I have never come across a rating system that I actually like. So I am coming up with my own. All movies are not created equal. All movies are not meant to be equal. A lighthearted slapstick comedy might be perfect in everything it attempts. Does that mean it is a better movie than an inspirational and heart-wrenching true story that got cheesy in a couple places?
My rating system will be based on what a movie attempts versus what it achieves.
Categories Usually Applied to Every Movie
In addition to the above, each movie will get at least one genre category.
Then there are the movies that attempt beyond the average. Those I will evaluate and add on a case-by-case basis.
Sample Bonus Categories
I have decided each category will receive points out of 1, 2, 3, or 4. Let me explain.
Out of 3
Out of 3 is standard. The genre will be out of three. For the most part the standard categories will be out of three. If it is a basic component and leg of the movie it will be out of three. As far as scoring goes, lets take a look at the Importance category.
0/3 or 1/3 – A movie tried to provide some sort of important moral idea but it just failed or came off as preachy or politicized. (In my personal opinion: Happy Feet. It attempted a theme of diversity, inclusivity, and personal inner strength, yet came of so overly politicized. I hated it.)
2/3 – Characterized by feeling “That was ok BUT…”
Take for example, The Count of Monte Cristo (the movie, not the book). In general the movie deals with the concepts of betrayal and the danger of being consumed by vengeance. And there are some very poignant lessons throughout. The ending is nice and happy, Edmund has his son and his wife and tells them how he no longer needs revenge because his happiness is there with him. BUT… when you stop and think about it, his words are completely hollow. He GOT his revenge already. He DOESN’T turn away from revenge because he has ALREADY completed it.
3/3 – It’s good. Solid performance. Consistent across the board. No complaints.
For example, what Happy Feet fell short on, Zootopia absolutely NAILED. A fantastic message that didn’t feel like it was paid for by a political party.
Out of 1
This is for bonuses that add flavor to the movie. It isn’t the point of the movie. You would never describe the movie by an element out of 1. You would never go into the movie expecting it this category. But it contributed to the overall whole. Maybe a drama that would never be described as a funny movie, but definitely made you laugh throughout, would get a 1/1 for comedy.
Out of 2
Like out of 1, out of 2 is not the point or draw of the movie. However this time you either expected that it would be present, or if you didn’t expect it beforehand you come to realize it plays a decent part. Sub-Genres might get this. Like Fast and Furious 8: It would be rated out of 3 for Action. But…. it also attempted to be at least part drama what with the Shaw family issues, Toretto’s love triangle, and child.
Or, on the bad end, it was something that was obviously forced into the movie that they should have dialed back.
Out of 4
This will be rare. This is when a movie is just way ahead of the field (or attempts to be way ahead of its field). For example when the original Star Wars first came out it would have gotten a 4/4 for Visual FX because it was absolutely revolutionary. If it’s not something I am going to want to tell people they should specifically see a movie because of that element, it does not deserve a 4.
Even more rarely, out of 4 could be a very BAD thing. This happens when a category is so overwhelmingly bad or over-the-top that it shadows everything else in the movie. in which case the category will score a 0 or 1 out of 4.
***As a sidenote: It took rating about 7 or so movies before I settled down on this. In the beginning I was just going off of feel. Therefore some of my oldest reviews might not strictly adhere to all these categories. Maybe when I get time I’ll go back and re-score them. Maybe not.***