Rotten Tomatoes’ 99%-Rated “Best Movie Of All Time” Is The Ultimate Insult To Its Creator


Summary Rotten Tomatoes’ top movie list sparked debate, even more controversial with author backlash.
The methodology behind Rotten Tomatoes’ movie ranking to consider diverse criteria.
Rating L.A. Confidential as the best of all time received backlash, surprising supporters.
Rotten Tomatoes’ controversial ranking of the 300 “Best Movies of All Time” included some contentious positions and selections, but the number one film’s position is even more disputatious when taking into account the original author’s opinion of the project. In any ranking of the best films, there are always going to be differences in perspective. However, even though Rotten Tomatoes’ list considered a range of criteria, the end result threw up some bizarre findings – especially considering some high-profile objections to top-ranking movies.
The Rotten Tomatoes list used a complex methodology to determine the final results. According to the website, the process “applied (their) recommendation formula, which considers a movie’s Tomatometer rating with assistance from its Audience Score, illuminating beloved sentiment from both sides.” This makes the list more reflective than a straightforward critical composite. Despite this deliberately nuanced approach, however, the list failed to recognize some less obvious issues with particular movies – including (as was the case with number one) objections from the original creator.
Related 10 Superhero Movies Missing From Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Movies Of All Time List Although Rotten Tomatoes’ recent Best Movies of All Time list does feature some great superhero movies, there are some notable absences.
James Ellroy Didn’t Like L.A. Confidential – Despite Its Ranking
Boasting a 99% critical and earning high praise from viewers, Rotten Tomatoes concluded that the 1997 neo-noir thriller L.A. Confidential deserves the title of “Best Movie of All Time”. However, despite this accolade and well-earned reputation as a modern genre classic, the Rotten Tomatoes ranking fails to recognize that the story’s original author, James Ellroy, was very dismissive of the movie. In an interview at the Hay Literary Festival in 2019, via The Guardian, Ellroy said on stage:
“It is about as deep as a tortilla… And if you watch the action of the movie, it does not make dramatic sense. I don’t care how many awards it’s won … I don’t like the bulk of the performances.”
Earning an author’s approval is not a prerequisite of a movie succeeding. However, given the strength of these objections, combined with L.A. Confidential’s somewhat surprising position at the top of the list, the fact that the film is now legitimately in the conversation for “Best Movies of All Time” seems somewhat insulting to Ellroy’s original vision for his story. While such vehement objection might tarnish another project, the Rotten Tomatoes list seems not to have taken Ellroy’s criticisms into account – a presumably frustrating outcome for an author already unhappy with the end result.
Rotten Tomatoes’ L.A. Confidential Rating Is Already Controversial
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The fact that Ellroy himself is unhappy with the notion that L.A. Confidential is a fair reflection of his story, nor a successful narrative on its own terms, only adds to the sense that its new-found status is somewhat surprising. While it is a much-loved movie, to have it rated above certifiable classics like Casablanca, The Godfather, and Citizen Kane has struck many observers as an injustice. This sentiment is seemingly confirmed by contemporary doubts over its status.
Related Rotten Tomatoes Confirms What The Best Movie Trilogy Of All-Time Really Is Rotten Tomatoes has produced a definitive ranking of the best movies of all time, revealing the best trilogy ever made in the process.
While L.A. Confidential was met with critical acclaim, there was fierce debate in 1997 over where it ranked in terms of the best films of the year – let alone of all time. For instance, despite being nominated for Best Picture, the film lost out to Titanic, and only won two out of nine Oscars. While Academy Awards are far from the most reliable measure of a film’s success, the fact that L.A. Confidential was not instantly recognized as an all-time great speaks to the fact that the Rotten Tomatoes list is a real surprise – before factoring in Ellroy’s response.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes, The Guardian


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