Rating Criteria

There are as many ways to rate a film as there are people on this planet. As of this writing (Nov. 2019), that’s somewhere in the vein of 7.7 billion people. This site is my opinion—or 0.12987012987% of all possible opinions, so I figured it was best to be upfront about my rating criteria.

5 out of 5 stars Perfect. Truly exquisite, impeccable cinema that takes my breath away and doesn’t give it back.
4.5 out of 5 stars Almost perfect. Splendid, beautiful filmmaking. Almost a five, but missing the unquantifiable secret sauce.
4 out of 5 stars Awesome, exceptional, moving films I’ll return to repeatedly.
3.5 out of 5 stars Very good + thought-provoking films that I thoroughly enjoyed. Some flaws.
3 out of 5 stars Good. Average, basically, but I still enjoyed it. Worthy of a rewatch.
2.5 out of 5 stars Decent. Liked it but didn’t love it. Would get a thumbs-up if I chose a simpler system.
2 out of 5 stars Weak + sub-par. I might still like it for some reason, but there’s serious room for improvement.
1.5 out of 5 stars Bad. Just bad.
1 out of 5 stars Gross. We’ve crossed into negative value territory. A true waste of time. I regret watching it.
0.5 out of 5 stars Bent. No redeemable qualities whatsoever. See Daniel Taylor and The Hidden Power of Stories for more on bent stories.
0 out of 5 stars I’m sure they exist, but I don’t plan to ever watch one.

It’s worth noting that my rankings are highly subjective and influenced by my own experiences, biases, and tastes—everything from That One Experience I Had When I Was Five to how long it’s been since I last craved Chick-fil-a on a Sunday.

As are yours.

My goal is always to write about why I liked or didn’t like a film, to discuss its merits or lack thereof. Beyond that, I don’t justify my ratings, nor do I feel beholden to like a particular film because it’s a “classic.”

One closing thought. I don’t rank films on a curve—so yes, this film could totally get more stars than that film, because this film is this film and that film is that film, and never the twain shall meet 🙃