10 Rotten Tomatoes-approved movies on Showmax: ranked

By Stephen Aspeling15 April 2024

10 Rotten Tomatoes-approved movies on Showmax: ranked

It may be a strange name for a movie review aggregator website, but Rotten Tomatoes speaks to the practice of throwing rotten tomatoes at poor stage performances and was derived by Senh Duong while watching French-Canadian comedy drama, Léolo. A die-hard fan of Jackie Chan, it was Rush Hour that prompted him to start Rotten Tomatoes in order to chart the critical reception of Chan’s first Hollywood crossover in the United States.

Rush Hour holds a 62% score with Léolo listed at 90% on the Tomatometer, making both movies fresh. A common misconception, a movie with a 90% rating isn’t a 9/10 but rather a film where 90% of Rotten Tomatoes critics thought it was good enough to be rated fresh. There are only about 100 Certified Fresh films that have managed to crack the perfect 100% Score Club. In this spirit of aspiring to a 100% Tomatometer rating, we’ve ranked the top-rated films now streaming on Showmax.

1. Kanarie (100%)

Kanarie is on Showmax

Set in 1984, this fiercely original coming-of-age musical war drama comes from visionary writer-director Christiaan Olwagen. Kanarie tracks the sexual awakening of a small town boy who’s conscripted into the South African Defence Force concert choir, better known as the “Canaries”. This powerful and provocative fish-out-of-water drama could be described as a compelling blend of Full Metal Jacket and Sing Street.

Featuring a strong cast, timely themes and bold direction, Kanarie is shot in a series of continuous single shots, making the film play out like a stage production. Schalk Bezuidenhout is almost unrecognisable in the lead as Johan, dropping the prolific stand up comic’s trademark bouncy hair, moustache and out-of-season jerseys for an inspired and memorable performance.

2. Get Out (98%)

Get Out is on Showmax

Get Out is one of the best horror thrillers because it offers tightly wound suspense and serves as a deep-rooted social commentary on race relations in America. The chilling film is taken from the perspective of Chris, who stumbles through a series of unsettling events while visiting his girlfriend’s family estate on an awkward weekend getaway.

The film catapulted the careers of its star and director. Daniel Kaluuya’s breakthrough performance in Get Out set the platform for the British actor to become one of Hollywood’s finest. Then, while best known for his comedy, Jordan Peele’s hauntingly reflective directorial debut established him as a filmmaker and prompted him to echo Get Out’s critical acclaim with Us and Nope.

3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (98%)

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is on Showmax

If you’ve seen Honey, I Shrunk the Kids… you’ll have a good idea of what makes Marcel the Shell with Shoes On alienating, magical and utterly delightful. This charming stop-motion mockumentary follows a one-inch tall mollusk seashell on his quest to find his family with the help of a down-on-his-luck documentary filmmaker.

Dean Fleischer Camp’s beautiful and thought-provoking standalone feature film adopts the same whimsy, warmth and fantastical nature of the short films it’s based on. Filled with heart and humour, this gentle and endearing tale has surprising emotional depth in its rich exploration of loss, hope and community. A fun and family-friendly movie, Marcel also helps us see the world with a fresh sense of wonder.

4. Minari (98%)

Minari is on Showmax

It doesn’t get much more tender than Lee Isaac Chung’s slice-of-life drama, Minari. A nuanced family portrait of the immigrant experience, this beautifully photographed film captures the growing pains of a Korean family when they start to farm in 1980s Arkansas. Nominated for six Oscars, Minari balances kitchen sink realism against the ideals of the American dream.

A gentle and quietly powerful drama about marriage and childminding, this timely film’s deft touch enables it to offset heavier themes with surprising levity. Led by Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-jung, compelling and earnest performances entice you into the day-in-the-life details of this artful, vivid yet delicate character study about perseverance, tolerance and tenderness.

5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (97%)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is on Showmax

There are enough Spider-Man reboots to make your head spin off. This time it’s not Peter Parker but Miles Morales who finds himself at the centre of the hypnotic, irreverent and spunky Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Our young hero encounters the classic superhero persona across dimensions to create a team of Spider-Beings to rescue reality.

