Almost Perfect: 55 Movies With 99 Percent Ratings on Rotten Tomatoes

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and ‘Chinatown’ are equal in the eyes of Rotten Tomatoes critics.

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in 'Chinatown' (1974).
Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in 'Chinatown' (1974). / Herbert Dorfman/GettyImages
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In May 2021, one negative review caused Paddington 2 (2017) to lose its perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, sending the beloved sequel from the “100% Club” to the slightly less impressive “99% Club.”

But at least it’s in good company. The group of movies just shy of perfection features a number of Hollywood classics, from 1942’s Casablanca and 1949’s Orson Welles–starring The Third Man to the 1966 war epic The Battle of Algiers and the 1964 James Bond installment Goldfinger. That said, even a cursory glance at the list reveals that the overwhelming majority of the films came out in the 21st century—which is mostly because newer films garner more reviews.

“When a work generates nearly 400 critics’ appraisals, its Tomatometer score can better endure Rotten reviews and sustain its 99 [percent] score,” Rotten Tomatoes explained. “Classic films, by dint of having fewer reviews in written existence, can have their scores torpedoed by a single Rotten remark.”

In fact, at least one classic film has already fallen out of the 99% Club since this list was last updated: Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), which now holds a score of 97 percent.

Finding Nemo (2003), on the other hand, is still holding strong at 99 percent, as are 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon and 2015’s Shaun the Sheep Movie. Even better represented than charming children’s tales are documentaries. There’s 2013’s 20 Feet From Stardom, about the backup singers behind your favorite superstars; and Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro (2016), which draws from James Baldwin’s work to paint a portrait of race in the U.S.

See the full list below, and find out more about the movies on it here.

  1. Lady Bird (2017)
  2. Eighth Grade (2018)
  3. Selma (2014)
  4. Finding Nemo (2003)
  5. Paddington 2 (2017)
  6. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)
  7. Shoplifters (2018)
  8. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
  9. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
  10. Apollo 11 (2019)
  11. A Separation (2011)
  12. Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
  13. Happening (2021)
  14. L.A. Confidential (1997)
  15. Amazing Grace (2018)
  16. Ash Is Purest White (2018)
  17. They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)
  18. Miss Juneteenth (2020)
  19. Things to Come (2016)
  20. Faces Places (2017)
  21. My Life as a Zucchini (2016)
  22. Casablanca (1942)
  23. 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)
  24. McQueen (2018)
  25. Wadjda (2012)
  26. Starred Up (2013)
  27. All About Eve (1950)
  28. On the Waterfront (1954)
  29. Cameraperson (2016)
  30. Knock Down the House (2019)
  31. Saint Frances (2019)
  32. Tower (2016)
  33. Le Havre (2011)
  34. Song of the Sea (2014)
  35. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
  36. The Interrupters (2011)
  37. Under the Shadow (2016)
  38. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
  39. The Missing Picture (2013)
  40. The Third Man (1949)
  41. The Wailing (2016)
  42. The Tale (2018)
  43. Chinatown (1974)
  44. Moolaadé (2004)
  45. Bill Cunningham New York (2010)
  46. On the Record (2020)
  47. Darbareye Elly (2009)
  48. 007: Goldfinger (1964)
  49. The Invisibile War (2011)
  50. Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time (2001)
  51. The Chambermaid (2018)
  52. Truman (2015)
  53. The Twilight Samurai (2002)
  54. 56 Up (2012)
  55. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013)

A version of this story ran in 2022; it has been updated for 2024.