My rating scheme

I rate movies (and TV shows and books) on how much the story grabs me — on this particular occasion. I’m not rating movies based on their influence on the history of cinema or anything like that. It can have great special effects, great music, great actors, but if it doesn’t have a great story then it’s not a great movie.

Sometimes my rating for a movie will change when I see it a second time. Some movies are only worth watching once, and I sometimes can’t tell the first time if it’s one of those. Movies that grabbed me the first time but not the second include Paycheck, S1m0ne, and Sliding Doors.

The value of a movie that’s only worth watching once lies in its novelty. Movies that are worth watching more than once have more than novelty.

I’m not a big fan of old movies. One thing that often annoys me about old movies is their depiction of women. Old movies that I do like include Metropolis (1927), Harvey, and It’s a Wonderful Life.

I’m a fan of science fiction and fantasy, but I also like good old could-happen-in-real-life comedies and dramas.

It’s unlikely I will review many bad movies. My philosophy is that if the first half of the movie is bad then the second half will be bad — so I stop watching.

Here’s my rating scheme, with examples:

5 Brilliant — one of my favourites. The Truman Show Being John Malkovich
4.5 Great. Minority Report How to Train Your Dragon
4 Very good. The Fifth Element The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
3.5 Good. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence Hellboy
3 Worth watching once. Cowboys and Aliens Alice in Wonderland (2010)
2.5 Almost worth watching. Sunshine Coraline
2 Bad. Tron Dragonheart
1.5 Embarrassingly bad. The Matrix Revolutions Jumanji
1 Shockingly bad. Total Recall Highlander
0.5 Virtually no redeeming features. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End


I use this scheme for TV shows and books too. For books, just substitute “reading” for “watching.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 6:46 pm and is filed under My thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “My rating scheme”

  1. James Says:

    Wow, Dave, you have a lot of great content on your blog already! Love the rating scheme, and have to agree with your two examples of “no redeeming features” 🙂

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