These British Films All Have Perfect (Or Near-Perfect) Rotten Tomatoes Scores

by Lara Williams
Universal Pictures

Admit it, how many hours on average a week do you spend mindlessly browsing different streaming platforms in search of something to watch, while simultaneously complaining there's just nothing good out there? I'm guessing quite a few. To solve this all-too-familiar dilemma, I've cherry-picked some films you can watch this very evening. Here is a list of British films with perfect Rotten Tomatoes scores (or near perfect, at the very least) to ease the burden of your search.

But first things first, for those of you who don't know, Rotten Tomatoes is a review aggregation site. This means it brings together reviews from various platforms and publications, giving you a view of how a film has been received by critics. It calculates its overall score for a film based on the reviews of over 300 critics. While many use Rotten Tomatoes as a barometer of whether a film is going to be good or not, Variety reports that it actually doesn't have much of an impact on box office figures.

There is also an audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, where anyone can give the film a rating, which will then be aggregated. However, Wired writer Matt Reynolds recently argued that this scoring system is flawed on account of the inherent biases of audience members: after all, we usually only go to see things we think we'll like.

Whatever your thoughts, you can't deny Rotten Tomatoes has done wonders in surfacing some films that might have slipped under the radar for a lot of people, like last year's Get Out. And so, see what you might discover in this perfect (or nearly perfect) list of British films and their impressive Rotten Tomatoes scores.


'Paddington 2,' 100 Percent

Paddington 2, which earned a rare truly perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, picks up where Paddington left off: our favourite marmalade-loving bear living happily and chaotically alongside the roundly sweet Brown family. When he stumbles upon a pop-up book at an antique store that would make for a perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy, he gets a job and starts saving. But the book is stolen and the blame pinned on poor old Paddington.

Residing At Her Majesty's pleasure, Paddington goes about making prison a jollier place while trying to prove his innocence. This lovely little film is super heartwarming, joyously entertaining, visually gorgeous, and features Hugh Grant in what I am comfortable calling a career-defining performance. Miss it at your peril.

Stream it on Amazon Prime.


'Sing Street,' 95 Percent

Set in inner-city Dublin in the '80s, Sing Street is about a teenage boy called Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), who is pulled out of private school and sent to a strict Christian school. He meets a mysterious aspiring-model called Raphina and goes about putting together a band in order to impress her.

This kind-hearted film will surely win you over with its quick-fire dialogue, '80s soundtrack, warm take on the tribulations of teenage love, and not least, the band's Back To The Future-inspired music video.

Stream it on Google Play.


'Man On Wire,' 100 Percent

On Aug. 7, 1974, French trapeze artist Philippe Petit walked a steel wire rigged between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a quarter of a mile above the ground. The event took six years planning, and more importantly, was entirely illegal.

Man On Wire documents how Petit and his collaborators pulled off this miraculous feat, including how they got hold of fake IDs in order to get access to the buildings, and had helicopters scope out the as-yet unbuilt twin structures. Culminating in the nail-biting walk, this game-changing documentary is a beautifully made testament to the sometimes unfathomable accomplishments of man.

Stream it on Netflix.


'The Ladykillers,' 100 Percent

A high-octane and occasionally very funny British crime thriller, The Ladykillers begins as a sweet old lady, the delightfully named Mrs. Wilberforce, is approached by a so-called "professor" (Alec Guinness) to rent some rooms in the King's Cross house she resides in alone. Little does she know, he has a assembled a rabble of hardened criminals, using their strange house share as a front for the tricky van robbery they intend to pull off.

Not only do they succeed in persistently pulling the wool over the poor woman's eyes, but they manage to trick her into playing a crucial role in the crime itself. A true classic of British cinema.

Stream it on Google Play.


'The Witches,' 100 Percent

Responsible for the nightmares of a whole generation of children (myself included), The Witches, based on the Roald Dahl novel of the same name, tapped into a primal childhood fear: that those charged with looking after you cannot always protect you.

The story revolves around the life of Luke (Jasen Fisher), a little boy living with his aunt who stumbles upon a confederation of child-hating witches who are planning on turning all kids into mice with a spell cooked into chocolate bars. Poor Luke falls prey to their wicked ways and has to save the world... as a mouse. I'm getting palpitations just thinking about it.

Stream it on Amazon Prime.


'Skyfall,' 92 Percent

Perhaps the most stylish and certainly the most psychologically complex James Bond outing, Skyfall sees Bond shot (sort of) out of the sky (off a very high bridge) and presumed dead. Re-emerging months later after MI6's servers are hacked and all undercover agents are put at risk, Bond embarks on a typical globe-trotting mission, before the film goes all oedipal complex and starts exploring the nature of his relationship with M.

It has a not-quite-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, perhaps on account of a scene in which Bond sneaks up on his love interest in the shower moments after she confesses she was a victim of human trafficking. I mean, seriously.

Stream it on Google Play.


'45 Years,' 97 Percent

This quiet and complicated film is based on the short story In Another Country by British writer David Constantine. It tells the story of Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) as they prepare for their 45th wedding anniversary celebrations.

In the run-up to their party, Geoff receives a letter informing him the body of his young lover Katya has been found frozen within a glacier, after she fell into crevasse on a hike with him in the early '60s. The news rattles the couple, and Kate begins to suspect she was a rebound for Geoff, and that Katya has informed the constraints of their relationship in more ways than she imagined. Be warned, 45 Years is a subtly devastating film.

Stream it on Netflix.


'The Wrong Trousers,' 100 Percent

Trailblazing stop-motion animator Nick Park's second full-length feature film, The Wrong Trousers, revisits Wallace and Gromit just as Wallace has invented what he calls a pair of "Techno Trousers" —robotic trousers that take him for a walk. At the same time, the pair take on a lodger, an inscrutable and peculiar little penguin, to help pay their debts. The penguin is of course, not what he seems, and we begin to see him hatch a plan to pinch the trousers, which can be manipulated to walk up walls, in order steal a diamond from a museum.

It is worth seeing simply for the artistry of the animation, and is all the more poignant because a 2005 fire at the Creature Comforts factory (the film's production company) wiped out all the sets and sketches used in the making of this fun and painstakingly realised film.

Stream it on iPlayer.


'Oliver Twist,' 100 Percent

Director David Lean's second adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist is one of the gloomier additions to this list. It tells the tale of orphaned Oliver, sent to work at an undertakers after he is banished from the workhouse.

After running away to London, Oliver falls in with a gang of pickpockets, living under the watchful eye of Fagin (another Alec Guinness appearance), finding a kind of happiness. While there is an awful lot of misery, there is plenty of warmth too, and you'll root for Oliver until the very end.

Stream it on Amazon Prime.


'Children Of Men,' 92 Percent

High-octane dystopian thriller Children of Men imagines a world in which babies are no longer being born, leading to the slow and total collapse of society. Immigrants from across the globe flock to Britain, the home of one of the last functioning governments, albeit one with a oppressively strict immigration policy.

Former activist Theo (Clive Owen) is charged with the safe transportation of the world's only pregnant woman. The film explores themes of political activism, religion, and redemption, and features some of the most tense one-shot scenes you are ever likely to encounter.

Stream it on Amazon Prime.

This list will surely save you a few hours of despairingly scrolling through Netflix. Now, pop some popcorn in the microwave and get ready for a film that's guaranteed to knock your socks off.