It’s the 20th Golden Tomato Awards and our annual celebration of the best-reviewed movies and TV is bigger than ever. We’ve got more categories than in any previous year – 34, up from 18 last year – and, for the first time ever, we’re giving fans the chance name their own Golden Tomato winners with two new Fans’ Choice Awards. Yes: The Freshness is in your hands.
But we’ll get to that in a moment.
Netflix’s Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, was the biggest winner in the Golden Tomato film categories for 2018, taking three awards: Best-Reviewed Limited Release, Foreign-Language Film, and Spanish-Language Film (a new category created to reflect the growing number of great movies from the Spanish-speaking world being released in American theaters). The other big winners for film were Black Panther (Best-Reviewed Wide Release, Comic Book/Graphic Novel Movie); A Star Is Born (Best-Reviewed Directorial Debut, Musical/Music Movie); and Paddington 2 (Best-Reviewed U.K. Movie, Kids and Family Movie). Yes, Paddington 2 is still at 100%.
In the TV categories, only Amazon’s Homecoming – starring Julia Roberts and Stephan James – managed to nab more than one award: Best-Reviewed New TV Show and Best-Reviewed TV Mystery/Suspense. The second season of Donald Glover’s acclaimed series Atlanta was beloved enough by critics to be named Best-Reviewed Returning TV Show; the series won Best-Reviewed New Show and Best-Reviewed TV Comedy in 2016. This year’s Best-Reviewed TV Comedy was Barry, starring Bill Hader. Best-Reviewed TV Drama went to YouTube Premium’s Karate Kid sequel series, Cobra Kai. And yes, Cobra Kai is also still 100% on the Tomatometer.
The Golden Tomato Awards are decided by the Tomatometer – with a little math on our side. We take the Tomatometers for movies and TV shows in a category and rank them by Adjusted Score, which uses a weighted formula that accounts for the variation in the number of reviews when comparing the movies or shows. To qualify in a category, a movie needed to have been released in American theaters in 2018 (beyond just a festival release), and have at least 40 reviews; TV seasons or TV movies needed to have premiered in 2018 and have a minimum of 20 reviews, five from Top Critics.
This year you’ll find more genre-based categories in TV, including a separate Horror TV category (AMC’s The Terror snagged that award with The Haunting of Hill House in a close second) and one for Comedy Specials (a category won by internet-breaking Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix special, Nanette). The win for Nanette, combined with film awards for Roma and for Best-Reviewed Superhero TV Show (Daredevil season 3), makes Netflix a big winner with five Golden Tomato Awards total.
In film, we decided to single out Directorial Debuts after such a strong year (Bradley Cooper won for A Star Is Born, but he had fierce competition from Eighth Grade’s Bo Burnham, Sorry to Bother You’s Boots Riley, Hereditary’s Ari Aster, and others). It was also a big year for Westerns, prompting us to honor the best in that genre for the first time; Chloe Zhao’s The Rider was the Best-Reviewed of the bunch.
We also kick off voting in our first-ever fan-voted categories today: Favorite Movie and Favorite TV Show. Over the next two weeks, fans will be able to vote for one Certified Fresh film and one Certified Fresh TV series, limited series, or miniseries. We’ll close voting on Thursday January 24 and announce the winners of the two inaugural Fans’ Choice Golden Tomato Awards on Friday January 25. Will the people’s choices line up with the critics’? Watch this space.