A film rating system

Saturday, 24 April 2010, 18:37 | Category : Film, Loaves, Uncategorized
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I want to introduce a film rating system on my blog at some point in the future and was hoping for input :) I struggle with conventional film rating systems - they seem a bit meaningless. Rating a film out of 10 or 5 just doesn’t tell you all that much about what is meant by the mark.

For starters, there’s the question of whether you’re rating the film or your enjoyment of it. Most of the time I suppose this doesn’t make that big a difference (although I have come across people who will for example rate commercial films a bit lower than art films regardless of the enjoyment factor). But sometimes, for me at least, not having a clear division between one and the other makes a film very difficult to rate.
For example in my case there’s Hunger. It’s a film I found very frustrating and I didn’t enjoy it on any level really. But if you ask me if it’s good or bad I’ll say good. I totally get why it turned so many heads. It’s just that, personally, I had no enjoyment whatsoever in watching it and I sincerely hope never to watch it again ;-P Rating it on a conventional rating system would be very difficult for me without establishing if I’m rating the enjoyment factor or the “how good the film is” factor.

I’ve also seen attempts at more detailed rating systems. For example filmaster.com lets users rate not just the film as a whole, but it also allows separate marks for direction, screenplay, acting, special effects, editing, music, cinematography and innovativeness. I find such detailed marks tough to apply too though.
I mean there’s the obvious problem - if you’re watching an art film then you’re unlikely to have any special effects to rate and if you’re watching a documentary then you’re not going to rate the acting in it. But there’s also questions like what is good cinematography or good editing? People tend to give high ratings to stuff that’s flashy. But what if there’s a film which would feel fake if it didn’t have natural lighting and hand-held camera? Does that mean the cinematography in it should be rated lower even though it worked very well in the film? How do you compare it with beautifully lighted tracking shots in another film?

So with all this in mind I’m trying to design an easy to use and clear film rating system ;-P I’m doing it primarily for myself at this point, but I’d prefer it if other people found it easy to use and understand as well, which is why I’d like input :) In the future I might want to introduce a feature where my readers can rate a film (so that I can compare my rating to that of my readers) and/or I might want to use this rating system on a different site all together.

Because of all that I’ve mentioned, I think the only way to keep it simple is if the system deals specifically with the enjoyment factor. I don’t think anyone can objectively rate how good a film is by giving it a number anyway.
So far I’ve come up with six marks:

An all-time favourite.

A film that is somehow very special to me. It touched me on a very personal level - as in it very strongly appealed to my personal nostalgias and fixations.

Loved it.

A film I enjoyed very much and am likely to want to watch repeatedly in the future. I don’t have as much of a personal connection with it as I do with one rated +3, however.

Liked it.

A film I enjoyed and am likely to see again at some point in the future. My feelings about it aren’t as intense as those for films rated +2 and +3 though.


I enjoyed it on some level. I’m unlikely to seek out a repeat viewing, however, unless it has some sort of stand out feature (an actor I love, a rare theme in the story etc.).

Didn’t like it.

A film that I didn’t enjoy much if at all. Some aspects of it may have annoyed me. I’m unlikely to seek out a repeat viewing. The main exception to that is if it stars a favourite actor of mine or has some sort of stand-out feature, but even then it’s not a given.

Absolutely detested it.

Not only did I not enjoy it on any level, it annoyed the hell out of me. A repeat viewing is practically out of the question.

How do you feel about these marks? Are they clear? Would you find them easy to use yourself or have I personalized them too much?

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