Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ratings (further) explained

Kerbot's comment on my previous post reminded me that I had been meaning to explain the numerical ratings I give each film. As I wrote in my very first post, the ratings are intentionally unreliable because they're relative to the movie itself and others like it. Therefore, you can't use them to create an overall ranked list of all the films rated, like Rotten Tomatoes has been doing with certain genres lately. What I didn't say, though, is that there is sort of an absolute quality scale at work, too.


10 = perfect, or, one of my all-time favorites
9 = extraordinary
8 = excellent
7 = good
6 = a little above average
5 = mediocre
4 = watch only on cable when there's not much else on and you can't sleep
3 = watch at your peril
2 = now playing in hell's cineplex
1 = an abomination

0...? Let's not contemplate a 0 rating.

Basically: take the rating, divide it by two, and you'll usually get the star rating I gave it on Netflix. Three stars on Netflix translates to "liked it" So, if I give it a 6 or above here, I thought it was worth watching. A 5 is not bad, but is totally inessential viewing--you might like it if you're a fan of the particular actors, creators, genre, etc. That means, for example, my 6.5 rating of Waitress is positive -- an upwardly-pointed thumb, if you will -- but other movies out there are better. But remember, the scale applies on a relative basis to each film.

Nutshell version: don't put much stock in the ratings!

No comments: