Picking the Good Tomatoes Among the Rotten Tomatoes

Rottentomatoes.com is a website ranking movies based on aggregate of film reviews. Since the website accumulates and aggregates the film reviews, it is a popular and relied one for measuring the quality of films. At the same time, this website is a window that through it one can see how film reviews are, many without sufficient or no research into the film, its subject, and else, but solely based on personal preference. In the following, first the 100 greatest films of all time on this website by aggregate of the film reviews will be discussed. Since the website is mostly relied on the number of reviews than the number of 100% positive reviews, then the films with higher reviews (that are mostly modern era films as they are more reviewers now than in the past), will get a higher ranking. But films with 100% positive reviews if they have lower number of reviews, such as old films as you will see, they will get lower rankings and many great films do not appear on this list of the greatest 100 films of all time, but some mediocre recent years films  with more number of reviews appear in the list. 

Rotten Tomatoes 100 Best movies of all time: 

Rank   Rating                     Title                                           No. of Reviews                                                                                       

1 99% Wizard of Oz (1939) 109
2 100% Citizen Kane (1941) 73
3 100% The third Man (1949) 76
4 97% Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 359
5 100% All about Eve (1950) 64
6 100% The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 49
7 98% Inside Out (2015) 319
8 99% Godfather (1972) 84
9 99% Metropolis (1927) 115
10 100% Modern Times (1936) 53
11 98% E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 112
12 100% Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 49
13 98% It happened one night (1934) 52
14 97% Casablanca (1942) 74
15 98% Boyhood (2014) 278
16 100% Laura (1944) 60
17 98% A Hard Day’s Night (1964) 102
18 97% Nosferatu, a symphony of horror (1922) 62
19 98% Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 47
20 99% The Battle of Algiers (1967) 82
21 97% Grand Illusion (1938) 63
22 100% North by Northwest (1959) 64
23 100% Repulsion (1965) 60
24 100% The Maltese Falcon (1941) 49
25 96% Gravity (2013) 315
26 96% 12 years a Slave (2013) 314
27 98% Moonlight (2016) 269
28 98% Sunset Boulevard (1950) 60
29 98% King Kong (1933) 54
30 100% The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 45
31 100% Rear Window (1954) 63
32 100% Rashomon (1951) 49
33 96% Psycho (1960) 84
34 96% Spotlight (2015) 302
35 99% Selma (2015) 229
36 99% Toy Story 3 (2010) 290
37 100% Toy Story 2 (1999) 163
38 96% Argo (2012) 313
39 99% Taxi Driver (1976) 75
40 100% The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 41
41 100% M (1931) 51
42 100% The Philadelphia Story (1940) 54
43 100% Seven Samurai (1956) 57
44 98% Zootopia (2016) 243
45 100% The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) 45
46 100% All quiet of the Western Front (1930) 40
47 98% Up (2009) 285
48 100% The 400 Blows (1959) 54
49 97% Alien (1979) 102
50 98% Bicycle Thieves (1949) 56
51 97% Army of Shadows (1969) 73
52 100% 12 Angry Men (1957) 48
53 98%  A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 54
54 98% The Night of the Hunter (1955) 63
55 99%  Dr. Strangelove (1964) 73
56 99%  Get Out (2017) 145
57 100% Rebecca (1940) 48
58 99% Rosemary’s Baby (1968) 69
59 100% Frankenstein (1931) 45
60 98% Hell or High Water (2016)  226
61 100% Conformist (1970) 50
62 97% Vertigo (1958) 64
63 99% Finding Nemo (2003) 255
64 96% Touch of Evil (1958) 70
65 92% Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens(2015) 365
66 99% Annie Hall (1977) 67
67 97% The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 68
68 98% The Wrestler (2008) 220
69 99% L.A .Confidential (1997) 108
70 94% The Dark Knight (2008) 317
71 98% The Hurt Locker (2009) 256
72 98% The 39 Steps (1935) 44
73 98% The Babdook (2014) 206
74 94% Gone With the Wind (1939) 81
75 100% Pinocchio (1940) 45
76 93%  Skyfall (2012) 347
77 97% Brooklyn (2015) 235
78 100% Open City (1946) 40
79 100% Tokyo Story (1953) 41
80 96% High Noon (1952) 50
81 93% Star Trek (2009) 333
82 93% La La Land (2016) 332
83 100% The Last Picture Show (1971) 51
84 100% The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 43
85 100% The Wags of Fear (1953) 40
86 96% Manchester by the Sea (2016) 257
87 94% Arrival (2016) 305
88 98% Roman Holdiay (1953) 40
89 98% On the Waterfront (1954) 60
90 96% Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part II (2011) 310
91 97% The Godfather Part II (1974) 72
92 100% Man on Wire (2008) 154
93 100% Toy Story (1995) 78
94 97%  Jaws (1975) 74
95 95% The Jungle Book (2016) 274
96 100% Battleship Potemkin (1925) 45
97 100%  Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 42
98 97% Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 77
99 98% The Lady Vanishes (1938) 41
100 97% It Follows (2015) 219