Much like The Lego Movie, it takes a few minutes to acclimatise to the euphoric creativity, graphic swagger and pure splendour of this wild thrill ride. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a comic book on Spidey steroids, as the artful and dynamic visuals explode off the screen. The sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (95%) picks up on the same intoxicating blend of heartfelt drama, wacky comedy and eye-popping visuals. If you need a bit more non-stop entertainment in your life, swing into Spider-Man: Homecoming (92%).

6. Jaws (97%)

Jaws on Showmax

Sharks have never been man’s best friend but Jaws may have made them count among man’s worst enemies. A masterpiece that put Steven Spielberg on the map, this influential and pulse-pounding adventure thriller follows a sheriff, marine biologist and fisherman in their attempt to hunt down a massive great white shark.

A masterclass in mystery, suspense and terror, Spielberg uses the power of suggestion, a sharp script and captivating performances to keep you on the edge of your seat. From iconic moments to classic quotes, the special effects may seem dated but were groundbreaking almost 50 years ago. Watch Jaws for its compelling character study and thrilling spectacle as it taps into our fear of what lies in wait beneath the murky waters.

7. Knives Out (97%)

Knives Out on Showmax

Murder mysteries or whodunits are full of slow-burning intrigue and suspense. It’s why Agatha Christie, Cluedo, Murder She Wrote and Inspector Morse have endured in pop culture and our collective memories, and it’s why Knives Out deserves a place among them. Rian Johnson’s stylish throwback centres on a viper’s nest of a family after the patriarch, a well-known crime novelist, is found dead after his 85th birthday celebration.

A stellar ensemble led by Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas and Christopher Plummer, the suspect list also includes: Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Michael Shannon. Craig shines in a charming and flamboyant performance as detective Benoit Blanc. While sinister dysfunctional family politics are enhanced by witty dialogue and many twists and turns in this biting, engaging and funny murder mystery.

8. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (97%)

Mission Impossilbe: Fallout on Showmax

It’s incredible to think Tom Cruise is reaching new career heights in his 60s. Now competing with Bond for espionage franchise world domination, Mission: Impossible has mirrored its action star by just getting better and better. The sixth instalment, this explosive and high-flying sequel is jam-packed with espionage action as Ethan Hunt leads the IMF on a mission to stop a world-ending nuclear event.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout represents the most critic-pleasing entry to the breathless series, as Christopher McQuarrie delivers impressive action sequences and striking visuals without skimping on character or story. Spurred by Rebecca Ferguson and Henry Cavill, it’s so much more than just an actioner, echoing the equally exciting and stylish Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (93%) and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (94%).

9. Top Gun: Maverick (96%)

Top Gun Maverick is on Showmax

Top Gun looked set to be a one-hit wonder but who would’ve guessed Tom Cruise would be a headline act almost 40 years later. Reprising his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the long-awaited sequel, the rogue pilot is compelled to lead a high stakes mission involving a group of elite Top Gun graduates.

The Cruise missile continues his winning action streak with more determined bravado and high-octane stunts to land a sequel that elicits an air punch and packs an emotional gut punch too. Top Gun: Maverick channels crowd-pleasing nostalgia, hooks into the original’s verve and finds a sweet spot when it comes to blockbuster entertainment value – firing on all cylinders to deliver breathtaking action and a gripping story.

10. Booksmart (96%)

Booksmart is on Showmax

Best known for her roles in Tron: Legacy, Vigilante and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Olivia Wilde has added direction to her skill set with Don’t Worry Darling and breakthrough directorial debut, Booksmart. Wilde upends genre expectations with her energetic and fresh take on teen coming-of-age comedy dramas, making Booksmart charming, hilarious and heartfelt.

The story journeys with Amy and Molly, overachiever high schoolers who cut loose and make up for lost time before college and the dreaded onset of adulthood. Booksmart stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, whose infectious chemistry, good timing and witty dialogue compel this fast-paced jaunt. The stellar ensemble features Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Williams, Will Forte and Lisa Kudrow, who echoes Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.

Here are a few more high-ranking films that you may want to add to your watch list: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (95%), The Woman King (94%) and The Lost Daughter (94%), Back to the Future (93%) and Wonder Woman (93%).