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