Golden Tomato Awards: 25 Years of the Best-Reviewed Movies & TV

Golden Tomato Awards: 25 Years of the Best-Reviewed Movies & TV

For 25 years, we’ve been celebrating the best-reviewed, most critically loved movies and series with our annual Golden Tomato Awards. How do we determine who’s taking home some prizes? The winners simply the ones with the highest Tomatometer scores at the end of the year, along with the highest number of reviews.

Golden Tomato Awards: 25 Years of the Best-Reviewed Movies & TV

Below you can see the Best Movie winner of each year since 1999, and Best New Series winners starting in 2014, with links to individual Golden Tomato Awards hub destinations. From there, dive deep into categories including action, horror, sci-fi & fantasy, and romance.

The Golden Tomato Awards started in the storm at the end of the century that we called 1999, where classics like The Matrix, Fight Club, Magnolia, and The Green Mile rained down with abandon. But rising to the top and taking Best Movie: Toy Story 2, which still has a perfect 100% Tomatometer score to this day.

Pixar would be a regular fixture in aughts, a golden age for the studio that would see them winning in 2003 (Finding Nemo) and 2004 (The Incredibles), then on a dominant 2007-2010 run with Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3.

Animation, a medium with often broad and family appeal, is further represented with 2016’s Zootopia, and Chicken Run from 2000. After Chicken‘s run, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers would ascend Mount Critics, though the same fate was not to be for The Return of the King. That one would have to settle for a Best Picture Oscar as consolation.

Nestled inside animation’s domination of the 2000s was beloved James Bond reboot Casino Royale. As the 2010s truly got into gear, we saw an eclectic spread of winners, ranging from fantasy (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2), sci-fi (Gravity, Mad Max: Fury Road), horror (Get Out), superheroes (Black Panther, Avengers: Endgame), grand experiments (Boyhood), and a Best Picture Oscar match (Argo).

The 2020s began with the first non-English language Best Movie winner: Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Since then, the Golden Tomato Awards has been in sync with the box office, as some of the highest-grossers also becoming the highest-rated and reviewed, with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick.

Rotten Tomatoes’ launch of TV reviews and coverage allowed us to expand the Golden Tomato, starting with 2014’s Jane the Virgin win for Best New Series. Peak TV and streaming were recognized with Better Call Saul, Atlanta, House of the Dragon, and Homecoming, along with miniseries Alias Grace and I May Destroy You.

And there were those years where comic books ruled pop culture, like 2019 as Watchmen won on one side and Endgame on the other, or 2021’s team-up of WandaVision and No Way Home.

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