Rotten Tomatoes is one of the most popular websites for film reviews. It’s also one of the most trusted. And, now that we’re all getting colder weather, we have to get our movie bucket lists in order. Obviously, we only want to watch the best out there. So, here is your check off list for this season! These are Rotten Tomatoes’ highest rated films. If you haven’t seen them, now is the time! Enjoy!
Boyhood should have been a disaster. It should have failed at epic levels … it didn’t, actually quite the opposite. The 2014 film from Richard Linklater was filmed over 12 years and entrusted a large portion of its potential success in a child who would grow up throughout the course of the film. It’s like drafting a kid to be the future quarterback of an NFL team. Not only did it all work out, it became perhaps the greatest coming-of-age movie of all time.
The Godfather & The Godfather, Part II
Two movies that need no introduction. Scoring 100% and 99% respectively, the first two Godfather films are some of the greatest ever made. Often imitated, never duplicated.
Not only the greatest samurai film ever made, arguably one of the greatest war/battle movies ever made. It’s the main inspiration for The Magnificent Seven and probably for a lot of Tarantino’s upcoming The Hateful Eight. The perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes is just further proof of the film’s greatness.
Short Term 12
Romantic, emotional movies are often filled with awful dialogue, two-dimensional characters, and about as much depth as this river. Short Term 12 is one of the rare examples that’s not. It handles complex topics with ease and catches you with a haymaker when you’re least expecting it.
Man on Wire
Of the films that take home approval ratings of 99-100%, most end up being black and white classics or documentaries. While we love many docs, we only wanted to put the best of the best on this list. Man on Wire is one of those. It tells the tale of Philippe Petit and the day (August 7, 1974) he walked across a wire strung between the Twin Towers. It’s New York, it’s passion, and it’s the “artistic crime of the century.”
Cool Hand Luke
Few characters in cinematic history have encapsulated cool as well as Luke Jackson. It’s easy to think back on Cool Hand Luke as some breezy, lightweight movie full of perfectly buttoned denim shirts and slick dialogue, but what makes the movie worthy of its 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is the depth that easily gets forgotten. Worth rewatching if it’s been a decade or more.
If your immediate thought is, “No way The Terminator scored 100%!” you’re one of many who forget how great the movie was. Maybe it’s the cartoon character Arnold became, but many don’t remember how tremendous The Terminator is. Buried under all the machismo is a heady movie that remains one of James Cameron’s best.
Wake in Fright
It’s the film that left Scorsese speechless and Roger Ebert stunned. The entire movie exists in the haze of a booze-soaked bender and pulls you under the hot Australian sun for the ride. It’s grim, sweaty, and worth a larger audience.
The Man From Nowhere
It’s a shame we only get a small percentage of the incredible action films from the Far East. While an occasional martial arts epic makes its way to our shores, a lot are left behind. Just be thankful we have The Man From Nowhere. The Korean movie is packed with dark and tense action like only the shadows were being filmed. It didn’t receive the amount of ratings as other films, so it probably would drop a touch from its 100% approval if it did, but we can’t deny how much we love this work from Jeong-beom Lee.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
If you love sushi to the point where you’d welcome mercury poisoning to eat more, you pretty much need to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Of course, any film that scores a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes can’t just be a couple hours of food porn, Jiro Dreams of Sushi will make you salivate while taking you inside Sukiyabashi Jiro’s little joint inside a Tokyo subway station to see how a true master works.
The Vietnam War has been the backdrop for a great number of movies, but none can touch Francis Ford Coppola’s epic. Apocalypse Now is unapologetic in its approach to showcasing the madness of war. It’s truly unique and somehow captures the confusion and anger of the time perfectly. Few movies accomplish what Apocalypse Now did.
Dave Grohl’s ode to rock is a surprisingly amazing film. It’s based around a small, iconic studio where the likes of Nirvana, Neil Young, and many others recorded tracks. Dave Grohl obviously knows rock, but with Sound City it’s also clear he knows how to craft a great film.
My Left Foot
Before there was Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, or Lincoln, we saw the brilliance of Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot. His portrayal of Christy Brown, a man with cerebral palsy who learns to use his left foot—the only part of his body not afflicted—to become a famous author and painter is beyond tremendous. The movie is excellent, but it’s the performance by Daniel Day-Lewis that warrants the 100% approval.
Starred Up is easily one of the best movies we’ve seen in years and worthy of its 99% rating. Set inside a British prison, the film has an ultra-realistic feel that’s grimy, raw, and unapologetic. The story of Eric Love and his prison stint with his father is vicious. It’s what other prison films should have been if they didn’t chicken out.
Get your popcorn ready, and share with a friend! Enjoy your movie night!
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