Topic: How do you rate movies?

I've been thinking lately about the different ways people rate movies. And it's quite an interesting subject, because two people aren't likely to come up with the same answer.

For me, I only give a couple of movies a year a 10/10. Inside Out was the most recent movie I watched which I awarded it to, and I only ever give to movies which I consider outstanding. Most movies I really love I will usually give an 8/10 or above. If I give a movie a 7, it means that I really liked it, but maybe felt that it had quite a few flaws. I gave Frozen a 7, as I really enjoyed it, but I also think that it has quite weak writing and isn't as good as a lot of people make it out to be.

6 is when I think that a movie is good, but nothing much else. Iron Man 2 is a 6/10 for me - for a superhero movie, it was considerably boring and slow pace and wasn't all that satisfying. Overall I think its good. The 3rd act I really enjoyed and the movie was the introduction of the fantastic Marvel films that were to follow.

5 is a movie which I consider okay. Cars for me is a 5/10, nothing good, but not really bad. 4 and below are films that I dislike. I don't think many films deserve a 1/10, as that seems like the film has failed on every single level (Foodfight, for example).

But then there are the movies that are so bad they're good. Where do they belong? That is a difficult question, because they don't deserve to be a 1/10 as they are at least unintentionally entertaining, but then perhaps they don't deserve a high score either, because after all, they are still bad.

How do you rate movies? I'd be interested to hear your opinions. Also, when it comes to so bad they're good movies, how do you rate those?

Last edited by William Osborne (July 21, 2016 (07:13am))

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Re: How do you rate movies?

I agree with all you said. Maybe for a so bad it's good movie  -10/10? I don't like hating on movies because they worked so hard on them.

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Re: How do you rate movies?

To be honest I rate films just based on how entertaining they are. That's really all, also whether or not they execute their concepts well. I am fine if a film doesn't bring anything new to the table, as long as it executes its concept and main idea astonishingly well. Hope this helps to fuel the movie discussion fire. mini/wink

Re: How do you rate movies?

Since I am a nerd and has spent hours thinking about this, I have a weird system that takes care of the so-bad-its-good problem.  Instead of having one numerical scale from 1-5, I use a coordinate plane.  Both axes go from -5 to 5, with the x- axis  representing the ''filmmaking quality" and the y- axis representing the "entertainment value." 

That means that a movie like Plan Nine from Outer Space would get a -5 (-4 if you're being generous), but it would get 5 for entertainment value.
Meanwhile a movie that is very well made but boring like Titanic would get a 3 or 4 for quality, but a -4 for entertainment.
The ratings are expressed as an ordered pair.

Examples:
Inside Out: (5,5)
The Last Airbender: (-4, -5)
The Island: (0,0)
The Big Lebowski: (6,6)

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Re: How do you rate movies?

I've struggled with this for a while now. I used to judge movies based on other people's opinions. If I didn't like a movie that was agreed to be bad, then I was in the right. If I liked a movie that most people thought was bad, then it was a guilty pleasure of mine and I didn't talk about it very much. At some point I adopted a number scale that ranges from 0 to 3. Obviously you can probably come up with where good/bad films would fit within that scale. But 3 is a rating I would not give to very many films.

More recently I began thinking about critique philosophy a bit more. I decided that I would judge a movie on two levels: a personal subjective view, and a detached objective view.

I have since stopped thinking that way. Art is subjective and I have a hard time saying that a movie is bad if someone else liked it. Even if it is bad. Movies are made to entertain and if someone liked it, doesn't that mean it's good? I would say, only to them. If I think it's bad, then I think it's bad. I suppose I've worked myself into a loop of confusion. I guess I just judge a movie on how I like it, try to forget the objectivity, and keep my mouth shut about other people's opinions. Because we've all got differing taste in what we want movies to be.

Also, I've kind of dropped the number scale at this point. I want to remember a movie as either good or bad. A gray area wouldn't help in my opinion.

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Re: How do you rate movies?

1999mrlegoman wrote:

Instead of having one numerical scale from 1-5, I use a coordinate plane.  Both axes go from -5 to 5, with the x- axis  representing the ''filmmaking quality" and the y- axis representing the "entertainment value."

That makes a lot of sense. That's another thing that gets on my nerves, really well made movies with terrible plots. I've never really thought that much about film critiquing. I'll start thinking more about exactly how I rate movies.

Last edited by Smocktopus (June 16, 2016 (09:02am))

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Re: How do you rate movies?

A typical 5-star rating system.

