I’ve been reviewing movies for “The Globe” for a little over two years now and am still working on refining my process. One question I am always asked is how my rating system works and what my criteria for a good film is. Here is a basic run-down of my review process and rating scale.
The first rule to which I adhere is that the film must be readily available to the movie-going public. While I do attend special screenings when I have the option, most of the time, I’m watching the first showing available at the theater on opening day. It’s because of this rule that I don’t review any limited releases, art-house films that are screened for a limited amount of time, or any film that is not available nation-wide. If none of you, the readers, can see it in theaters at your leisure, then there’s no point in reviewing it.
A common trait of my reviews is that I tend to put unofficial partitions between criteria. My criteria are boiled down to two basic things.
The first is the story, how well the film manages to tell its story and how invested I get into the events and characters. The second involves the technical aspects of the film, how it’s written, shot, edited and various other factors that pertain to the actual production. Using these two general fields, I rate on a scale of 1 to 5, which I have outlined below.
5 – This is where the film is perfect from a technical standpoint and is worth paying the full ticket price to see. For example, this was the rating given to “This is The End” and “Iron Man 3”.
4 – This is where the film is good, but has flaws that are noticeable. However, those flaws don’t detract from the overall experience. Examples include “Pacific Rim”, “The Purge” and “Oz, the Great and Powerful”.
3 – This is where the film’s flaws detract from the experience, but I am still moderately entertained. This is also where I rank films that are just mediocre and not worth the full ticket price. Examples here would include “The Lone Ranger”, “World War Z”, and “Despicable Me 2”.
2 – This is where the film is so bad that a majority of the film’s run-time is spent slamming my palm into my face. The few films to which I have given this rating include “Dark Skies” and “Pain and Gain”.
1 – This is where the film is so bad and unbearable that I contemplate walking out of the theater. I have yet to give a theatrical release this rating, but to give you a good idea of how bad the film would have to be, examples of a “1” would include “Dragonball Evolution”, Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween”, and “The Last Airbender.”
I hope this gives you some insight into how I conduct my reviews for the paper. If they help to keep you from wasting your money on films that don’t deserve it, then it means I’m doing my job.