News

Detective Pikachu Is Officially the Best-Reviewed Video-Game Movie of All Time

Critics choose Pika Pika to break the video-game curse.

by | May 13, 2019 | Comments

(Photo by Warner Bros. /courtesy Everett Collection)

Sega. Capcom. Ubisoft. Blizzard. Konami. Many have vied for the throne in the battle of the first Fresh video-game movie adaptation, and all have failed. Until now. Fittingly, it is Nintendo and its Pokémon: Detective Pikachu film that wears the crown, breaking the video-game curse. It’s fitting not just because of the ubiquity of Nintendo in pop culture for decades, but because it was their legendary 1993’s bob-omb Super Mario Bros. that kicked off the adaptation cycle in the first place.

Before we dive further into the achievement, be aware we only considered U.S. theatrical releases when ranking video-game movies. Second, the movie needed to have at least 20 reviews for consideration, the same minimum we used for our list of 41 video game movies ranked by Tomatometer. Why 20 reviews? That’s the number required to get one of our sparkling Critics Consensus summaries, and also implies that the movie generated enough interest to be reviewed by a varied swath of critics. The previous Pokémon movie, The Power of Us (in theaters for a little over a week in America, courtesy of distribution by Fathom Events), actually got a 60%…but only from 5 reviews, not enough to consider it beyond a niche novelty.

With a Tomatometer percentage hovering in the low-60s, the crown sits precariously on Pikachu’s fluffy lil’ skull. Detective is a movie that will continue to see reviews added for months, perhaps even years to come, and enough unfavorable reviews could handily plunge it beneath 60% and into zone Rotten. But for now, Detective Pikachu‘s bright visuals, gallery of lovingly and faithfully rendered Pokemon, and fast-paced kid-friendly narrative (not to mention the coup of casting Ryan Reynolds as lead voice) are good enough with critics. After 26 years and well over 30 Rotten movies – not even the Konami Code could’ve saved Hollywood – it’s been a long time coming.

But other video game movies have come close, especially in recent years. Rampage and Tomb Raider, both just above 52%, had been battling back and forth for the top spot since their releases last year. Meanwhile, 2016 had previously looked like it was going to be the year, with Warcraft by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and Assassin’s Creed (starring Michael Fassbender, by his Macbeth director Justin Kurzel), though neither landed above 30%.


See the full list of Tomatometer-ranked video game movies here. Detective Pikachu is currently playing in theaters now.

#1
Adjusted Score: 83946%
Critics Consensus: Pokémon Detective Pikachu may not take its wonderfully bizarre premise as far as it could have, but this offbeat adaptation should catch most -- if not all -- of the franchise's fans.
Synopsis: A young man joins forces with Detective Pikachu to unravel the mystery behind his father's disappearance. Chasing clues through the... [More]
Directed By: Rob Letterman

