It’s very hard to score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. With so many reviews, even a critically beloved movie is bound to come up with at least one or two dissenters (or someone like Armond White, who believes it’s his job to play the contrarian). Although small indies can tend to hold on to 100% “Fresh” ratings, it’s a monumental task for a wide-release film.
That’s why it’s a big deal that Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird has now taken the title of the Best Reviewed movie in Rotten Tomatoes history. The film has 164 reviews, and all of them are “Fresh”, giving the film a 100% Fresh rating. The previous record holder was Toy Story 2, which had 163 reviews and a 100% Fresh rating.
Does that mean Lady Bird is now objectively the best movie of all-time? No, because evaluating art doesn’t work that way. What it does mean is that there’s a clear critical consensus that the film is good (the binary nature of Rotten Tomatoes means there’s no differentiating between those who love the movie and those that just like it), and that could go a long way to furthering the film’s success. It’s already a hit in limited release, having earned $10 million from just 791 theaters, and that lays a very clear path forward for its Oscar chances.
The Academy has (at least in years past) used critical success and commercial success as a barometer for approval, and Lady Bird has both in spades. With this new Rotten Tomatoes record, the path forward for studio A24 (who won Best Picture last year with Moonlight) is pretty clear, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lady Bird ended up with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), and Best Original Screenplay.
Lady Bird is now playing in select theaters.