10 Best Resident Evil Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

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Stemming from the most successful survival-horror game franchise, the film adaptations of Resident Evil has become one of the highest-grossing film franchises based on video games. The films follow the character Alice (Milla Jovovich) and stories created specifically for the films, with staple game characters appearing here and there.

RELATED: The Best Resident Evil Movies, According To Ranker

Spanning nearly two decades, the Resident Evil movies vary in quality but the review site Rotten Tomatoes allows potential viewers to choose the best-received films to watch.

Updated on February 27th, 2022 by Mark Birrell: With the release Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, fans of the long-running survival horror franchise have seen new takes on classic storylines and characters. Critics have also been thinking about the progress of the Resident Evil movies and how they all ultimately rank when compared to one another. How does the newest addition to the series compare to the very first Resident Evil film? Has much changed in this respect over the past 20 years?

10 Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) – 19%

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Alice points a gun in Resident Evil Apocalypse

The second film in the original run of live-action Resident Evil movies, Resident Evil: Apocalypse follows Alice as she awakens from a coma and attempts to escape the locked-down Raccoon City with Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory).

The writer and director of the original film, Paul W.S. Anderson, returned as a writer for this installment but was unable to take on the role of director due to his work on Alien vs. Predator. With a 19% score on the Tomatometer, many critics have the same opinion of the movie: it’s just boring. The BBC called it “A zombie movie as dead-eyed and soulless as its walking dead villains.”

9 Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) – 21%

Available To Rent On Prime Video

Resident Evil Afterlife clone

Anderson returned as writer-director of the fourth installment in the series, Resident Evil: Afterlife. Following Alice, as she once again tries to find a haven in the zombie-ridden world, this entry was filmed in 3D with the technology developed by James Cameron and Vince Pace for the 2009 film Avatar. Unfortunately, this movie didn’t receive nearly as many good reviews as the sci-fi epic.

Standing at 21%, this Resident Evil movie had mixed reviews, with some calling it good B-movie fun and others commenting that it doesn’t bring anything new to the franchise. For some, the movie barely made a mark in their mind. As The Last Thing I See put it, “As soon as I walked out of the theater it was completely gone from my consciousness.”


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8 Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) – 25%

Available To Rent On AppleTV

resident evil extinction

Resident Evil: Extinction was the third installment of the original live-action Resident Evil movies. The introduction of clones and psychic dream powers brought some interesting new elements to the action of the film, but little else was done to make it stand out from its predecessors.

The film received mixed reviews, with some commenting on how the director Russell Mulcahy brought a new vision to the franchise. As one review puts it, “It blends the zombie and post-apocalyptic genres in a reasonably interesting way, and benefits from Mulcahy’s well-rehearsed filmmaking style.” Others weren’t so impressed, with Gone With The Twins calling it “Ridiculous, nonsensical, and grossly unnecessary.”


7 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) – 28%

Available To Stream On Tubi

Resident Evil Retribution 2012 Milla Jovavich in Hallway

The fifth installment in the series, Resident Evil: Retribution saw the return of characters like Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) from the first film, as well characters from the Resident Evil video games making their debut. Captured and interrogated by the Umbrella Corporation, Alice has to fight her way out with the help of her fellow survivors.

RELATED: The 10 Best Characters In The Resident Evil Movies

The movie was greeted with lukewarm reviews, with critics continuing to comment on the skin-tight outfits and over-the-top action sequences typical of the franchise. For all of its flaws, the film is still decently liked for its combat sequences and gore. Fanboys of The Universe said, “Sometimes you just need to turn off your brain and enjoy some good old-fashioned ultraviolence. Mmmm…brains…”


6 Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021) – 31%

Available To Rent On Prime Video

The S.T.A.R.S. team in the forest in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

The most recent of the Resident Evil movies made a noticeable attempt to take the live-action films back to basics and try to adapt the plots of the earlier games with characters that longtime fans would recognize. Though its critic score is essentially par for the course on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s worth mentioning that its audience score on the site sits at a much more robust 66%, which is one of the highest of the franchise.

