Going over my 1700+ ratings on IMDB I have come to realise I little issue that has been bugging me for a while now and has led to much debate with fellow film buffs and critics alike. There are some films I have awarded a 6/10, that, on second glance, are better than some films I have rated 7/10. Ultimately, this means my ratings are false or just out dated.
Another issue. A good friend of mine is adamant that there are no 10star films saying that 10/10 movies would be the ultimate film, best of the best, the holy grail of cinema and I kinda get his point. Myself actually having 10/10 ratings, it does beg me to question my reasoning for awarding the ten, especially when I start comparing my ‘10*’ films.
So, I have devised a method for grading films fairly and correctly. Though fairly is a matter of opinion and I do try to be unbiased with my reviews. Being a fan of most genres, I do find some critics harsh when reviewing a film not of their normal type of flick. I suppose I could even suggest a barrier between buff and critic, like the current metascore/gamer debate.
It’s a formula, which also works with percentages, in fact, a percentage would be a better way of ordering your films, however some sites only work with 10 and some even 5 star ratings like our food hygiene authority. Yet this point scoring system can be converted to either quite simply. I break it down to 9 elements with a bonus round for, well, reserved for when something doesn’t still add up. And nope, I did think of a tenth but sometimes there’s something you love about a movie but can’t quite put your finger on it; or, it’s something worth merit that doesn’t fall into any of the below categories.
Now with each area, you rate out of ten, giving you a combined double figure at the end. You might end up with a score of 78 which would translate to 78% or if it’s a 10/10 system, round it up as normal giving you a score of 8/10.
Another suggestion when doing this would be to use zero to ten so there being a 11 point scale like Spinal Tap. Zero being the so bad to ten being exceptional using 5 as the divider, the average. Anything below an average, zero to four, above average ranging six to ten. Let’s see the categories.
Running Time: Is it too long, dragging out, getting boring. Too short, not enough of a good thing? Or just right, perfect balance of storytelling and keeping the audience entertained.
The Cast: And not the actual performance of the cast but the choices of people hired to play the parts. And not just the actors but the directors, composers and others.
Performance: How good the cast were at portraying their roles. Believable? Convincing, unforgettable or disastrous, comical. Genre depending, but action/fight scenes and stunts can be included here.
Direction: This would including editing, cinematography, screenplay and over all directing. How did the film actually look, how well the scenes were captured on screen.
Story: with the many remakes happening today storylines can be a struggle. But breaking into acts such as the Intro, the conflict and the climax. Originality, structure, characters all parts that make up a good story. If I biopic, was it told well?
Script: This isn’t a word count but about clever, entertaining, encapsulating script writing whatever the genre. Did it fit into the story, allowing the actors to express themselves greatly.
Creativity: Set Designs, filming locations, costume design and make up. Special effects and CGI would fall in here too. Was it over the top or does the tacky props and blood actually make it a better movie.
Soundtrack: Emphasis on the score as much as the album, if there is one. Did you notice the score, was there moments where you were trying to Shazam from your pocket. Being a collector of soundtracks myself, I’m normally quite aware of the scores but there are times where I couldn’t remember the theme whereas others are immediately recognisable.
Job Description: Does it do what it says on the label. If it’s a comedy was it funny, thrillers thrilling and horrors scary. Does the film actually deliver what you ordered.
The Extra Bonus Point: Now this is reserved for anything not listed above that grants the film additional points. Obviously, if there wasn’t anything outstanding then no extra point required. This could be anything from cameo appearances, in movie references, outstanding action scenes or camera angles. Maybe one particular scene gets some points or a fight scene or epic gun battle like Bourne or District 13. Something innovative like Pulp Fiction’s storyline, Matrix’s bullet time or Jackie Chan’s stunt masterpieces.
Hopefully now, my ratings will be more in sync and relate to each other better. Maybe it’s flawed and totally dependant on my mood when seeing the film or my influence before/after. At least it’s a better way then just picking a number based my general feeling at the time and actually has some science behind it.