Rotten Tomatoes has plenty of movies with good scores. The platform, which aggregates review from a wide array of critics, is a way to get a snapshot of how well a movie has performed with critics. It may help you decide which movies are ultimately worth your time. Occasionally, a movie gets a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes... which is pretty awkward. But sometimes, a movie achieves a perfect score. That means no critic had anything bad to say about it.
These movies are a mix. Some of them are ones that almost everyone would expect. They're classics of recent years or decades gone by. Some titles on this list are a little older or more obscure, but they're still worth checking out. These are all movies with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, after all.
Paddington 2 is a miracle. If you’ve seen it, you likely also know that it isn’t entirely animated. Paddington, the bear at the story’s center is, but he’s surrounded by a largely human cast. Even so, Rotten Tomatoes classifies the film as animated, and why should we question them?
The film follows the titular bear as he is framed for a crime and imprisoned. It’s an exceedingly clever, funny movie that’s also a potent, wonderful reminder of what being nice to people can do. Goodness is in short supply these days, but that only makes movies like Paddington 2 more essential than ever.
Minding the Gap is one of the newer films on this list, but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve its spot. Ostensibly, the film is about a group of friends who grew up skateboarding together. We follow them as they become adults, and eventually discover the role that domestic abuse has played in all of their lives.
The movie is tender and understanding, even as it probes into the psychology behind victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. It's a moving, beautiful story, and one that consistently surprises. It's also beautifully shot, and proof that skateboarding is way cooler than you probably think it is.
This movie launched several careers, including those of Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd, but it's also great on its own terms. It tells the story of a group of high school seniors as they consider their futures outside of the dead-end Texas town that they both live in.
Although it may sound like a cliched coming-of-age story, The Last Picture Show works because every moment of it is familiar. These kids are kids you probably knew growing up, unless you were one of them yourself. They feel real and lived in, and that only makes the film's story more moving.
Telling the story of a psychologically wounded veteran who has decided to live in the woods with his teenage daughter, Leave No Trace is another recent release that deserves its spot on this list. The film, which on paper sounds kind of absurd, is actually a complex look at how a man can become disconnected from society.
As his daughter begins to rebel against his desire to be disconnected, the film is able to unfold a gripping story about two people who want different things. What would you do if your dad kept you from having friends? In Leave No Trace, that question doesn't have an easy answer.
Sometimes, people do crazy things. Usually, those things are in a realm of crazy that's understandable, even if it's quite stupid. In the documentary Man on Wire, though, we get to see what true insanity looks like. The film tells the story of a Frenchman who made it his mission to sneak into one of the World Trade Center buildings and walk across to the other on a rope.
The film takes us minute by minute through every detail of his plan and climaxes with the walk itself. It's one of the most death-defying things a person has ever done, and that's precisely what makes the movie so compelling.
Cool Hand Luke is a great examination of what it means to be rebellious. The film tells the story of a young man who is sent to a Florida prison yard for two years. Instead of serving his time quietly, Luke defies the warden and his fellow prisoners and eventually becomes a hero to them.
Even as he continues to defy every rule that's set for him, Luke becomes a vivid character, in part because of Paul Newman's performance. He's a rebel, but he doesn't seem to have any cause. He just doesn't like to be put in boxes, and so he tries to break free, even if there's no hope that he'll ultimately succeed.
All three Toy Story films are basically flawless, but Toy Story 2 is definitely the very best of the trilogy. The first film ushered in a new era of computer-generated animation, and its sequel deepened the story’s characters and the sadness at the film’s center.
Toy Story 2 was the first time that Pixar showed us what they were really capable of. For kids, Toy Story 2 played like a fun, lighthearted affair. For adults, it was a total and complete gut punch. Pixar would prove itself over and over again after Toy Story 2, but this sequel may still be their best film.
Mary Poppins is the movie that best sums up Disney's worldview. It tells the story of a nanny who comes to take care of a pair of children that are being neglected by their parents. In the end, Mary Poppins doesn't just save those children, she saves their parents as well.
Along the way, the film proves that there's a lot of value in whimsical bits of silliness. This movie makes whimsy and fun its defining energy, and as a result, it manages to prove that adults don't have to forget what it's like to be a child. Fun is great for people of all ages, and it's not as easy to be young as many parents might believe.
12 Angry Men has been parodied a million times, but that's only because its central idea is so compelling. What if 12 jurors were locked in a room, and one was convinced that the defendants were innocent? The film follows that case as the rest of the jury is gradually convinced by the man's argument.
Although the film takes place in a single room, it manages to touch on issues of class and race. It's buoyed by wonderful performances from every member of its cast, and a script that executes on its concept perfectly. Watching 12 Angry Men is like watching a magic trick. That's how good it is.
Although the politics of The Searchers are all sorts of messed up, it's hard to deny the film's status as a classic western. Following a cowboy who vows to take revenge on the Native Americans who attacked his family, the film plays out as a singular revenge quest, one about an avenging hero who may be more bad than good.
