What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: 2023 Golden Tomato Award Winners

This week's recommendations include 10 of the big winners of our annual Golden Tomato Awards across film and television, including titles like Succession, The Last of Us, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and of course, the "Barbenheimer" duo.

by | January 11, 2024 | Comments


Awards season is officially in full swing, so who’s ready to get golden? It’s time to hand out the Rotten Tomatoes Golden Tomato Awards, celebrating the best-reviewed movies and TV shows of the past year, and there are some serious Barbbenheim-ic contenders.

We’ll spare you the cringey monologue, though, and get right into this week’s super-sized episode of What to Watch: 2023 Golden Tomato Award Winners!

93% Oppenheimer (2023)

First up is the winner of three categories — Best Drama Movie, Best Wide Release Movie, and Best Overall Movie — and that’s Oppenheimer.

Christopher Nolan’s first R-rated offering in over 20 years earned nearly a billion dollars at the box office, making it the highest-grossing biopic ever.

In addition to its GTA wins, Oppenheimer currently leads the pack with more than 100 total award wins on our Awards Leaderboard, which includes five wins at the Golden Globes, one of which was Best Picture. It currently sits Certified Fresh at 93% on the Tomatometer with a 91% Audience Score, so who are we to argue?

Where to Watch: Vudu, Prime Video, Apple TV+

97% Succession: Season 4 (2023)

Next up is our other big winner for the GTAs, winning Best Returning TV, Best Drama TV and Best Overall TV, and that’s HBO’s Succession.

And with the fourth and final season in the books, it’s worth mentioning this show’s talented ensemble cast. They all took their turns to shine over the years, as evidenced by the fact that a bunch of them — Jeremy Strong, Matthew Macfadyen, Kieran Culkin, and Sarah Snook — have all won Emmys and/or Golden Globes.

And Succession, which is often compared to the story of Shakesphere’s King Lear, has also been repeatedly praised in other areas, too, such as the music and the writing, with showrunner Jesse Armstrong winning multiple Emmys for his work with the pen. And to think it all stemmed from a screenplay concept he once had about Rupert Murdoch and family.

All four seasons are highly Certified Fresh with a series average of 95% on the Tomatometer and an 87% Audience Score.

Cue the Kendall Roy celebration rap!

Where to Watch: Max

96% The Last of Us: Season 1 (2023)

Winning Golden Tomato Awards for Best New TV and Best Horror TV is the HBO series The Last of Us. This adaptation of the popular video game franchise had a series premiere that was watched by nearly five million people — one of the biggest nights in HBO’s history — with another 22 million and change watching within the first 12 days. Talk about impressive.

You can look at the show’s 24 Emmy Nominations to get an idea of what people love about The Last of Us, but we can save you the time: it’s Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie, both nominated in the lead categories and deservedly so.

Season 1 is currently at a Certified Fresh 96% and an 89% with the audience.

Where to Watch: Max

98% BlackBerry (2023)

Winning the Golden Tomato Award for Best Limited Release Movie is the Canadian dramedy BlackBerry. You may be surprised to know that critically and generally speaking, this was one of the sleeper hits of the year. BlackBerry has one of the highest Tomatometer and Audience Score pairings of 2023, with a Certified Fresh 98% and 94% respectively. At face value, that’s even higher than Oppy.

Powered by standout performances from Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton, the film largely flew under the radar for most folks, so if you haven’t seen it, this is your chance to give it a watch.

Where to Watch: AMC+, Vudu, Prime Video, Apple TV+

91% Fellow Travelers: Limited Series (2023)

Taking home the GTA for Best Miniseries is Showtime’s Fellow Travelers.

Part historical romance drama and part political thriller, this series is based on the 2007 novel of the same name and follows two male political staffers and their decades-long romance. Their relationship begins at the height of McCarthyism in the 1950s and continues through the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.

