Back in January of 2018, the family film sequel Paddington 2 became the best reviewed movie of all time on Rotten Tomatoes. With 163 reviews from critics (at the time), the movie managed to maintain a 100% score. Even in the years since then, the movie reached over 240 reviews and kept a perfect rating. That’s no easy feat when there’s so much subjectivity involved in film criticism. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, because a recently posted negative review has ruined the 100% critical rating that Paddington 2 earned, and the movie is no longer at the top of the pack.
The Hollywood Reporter points out that the Rotten Tomatoes score for Paddington 2 dropped to 99% when a new review by critic Eddie Harrison was posted to Film Authority. Here’s a snippet of the scathing take that lashed out at the beloved family film:
“This is not my Paddington Bear, but a sinister, malevolent imposter who should be shot into space, or nuked from space at the first opportunity. Over-confident, snide and sullen, this manky-looking bear bears little relation to the classic character, and viewers should be warned; this ain’t yo mamma’s Paddington bear, and it won’t be yours either. Maybe if you’ve never seen the tv show and don’t know any better, this’ll work, but long-term Paddington fans will find this too much to bear.”
Well, that’s certainly an opinion, and it’s on the verge of being comparable to the contrarian takes of infamous film critic Armond White, who loved Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill and hated Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. This also appears to be an active decision by Harrison to take down the movie, because he preemptively defended himself at the end of his review, “I reviewed Paddington 2 negatively for BBC radio on release in 2017, and on multiple occasions after that, and I stand by every word of my criticism.”
If he felt so strongly about Paddington 2, then why not put down these words at a time when it clearly isn’t a desperate attention grab? This feels like a decision that was inspired by Citizen Kane recently having its perfect Rotten Tomatoes score ruined by the inclusion of a review published all the way back in 1941. Harrison probably wanted some time in the spotlight, and now he’s got it.
At the end of the day, this doesn’t diminish the perceived greatness of Paddington 2. It’s still a movie that’s been loved by many, and will continue to be enjoyed by the masses who don’t care what the critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes may be. But it does mean that there’s a new best reviewed movie of all time at the review aggregator.
Toy Story 2 has taken the top spot once held by Paddington 2 at Rotten Tomatoes. It currently has a 100% rating with 169 reviews from critics. But who knows how long that will last. Some kid named Sid will probably come along and publish a negative review on a website called Film Trash or something like that.
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