Star Ratings

I don’t rate all films, but when I do, I give a holistic rating. The star ratings are explained below:

★★★★★ – Classic, masterpiece, or personal favorite. One of the best films of the year.

★★★★½ – A great film, but one which may have minor issues or problems.

★★★★ – I am enthusiastic about the film. Depending on the year, this could be in my Top 10.

★★★½ – A solid film. May have some flaws, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

★★★ – I liked the film, but I recognize it might not be for everyone. Might depend on your appreciation of the genre, affinity for the performer, or feelings on the subject.

★★½ – Worth watching, but I might wait for DVD. Mix of good and bad.

★★ – I recognize some artistry or quality but don’t recommend the film overall. I think enjoyment may be dependent upon affinity for the genre or subject matter.

★½ – May have one or two interesting elements but negatives outweigh positives. Here and below means I actively disliked the film as opposed to simply not liking it.

★ – I have a hard time finding positives in it. Lacking in artistry. May have elements I found offensive (thematically) or incompetent (artistically).

½ – Lazy, cynical, exploitative. Something I wish I had not seen. I want those two hours of my life back!


As implied by the term “holistic,” I do not generally have separate content advisories or separate ratings for a film’s suitability for those wishing to avoid certain kinds of content (obscene language, violence, profanity or nudity). When I deem such elements to be relevant or particularly noteworthy, I try to address them in my comments rather than trying to quantify them into some sort of one-size-fits-all rating.