If you’re like us, then you’re also unhealthily obsessed with analyzing films. Hell, we probably enjoy the post-movie analysis as much as watching the film itself. When we finish watching something, we head straight to Rotten Tomatoes to get the critics’ takes via the site’s “elevator reviews.” And if you’re familiar with Rotten Tomatoes, then you’ll know that film critics don’t dole out praise easily. In fact, some of our favorite movies may very well be Rotten, aka rated less than 60% on the Tomatometer. So when a movie achieves a perfect 100% score, you know it must be one hell of a movie.

Well imagine our pride when we discovered that 12 of our titles are in the 100% Club, the name Rotten Tomatoes gives to movies that have scored a perfect 100%. We also have dozens of other titles with scores in the high 90s, and the vast majority of our entire catalog is rated Fresh. Excuse us while we cheers ourselves real quick.

Maybe that’s because our criteria is simple: original stories, bold storytelling, authentic performances. That’s it. Those are the only ingredients we’re after, and I guess they’re the main ingredients needed to make a fresh tomato. Here are 12 titles on Topic that currently have a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, along with our own elevator reviews.



The Virtues

“The series is a reminder that facing up to one’s problems doesn’t guarantee release, but does allow for the possibility of moving forward.” — Jake Cole, Slant Magazine

“Bleakness and despair were also in abundance in the feature-length finale of ‘The Virtues.’ As TV dramas go, they don’t come much darker. They also don’t come more brilliantly acted.” — Claudia Connell, Daily Mail

“The concluding episode of ‘The Virtues’ saw Meadows working on a new level, blending raw feeling and technical mastery to create drama that will live in viewers’ minds for days, weeks, maybe years to come.” — Jake Seale, The Guardian


“‘Milla’ is a major achievement, a film that is at once as delicate as it is strong, a fitting testament to motherhood, to survival.” — Teo Bugbee, The New York Times

“Although this quietly daring, decidedly nonjudgmental film doesn’t ask or answer a lot of questions, it paints a cumulatively vivid portrait of young love and early motherhood.” — Gary Goldstein, The Los Angeles Times

“Something about Milla’s ordinariness makes her worth getting to know.” — John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“Nervy restlessness pulses beneath the surface. There’s always something that matters that these characters just can’t quite seize.” — Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

Summer 1993

“Refreshingly, Simón’s take on the “summer that changed everything” movie is delicate and unsentimental, earning an emotional response simply by exploring how a child interprets loss from the child’s perspective and at the child’s pace.” — Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader

“Frida’s gaze governs everything, taking you back to the mysteries, the insecurities — and the joys — of being six.” — Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald

“In its subtlety, richness and warmth it is entirely beguiling — complex and simple at the same time. It is also very moving.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Not since ‘Boyhood’ has a film shown this much respect and understanding for what it’s like to be a child.” — Scott Marks, San Diego Reader

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

“In the documentary, Le Guin describes her work as one of “holding doors or windows open” for people; this film does just that, opening an intimate window onto the tender interiority and expansive curiosity of Le Guin’s mind.” — Nina Li Coomes, Chicago Reader

“By framing her life in the context of second-wave feminism, ‘Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin’ captures Le Guin’s legacy as a radical heroine.” — Amy Guay, Washington City Paper

“What distinguishes the film is the way it explores Le Guin’s ideas, and the way she used science-fiction as a vehicle to explore human existence, politics, gender equality, the search for a perfect society and the price of happiness.” — Allan Hunter, Screen International

“…shows how, in Le Guin’s writings, fantasy can be viewed as both a different way of seeing and understanding the past, and a new way of seeing the present — and what the future could be.” — Chris Barsanti, PopMatters

The Work

“Opening an aperture into a process so ego-stripping that it feels unseemly to witness, ‘The Work’ is enlightening yet also punishing.” — Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“The movie valuably demonstrates how, for some, when it comes to rehabilitation, it’s never too late to do ‘the work.’” — Gary Goldstein, The Los Angeles Times

“More than just an advertisement for the process depicted, ‘The Work’ carries a profound, implicit point about a culture that encourages men to bottle up what they feel, then condemns them after those emotions express themselves in violent, destructive ways.” — A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club

“By simply watching the participants talk about their feelings, sometimes in the vaguest of terms, McLeary illustrates how men build strong facades to conceal their pain from others and themselves.” — Vikram Murthi, RogerEbert.com

Infinite Football

“Of all the Romanian New Wave filmmakers, Corneliu Porumboiu (“Police,” “Adjective”) has the best sense of humor; his sweet-and-sour approach balances a stingingly satirical view of institutions with a warm acceptance of kooky individuals.” — Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

