(Credit: Netflix)

Documentary

5 Netflix Original films with 100 per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating

To date, 2022 has been the worst year for Netflix as a streaming service. From losing a record number of subscribers to seeing the biggest fall in stock prices, the company’s sudden hike in subscription prices and dwindling quality of content have been repeatedly blamed.

From 365 Days: This Day receiving zero-rating on Rotten Tomatoes to most of its current Original releases being a fail, the streamer has been cancelling shows and films at random, banking on Originals with a substantial following, namely Stranger Things, Cobra Kai, Ozark and others, to resurrect their name and reputation. 

Checking film scores on Rotten Tomatoes before diving into it has become an involuntary response for many. The Tomatometer often helps sift the trashy films from the good ones that one might genuinely enjoy. While Netflix has been having a tough time performing well on Rotten Tomatoes recently with their new Original film releases, the streamer has often struck gold, with some films receiving a total 100 per cent rating on the scale. 

During Netflix’s darkest times, let us reminisce the golden days of the streamer by taking a look at a list of 5 such Netflix Original films that received a 100 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 

5 Netflix Original films with 100 per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating 

Strong Island (Yance Ford, 2017)

In this highly personal and heartbreaking journey, filmmaker Yance Ford examines the violent murder of his brother and the vehement injustice meted out to them by the legal system where the killer is acquitted. The documentary is a commentary on racial injustice, family and grief as it chronicles the unthinkable tragedy that hit the Ford family. 

After its 2017 premiere at Sundance Film Festival, the film was acquired by Netflix and won a Gotham Award, besides an Academy Award nomination in the documentary sector. The unnerving and devastating portrayal of the heinous crime moved the audience, as well, since the film received a perfect rating on the Rotten Tomatoes scale. 

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (James Lebrecht, Nicole Newnham, 2020)

While disability is often seen as a hindrance in people’s lives, the documentary aims to shatter all notions and present an extraordinarily moving and inspiring story set in the titular 1970s New York summer camp. Crip Camp is designed for teens with disability and aims to transform their lives for the better, inspiring them to achieve the unachievable. 

Starring Judith Heumann, Larry Allison, LeBrecht, Denise Sherer Jacobson and others, the film was conceived by LeBrecht, who himself uses a wheelchair due to his spina bifida. As Newnham said, James’ personal experiences shaped the story and created this “liberating” and uplifting film that seems to have resonated with the Netflix audience. 

Athlete A (Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk, 2020)

This investigative documentary follows a group of The Indianapolis Star reporters who carried out a secret investigation against the osteopathic doctor for the United States women’s gymnastics team, Larry Nassar, who had allegedly assaulted young female gymnasts. With accusations and revelations that maligned Nassar and the then-CEO Steve Penny, the title is derived from the anonymous identity of gymnast Maggie Nichols whose story of sexual abuse led to the investigation. 

An unflinching and unforgiving portrayal of sexual abuse in all spheres, the documentary is as harrowing as it can get and a must-watch for all to recognise the pattern of abuse and how society has sheltered perpetrators for so long. 

Dick Johnson is Dead (Kirsten Johnson, 2020) 

Co-written by Johnson and Nels Bangerter, the film revolves around Johnson’s father, Richard ‘Dick’ Johnson, who is suffering from dementia. The filmmaker involves him in a series of darkly comic and violent imaginative scenarios of his impending death that often involve gruesome accidents, a fall down the stairs etc., and Dick happily plays along with her fun fantasies. 

A genuinely insightful film, it is a bittersweet celebration of life, love, family and death while examining the transience of memory. It is profoundly personal and intimate as Johnson tries to delay the inevitable event with humour and a series of antics. Poignant and profound, it is a creative and moving way of Johnson dealing with the grief and anxiety regarding loss and death. 

His House (Remi Weekes, 2020)

What could have been a simple horror story turns into a terrifying global story of horror and desolation in Weekes’ film that deals with the refugee and migrant crisis that plagues the world. A young Sudanese couple struggles to adapt to England after they relocate there and are made to live in a shabby townhouse while awaiting their fate. They are tied to the house due to their economic iniquity, and their identities are reduced to being simple migrants. Crippled by lack of finances and survivor’s guilt, the couple find themselves facing occult disturbances that they cannot escape from, shattering their hopes for a brighter tomorrow. 

Disturbing and claustrophobic, the film is a brilliant yet harrowing exploration of the refugee experience and the effect the entire ordeal has on their mental health. It is a horrifying look into the terrors that reality holds in store for these refugees and migrants who are simply aiming for a better tomorrow.