Before you watch a film, you most likely go to have a look at the reviews before selecting the one you’ll watch that evening. That’s when you’ll browse Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb to give you a bit of an insight. 

Rotten Tomatoes

It’s excellent; you make a perfectly reasonable decision on what to watch, one that’s been voted highly by critics alike. 

That’s why in this article, we are going to delve into Rotten Tomatoes and look at what it is, which films rank highest on the platform, and which films rank lowest. 

Let’s check it out. 

What is Rotten Tomatoes?

Rotten Tomatoes is a site where films and television programs are reviewed using a score. It’s classed as a review-aggregation site. It was created and launched in August 1998 by Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee and Stephen Wang. 

Interestingly it was first created by Senh Duong as a side project. Due to his interest in Jackie Chan’s filmography, he first collected reviews for all of Chan’s films as they premiered in America. 

How do the Rotten Tomatoes scoring work? 

The scoring works for TV and film by the following principles.

It’s calculated for after it receives at least five reviews. Once it’s received the base level of reviews, the score is fluid. As and when more film critics review, the score will change depending on the review of the film. 

These scores are then aggregated to give them an overall “Tomatometer Score”. To learn more about the Tomatometer scoring system, click here. 

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What Are The Highest Rated Movies on Rotten Tomatoes?

Currently the top 3 rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes are It Happened One Night, The Wizard of Oz and Citizen Kane. They are all wonderful movies from an era of film which focused on acting talent and not special effects.

The top 25 all-time Highest Rated Rotten Tomatoes Movies

Here’s a breakdown of the all-time top-scoring films. Some may be expected, but others are pretty unexpected. But here’s the “All-TIme” top scoring films on Rotten Tomatoes: 

  1. It Happened One Night (1934)
  2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  3. Citizen Kane (1941)
  4. Modern Times (1936)
  5. Black Panther (2018)
  6. Parasite (2019)
  7. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  8. Casablanca (1942)
  9. Knives Out (2019)
  10. Us (2019)
  11. Toy Story 4 (2019)
  12. Lady Bird (2017)
  13. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
  14. BlacKkKlansman (2018)
  15. Get Out (2017)
  16. The Irishman (2019)
  17. The Godfather (1972)
  18. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  19. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
  20. Moonlight (2016)
  21. Sunset Boulevard (1950) 
  22. All About Eve (1950)
  23. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  24. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  25. Roma (2018)

The Top 10 movies on Rotten Tomatoes From 2021

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 movies on Rotten Tomatoes in 2021. Let’s check out who tops the bill in 2021!

Just a side note. The rankings take into consideration that if there have been a lot more reviews but the percentage is lower, the movie will most likely take the top spot due to the aggregation of the result.

  1. Nomadland (2021)
  2. Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
  3. The Father (2021)
  4. In the Heights (2021)
  5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  6. Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) 
  7. Pig (2021)
  8. The Power of the Dog (2021)
  9. CODA (2021)
  10. West Side Story (2021)

The top 10 Lowest Rotten Tomatoes Scores

Here is the list of the lowest Rotten Tomatoes Scores. You may not have heard of many of these, but you’ll not want to watch them. Well, you may be intrigued by them just to see why they’ve been rated so poorly.

Lowest Rotten Tomatoes Scores:

  1. Dark Crimes (2018) – 0%
  2. Jaws: The Revenge (1987) – 0%
  3. Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) – 0%
  4. Mac and Me (1988) – 0%
  5. Staying Alive (1983) – 0%
  6. Bolero (1984) – 0%
  7. Precious Cargo (2016) – 0%
  8. The Slugger’s Wife (1985) – 0%
  9. Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991) – 0%
  10. Dream a Little Dream (1989) – 0%

As you can see the lowest rated movie on rotten tomatoes is Dark Crimes (2018).

What’re your thoughts on these films? Are they deserving of such low scores on Rotten Tomatoes, or do you feel it’s a little harsh? Let us know in the comments.

What does certified fresh mean on Rotten Tomatoes? 

Certified Fresh is a status given by Rotten Tomatoes as a special distinction for the best-awarded films and television shows. To qualify for “Certified Fresh”, movies or television shows have to meet the following requirements: 

  • A consistent Tomatometer score of 75% or higher. 
  • At least five reviews from Top Critics.

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What is the Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes?

The Tomatometer score is their unique scoring method. 

It’s based on the opinions of film and television critics and provides a trusted method of critical review. This allows fans and film lovers to make decisions based on this scoring system. 

The Tomatometer score is a representation of the professional critic review. It’s calculated after the first five reviews are in place for a film or television program.

The scores are as follows: 

Fresh red tomato – This is when the TV and film reviews are 60% or more positive. The red tomato indicates its “Fresh” status – Fresh indicating the reviews are 60%+ positive.

Green splat tomato – This is when the reviews have less than 60% positive reviews for film and TV. A green splat is displayed to indicate its “Rotten” status. Rotten indicates that less than 60% have been reviewed positively.

Faded tomato – Where no Tomatometer score is available. This can be due to the film or program not being released yet, or it hasn’t had enough reviews to calculate the score.

They are displayed in the following order:

Rotten Tomatoes Scores

Rotten Tomatoes vs IMDB

People always debate which is better, Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb. They’re two different platforms, for example;

Rotten Tomatoes is a platform where film critics and experts review films in-depth. It simplifies it into a “Tomatometer score” – a percentage of people who have given it a positive review. However, you do not get an in-depth breakdown of the critic’s review.

IMDB is a platform where people who have watched the movie review it and score the film. They will also give a breakdown of what they thought of the film or TV program. 

Essentially one is where you get a score based on film critics reviews, and the other is a written review from people who watch the film.

Who owns Rotten Tomatoes?

Rotten Tomatoes was founded initially by Senh Duong as a side project. He then focused on Rotten Tomatoes full time with his two friends Patrick Y. Lee and Stephen Wang.

Rotten Tomatoes was bought in June 2004 by IGN Entertainment. Then in January 2010, IGN sold the website to Flixster. In 2011, Warner Bros. acquired Rotten Tomatoes.

In February 2016, Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster (The parent site) were acquired by Fandango (owned by ​​Comcast). Warner Bros. also retains its minority stake in the merged entities. This includes Fandango.

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We hope this article was of interest to you. Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments. We love to hear from you; you make this site! 

Happy filmmaking!