Explanation of Ratings

Posted in Movies

Because we’re after a bit different experience here at Reel Happiness, the standard “objective quality” ratings don’t serve our purposes.

Still, they allow you to gain a sense of my (Lisa Elin’s) perspective as you browse the RHMDb, and will let you know what level of accomplishment to expect. Ratings follow a 5-star scale, and appear at the bottom of each title’s entry.

5 Stars: Magnificent

Exceptionally well-executed, perfectly realized, and completely satisfying on whatever level it sought to be. (Does one “love” The Killing Fields? You get the idea…)

These are the ones worth investing time on, purchasing for the collection, using as background company, and generally carrying throughout life – either by affection or because they’re utterly unforgettable.

4 Stars: Great

A terrific experience and worth viewing multiple times, even if they don’t necessarily endure in one’s heart over time.

3 Stars: Time Well Spent

Solidly handled overall or possessing some notable feature. Most titles fall into this range, so it’s broken it into ranges for clarity.

  • Time Very Well Spent. For one reason or another these just didn’t qui-i-ite make it to four stars. Worth catching again if they cross one’s path, or if you get a bug to watch a certain feature or performance.
  • Time Well SpentHitting dead center on the continuum. Almost no opinion, except that they were very fine films and I’m glad to have seen them.

And now a pause in our regularly scheduled programming: From here down, the ratings are not browseable, because these titles did not make the cut for inclusion in the RHMDb. They are, however, included on the Other Titles page, so that if you search on a particular title, it will still show up in your search results and you can make your decision from there.
  • Time Fairly Well Spent. Fine in their own rights, just vibe on a different wavelength from mine or lacked some requisite attribute for cinematic success. They were like a decent blind date ~ good guy, good time, but it won’t happen again.

2 Stars: Disappointing

Some aspect is handled poorly enough that it gets in the way of an otherwise decent film. They coulda been contenders, but were their own worst enemies and don’t earn their time on the calendar.

1 Star: Accursed

Either some aspects are so badly handled that the film actually irritates, or it contains a major betrayal of the rules of fiction. Behold, hours of my life I’ll never get back. May my loss be your gain!

What’s your ratings approach? If you think you don’t have one, I’ll bet you do »



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