“It’s unclear whether ‘Infinite Football’ is more tragedy or comedy, and in that lack of clarity lies something like wonderment.” — Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

“This relatively short film contains worlds.” — Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“It’s one of the most original and visionary documentary films to have emerged recently…” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker

The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach

“‘The Chronicle Of Anna Magdalena Bach’ disregards most conventions of costume drama to ask some very human questions about history, what it takes to be an artist, and what movies can tell us about ourselves.” — Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, A.V. Club

“Straub and Huillet invite us to ponder, as the music washes over us, what we can know and what we can’t — and to wonder at what here is also false.” — Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

“The Straubs’ methods ultimately attest to their demand of viewer participation in their search for new forms of expression.” — Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine

“Revival of this radically minimalist 1968 biopic should pique wider interest in the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet.” — Eric Monder, Film Journal International

Mr. Fish

“Booth’s conflicted forays into ‘straight jobs…’ deftly illustrate the classic struggle between art and commerce — and one man’s uncompromising campaign to tell his truth.” — Gary Goldstein, The Los Angeles Times

“Brisk and ingratiating, with some brief animated sequences adding color, this is an easy watch despite the frequently incendiary nature of its subject’s barbed images.” — Dennis Harvey, Variety

“The film is one that is important as it underlines how freedom of speech can be removed and can be hurt when artists are muzzled.” — Emilie Black, Cinema Crazed

“As much an insight into the world of modern publishing as it is a profile about cartoonist Mr. Fish (aka Dwayne Booth), Pablo Bryant’s documentary, ‘Mr. Fish: Cartooning From the Deep End’ is an immersive and edgy experience.” — Niall Browne, Movies in Focus

Stations of the Elevated

“‘Stations of the Elevated’ plays like a time capsule, particularly for having no dialogue or plot. It swings to Charles Mingus’s hardest bop and evokes a long-gone city, somehow more adult and confrontational even in silence.” — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

“The film’s range of subjects and ideas quickly expands to probe the exhilaration of city life itself.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Lumbering, skronking, and wondrously paint-bombed, Manfred Kirchheimer’s ‘Stations of the Elevated’ (1981) is a 45-minute proto-hip-hop bliss-out, a masterpiece of train- and tag-spottin’.” — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

“All that we see in this beautiful, poetic documentary is nothing less than the birthplace of hip-hop.” — Charles Mudede, The Stranger

A Bread Factory Part 1: For the Sake of Gold

“‘A Bread Factory’” has an immense cast, a deliberate pace and thematic ambition to spare — but it also has a ground-level, plain-spoken modesty that renders it hypnotic.” — Bilge Ebiri, The New York Times

“It’s as if Eric Rohmer had made a Christopher Guest film — ‘Waiting For Guffman’ recast as an ardent inquiry into what small-town American life has become.” — Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“A warm and prickly humanist triumph that features no movie stars, disperses its attention across a large ensemble and feels meticulously handcrafted in every respect.” — Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times

“This minimalist epic amply showcases Wang’s gifts for Chekhovian-style drama infused with generous doses of subtle humor.” — Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

A Bread Factory Part 2: Walk With Me a While

“Throughout [Patrick] Wang demonstrates he’s a gifted, idiosyncratic director of actors, and his patient affection for many of the characters can be disarming.” — Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

“Through bursts of comedy, poignancy, conflict, song, dance, and theatrical whimsy, what emerges is akin to a homespun symphony of soulfulness.” — Robert Abele, TheWrap

“If the first half of the film focuses on the potential of art to move an audience, the second seems to be about how art is not exclusively the domain of the Bread Factory, May Ray, or any singular entity.” — Phil Guie, Film-Forward.com

“The distinctive premise of Patrick Wang’s new film, ‘A Bread Factory,’ is matched by the audacity and the originality with which he realizes it.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Against the Law

“The script was strong on the factions within the gay community, and the erasure of class divisions among homosexuals. But nothing was quite as moving as the interviews.” — Jasper Rees, Daily Telegraph

“Mays is unobtrusively brilliant as Wildeblood.” — Julia Raeside, The Guardian

“This somber BBC production… intercuts eyewitness accounts from grizzled survivors of homophobia in postwar England with a dramatic treatment of the life of journalist and activist Peter Wildeblood.” — Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

“Here was all of the wit and compassion you find in Wildeblood’s prose, combined with emotions I’d hitherto only been able rather half-heartedly to imagine: bewilderment, fear, agonising pain.” — Rachel Cooke, New Statesman