5 - Masterpiece, this is why we watch film.
4.5 - Excellent with a minor complaint.
4 - Very good, but a major element was missing.
3.5 - Good, glad I saw it, but nothing particularly standout.
3 - Relatively decent, the good outweighs the bad.
2.5 - Mediocrity, positives balance negatives.
2 - Below mediocrity, not worth watching.
1.5 - Disappointing, disheartening, heavily trite and boring to watch.
1 - If you look close enough in between the ***** you might be able to see a plot, extremely minimal positive elements.
0.5 - A waste of money and time on the part of the filmmakers and myself.

This rating system works best for me, but some mistakes will be made. I have The Room at 0.5/5 for its poor quality but I find it hilarious and quite enjoyable to watch, quote, etc as a result. I have stuff like Boogie Nights, Taxi Driver, etc at 5/5. I also collect film ratings here: http://letterboxd.com/TehCoolDawg/. A useful tool. I seem to be leaning towards 5-star reviews but that's because I go and rank all of my favorite films first, it should even out as time goes on.

Re: How do you rate movies?

I don't rate movies. I do feel like a good rule of thumb is that if I watch it multiple times and get new things out of it, it's a good movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens for example: it was great fun the first time, and on the second and third viewings I found new things about the story, cinematography, music, etc. that I really liked. Same thing has happened with various Pixar films, WALL•E and The Incredibles especially.

This is more of a recent thing, though. Many of my favorite movies I haven't done this with yet.

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Re: How do you rate movies?

I was part of a group of four who rated movie critics.  The web site has been gone for a decade now, but we used every possible system.  We created a conversion chart.  The systems we used were:

1 to 10
0 to 10
5-star system, at 1/2 integer intervals
4-star system, at 1/2 integer intervals
Siskel & Ebert system (2 thumbs that can be up or down)
Some negative critic, which had a 5-point system where 0 was best and -4 was worst, at half-integer intervals
A few others I don't remember

The site had a weird layout.  At the page for the individual reviews, our avatars, all colored line drawings by me, appeared on the side.  You click each one for our personal review in a frame, and the ratings appeared at the bottom.

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Re: How do you rate movies?

I usually rate films in my head by category, in a similar but more complex way than 1999mrlegoman stated above. However, each category is weighted accordingly to focus more heavily on entertainment aspects vs technical quality. For instance, Atlantis The Lost Empire is certainly a 5/5 movie in my opinion, as well as being my favorite film. However, I only came to this "conclusion" after looking at several aspects of the film. For example, I might give the story and entertainment values 10/10, but only a 4/5 and 5/5 for both animation and sound, respectively. Overall, that equates to 5/5 for the film overall, when rounding.

I love films like The Room because, while they might not be technical marvels, that really doesn't matter a whole lot in the end. Films are made to entertain, and, Tommy Wiseau did his job, at least for me and others who like that film. Some sellout nonsense like Guardians of the Galaxy, on the other hand, I favor much less, as, while there still are elements of that film that I like, I overall thought that they were either executed poorly, weren't developed enough by the end, or were just overshadowed by major problems in other parts of the film.

Re: How do you rate movies?

A few nights ago I was thinking about this and I came up with something I've kind of been subconsciously using. I'll rate a movie in 3 ways: Story, Technical and Entertainment. Like Star wars 7 (Which is the movie I was thinking about when I came up with this) Story: 7, Technical: 10, Entertainment: 10.
I read the posts above after I came up with this. They're very similar.

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Re: How do you rate movies?

I rate films on Netflix, 3 stars is the 'I was entertained even thought I might not ever want to watch it again' sort of rating, four stars is for it was really good, and 5 for something that blew me away. Some five star examples would be: Brazil, A Town Called Panic, 2001 A Space Odyssey. Two stars and one stars are pretty rare as I can often tell what I will and wont life but if a movie is awful it gets one of those.

As for every day like, the star rating is not to important, and I often will recommend people movies based on how well I know them. I don't like recommend movies to people I don't know, there is a lot of personal preference in movie ratings and you can't objectively recommend films to people.

Re: How do you rate movies?

For me I do it like this:

10/10 - No/barely any flaws, great storyline and cinematography, and suitable music/SFX. Basically, most films that I buy on DVD (although some of my DVDs I would say are 9/10 or 8/10). I am not too bothered about the quality of VFX like lasers etc. but if a film uses a lot of CGI in a live action film then it HAS to be done well, otherwise, it hurts its rating significantly.

9/10 - 1 or 2 significant flaws, no special cinematography, great storyline and great music/SFX.

8/10 - 3 or 4 significant flaws, no special cinematography, pretty good storyline and good music/SFX.

I think you get the idea, and I have never given a movie less than 5/10, but very very few films get 10/10 from me.

Note: By flaws I mean obvious plot holes, unrealistic actions (unless it's supposed to be that way), and other common movie mistakes.

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