 As you see in the list, mediocre recent films due to high number of reviews even if they have lower ranking percentage, are in the list, but some great films are missing due to having been less reviewed in the past, when there were not many reviewers all around like nowadays. Some examples of the mediocre films to the surprise of many on this greatest list of all time as you see are: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) with 97% positive rating ranking surprisingly number 4 of the greatest films of all time, beating even “Godfather”, “Metropolis”, “Modern times” and many other greatest films, only because having 359 reviews. Similarly “Inside Out” (2015) with 98% ranking is the number 7 on the list because having 319 reviews; “Boyhood” (2014) also with 98% ranking number 15 on the list because having 278 reviews; Also “Gravity” (2013) with 96% ranking number 25 on the list because having 315 reviews; and so on! As you see a film with as low as 92% positive reviews such as “Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens” (2015) can get in the list and ranking 65 beating “Gone with the wind” and “High Noon” just for having 365 reviews (the highest number of reviews on the site). In the same token, mediocre recent films such as “The Dark Knight”, “Skyfall”, “Star Trek”, “La La Land”, “Manchester by the sea”, and “Arrival” have entered the list of this greatest films of all time, perhaps to the surprise of many critics themselves. Such a greatest film list is totally rotten as great films such as “Vertigo” (1958) that is ranked number one by “Sight & Sound” and ranking 9th in AFI 100 best films is ranked 62 in Rotten Tomatoes, and “The rule of the game” (1939), “Sunrise” (1927), “2001:A Space Odyssey” (1968) ranking 4, 5, & 6 by “Sight & Sound” are totally missing from the Rotten Tomatoes list of the 100 greatest films of all time! Similarly “Raging Bull” and “Schindler’s List” ranking 4 and 8 on AFI 100 best films of all time are missing in Rotten Tomatoes’ list.          

 If as you see in the following table, including all films with 100% positive reviews and more than 30 reviews, we will get 122 best films of all time, excluding many of the recent mediocre films with less than 100% positive reviews, so this adjustment will make it a better list.

Reviewers 122 Best movies of all time:

Rank   Rating                     Title                                           No. of Reviews                                                                                       