Reviews were mixed for the film and it was a modest box office success thanks to its focus on being less excessive than previous live-action Resident Evil movies, with many critics taking a much softer tone with this installment. In a review counted as “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, Peter Bradshaw wrote for The Guardian that Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is “a reasonably entertaining, unpretentiously gory horror exercise, although clearly a bit distended with an excess of characters that need to be incorporated into the plot, many of whom feature in older RE lore.”


5 Resident Evil (2002) – 36%

Available To Stream On FuboTV

Milla Jovovich Resident Evil 2002

The original Resident Evil film was released in 2002, with fans of the video game series excited to see their favorite characters on the big screen. What they got, however, was brand new characters introduced to the world that the games established. Alice–a security operative for the Umbrella Corporation–has to escape an underground facility and the zombies chasing her.

Having little to do with the source material, the first film in the franchise saw poor reviews from disgruntled fans of the games but generally decent reviews from fans of shoot-em-up action films. Hogan Reviews calls it “firmly ‘okay’, it’s a cheesy survival horror story with cliché characters that knows it’s a cheesy survival horror story with cliché characters.”


4 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) – 37%

Available To Rent On Prime Video

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil 6

2016 saw the release of Resident Evil: The Final ChapterAnderson’s goal with the film was to bring the story full-circle, ending it in the same setting as the first film. Set back in the underground facility beneath Raccoon City, Alice must end the fight with the Red Queen (Ever Anderson), and save what remains of humanity.

Despite Anderson’s desire to tie up loose ends and finish storylines, only four characters from the previous films returned for the final film, leaving many to wonder what happened to the characters fans didn’t get to see and the plot itself failed to suck in critics. The Irish Times wrote: “The film comprises 20 percent boring plot talk and 80 percent even more boring action.”




3 Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017) – 43%

Available To Stream On Tubi

Written by Makoto Fukami and directed by Takanori Tsujimoto, Resident Evil: Vendetta is the third entry in the animated Resident Evil series. Bringing in staple characters such as Leon S. Kennedy (Toshiyuki Morikawa/Matthew Mercer) and Chris Redfield (Hiroki Touchi/Kevin Dorman), the movie takes place between the events of the sixth and seventh games.

RELATED: Every Resident Evil Movie, Ranked By Letterboxd

Fans of the game series flocked to see the film, but reviews from critics were mixed. For some, the voice acting was flat, and the animation couldn’t save the bland story. South China Morning Post says “the film’s stilted dialogue, relentless exposition, and ‘uncanny valley’ animated performances prove far more unsettling than the virus-infected gouls lurking in the shadows.” For others, however, the movie was a fun foray into the game’s universe, with Lyles’ Movie Files calling it “an amazingly intense and action-packed thrill ride.”


2 Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) – 67%

Available To Rent On AppleTV

Released in 2008, Resident Evil: Degeneration was the first full-length CG animation film in the franchise and was met with decent reviews. Following Claire Redfield (Alyson Court) and Leon S. Kennedy (Paul Mercier) as they attempt to contain the outbreak of the deadly G-virus, fans were excited to see the pair reunited for the first time since the second game.

A far cry from the Anderson adaptations, this film received far better reviews than its live-action counterparts. According to Más Gamers,  “It tells a story full of tension and blood that ends up being really faithful to the games.” Although, some thought it felt more like an extended cut-scene than a movie. Regardless, many wonder why it took so long to come out with an animated film when the live-action ones were so different from the tone of the games.


1 Resident Evil: Damnation (2012) – 100%

Available To Stream On Tubi

Leon prepares to shoot in Resident Evil: Damnation

Sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes from 5 reviews, Resident Evil: Damnation is the sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneration, and a prequel to the sixth game. Released in 2012, the movie follows Leon S. Kennedy (Toshiyuki Morikawa/Matthew Mercer) as he tries to stop deadly bio-organic weapons from being used in a civil war.

Highly regarded by fans also as one of the best Resident Evil movies, IGN calls it “the best Resident Evil film to date.” Others agree, with Lyle’s Movie Files claiming that “If you’re a fan of the series, this is finally the ‘Resident Evil’ experience you’ve been waiting on.” Although, for those unfamiliar with the franchise, this might not be the best place to start as there’s not much introduction given to the characters before jumping into the story.

NEXT: Every Resident Evil Movie, Ranked (According To IMDb)

 

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter universe.


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