Ever since Citizen Kane came out in 1941, it’s been hailed as the greatest movie of all time by countless film organizations, and that ranking is still widely upheld to this day. However, the Orson Welles drama has just been dethroned from its perfect Rotten Tomatoes status by an unlikely contender: the 2018 family flick Paddington 2.
As noted by Discussing Film, someone updated the Rotten Tomatoes account for Citizen Kane to include a previously missing 80-year-old review that criticized the film, dropping its score from 100% to 99%. The write-up originally ran in print in the Chicago Tribune back on May 7th, 1941. In her review for that issue of the paper, critic Mae Tinee makes it hilariously clear that she doesn’t think Citizen Kane is the pinnacle of cinema.
“You’ve heard a lot about this picture and I see by the ads that some experts think it ‘the greatest movie ever made.’ I don’t,” wrote Tinee. “It’s interesting. It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.”
Of course, Citizen Kane is still a great movie; Tinee even admits that it has its strengths. A 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes is tough to come by and well earned, as proven by the other flicks in that category: Casablanca, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and Finding Nemo. Technically speaking, though, this does mean it’s inferior to movies with a 100% fresh rating, like Black Narcissus, Stop Making Sense, Crip Camp, and the inimitable Paddington 2.
As one of the best films of 2018, Paddington 2 deserves all of the praise its gotten, both as a standalone film and as a sequel to the original movie. It’s a delightful watch full of cute surprises and heartfelt moments, and executives are wisely working on Paddington 3 already. Needless to say, Thom Yorke is probably eagerly awaiting its arrival.
I do hope Mr Kane won't be too upset when he hears I've overtaken him with rotten tomatoes.
— Paddington (@paddingtonbear) April 28, 2021
‘PADDINGTON 2’ has replaced ‘CITIZEN KANE’ as the top-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes after
an 80-year old review made it slip from 100% to 99%. pic.twitter.com/kHN2n6Rk7t
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) April 27, 2021