1 100% Citizen Kane (1941) 73
2 100% The third Man (1949) 76
3 100% All about Eve (1950) 64
4 100% The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 49
5 100% Modern Times (1936) 53
6 100% Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 49
7 100% Laura (1944) 60
8 100% North by Northwest (1959) 64
9 100% Repulsion (1965) 60
10 100% The Maltese Falcon (1941) 49
11 100% The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 45
12 100% Rear Window (1954) 63
13 100% Rashomon (1951) 49
14 100% Toy Story 2 (1999) 163
15 100% The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)/Frankenstein (1931)  41/45
16 100% M (1931) 51
17 100% The Philadelphia Story (1940) 54
18 100% Seven Samurai (1956) 57
19 100% The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) 45
20 100% All quiet of the Western Front (1930) 40
21 100% The 400 Blows (1959) 54
22 100% 12 Angry Men (1957) 48
23 100% Rebecca (1940) 48
24 100% Frankenstein (1931) 45
25 100% Conformist (1970) 50
26 100% Pinocchio (1940) 45
27 100% Open City (1946) 40
28 100% Tokyo Story (1953) 41
29 100% The Last Picture Show (1971) 51
30 100% The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 43
31 100% The Wags of Fear (1953) 40
32 100% Man on Wire (2008) 154
33 100% Toy Story (1995) 78
34 100% Battleship Potemkin (1925) 45
*35 100%  Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 42
36 100% The Birth of a Nation (1915) 38
37 100% Scarface (1932) 34
38 100% The Invisible Man (1933) 36
39 100% Top Hat (1935) 37
40 100% Pepe le Moko (1937) 30
41 100% Satagecoach (1939) 36
42 100% The Lady Eve (1941) 32
43 100% Sullivan’s Travels (1941) 32
44 100% Shadow of Doubt (1943) 34
45 100% Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)  30
46 100% The Lost Weekend (1945) 33
47 100% The Killers (1946) 34
48 100% The Fallen Idol (1948) 31
49 100% Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) 38
50 100% The African Queen (1951) 38
51 100% Ikiru (1952) 32
52 100% The Earrings of Madame de…(1953) 33
53 100% Marty (1955) 31
54 100% A Man Escaped (1956) 32
55 100% Rio Bravo (1959) 38
56 100% Purple Noon (1960) 33
57 100% Knife in the Water (1962) 32
58 100% The Leopard (1963) 45
59 100% Mary Poppins (1964) 46
60 100% I am Cuba (1964) 32
61 100% Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) 37
62 100% Cool Hand Luke (1967) 47
63 100% The Gold Rush (1925) 42
64 100% The Searchers (1956)  41
65 100% Playtime (1967) 41
66 100% The Odd couple (1968) 33
67 100% Wake in Fright (1971) 46
68 100% Day for Night (1973) 31
69 100% The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) 34
70 100% Atlantic City (1980) 30
71 100% Fanny and Alexander (1982) 33
72 100% Local Hero (1983) 31
73 100% The Terminator (1984) 56
74 100% My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) 35
75 100% My Life as a Dog (1985) 30
76 100%  Shoah (1985) 32
77 100% Tampopo (1985) 39
78 100% Henry V (1989) 34
79 100% The Witches (1990) 33
80 100% Bob Roberts (1992) 36
81 100% Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) 36
82 100% Three Colors: Blue (1993) 40
83 100% Three Colors: Red (1994) 48
84 100% Before Sunrise (1995) 42
85 100% The Sweet Hereafter (1997) 55
86 100% Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999) 40
87 100% Yana’s Friends (1999) 30
88 100% The Taste of Others (2000) 58
89 100% Hukkle (2002) 31
90 100% Cama Adentro (2004) 32
91 100% Deliver Us from Evil (2006) 73
92 100% Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) 91
93 100% The Order of Myths (2008) 32
94 100% Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008) 36
95 100% Still Walking (2008) 61
96 100% Afghan Star (2008) 59
97 100% Sita Sings the Blues (2008) 32
98 100% Last Train Home (2009) 52
99 100% Nostalgia for the Light (2010) 43
100 100% Poetry (2010) 61
101 100% Waste Land (2010) 68
102 100% Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone (2010) 43
103 100% Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness (2011) 39
104 100% We Were Here (2011) 41
105 100% More Than Honey (2012) 37
106 100% The Waiting Room (2012) 34
107 100% The Square (2013) 60
108 100% Ilo Ilo (2013) 41
109 100% Sound City (2013) 42
110 100% The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) 83
111 100% Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014) 36
112 100% Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2014) 70
113 100% Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014) 31
114 100% Seymour: An Introduction (2014) 61
115 100% Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014) 35
116 100% Court (2014) 36
117 100%  3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015) 38
118 100% Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (2015)  51
119 100% O.J. Made in America (2016) 44
120 100% Tower (2016) 43
121 100% Things to Come (2016) 98
122 100% My life as a Courgette (2016) 53

Now if we remove recent films with less than 40 reviews among the 100% positive reviews list, then we will have the following table that give us 100 films that could be even better:

Reviewers 100 Best movies of all time:

Rank   Rating                     Title                                           No. of Reviews                                                                                        

