How I Rate Films

Since I realize now that I do a lot of movie reviews here, I thought it may be prudent to lay out how I rate films.

I use a four-star scale, which is sort of an industry standard. Roughly, four stars translates to one of the best films of the year. Three stars translates to a really good film that you should see if given the chance. Two stars is a good film – passable, worth watching, but nothing that you would be loath to miss. One star is a bad film, one that you are better off not watching.
I rate films based slightly on their merits as art, but mostly on their merits within a specific genre. For instance – Anchorman is not a very good film. It’s a silly comedy that wants nothing more than to be comedic and entertain. It is, however, incredibly good at doing that. Thus, Anchorman gets a rating of three stars (* * *). For a film to earn that fourth star, it has to go above and beyond the call.
I’ve also set up a page that has a capsule reviews, star ratings, and links to full films that I have reviewed here. I plan to add a couple more as well, probably of some classics or recent great ones. That page can be found here, and will be updated every time I post a review. It is also available in the sidebar.

More simply:

* – A film that ultimately failed to accomplish what it set out to do.
* * – A film that accomplishes what it set out to do, but lacking in other areas.
* * * – A film that accomplished what it set out to do with a high degree of technical finesse.
* * * * – A film that, regardless of its ambitions and whether or not it met them, is artistically exceptional or emotionally powerful on a level above the average film.


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