The stunning landscapes at the heart of The Searchers are what make the film more than a typical shoot 'em up western. It's a simple story, but one that's never been told better. Even if you don't like westerns, you may find yourself enjoying The Searchers.
When a neighbor takes a great deal of interest in your life, it's typically not a good thing. In Rear Window, we get a rare exception. The film follows a man trapped in two leg casts who begins to spy on his neighbors because there's nothing else to do. As a result, he begins to suspect that one of his neighbors has murdered his wife.
In the end, his suspicions prove to be correct, and he's forced to confront the man in question. Despite its intimate apartment setting, Rear Window is one of the most thrilling movies ever made. It knows how to thrill, even in a tightly packed space.
Pixar may have ushered in the latest and greatest era of outstanding animated storytelling, but Disney has been pretty good at this for quite a while. Pinocchio, which tells the story of the famous puppet who wants to be a real boy, manages to carry that story off with remarkable ease.
The hand-drawn animation has held up well, and the story of truth-telling and goodness at the film’s center perfectly encompasses the entire Disney ethos, at least on movie screens. Movies can be sweet and light, and if they’re pitched just right, they’ll be regarded as classics for decades after they’ve come out.
It may be a foreign film, but Seven Samurai is also one of the most influential movies ever made. From director Akira Kurosawa, the film tells the story of a group of samurai who initially plan to attack a small village, and eventually become its defenders.
The film received an American adaptation in the form of The Magnificent Seven, and it was also influential on major films like Star Wars. Although Seven Samurai may be unfamiliar to you, it's familiar to the people who make movies, many of whom consider it one of the best films ever made. Critics apparently agree.
One of the best movie musicals ever made, Singin' in the Rain is delightful from its first moment to its last. Telling the story of the transition to sound film, and of the singers who dubbed the voices of major Hollywood stars, the film is a comedy with a surprisingly progressive bent.
Of course, the musical numbers inside the film are some of the best ever conceived, and the songs are all incredibly catchy. The music in Singin' in the Rain has infected the culture so thoroughly that you may not even realize you know most of the music. It's a perfect movie, and a great example of how movies can make great musicals.
RKO Radio Pictures
Widely regarded as the best film ever made, Citizen Kane was a fairly obvious choice for this list. The film, about a wealthy newspaper magnate who can't seem to connect to other people, is a master-class in everything that makes movies great. The script is sharp and subtle, and its matched by incredible filmmaking and editing.
Although the response to Citizen Kane was mixed at the time, its reputation has obviously aged quite well. Even if you don't like old movies, consider giving it a try. It's the kind of movie that was made to last for decades after its release.
They don't really make movies like The Maltese Falcon anymore, and that's kind of a shame. This movie is a full on film noir, and it's widely regarded as one of the pinnacles of that genre. It follows a private detective who gets caught up in a plot when a woman comes to his door looking for help.
Although it may seem old and stuffy, The Maltese Falcon is more low-brow than you might think. Film noir is meant to be an accessible genre about regular people who get mixed up in crazy plots. Although the female characters are often one-dimensional, The Maltese Falcon has plenty to offer to interested audiences.
Before Toy Story 2 showed us how talented the Pixar crew was, Toy Story showed us what they could do. Even if the film wasn’t thoroughly compelling, the introduction of a totally new animation style would be remarkable enough. When it’s coupled with a compelling story about what it means to be replaced, it becomes basically perfect.
If Toy Story had flopped, the animation landscape would look totally different today. Many of the more recent movies on this list might not exist. It’s fitting then, that it’s so well-regarded both by critics and by general audiences. After all, it changed the game.
Another old musical from an era where that genre was incredibly popular. The film is set in 1904 and follows four sisters on the eve of the World's Fair as they learn about the ways of the world. The movie manages to weave together its story and songs seamlessly. In Meet Me in St. Louis, it's clear that every detail was totally thought through.
The performances, especially a central one from Judy Garland, are to die for. There's a reason that Judy was an enormous star during this period. She could sing, she could dance, and she lit up the screen every time she showed up.
Movies about alcoholism are fairly common today, but in 1945, that wasn't exactly the case. That's not to say that they didn't exist, but stars were supposed to look glamorous, not like they'd just finished a three-day bender. In The Lost Weekend, we got a thorough look at the life of an alcoholic.
The movie's genius is in its honesty about what addiction looks like. It's messy and inconsistent, but the film's central character always ends up with a bottle in his hand. Not every detail in the film is right, but as a portrait of addiction, The Lost Weekend holds up surprisingly well.
20th Century Fox
God, All About Eve is fabulous. It's one of the most entertaining movies ever made, and all of that entertainment comes from the performances at the film's center. The film tells the story of a young up-and-coming actress who attaches herself to an established star. As the young star rises, the older actress falls from grace. It's A Star is Born without any kind of love story.
The film is filled to the brim with perfect scenes. It's the kind of movie that's powered by its stars, and it works entirely for that reason. Buckle up, because All About Eve is a bumpy, wild ride.