1 100% Citizen Kane (1941) 73
2 100% The third Man (1949) 76
3 100% All about Eve (1950) 64
4 100% The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 49
5 100% Modern Times (1936) 53
6 100% Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 49
7 100% Laura (1944) 60
8 100% North by Northwest (1959) 64
9 100% Repulsion (1965) 60
10 100% The Maltese Falcon (1941) 49
11 100% The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 45
12 100% Rear Window (1954) 63
13 100% Rashomon (1951) 49
14 100% Toy Story 2 (1999) 163
15 100% The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)/Frankenstein (1931)  41/45
16 100% M (1931) 51
17 100% The Philadelphia Story (1940) 54
18 100% Seven Samurai (1956) 57
19 100% The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) 45
20 100% All quiet of the Western Front (1930) 40
21 100% The 400 Blows (1959) 54
22 100% 12 Angry Men (1957) 48
23 100% Rebecca (1940) 48
24 100% Frankenstein (1931) 45
25 100% Conformist (1970) 50
26 100% Pinocchio (1940) 45
27 100% Open City (1946) 40
28 100% Tokyo Story (1953) 41
29 100% The Last Picture Show (1971) 51
30 100% The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 43
31 100% The Wags of Fear (1953) 40
32 100% Man on Wire (2008) 154
33 100% Toy Story (1995) 78
34 100% Battleship Potemkin (1925) 45
*35 100%  Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 42
36 100% The Birth of a Nation (1915) 38
37 100% Scarface (1932) 34
38 100% The Invisible Man (1933) 36
39 100% Top Hat (1935) 37
40 100% Pepe le Moko (1937) 30
41 100% Satagecoach (1939) 36
42 100% The Lady Eve (1941) 32
43 100% Sullivan’s Travels (1941) 32
44 100% Shadow of Doubt (1943) 34
45 100% Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)  30
46 100% The Lost Weekend (1945) 33
47 100% The Killers (1946) 34
48 100% The Fallen Idol (1948) 31
49 100% Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) 38
50 100% The African Queen (1951) 38
51 100% Ikiru (1952) 32
52 100% The Earrings of Madame de…(1953) 33
53 100% Marty (1955) 31
54 100% A Man Escaped (1956) 32
55 100% Rio Bravo (1959) 38
56 100% Purple Noon (1960) 33
57 100% Knife in the Water (1962) 32
58 100% The Leopard (1963) 45
59 100% Mary Poppins (1964) 46
60 100% I am Cuba (1964) 32
61 100% Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) 37
62 100% Cool Hand Luke (1967) 47
63 100% The Gold Rush (1925) 42
64 100% The Searchers (1956)  41
65 100% Playtime (1967) 41
66 100% The Odd couple (1968) 33
67 100% Wake in Fright (1971) 46
68 100% Day for Night (1973) 31
69 100% The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) 34
70 100% Atlantic City (1980) 30
71 100% Fanny and Alexander (1982) 33
72 100% The Terminator (1984) 56
73 100% Three Colors: Blue (1993) 40
74 100% Three Colors: Red (1994) 48
75 100% Before Sunrise (1995) 42
76 100% The Sweet Hereafter (1997) 55
77 100% Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999) 40
78 100% The Taste of Others (2000) 58
79 100% Deliver Us from Evil (2006) 73
80 100% Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) 91
81 100% Still Walking (2008) 61
82 100% Afghan Star (2008) 59
83 100% Last Train Home (2009) 52
84 100% Nostalgia for the Light (2010) 43
85 100% Poetry (2010) 61
86 100% Waste Land (2010) 68
87 100% Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone (2010) 43
88 100% We Were Here (2011) 41
89 100% The Square (2013) 60
90 100% Ilo Ilo (2013) 41
91 100% Sound City (2013) 42
92 100% The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) 83
93 100% Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014) 36
94 100% Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2014) 70
95 100% Seymour: An Introduction (2014) 61
96 100% Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (2015)  51
97 100% O.J. Made in America (2016) 44
98 100% Tower (2016) 43
99 100% Things to Come (2016) 98
100 100% My life as a Courgette (2016) 53

But no matter how one cuts and tries to fix the Rotten Tomatoes greatest films list, one cannot succeed to include really greatest films of all time to satisfy true film critics, historians and even the seasoned viewers and true cinema lovers. That is the reason why great and even good films are not measured by the number of reviews, but by the quality of the film that is measured truly and scientifically by a careful and researching critic and historian. No one can deny the greatness of classic films such as “The Kid” of Charlie Chaplin (1921) for having had only 24 reviews, or “Greed” of Ercih Von Stroheim (1924) for having had 17 reviews, “Un Chien Andalou” of Louis Bunuel (1929) for having had 21 reviews, though they all had 100% positive reviews. Even a great film such as “Man with a movie camera” (1929) ranking 2nd on our site, has only 97% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and out of their greatest list! The same with “Intolerance” (1916), “Wings” (1927), Jazz Singer (1927). “The Passion of Joan of Arc” 1927) ranking 5, 10, 12, and 13 on our greatest films of all time, but no great ranking at Rotten Tomatoes!

Therefore it seems that Rotten Tomatoes, pick mostly the rotten tomatoes as the name implies, not the good or great tomatoes!    

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