There’s so much to watch these days that it’s hard to filter out the good from the bad, or even the great. Rotten Tomatoes does seem to have their quality detection in check though, which means if a movie’s got a rating of 95% and above, there’s a good chance it’s a brilliant film.
1. The Terminator (1984) – 100%
The film that started it all and made Arnie a mega-star. Even though Terminator 2 is actually more popular, it’s the first film that’s got the 5-star rating. In this film, Arnold’s killer cyborg is evil, and wants to kill Sarah Connor in order to change the course of history.
2. Seven Samurai (1956) – 100%
Directed by the iconic Akira Kurosawa, this film is about a village that hires a group of samurais to protect them from a pack of relentless bandits. The poor villagers learn how to defend themselves, and also how to carry themselves with honour.
3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) – 100%
Fred and Bob, 2 Americans looking for work in Mexico, enlist the help of an old prospector in hopes of hitting gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. All they end up finding however, is greed and suspicion. This tale of adventure and morality is a classic.
4. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) – 100%
The classic tale of Robin of Loxley – steals from the rich, gives to the poor, and fights his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The film is definitely a little dated, but it was revolutionary for its time.
5. The Age of Shadows (2016) – 100%
Set in Japanese-occupied 1920s Seoul, this film is about Korean resistance fighters smuggling explosives to destroy facilities belonging to the colonial overlords. It’s beautifully shot, with gripping shootouts and an intense storyline.
6. Fist of Legend (1994) – 100%
This martial arts action movie stars Jet Li and Donnie Yen. It’s about a Chinese martial artist in 1937 who returns to Shanghai to defend his school and avenge his slain teacher.
7. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) – 100%
Armed hijackers take over a New York subway car and hold the people hostage. While the authorities have no choice but to pay up, the armed men also have to figure out how to make a getaway.
8. Aliens (1986) – 99%
The sequel to the original blockbuster, this film saw Sigourney Weaver return to the planet LV-426 and deal with the alien queen and those pesky face-huggers. Aliens is a lot punchier and more action-packed than the original, and features a strong performance from the lead.
9. The Killer (1989) – 98%
An assassin on the verge of retiring accepts one last job, but bosses don’t take kindly to their assassin employees leaving. Double crossed, he must now survive the hits on his life, and end this whole mess once and for all. This film stars Chow Yun-Fat.
10. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1982) – 98%
A lifetime before Fury Road, Mel Gibson played the character of Max in the Australian badlands, fighting for fuel and his sanity. This is a cult film, and one that’s still fun to watch to this day, despite its low budget and dated special effects.
11. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – 97%
Max, broken and on the brink of insanity, joins forces with Charlize Theron’s Furiosa to take down a demagogue who’s been hoarding the land’s water supply. This film is a cinematic masterpiece – a whirlwind of frenetic energy, ridiculous vehicles, and a whole lotta chrome.
12. Apocalypse Now (1979) – 97%
This was Francis Ford Coppola’s magnum opus – a film inspired by the book Heart of Darkness, and a masterclass in filmmaking. It’s set bang in the middle of the Vietnam War, where Captain Willard is sent to Cambodia to take out a deserter colonel who’s taken over a local tribe.
13. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) – 97%
This critically acclaimed martial arts film made a splash when it hit Indian shores. Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat, and Zhang Ziyi float over treetops, crossing swords and intense glares. It’s a passionate movie, with complex and intricate action scenes.
14. Goldfinger (1964) – 97%
Sean Connery (the best Bond) stars in this film with the iconic soundtrack and glittery aesthetic. James Bond investigates a gold smuggling ring that’s been using some extremely disturbing methods, and their plans just keep getting more sinister.
15. Gangs of Wasseypur (2014) – 96%
A tale of gangsters, the coal mafia, and revenge. Brilliantly directed by Anurag Kashyap and featuring a host of solid performances, this is one film that’ll stand the test of time.
*Karate chops into the horizon*