How I Rate Movies

by zenquaker

I’m an analytical person, so I like to rate the movies I watch. But being an analytical person I had to analyze how I was rating movies. I mean, when I started doing rating movies it was really haphazard and inconsistent. I’d just slap a number on there without thinking about it. But then when I tried to make a top 100 movies list, I was ranking movies I’d rated eight higher than movies I’d rated nine. Some of it was inconsistent ratings, but some of it was movies that were better done, but that I didn’t like as much. If that doesn’t make sense, think of it as a conflict between appreciation of craft and enjoyment. In any case, I stopped doing the top 100 list because to fill it out to 100 I was putting in movies rated seven, which is good, but not that good. A top 100 list should be good movies.

So I thought about it, and came up with the following system for rating movies. Each movie starts with a rating of four. I then go through my review of the movie, and tally up the positive and negative points. Each one adds or subtracts one point from the rating, respectively. Although, it is possible for parts of a movie to be so good or bad that they deserve a double positive or double negative, which adds or subtracts two. However, the rating cannot shift more than four points based on the positives and negatives. This gives you a final range of zero to eight. Zero is a special case, because it is also used for movies that are so bad I refuse to see them in the first place, like Shallow Hal. This automatically includes any movie with both Jack Black and Ben Stiller in it at the same time, like Tropic Thunder.

Then there is the Oomph Factor, which I have capitalized in order to make it seem important. The Oomph Factor has to do with enjoyment of the movie, but only on the high end. The movie has to touch me in some way, whether it be evoking deep emotions, making me bust a gut laughing, or captivate my mind with it’s ideas. The Oomph Factor can add one or two points to the rating, depending on how much oomph there is.

So you end up with a zero to ten scale. However, a movie can’t be rated nine or ten without the Oomph Factor. Although you can have a movie that has Oomph Factor that isn’t a nine or a ten. For example, Rubber got one point of oomph because I love the surrealism of the audience and the protagonist, but it was dragged down by being overly blunt, having a poor story, and a bad ending, so it only got a rating of seven.