Top 10 Critically Acclaimed Summer Blockbusters

Wednesday, October 5 2011
Top 10 Critically Acclaimed Summer Blockbusters

We’ve already had a top 10 looking at the most successful box office hits of the summer due on DVD in the final quarter of 2011 and, as we were compiling that from the box office data, we came across this rather interesting chart from the excellent Rotten Tomatoes website. It rates the top 10 films of all those released at cinemas and multiplexes in the summer (one of which is only just arriving in the UK, so it is predominantly US-based) on their marks from the website, which pools information from reviews across the board to come out with their aggregrated percentage, rating them as either fresh, or, well, as the site’s name would suggest, rotten. So here, in order, are the 10 highest rated films of the summer…

1 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2
Well, it’s at the top of our box office chart mentioned earlier and Harry also dominates this chart too, looking down at the rest of the world from its lofty position of nearly 100 per cent, as near as perfect as a film gets. And just wait till they get their hands on one of the multitude of different SKUs available.

2 Cave Of Forgotten Dreams

Due from Revolver on October 17, this earned its plaudits from its critics for representing the best of Werner Herzog’s recent outings and, what’s more, represents one of the more intriguing 3D outings.

3 Bridesmaids

This Universal title was one of the surprise hits of the summer, earning far more than expected. It was also genuinely surprising in that it was a summer blockbuster that grew in stature thanks to excellent word of mouth and, as this proves, critical acclaim too.

4 The Guard

It’s been a roaring success in Ireland and may have underperformed in the UK, but the critics’ support and the fact that those who’ve seen it are really talking it up, all bodes well for Studiocanal’s forthcoming release.

5 Midnight In Paris

It’s only just opening in the UK after enjoying a lengthy success in the US this year. After some patchy output over the past decade or so, Woody Allen is, many reckon, back on form with his latest outing. He’s continuing to mine a rich seam of European-based and influenced work, and, after trying out the likes of London and Spain, he’s now arrived in Paris…

6 X-Men First Class

The highest-rated comic book film in a summer dominated by them. But in a summer where the bluster and hype behind the superheroes didn’t quite match the actual films themselves, X-Men First Class was the one that actually caught the critics’ eye. Given most writers’ aversion to both 3D – as many of them were – and comic book adaptations, perhaps it’s surprising to even see one in the top 10…

7 Tree Of Life

We’re leaving out numbers seven, eight and 10 in the top 10, Winnie The Pooh, Attack The Block and Submarine as they are all now available on DVD and Blu-ray (although it is worth noting that their inclusion would make Studiocanal far and away the most popular distributor, with three of the top 10 and highlight the company’s knack for making quality films that are commercial too. Witness, as further evidence of that, the current box office number one in the UK, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which boasts a 97 per cent rating on the site). Which brings us to what is perhaps best described as arguably the closest you can get to an arthouse blockbuster, Terrene Malick’s latest, Tree Of Life.

8 The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Many, especially the sci-fi cognoscenti (that’s geeks and nerds to you and me), were worried about how Fox’s new take on one of its longest-running franchises would perform, especially after the critical banana skin that was Tim Burton’s reimagining of the original film. But, like X-Men before it, Fox has essentially revived another franchise, winning box office success (its £20 million plus haul makes it one of the summer’s more notable hits) and a decent response from the critics too.

9 Super 8

One of the fanboys’ favourites for the summer. Certainly one that appeals to an audience brought up on the likes of The Goonies and ET… Add JJ Abrams’ magic to the mix and you’re looking at a hugely successful film. Where it’ll work too, we reckon, will be in its conversion rate – many who’ve seen it will be queuing up to snap this title up come its December 12 release.

10 Kung Fu Panda 2

The best reviewed animated title of the summer and, certainly where The Raygun and its junior correspondent are concerned, the best. When animation fatigue appears to be setting in for some, this one stands out, thanks, in no small part, to the sharp script. The DreamWorks release is, as we write, the biggest family performer of the summer, although The Smurfs movie, which boasts a far lower Rotten Tomatoes score, is likely to overtake it shortly. This is the one, however, that won over the critics…

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