Here’s a little topic that comes up occasionally in the world of filmdom: scoring exactly how good a movie is. Whether thumbs up/down, stars, percentages or some other method, a good number of film reviewers use some shorthand system or other to rate movies.
Of course, such systems are always a little risky. Can art be quantified? Objectivity is impossible (and beside the point), so is it wrong to put things into hard numbers? Do you measure films against other examples in the same genre or against some grand universal scale of goodness? How do you weight your opinion?
A further problem is that some readers react to the rating and not the review itself. “How dare you give Duck Soup four stars but The Searchers only three?” they shout. I know some reviewers have abandoned the rating system for this reason and I don’t blame them.
I still think adding scores to film reviews is useful. It helps me organize and categorize my reviews and see at a glance how much a particular title pleased me. I tend to score based on context. That is, I take time period and genre into account and give a score based on similar films.
One thing I do NOT do is add the score to a review while the comments are still open. This eliminates the issue of dealing with commenters who read the score but not the review. Once the comments close, I add my rating and then list the film on my ever-growing index of silent films by score. I use a 1 to 5 star scoring system.
So, here are some questions: Do you like scores on film reviews? Do you use them yourself. Did you use them and then abandon the practice?
I look forward to reading your opinions!
Here are some polls as well:
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