For those who like to rate their movies: What Type Of System Do You Use?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Joe Karlosi, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I prefer the standard four star approach, with the following guidelines:

    [​IMG] (Poor; but may have a redeeming feature)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] (Average; "decent" film, but unremarkable)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (A Good Film; a Must-See)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (An Excellent FIlm; Exceptional)

    I tend to use half-star ratings when I feel a movie falls somewhere in between one rating or another. I use the Maltin-influenced "BOMB" when a movie is totally worthless and unwatchable.
     
  2. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I use a 5-star rating scale with half-star ratings. It gives a good amount of flexibility.

    Zero * - A cinematic travesty. I've given very few movies zero stars.

    * - A bad film with a couple of good moments, scares, jokes, etc.

    ** - A film that never really finds it's footing. Usually an interesting idea with bad execution.

    *** - A film that has enough redeeming qualities to make it more good than bad. Usually used for comedies that are hit or miss, or action films that offer good action with a lack of plausibility.

    **** - A good film with mistakes, but nothing major.

    ***** - A great film that excels past the recent competition.
     
  3. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I like the idea of a four star system (with half stars), but with some prize other than a fifth star that denotes an exceptionally important (Citizen Kane, 2001, Pulp Fiction, etc.) film. That way a perfect four star film isn't quite lacking anything on the basic system, but it doesn't necessarily have that extra juice that will change the face of cinema.

    The biggest problem with that system is that some deeply flawed movie could be extremely important anyway. On the other hand this "importance prize" would be a good way to recognize the earliest films as important without saying through stars that they're particularly good by the modern standards that they pioneered.

    Does that make sense? Of course I don't review movies much anymore so I don't get to put it into practice.
     
  4. Kristian

    Kristian Supporting Actor

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    I've gone through a few rating systems over the years, but I think I'll be sticking with this expanded four-star rating system from now on:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] - Astonishing
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]¾ - Excellent
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]½ - Great
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]¼ - Very Good
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] - Good
    [​IMG][​IMG]¾ - Above Average
    [​IMG][​IMG]½ - Average
    [​IMG][​IMG]¼ - Below Average
    [​IMG][​IMG] Poor
    [​IMG]¾ - Bad
    [​IMG]½ - Dreadful
    [​IMG]¼ - Horrendous
    [​IMG] - Absolute Garbage

    I don't like using "ZERO" or "half-a-star" ratings; I think they tilt the balance towards the negative side of things.
     
  5. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Great
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Good
    [​IMG][​IMG] Fair
    [​IMG] Poor
    BOMB Awful

    For short films I'll use a Letter Grade.

    I've given plenty of films BOMBS but some of them I'd certainly watch again. REEFER MADNESS and MANIAC (1934) are horrid movies on all levels and they really aren't entertaining but at the same time they are so incredibly bad that I have to re-watch them.

    I also think it's important not to compare two films when it comes to giving them a star rating. I mean, if you think the first two GODFATHER films are excellent, there's no point in cutting the star grade on the second film just because you don't find it as good as the first.

    To expand on something Steve said, the "importance" factor comes into play sometimes but not very often. For me, THE JAZZ SINGER is very important in history but I certainly wouldn't give it a four-star rating because I think it's a very bad film, talking or not. 2001, technically, is a flawless movie and IMO, the most beautiful film ever made. I don't care if someone finds it boring or whatnot but I am still waiting for someone to find the technical specs bad.

    Also, by not comparing ratings, this opens things up a lot more. As an example, I gave CHOPPING MALL and THE GODFATHER PART 3 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] ratings. Am I saying they are "equal" movies? Of course not. On all levels TG3 is technically better made but on an entertainment level, CM does its job. Also, when it comes time to talk about the films in question, then you can explain your star rating. I've said it many times that to me, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is a 4-star film. Am I saying it belongs on the AFI list? Am I saying everyone must view this film? Of course not but for what it is, a horribly made film, it's also one of the most entertaining. If I wrote a review, I'd certainly mention that it's one of the worst films ever made and I'd list everything wrong with it. Why four stars? Because if you like bad movies, this here is the greatest and the most entertaining. The film makes me laugh more than any other film that comes to mind and that is certainly worth a star rating and not a BOMB. On a technical level, PLAN 9 is a BOMB but as entertainment, it's great.

