ByDania Lerman, writer at
Dania Lerman

How many times have you NOT watched a movie because Rotten Tomatoes gave it a "splat"? I know I certainly have... Rotten Tomatoes more or less determines whatever I watch on Netflix. If you're turned off by "certified rotten", chances are you're pretty swayed by "certified fresh": 60% - it's got a chance. 70% - it's safe. 80-90% - you're golden. And those times you stumble upon a 100%... ?

What does it take for EVERYONE to like a movie? Thanks to Wikipedia, I found a list of all movies with 100% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Rather than choosing the "best movies of all time", I singled out the following 10 to represent the surprisingly high diversity of movies that EVERYONE likes. It's an interesting mix, take a look:

1.) North by Northwest (1969)

If any director scores 100% more than once, it's GOT to be Hitchcock. I picked North by Northwest over Rear Window only because it happens to be my favorite - not because I think it's "better". It's such a brilliant mind f*ck - until the very end, you're never quite sure whether you're actually watching a movie about supernatural phenomenon... genius.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"At times it seems Hitchcock is kidding his own penchant for the bizarre, but this sardonic attitude is so deftly handled it only enhances the thrills." - Variety

2.) The Terminator (1984)

Three words: I'll. Be. BACK!

The sci-fi action thriller that started it all - and we're not just talking about the franchise, but the entire GENRE. It's a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, and it doesn't even trash New York City (well... Los Angeles... but still). Arnie's at his finest as he tracks down Sarah Connors - AKA the most badass mom in movie history.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"As for Schwarzenegger, he nicely fleshes out the convention of a soulless gun for hire. With his choppy hair, cryptic shades and state-of-the-'80s leather ensemble, he looks like the Incredible Hulk gone punk." - Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

3.) Toy Story (1995)

It defined Gen. Y childhoods across the world. Kids love it, adults love it, anyone with the slightest bit of a heart loves it. It's witty, it's heartfelt, it's... everything. Even its sequel is 100% fresh (part 3 is 99%). If you've already seen it, see it again... and that goes for parts 2 & 3, too.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"So ingenious in concept, design and execution that you could watch it on a postage stamp-sized screen and still be engulfed by its charm." - Derek Adams, Time Out

4.) Man on Wire (2008)

In 1974, a man named Philippe Petit strung a wire between the Twin Towers and walked across it, pausing only for the occasional gymnastics performance... all carried out, of course, without a harness or safety net. If this story doesn't already have you gripping your seat, this award winning documentary certainly will.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"In this exhilarating, palm-moistening documentary by British filmmaker James Marsh (Wisconsin Death Trip), the twin towers are back to celebrate one of their finest moments." - Jonathan F. Richards,

5.) The Godfather (1972)

Well... no surprises here. The timeless gangster-epic is pretty unanimously considered one of the best movies of all time... at the very least. If you need some classics under your belt, watch The Godfather - it's an undisputed entry requirement for film-buff status.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"In its blending of new depth with an old genre, it becomes that rarity, a mass entertainment that is also great movie art." - Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine

6.) 3 Idiots (2009)

This clever, coming-of-age dramedy is the second most highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. Featuring real inventions by little-known people in India's backyards, it's a sweet homage to Indian culture, and quirky individuals, as a whole. It pulls off some serious social commentary through its dark and incredibly dry humor.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

Very much a character-driven piece, which not only makes the laughs bigger but also earns a deeper involvement. - Michael Dequina,

7.) TT3D: Closer to the Edge (2011)

The Isle of Man TT Race is one of the most prestigious - and dangerous - motorcycle races in the world (because apparently motorcycling itself isn't ALREADY dangerous and terrifying... ). Narrated by Jared Leto, we get up close and personal with the world's most daring daredevils. After two hours of 3D footage and intense personalities, we begin to understand why people risk their lives for this wild and thrilling sport.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"It's a saturnalia of excitement, saturated with thrills and a sense of danger that is almost spiritual." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

8.) Fist of Legend (1994)

Jet Li's remake of Fist of Fury (1972) that's legendary by its own right. Several movies have modeled their fight scenes off its tight choreography - most notably, The Matrix. In other words, it inspired the movie that's inspired every other movie ever made.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"If you don't feel the bones breaking, you're not watching closely enough." - Oz,

9.) Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

He's the child prodigy who won our hearts. Better yet, he's REAL - Joshua Waitzkin is now 37 years old. It's touching, inspiring, and made every six-year-old feel extremely inadequate... that being said, Josh's integrity more than makes up for how much we might secretly resent him - prodigy or not, the kid rocks.

On Rotten Tomatoes:

"The mystery of Fischer's talent and torment adds depth to Searching for Bobby Fischer, about a young New York chess prodigy who doesn't want his genius to ruin his life." - Michael Booth, Denver Post

10.) My Left Foot (1989)

Daniel Day-Lewis showed the world what he's made of as the highly talented Christy Brown, an Irishman with cerebral palsy. Whether or not you're know its true story, it's guaranteed to bring you to tears... while still managing to be "feel-good".

On Rotten Tomatoes:

Not only does Day-Lewis master the physical aspects of the role, the minute-to-minute struggle of almost complete paralysis, he lives the painful genesis of an artistic character. - Desson Thomson, Washington Post

So what do you think? What does EVERYONE like in a movie? Strong characters? Bomb ass acting? A touch of true life? A lasting legacy? While all of them got 100% "fresh" ratings, the reviews weren't completely 100% positive - juuust enough to score a tomato over a splat... makes you think, right?


How many of these 100% "Certified Fresh-es" have you seen?


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