Citizen Kane, which has long been considered the greatest film of all time, had its #1 slot snatched away by an unassuming bear. After a negative review, written over 80 years ago, of the classic Orson Welles film was uploaded to Rotten Tomatoes, it lost the title of highest-rated movie of all time. Now, only 99% of critics agree that Citizen Kane is a top-notch film versus 100% reporting they LOVE Paddington 2.
The review titled “Citizen Kane Fails to Impress Critic as Greatest Ever Filmed” was brought to light thanks to a new archival project by Rotten Tomatoes. What did the reviewer dislike about the film that has been lauded by critics as one of the best films ever made? More than you might think.
Here are two quotes from the review that appeared in the The Chicago Tribune in 1941:
“It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.”
“It gives one the creeps and I kept wishing they’d let a little sunshine in.”
Read the whole review here.
The negative review has displaced Citizen Kane from the 100% club on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, there are at least 63 films with higher ratings than Citizen Kane on Rotten Tomatoes, including Paddington, which was thoroughly enjoyed by critics for its fun-loving, whimsical nature.
However, when you look at audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the picture gets a little clearer. Citizen Kane is considered 90% fresh, whereas Paddington 2 comes in three points behind at 87% fresh. On Stardust, Citizen Kane has a Stardust Score of 94%, compared to Paddington 2 at 92%.
Have you rated either film on Stardust yet? Is Paddington 2 really better than Citizen Kane? Or do you side with the Rotten Tomato audience scores?