Bob Roberts Tim Robbins

Certified Fresh

10 100% Fresh Movies on Rotten Tomatoes You Might Have Missed

Catch "too rotten to miss movies" Fridays at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

A 100% Fresh rating is a pretty rare feat in the world of Rotten Tomatoes. (The Godfather only made it to 99%.) Though it’s not surprising that Citizen Kane and Rashomon got perfect scores, we thought we’d spotlight fully fresh movies that might surprise you.

10. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

Based on an acclaimed novel, writer/director Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter deals with a school bus crash that kills 14 students and the class action lawsuit that follows. Grieving families and buried secrets are also major themes, so if you’re looking for a happy-go-lucky romp, this is not it. But despite the dispiriting subject matter, the lyrical film was a critical success. (The Toronto Film Festival named it one of the best Canadian films of all time.) Featuring a brilliant cast that includes Ian Holm and Sarah Polley, it’s a perfect film to watch as the days get as cold as a Canadian winter.


9. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

Winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Taxi to the Dark Side tells the story of a Afghan taxi driver who was beaten to death by American soldiers while at a detention facility. Alex Gibney’s film looks into the policies of torture and the nature of interrogations as a whole. While disturbing, this acclaimed doc illuminates a part of the military that most of us know little about.


8. Sound City (2013)

There’s a lot of documentaries with very high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, but Sound City is a rare nonfiction film that doesn’t leave you feeling sad for humanity. Directed by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, the film tells the story of a small recording studio in the San Fernando Valley that was used by Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. It was also home to a Neve 8028 soundboard. Though soundboard history may not sound scintillating, it’s one of four that were ever made in the world and the documentary ends with a cavalcade of stars recording new songs just for the film. Plus, after watching you’ll be able to impress all your geeky sound design friends.


7. Hallelujah, I’m a Bum! (1933)

From 1933, Hallelujah, I’m a Bum! deserves 100% for its title alone. Starring Al Jolson as Bumper the jovial tramp, the film is a light romp about living as a hobo in the 1930s. (Oddly, costar Frank Morgan says “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home” in this film years before he appeared in The Wizard of Oz.) With a Rogers and Hart score, this light comedy features some great songs and reminds us of a time when being a tramp was mostly adorable.


6. Atlantic City (1980)

In 1982, Chariots of Fire, Reds, On Golden Pond and Raiders of the Lost Ark were all nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and all are fondly remembered today. Yet the last nominee has been forgotten — even though it’s the only one to earn a 100% rating and get Oscar nominations in all four acting categories. Atlantic City stars Susan Sarandon as a blackjack dealer who gets mixed up with drugs and gangs in the decaying New Jersey seaside town. If anything, watch the film to see the remains of the real Atlantic City, since most of it was bulldozed to create newer hotels, casinos and places where Trump can hang his name in gold.


5. Bob Roberts (1992)

This political mockumentary from writer/director/star Tim Robbins is just as topical today as it was in 1992. Robbins plays Bob Roberts, a right wing folk singer who goes to great and duplicitous lengths to get elected to Senate. The film also features Gore Vidal, a young Jack Black (see him above) and Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame. It’s a biting satire that holds up as one of the funniest political comedies of the ’90s or any decade.


4. Manson Family Vacation (2015)

The most recent movie on the list, Manson Family Vacation stars Jay Duplass and Linas Phillips as partially estranged brothers who eventually come together mostly because of Charles Manson. Yes, it’s a comedy, with some darker moments about family acceptance and being the odd one out, and it’s surprisingly light for a film about people obsessed with Manson. With great performances from the cast, this offbeat dramedy is an interesting examination of family relationships and dark obsessions that bring new hope.


3. The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)

This 1952 film is based on a Ernest Hemingway story and stars Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. Peck plays an adventurous writer reflecting upon his past loves and exploits as he lays nearly dying in Africa from an infected wound. If you’re a fan of Hemingway or a Gregory Peck completist, this forgotten film is a must-see.


2. The Ladykillers (1955)

No, not the Coen brothers movie starring Tom Hanks. The perfect rating goes to the 1955 original. Starring Alec Guinness as not Obi-Wan Kenobi and Peter Sellers, this comedy about a complicated heist made all the more complicated by a batty old lady still holds up. It’s pretty impressive considering screenwriter William Rose claimed he dreamt the entire film. Getting an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA award for a dream is pretty amazing. Sadly, our script for “I Didn’t Study for The Test and Also My Teeth are Falling Out” has yet to be made.


1. The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2014)

This animated tale of a little girl found in a bamboo shoot (who we later learn is from the moon) was nominated for Best Animated Film in 2014. It’s often listed with Spirited Away as one of the greatest anime films of all time. The American voice cast features Chloe Grace Moretz as the Princess, with Mary Steenburgen and James Caan as her Mom and Dad. Sadly, it lost the Oscar to another film with Japanese influence, Big Hero Six. Though we’re sure if Princess Kaguya had robots, it would’ve swept up all the awards.

Kick back with The Matrix Revolutions during IFC’s Rotten Fridays!

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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