My review scale

I rate movies on a 5 point scale. A movie can get a score of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 from me. The higher the number, the more I liked the film. No zeros, because there’s no need for them. No decimals either, for the same reason.

My ratings are extremely subjective. If there is such a thing as an objectively good movie, it’s not something I take into account when assigning numerical scores. And in the debate on good films vs favorite films, my ratings are more concerned with the latter. I do not adjust scores to counteract my personal preferences and biases.

What this means is that my personal enjoyment is the key ingredient in my scores. A movie can have great cinematography, effective conveying of its themes and sublime acting, and I can certainly appreciate said aspects. But if I still find myself bored with it while watching, it will struggle to get a high score. I will try to articulate in my reviews just what it is I like and dislike about a film, but even when I fail to properly put it into words, I still know when I love a movie and when I hate one. Even if I can’t pinpoint exactly why I feel Hot Fuzz works better than Shaun of the Dead, I know that I do feel that way. So Hot Fuzz would get a higher score than Shaun of the Dead.

So what do the individual numbers mean? Not much, I suppose. Assigning a particular adjective to a particular figure is just putting one subjective title in place of another. The one thing I can say is that a score of 3 or higher means that I essentially liked the film and found it to be worthy of my time. Also, there’s nothing special or exclusive about a 5/5 score. It doesn’t mean I find the film to be perfect. It just means I like it more than a film I rated 4/5.

Despite the inherent subjectivity involved, I like there to be some sense of logic to a grading scale. By that I mean that every step of the ladder should be as big as every other step. It should be just as hard to decide between 1 and 2 as to decide between 4 and 5. This is something I strive towards.

The scores are only meant to be a quick and easy way to see roughly what I thought of the film overall. The real meat of my opinion is always found in the text, which I hope you’ll read and enjoy.


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