderful Life (lost to The Best Years of Our Lives) - No movie on the list holds up better over time than Wonderful Life. A classic in every sense of the word.
Citizen Kane (lost to How Green Was My Valley) - We assume the Academy is slapping its forehead right now. Doh!
The Grapes of Wrath (lost to Rebecca) - The second biggest injustice of the list.
The Queen (lost to The Departed) - Even a career performance by Helen Mirren wasn't able to topple the Scorcese juggernaut.
Up in the Air (lost to The Hurt Locker) - Not saying Hurt Locker didn't deserve it, but Up in the Air deserved it as well.
Midnight Express (lost to The Deer Hunter) - A tough one to watch, but there's certainly honor in going down to Cimino's Deer Hunter.
Star Wars (lost to Annie Hall) - Surely there's some dignity in losing to Woody Allen, but perhaps in any other year.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (lost to Chariots of Fire) - Looking back, yeah, the greatest adventure epic of all time should have won.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (lost to In the Heat of the Night) - Was too controversial at the time, but should have won on Spencer Tracy's speech alone.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (lost to Gandhi) - Should have known better than to go up against the embodiment of passive-aggressiveness.
Fargo (lost to The English Patient) - The Coen Brothers got run through their own wood chipper.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (lost to A Beautiful Mind) - Thankfully the Academy redeemed themselves with a Return of the King trophy.
The Dark Knight (lost to Slumdog Millionaire) - The greatest superhero movie of all time goes down to a game show.