Critics and audiences don’t always agree. In fact, there are only a handful of movies that (almost) everyone agrees qualify as “perfect.” But the 10 films on this list achieved that mythical status by making their way to the top of the illustrious Rotten Tomatoes “100% Club.” This list of films reflects a wide variety of tastes, genres, and themes, so it’s impossible to crown any of these films as the best, but it’s safe to say that if this many critics (at least 40 by Rotten Tomatoes criteria) give a film a perfect score — and audiences agree — it must at least be worth a watch.
Here are 10 perfect films, according to Rotten Tomatoes. You can even download a few of these scripts right here on The Script Lab. Enjoy binging.
The 10 Best Rated Movies of All-Time (According to Rotten Tomatoes)
Whenever you put together a list of classic movies, you expect to see films like THE GRAPES OF WRATH and CITIZEN KANE. And they’re on here. But what’s interesting about this list is the number of new films and “sleepers” that make the cut. Take a closer look at these “perfect” movies. Maybe give one of these top-rated films another watch (or a first watch!) to see why critics and audiences love these stories so much.
THE TERMINATOR (1984)
The larger than life persona and physical stature of Arnold Schwarzenegger paired with a strong performance by Linda Hamilton helped make this film the epitome of an action movie, with the franchise going on to produce six Terminator movies – so far. This film has many memorable scenes and a plethora of iconic one-liners that are still commonly referenced almost 40 years later.
Download the script: THE TERMINATOR PDF
BEFORE SUNRISE (1995)
This engaging flick changed the landscape of what a modern romantic movie could achieve by focusing on the intimacy developed between Ethan Hawke’s character Jesse and Julie Delphy’s, “Celine” who fall in love over the course of a single evening. Their instant chemistry draws the audience in from the moment they lock eyes.
Download the script: BEFORE SUNRISE PDF
CITIZEN KANE (1941)
This investigative masterpiece delves into the journey a group of reporters take to learn about the last spoken word of millionaire newspaper tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, played by Orson Welles. The clever use of flashbacks keeps viewers on the edge of their seat throughout the drama.
Download the script: CITIZEN KANE PDF
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)
This classic has remained at the forefront of pop culture because of its dramatic characters and strong themes as we follow the life of Dr. Frankenstein, played by Colin Clive, and the Monster he created, depicted by Boris Karloff. To save his wife, Dr. Frankenstein must make a mate for his creation.
Download the script: THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN PDF
TOY STORY (1995)
This animated film immediately found a wide audience with his heartwarming tale of a young boy’s toys that come to life and have big adventures. Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, is a fun-hearted cowboy and most beloved toy to a boy named Andy. When he sees his spot threatened by a new toy – Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) – chaos ensues as he must learn to grapple with his jealousy for the sake of those he loves.
Download the script: TOY STORY PDF
3 ½ MINUTES: 10 BULLETS (2015)
This intense movie breaks down the events that occurred on Black Friday when a boy and man and woman encounter each other inside a gas station. Three and a half minutes and 10 bullets later, the boy is dead. This film takes its audience through the aftermath of the fatal clash.
Download the production notes: 3 ½ MINUTES: 10 BULLETS
12 ANGRY MEN (1957)
This film depicts what appears to be an obvious court case as the jury decides whether a young man murdered his father. Clues emerge that cast doubt on his guilt as the jury unpacks evidence.
Download the script: 12 ANGRY MEN PDF
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938)
This classic continues to be remade because of its lovable characters that are easy to root for and appealing plot. It follows Robin Hood who fights against Lords that are cruel to the common people. This Warner Bros. Pictures film is so well-loved that it was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry.
THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
Based on John Steinbeck’s iconic novel, this film introduces us to the Joad family who move West in search of a better life and more opportunity after their farm is taken by the bank. They encounter families with similar plights on their journey and realize California may not be all they had expected.
And just about everyone loves this film. Created at the end of the Great Depression, this historic movie is steeped in social commentary yet somehow brings everyone together. That’s no small feat in 2020.
Pinocchio is the creation of well-intentioned inventor Gepetto, who wishes for the wooden marionette to be a real boy. When a fairy grants his wish she assigns lovable Jiminy Cricket to be Pinocchio’s guide and conscience. This proves to be a tall task for the small cricket as Pinocchio’s humanity gets him into deep trouble.
The Best Movie Scripts According to Critics
You don’t have to write a movie that appeals to everyone to make it as a screenwriter. Heck, you don’t even have to please the critics. Work on your craft, write in the genre and style you know, and study successful scripts like these and you’ll be on your way to screenwriting success.
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