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Election Tarantino popular documentaries series hollywood Ovation OWN remakes MCU mutant Cartoon Network RT21 MSNBC Binge Guide VOD ABC Anna Paquin FXX twilight Crunchyroll Set visit SXSW japan reboot renewed TV shows teaser The Walking Dead game show critic resources Warner Bros. streaming mockumentary Nominations rom-coms AMC Shondaland independent marvel cinematic universe 71st Emmy Awards Masterpiece international Bravo heist movie Universal laika TBS rotten movies we love halloween Tumblr NBA E3 scary movies jurassic park space American Society of Cinematographers Podcast YouTube Premium casting Schedule Polls and Games Baby Yoda The Walt Disney Company PBS toronto Marvel Television joker talk show book adaptation Infographic Emmys anime Extras doctor who Fantasy sitcom Epix Rocky parents Oscars dexter cults facebook police drama Legendary Spectrum Originals obituary Spring TV BBC cinemax sequels Reality Sneak Peek high school 73rd Emmy Awards The Academy Animation Lucasfilm Sony Pictures ViacomCBS BET Awards Apple Stephen King boxoffice Toys Valentine's Day universal monsters ITV TV Land animated Mary poppins 2017 saw Nickelodeon Video Games spanish Interview Fall TV 2016 anthology First Reviews Calendar Film Festival kaiju serial killer romantic comedy cancelled TV series child's play Pop TV toy story Acorn TV diversity TCA 2017 Holidays composers robots royal family Emmy Nominations period drama SDCC festival 93rd Oscars technology San Diego Comic-Con Shudder name the review justice league ABC Signature Alien thriller young adult Captain marvel foreign Box Office Netflix The CW crossover Rom-Com CW Seed archives video on demand all-time documentary Arrowverse Trivia werewolf deadpool Spike Action Winter TV Sundance Film golden globe awards Academy Awards Mudbound Kids & Family TLC YouTube Red disaster Chernobyl Paramount Network comic book movies LGBT USA singing competition HBO nature Esquire Biopics award winner El Rey dogs hidden camera movies zombie Television Academy biopic free movies jamie lee curtis Creative Arts Emmys Image Comics revenge based on movie USA Network Sci-Fi richard e. Grant rt archives RT History FOX 2020 DC Comics blockbusters aliens slashers Marvel a nightmare on elm street See It Skip It festivals Vudu Lifetime telelvision kids biography Amazon james bond women classics Winners Logo book comic ESPN NBC BET Television Critics Association The Arrangement concert Comics on TV canceled Lifetime Christmas movies miniseries Star Wars Fox Searchlight Summer Opinion Song of Ice and Fire History Travel Channel TNT Freeform Mary Poppins Returns Black Mirror 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Hulu supernatural TCA Awards crime drama Western Heroines Marathons die hard Hallmark Christmas movies TV One cats rotten razzies IFC Films live action Year in Review ghosts game of thrones fresh CBS All Access HBO Max indiana jones Pride Month news medical drama VICE films dceu 20th Century Fox rt labs golden globes best comiccon DirecTV BAFTA Funimation Martial Arts monster movies 2019 breaking bad Nat Geo witnail Drama nbcuniversal Dark Horse Comics APB WarnerMedia marvel comics TV movies superman Black History Month legend TCA ID TV renewals rt labs critics edition spy thriller batman Columbia Pictures 2021 Amazon Prime Wes Anderson cartoon 21st Century Fox Marvel Studios posters PlayStation harry potter Starz Chilling Adventures of Sabrina pirates of the caribbean zero dark thirty OneApp Amazon Prime Video 007 1990s Disney streaming service Grammys DC Universe Discovery Channel quibi The Purge mission: impossible National Geographic gangster Photos worst Star Trek YouTube binge IFC Watching Series blockbuster adaptation Women's History Month 2015 4/20 unscripted GLAAD king arthur television comedies prank action-comedy cancelled dragons X-Men docuseries WGN Peacock Super Bowl CBS cops Apple TV+ venice BBC One finale stop motion canceled TV shows social media know your critic Mystery psycho Brie Larson Holiday ratings Character Guide DC streaming service political drama tv talk italian movie travel superhero politics Showtime suspense blaxploitation scorecard Adult Swim CNN Hear Us Out Reality Competition criterion TCM Red Carpet cars 99% kong psychological thriller Family basketball new star wars movies south america Best and Worst 90s screenings Paramount spinoff satire Crackle ABC Family sequel wonder woman BBC America Cannes 24 frames PaleyFest Countdown FX on Hulu GIFs Awards green book Comedy Central japanese Amazon Studios elevated horror mcc Disney Sundance TV FX Walt Disney Pictures screen actors guild versus Trophy Talk scene in color target stoner romance Certified Fresh VH1 new york spanish language Ellie Kemper Sundance Now SundanceTV adventure Broadway latino strong female leads christmas movies 2018 Comedy spider-man cancelled television hist vampires godzilla worst movies cooking TV Rock video Premiere Dates aapi Tokyo Olympics Apple TV Plus fast and furious Disney Channel Fox News true crime new zealand natural history zombies Quiz trailers war Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt docudrama E! historical drama Comic Book YA Disney Plus Superheroes football Rocketman Elton John australia TIFF Pixar CMT children's TV Comic-Con@Home 2021 dc reviews TCA Winter 2020 Lionsgate Turner Awards Tour Pacific Islander The Witch debate Classic Film Tomatazos Mindy Kaling nfl Musicals dramedy crime Avengers MTV Horror A24 Trailer king kong stand-up comedy franchise LGBTQ Country New York Comic Con hispanic Hallmark GoT transformers NYCC HBO Go indie halloween tv Food Network Paramount Plus comic book movie Cosplay cancelled TV shows science fiction Britbox Christmas Mary Tyler Moore hispanic heritage month Superheroe Pirates Thanksgiving Disney+ Disney Plus slasher theme song directors comic books french Syfy Writers Guild of America emmy awards sports Pet Sematary President dark A&E spain Ghostbusters DGA asian-american what to watch boxing Teen adenture black comics Exclusive Video 45 TruTV lord of the rings discovery Turner Classic Movies Pop streaming movies crime thriller Tubi critics sag awards olympics Endgame chucky 72 Emmy Awards First Look feel good Musical Music Netflix Christmas movies