A low-budget indie film is now the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes.
Every critic who reviewed Lady Bird, a stunning coming-of-age comedy about a California teen finishing high school in the early 2000s, did so positively on the site so far. The film, released in about 800 North American theaters this month, is the first on Rotten Tomatoes to hold a perfect score of 100% after 170 reviews, at the time of this writing. The beloved 1999 animated sequel, Toy Story 2, held the previous record with a 100% score based on 163 reviews.
That doesn’t make Lady Bird the best movie of all time, though. Others, like The Big Sick, Selma, and Toy Story 3, are more acclaimed with more positive reviews and just a handful of negatives ones, as Forbes noted.
Classics like Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz also weren’t reviewed by as many critics on the site, but hold perfect scores. As with other movies that earned a 100% of Rotten Tomatoes, such as Get Out, a rotten reviewer or two could spoil the bunch any moment now that the record is out. (Not that a 99% score is that bad.) And Rotten Tomatoes isn’t a perfect method of measuring critical consensus; it scores films based on the share of critics who gave generally positive reviews, and doesn’t give weight to more prominent reviewers.
But it shows that, if the film has its flaws, they, like its characters, are still lovable.
The milestone is a remarkable achievement for Greta Gerwig, who made her directorial debut with the semi-biographical film. Quartz’s Adam Epstein called it one of the best films of the year, and praised actress Saoirse Ronan’s performance as the brilliant and resolute 17-year-old at the heart of the movie. Distributed by A24—the film company behind last year’s Best Picture winner Moonlight—Lady Bird is also attracting serious Oscar attention.