A New Netflix Movie Has An Unbelievable Perfect Score

Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical has achieved a perfect audience score on Rotten Tomatoes!

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

netflix matilda
Alisha Weir in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

For better or for worse, we typically use Rotten Tomatoes to determine the overall quality of a movie. That site collects a critical consensus for its “tomatometer” rating, but it also includes a collective audience score that helps to gauge how the general public really feels about a film. Now, Netflix has released a recent movie, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, that has done the unthinkable and managed to get a 100% audience score!

At this point, it’s fair to say that the Matilda story is one that has been beloved by several generations of fans. Roald Dahl wrote the original story back in 1988, and it quickly became one of the best-received children’s books of all time. And long before the Netflix adaptation, Danny DeVito both directed and starred in a 1996 adaptation of Matilda starring Mara Wilson as the little girl who learns to control her fantastic powers.

Fans have been celebrating that particular movie for decades, and many assumed that Netflix only wanted to make a Matilda musical based on the success of the earlier movie. Interestingly, though, Matilda was first turned into a musical in 1990 by the Redgrave Theatre, and it was touring the UK six years before the Danny DeVito movie came out. But this newer Netflix production primarily draws on the 2010 Matilda the Musical, a British stage production that eventually made its Broadway debut and became a Tony-winning play.

netflix matilda
Emma Thompson and Alisha Weir

Of course, part of what makes this newer Netflix musical adaptation of Matilda such a hit with audiences is that it was strategically released on Netflix on Christmas day. As we noted before, the Matilda story is one that has resonated with generations of fans. And since the holidays bring different generations of family members together, Netflix chose the perfect time to release an adaptation that wins over younger audiences even as it makes their parents and grandparents smile.

As with the 1996 movie, this Netflix musical adaptation of Matilda brings in some big names to bring its characters to life. For example, just as Pam Ferris made us hate Miss Trunchbull all those years ago, Emma Thompson has now stepped in to make Trunchbull more loathsome than ever before. And whereas Danny DeVito himself helped make Harry Wormwood a character you love to hate, Stephen Graham steps into his nauseating boots quite nicely as he torments Alisha Weir’s Matilda.

In a musical, though, good casting can only take you so far. As any musical nerd knows, catchy music is what celebrates banger films like Anna and the Apocalypse from forgettable tryhards (looking at you, Repo! The Genetic Opera). Fortunately, the Netflix Matilda musical has songs that you are likely to be humming and singing long after the credits roll.

Perhaps most impressively, Netflix has created a musical version of Matilda that has won over both people who didn’t like the 2010 stage show and even those who didn’t like the 1996 movie. If Matilda is a story that appeals to multiple generations, this may be the best the story has ever been executed. And the creators have the perfect audience score to show for it.