Top 10 Movies that Should Have Gotten 100 Percent on Rotten Tomatoes



Top 10 Movies that Should Have Gotten 100 Percent on Rotten Tomatoes

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
You just had to spoil the fun, didn't you? For this list, we'll be looking at classic films that are only one rotten review away from a perfect 100% score, as of October 2018. Our list includes “King Kong” (1933), “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962), “Snow White and Seven Dwarfs” (1937), “On the Waterfront” (1954), and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies that Should Have Gotten a 100 Percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Movies that Should Have Gotten a 100 Percent on Rotten Tomatoes

You just had to spoil the fun, didn’t you? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten movies that should have gotten a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

For this list, we’ll be looking at classic films that are only one rotten review away from a perfect 100% score, as of October 2018.

#10: “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962)

In the ‘60s, it was the middle of the Cold War, which made this suspense thriller extremely poignant for its time. Thanks to its powerful satire and political themes, it remains relevant today. So it’s not surprising that John Frankenheimer’s film adaptation of Richard Condon’s 1959 novel has a 98% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Out of 54 reviews, it has 1 rotten one from the New York Times’ Bosley Crowther, who states “pops up with a rash supposition that could serve to scare some viewers half to death.” Despite his criticism, it’s hard to ignore the film’s 2 Oscar nods, status in the U.S. National Film Registry and its incredible acting, story and production.

#9: “King Kong” (1933)

“King Kong” is the quintessential monster movie. It is often regarded as one of the most technically ambitious movies of all time, and Kong himself is one of cinema’s greatest icons. As of writing, the movie holds a 98% rating, with 1 of 56 reviews being rotten. The review comes from William Troy of The Nation, who praised the technical ingenuity but criticized the blending of horror and romance, writing “they failed to realize that such a union was possible only by straining out powers of credulity.” However, one could argue that it is the blending and the humanity itself that makes “King Kong” (both the movie and the creature), such a classic.

#8: “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968)

When it comes to Spaghetti Westerns, no one does it better than Sergio Leone. “Once Upon a Time in the West” is a brilliant blend of character work, Western action, epic scope, cinematography, and music, and it is rightfully regarded as one of the greatest Westerns ever made. Funnily enough, the only rotten review comes from none other than Roger Ebert himself. However, one could argue that it’s not even rotten, as he gave the movie two and a half stars out of four. The only problems he seemed to have were the movie’s length and its meandering plot, writing “we’re well into the second hour of the movie before the plot becomes quite clear.”

#7: “Chinatown” (1974)

Unfortunately, this is an instance of separating art from the creator. The movie’s director, Roman Polanski, might be one of the most infamous figures in Hollywood history, but regardless of the crimes he’s been accused of, “Chinatown” remains an undeniable masterpiece - a brilliant blend of film noir and psychological drama with one of the most famous endings in movie history. The only rotten review of sixty-four comes from prominent movie critic Gene Siskel, one half of the classic team Siskel & Ebert (what is with these guys giving bad reviews to classic movies?). He criticized the movie’s tedium and overproduction, writing “the opening shot of almost every scene has been… artificially overcomposed.”

#6: “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)

Roman Polanski’s movies can’t seem to catch a break. His masterpiece “Rosemary’s Baby” is often considered one of the greatest horror movies of all time, mostly due to the slowly-rising tension, iconic ending, and Mia Farrow’s brilliant performance. It holds an oh-so-close 99% rating, with the only rotten review (of sixty-nine) coming from The New York Times. While critic Renata Adler found the movie pleasant to watch, she still criticized its (in her opinion) feeble attempts at darkness. However, it seems as if everyone else disagrees and finds the movie to be a perfectly dark and depraved classic.

#5: “On the Waterfront” (1954)

Marlon Brando is often denied his well-deserved 100% rating. “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the movie that made him a household name, has a 98% rating with one of fifty-five reviews being rotten, while his acting masterclass “On the Waterfront” also has a 98% rating, with one rotten review of sixty-two. The offending review comes from Michael E. Grost of Classic Film and Television, who called it an “overrated melodrama about the alleged wonders of informing.” Despite Grost’s opinion, “On the Waterfront” is considered a contender for the best movie of all time. Or at least one of them.

#4: “Snow White and Seven Dwarfs” (1937)

When it comes to the most important animated movies of all time, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is easily in the running. However, Eric Henderson of Slant doesn’t seem to agree with its legacy, as he provided the movie’s sole negative review. Henderson criticized the movie’s interest in the craftsmanship over art, stating that it “fails to transcend its insipid characters, kitschy setting, and abysmal pacing.” He also argues that the movie is unfairly praised simply for being the first Disney movie, and while we can agree that superior Disney movies have been made, there’s simply no denying “Snow White’s” legacy and impact on the medium of film.

#3: “Sunset Boulevard” (1950)

Often considered the quintessential film noir and one of the first cinematic critiques of Hollywood, “Sunset Boulevard” is a masterpiece with an enduring legacy to match. And while it enjoys a 98% score and an astounding average rating of 9.3/10, there remains that one pesky negative review from Kevin Carr of 7M Pictures. Carr praises the realistic depiction of Hollywood but states that it is “just another example of film noir from the 50s.” However, he also admits that “some of the impact is lost on [him], having grown up in the ‘Star Wars’ era where special effects ruled the day.” So, you know, there’s that to consider as well.

#2: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

Stanley Kubrick is one of the most talented visionaries to ever operate in Hollywood, but there’s no denying that his movies are incredibly divisive. Some people love the atmospheres he creates while others can’t seem to grasp his eccentricity. “Dr. Strangelove” is one of his many masterpieces, coming in at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with seventy-five fresh and one rotten review. It comes from David Nusair of Reel Film, who calls its legacy “baffling.” Nusair criticizes the movie’s “meandering narrative,” sense of humor, and “talky vibe,” calling it “an unfocused, unfunny black comedy.”

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“The French Connection” (1971)

“The African Queen” (1951)

#1: “Metropolis” (1927)

“Metropolis” is a German expressionist movie from the silent film era that is lauded for its visual effects, with many critics calling it a seminal work in the science fiction genre. And wouldn’t you know it, out of 118 reviews collected on Rotten Tomatoes, only one is negative. It comes from Variety, who praised the movie’s artistic achievement but criticized the “manufactured story.” This was a common criticism when “Metropolis” was first released in 1927, and Variety isn’t the only outlet to criticize the movie. Sci-fi pioneer H.G Wells called the movie silly, and the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction has criticized its “trite” storyline. Nonetheless… its influence feels worthy of that coveted 100%.