    I've often thought about giving an extra [​IMG] to those films that are the greatest ever made. There are many great films that get four stars so I thought of giving the best an extra one.
     
  6. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I know what Michael is saying about sometimes rating films higher as "entertainment" than "technicality". As a fan of bizarre horror films, I find some of the junk a hell of a lot more fun as entertainment, so I give them a higher rating based on that. An example is something like FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER, which I give [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] for pure teenage monster madness and fun. It's a lot more enjoyable to me than THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, which I find mostly talky and no longer groundbreaking, and give only a [​IMG] [​IMG] . I think that if you're tempted to give a film a higher rating based on its popular reputation, you're copping out. If you want to know what I'm "supposed" to think of THE THING, you can check textbooks, and you don't need me. But if you want to know how I personally feel, it's just two stars.

    I don't just like cheesy horror films. I give classics like BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN a solid [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] --- though you can bet your life I'd not waste a second in deeming it only a [​IMG] if I personally felt it wasn't entertaining or well made or both.

    Some films from other genres I'd give [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] include:

    AMERICAN GRAFFITI
    CITIZEN KANE
    SUNSET BLVD
    IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
    THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
    A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
    THE STING
    BEN HUR (59)
    THE GODFATHER

    but at the same time, some revered greats I'm not personally as fond of:

    REAR WINDOW [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2
    MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2
    IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE [​IMG] [​IMG]
    SHANE [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2
     
  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    [​IMG] Worst of the wrost. Films that make you want to carve your own eyeballs out instead of watching them. Shining examples of this class include House of the Dead and Adrenaline. Hallmarks of this class include a basic lack of understanding how to work equipment, bad or no script, actors who should be forced to get day jobs.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] Bad. These are bad movie. Examples include Hellcats, She, DeathBed, Nekromantik 2,and Zombie Holocaust.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Mediocre/Average. These are the Ho-Hum films that Hollywood likes to create by the bucketload. A few include: How to lose a guy in 10 days, Lies and Whispers, D.O.A., and Bad Boys.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Good movies. Not the greatest films ever made, but good, well made cinema. Unbearable lightness of being, Silence of the Lambs, Tales from the darkside, Hero, Blazing Saddles.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Excellant movies. The greatest films in all of cinema are placed on this shelf. The are widely regarded as excellant (always a few haters), include a cast that was born for the part, and shall be watched fifty years from now and still be entertaining. Jaws, Jurassic park, Seven Samurai, Akira, Conan the Barbarian, Dracula, Fight Club, LOTR.
     
  8. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I use the lettering system.

    A+ = absolute favorites
    A = really great
    A- = great
    B+ = really good, but not exactly that good
    B = pretty good, but one or two things could make it better
    B- = Good
    C+ = Alright, but worth only a rental or dollar theater visit
    C = Alright, but may not be worth the money
    C- = not my cup of tea and bordering on bad
    D+ = bad
    D = really bad
    D- = plain awful
    F = the worst of the worst
     
  9. SteveSs

    SteveSs Stunt Coordinator

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    I use 1 thru 10. Examples being: Toy Store 2 is a 10, Legally Blonde 2 is a 1. I usually weed out the crap before I even watch, so most of the movies I view are rated at 6 and up. I use more reviews and recommendations from this website than anywhere else.
     
  10. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I'm with you Joe. I've used the FOUR [​IMG] system since I can remember and I think it works best.

    I've just recently started adding the 1/4[​IMG] too to really be precise.[​IMG]
     
  11. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Four star with 1/4 increments gives 16 choices.

    I use a ten point scale, with halves (8.5, 6.0) to give me 20 choices/increments. Like Steve, I try and weed out real stinkers before I pay, so most of my ratings are 6.5 and higher. The lowest HTF rating I gave was a %/10 to AP3 two years ago. Thanks to cable, I have plenty of 1's or 2's I'd hand out lately [​IMG]

    But I like the range it gives me to note films that are REALLY special.

