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Paddington 2 replaces Citizen Kane as top-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes

Orson Welles classic is generally regarded as ‘the greatest film of all time’

Annabel Nugent@annabelnugent
Wednesday 28 April 2021 14:17
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Citizen Kane has slipped from its 100 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes after a review from 80 years ago was added to the site.

The Orson Welles classic – which is commonly praised as the greatest film of all time – has famously held a 100 per cent rating on the review-aggregator website, until recently.

The 1941 film now has a 99 per cent rating – meaning that Paddington 2 has surpassed Citizen Kane on Rotten Tomatoes.

The live-action sequel quickly became a fan-favourite when it was released in 2017. The film, starring Hugh Grant and Sally Hawkins, also received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and amassed a 100 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Boing Boing reports that the dip in Citizen Kane’s rating is due to a decades-old negative review that was added to the website sometime between 25 February and 15 April this year.

The review in question was first published by The Chicago Tribune on 7 May, 1941. 

Titled “Citizen Kane Fails to Impress Critic as Greatest Ever Filmed”, the critical review was penned by Mae Tinée, a collective pseudonym (that played on the word “matinee”) which was previously used by the paper’s film critics.

“It’s interesting. It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece,” reads the review. “But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.”

The dip in the film’s rating was first noticed by the Twitter user @Caulimovirus.

In a post that has since received nearly 21,000 likes, they wrote: “Rotten Tomatoes literally dug up an 80 year old negative review ofCitizen Kane and now the movie no longer has a 100% fresh rating.” 

The user accompanied their post with photos of the negative review where it originally appeared in a print edition ofThe Chicago Tribune.

Citizen Kane now no longer belongs to the small collection of films possessing a 100 per cent rating, such as Before Sunrise, 12 Angry Men, and 3 and ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets.

Recently, the film’s screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz was the subject of Netflix’s hit biopic Mank.

The David Fincher film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, however, only picked up two on Sunday’s Oscars ceremony (25 April).

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