We don’t know what’s in store for the year ahead, but it’ll be hard to top 2017 for movies and TV. From start to finish, the year that was offered up a seemingly unrelenting stream of killer genre flicks. When they weren’t great, they were at least good — and when they weren’t good, they were at least… interesting.
While even the duds attracted their little circles of fascinated gawkers, we’re not here to talk about those. We’re here to talk about the films people loved. And if Rotten Tomatoes’ just-released, year-ending “Certified Fresh” list is anything to go by, fans and critics alike really, really loved sci-fi, superhero, horror, and fantasy in 2017.
RT’s vaunted Tomatometer pegged 184 films and 79 TV shows at aggregated critic scores of 75 percent or higher this year. And from the top down, it’s a list that’s packed with the stuff we (mostly) loved. HBO’s feature-length documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, coming less than a month after Fisher’s death, is even among seven films to hold a perfect 100 percent score.
On the movie side, most of the genre films that made waves with fans also made waves with critics — which can only be a good sign about the direction we’re headed. Jordan Peele’s Get Out finished with a 99 percent Certified Fresh rating, followed closely by The Shape of Water (97 percent), War for the Planet of the Apes (93 percent), Logan (93 percent), and — yes, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, which, despite an alleged bot attack by a self-proclaimed “Alt-right” spammer to bring down its score, nevertheless holds steady at a solid 93 percent.
Farther down the movies list are a whole slew of genre films: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok, and the Lego Batman Movie all finishing above 90 percent Fresh, while Blade Runner 2049, IT, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Kong: Skull Island round out the rest.
NBC’s The Good Place and Netflix’s Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return were among the ten TV shows to close out the year with perfect 100s, followed by a string of genre favorites scoring in the 90s: The Leftovers (98 percent) Black Mirror (96 percent), The Handmaid’s Tale (95 percent), A Series of Unfortunate Events (95 percent), Stranger Things (94 percent), Twin Peaks: The Return (94 percent), Game of Thrones (94 percent), American Gods (94 percent), and Legion (90 percent).
Riverdale, Dark, Star Trek: Discovery, Marvel’s Runaways, Blood Drive, Happy!, and Marvel’s The Defenders also all found their spot on RT’s television honor roll, scoring above 70 percent.
Rotten Tomatoes itself also stole its share of the spotlight in 2017. The past year found film studios getting further entrenched in their love/hate relationship with the Tomatometer, as RT continued to consolidate its brand power by wielding that increasingly-coveted ”Certified Fresh” rating in innovative ways. Justice League, for instance, was among a notable handful of films whose Tomatometer score RT refused to reveal until after it had first appeared on the website’s very own See It / Skip It Facebook show.
At the end of the day, we all love lists — and at 184 films and 79 TV shows strong, Rotten Tomatoes’ list is a big one. Are there any deserving genre faves that didn’t get their due? Let us know in the comments.