    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I use a four star system, based on Jonathon Rosenbaum’s rating system. I like this because it is positive, as it gives stars for merit—so even a one star rating has some good features. I don’t bother with half stars (though Rosenbaum does), as I often have a hard time choosing between whole star increments and since I am but a lay person, I don’t see any real point in fine graduations (that is, my expertise is not sufficient to make the distinction between 3 and 3 ½ have any real meaning).

    4=masterpiece
    3=must-see
    2=worth seeing
    1=has redeeming feature(s)

    I often give films that I personally don’t much care for (e.g. Gone with the Wind) a three star rating, because I acknowledge that it is important and should be seen, but it is also one that I think has enough flaws that it should not receive a ‘masterpiece’ rating.
     
  13. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I've liked the four star system with the one and one and a half star ranks for 'bad' films. Two stars is the 'worthy effort' category and covers the average film, usually forgettable, but worth the price of admission. Three stars covers those that I enjoyed a great deal, while four would be for the great films I see. Four star films are those I usually get on DVD, as I enjoyed them immensely. It has a lower bar than some, I imagine, but works out well for me.

    Half stars would go for any films that had one or two points that elevated it above the category, be it a good performance, memorable scene, or failed but interesting concept worthy of recognition.

    As an example, I didn't like The Village much at all from a story or technical perspective, but I really enjoyed Bryce Howard's performance as the lead, hence a [​IMG] [​IMG]. I enjoyed The Bourne Supremacy a good deal, and would give that a [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG], while The Bourne Identity gets a [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] because of some really good fusion of action and chase scenes onto a solid spy thriller (something I found lacking in the sequel).
     
  14. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    I use the 4-star system with at least 8 possible permutations:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] = Excellent
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] ½ = Very Good
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] ¼ = Better than Good
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] = Good
    [​IMG] [​IMG] ½ = Fair or Average. With Mixed Feelings.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] = Below Average. Not Recommended.
    [​IMG] ½ = Bad.
    [​IMG] = Worst. Avoid At All Cost

    As with most, my rating system is explained in the annual film list thread.

    Recently, I've added the following quick rate guide to my sig file to highlight certain films I have seen recently:

    [​IMG] = Standouts
    [​IMG] = Recommended
    -- = Indifferent
    [​IMG] = Not Recommended

    ~Edwin
     
  15. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I've always been partial to the 5-star rating myself, with increments.


    5.00 – Sheer Brilliance
    4.75 – Excellente
    4.50 – Beyond Awesome
    4.25 - Overwhelmingly Great
    4.00 - Great
    3.75 - Tremendous
    3.50 - Superb
    3.25 - Absolutely Fabulous
    3.00 – Fantastic
    2.75 - Terrific
    2.50 - Very Very Good
    2.25 - Very Good
    2.00 - Good
    1.75 - Nearly Good
    1.50 - Above Average
    1.25 - Average
    1.00 - Below Average
    0.75 - Poor
    0.50 - Piss Poor
    0.25 - Pants
     
  16. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I use a 10 point system, with the occasional half point in there.

    Basically, anything above a 7 is a great film.
    7 is a solid, well executed film.
    6 is enjoyable, but flawed.
    5 is rather blah film

    Below is various degrees of badness

    Jason
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Very interesting Steve. Now I have always known that Very Good was better than Good—and so it follows that Very, Very Good is better than Very Good.

    I was not aware until now that Beyond Awesome was better than Overwhelmingly Great—though it is clear that Overwhelmingly Great is better than Great.
     
  18. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Steve,
    You forgot the most important rating of all:

    0.00 - Batman and Robin
     
  19. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    [​IMG]


    Lew, well now you know.[​IMG]
     
  20. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Reading some of these star rating systems brings home a slight concern I've always had when reviewing movies myself. Whenever I give a film a two star rating ( [​IMG] [​IMG] ) I pretty much mean this as a positive thing. For me, two stars is still "fair" or "average".

    Yet it's obvious here that two stars means some unflattering things to many people, and it's part of the reason I get so concerned that people may misinterpret [​IMG] [​IMG] when I use it. For example, if I give Woody Allen's ANYTHING ELSE a rating of [​IMG] [​IMG] , some people immediately take that to mean it's "bad". Actually, it's FAIR, and worth a look.

    So I don't know about Lew or the others, but I always have found two stars to be the easiest rating to misinterpret (unless you include a description guide to accompany the stars).
     

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