And if you’re about to have a Golden Tomato Award in your trophy case, it means the critics were really feeling it. In this case, it was thanks to its two main stars, with a Critics Consensus that calls Fellow Travelers “a moving showcase for Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey’s captivating on-screen chemistry.”

The series currently sits Certified Fresh at 90% on the Tomatometer with a matching 90% Audience Score.

Where to Watch: Paramount+

88% Barbie (2023)

Winning the GTA for Best Comedy Movie is the one and only Barbie.

Much has been said about this, the highest-grossing film of 2023, especially when it comes to its all-star cast and groundbreaking creators. But with 12 Grammy nominations and a Golden Globe win for Best Original Song for Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?,” the music helped make this film what it was — and that’s a one-of-a-kind hit.

The other big takeaway from Barbie in hindsight is the underlying theme of equality that is part of the driving force behind its popularity. Its strong Certified Fresh 88% score on the Tomatometer and 83% score with the audience is backed by people calling it clever, funny, and poignant, with a great overall message.

Now let’s get Gosling that Academy Award nom.

Where to Watch: Max, Vudu, Prime Video, Apple TV+

100% Reservation Dogs: Season 3 (2023)

In the Best Comedy TV category, the Golden Tomato Award goes to Reservation Dogs.

This series was co-created by Taika Waititi and concluded last year after three very Certified Fresh seasons. It follows four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma as they hang out all day and commit crimes so they can afford to leave their reservation community.

And with storylines inspired by events from the other co-creator Sterlin Harjo’s childhood, Reservation Dogs seemed to strike the right balance of comedy with themes like loss, grief, and community, which are common in Native American communities.

All three seasons of Reservation Dogs are currently Certified Fresh with a series average of 99% on the Tomatometer and 90% from the audience.

Where to Watch: Hulu

95% Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Capturing the GTA for Best Animated Movie is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

2018’s Into the Spider-Verse was a huge critical and financial hit, but who knew its sequel could not only surpass it at the box office with a nearly $700 million worldwide gross (compared to Into the Spider-Verse’s $384 Million) but also match its critical and audience reception! With a Certified Fresh 95% on the Tomatometer and an audience score of 94%, it’s not a surprise that some sincerely consider Across the Spider-Verse just as good — if not better — than the original, and you know how hard that is to achieve.

A third installment called Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse is well into production, but due to the 2023 writer’s and actor’s strikes, it has yet to solidify a release date. On top of that, a female-focused spin-off is also in development. That may sound like a lot of spideys, but we’re not complaining.

Where to Watch: Netflix, Vudu, Prime Video, Apple TV+

100% Invincible: Season 2 (2023)

Winning the GTA for Best Animated TV is the adult superhero series Invincible. The Prime Video show based on the popular comic book of the same name and featuring the voice talents of Golden Globe-winner Steven Yeun and J.K. Simmons had a first season that was so popular and positively received that season 2 was announced almost immediately after it ended.

Fast forward to 2023, and Invincible season 2 premiered to even better reception, currently Certified Fresh at 100% on the Tomatometer with a 90% Audience Score.

So what about season 3? We’re glad you asked. Invincible was renewed for a third season before the second even premiered. We’re still waiting to hear about that release date, though.

Where to Watch: Prime Video

93% M3GAN (2022)

And last but not least is the GTA for Best Horror Movie for M3GAN. This movie dropped almost a year ago during a time of the year that isn’t typically known for its award-winning entertainment. No one was expecting a horror film in January to do big numbers, but with a budget of just $12 Million, M3GAN grossed $181 million at the box office.

With Jason Blum and James Wan among the film’s producers, we can’t be too surprised that the Critics Consensus calls M3GAN a “rare horror-comedy that delivers chuckles as effortlessly as chills.”

The movie is currently Certified Fresh at 93% on the Tomatometer with a 78% Audience Score, and a sequel appropriately titled M3GAN 2.0 is on its way.

Where to Watch: Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV+

Hopefully our recommendations helped you fill up your entertainment calendar this weekend. Be sure to let us know in the comments what you watched, whether it was on this list or not!

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