It’s a surprise hit.
It’s true we’re only in the first month of the year but the most critically-acclaimed film of 2018 isn’t some art house indie film, or star-studded historical drama. It’s actually a live action and CGI-animated comedy film—and a sequel to boot.
The family film Paddington 2 just topped Academy Award-nominated Lady Bird as the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re unfamiliar with Rotten Tomatoes’s rating system, the site aggregates movie and TV shows reviews from professional critics to come up with a “Tomatometer” percentage rating. Movies and shows with good reviews and at least 60 percent on its Tomatometer get a red tomato and is designated as “Fresh.” Any movie or TV program with less than that percentage gets a “Rotten” green tomato splat. The crème de la crème on the site is the “Certified Fresh” designation, which is a steady Tomatometer rating of 75 percent or more.
So what does a movie about a children’s book character have to do with all of this? According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film broke Toy Story 2’s record on the site, getting the most consecutive “Fresh” reviews without a single “Rotten” one. Toy Story 2 has 163 Fresh reviews and zero Rotten reviews, while Paddington 2 currently has 170 Fresh reviews and zero Rotten reviews. Lady Bird lost its record on the site in December when it received one Rotten review out of 221 reviews—but hey, it still got five Academy Award nominations, so we don’t think it’s hurting for glory or attention.
Released on January 12th, Paddington 2 follows the bear as he and his human family try to solve the mystery of a stolen, one-of-a-kind pop-up book. Perhaps the reason for its popularity is it’s a film that whole family will love—and even parents who aren’t too big on kids’ films will love the story and get a kick out of seeing some familiar faces onscreen like Hugh Grant (who, spoiler alert, is the villain), Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, and Harry Potter’s Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.