★ Not Worth Seeing
★★ Might Be Worth Seeing
★★★ Worth Seeing
★★★★ A Must-See
I follow the star rating system but I do something different than my contemporaries: I don’t give half-stars. This is most interesting when I give a movie two stars. One might assume that just because I assign a movie two stars, it automatically means I don’t recommend it. That’s not accurate. Certain movies that are given two stars might “actually” be two-and-a-half stars which, some of the time, is a recommendation. The content of my review, which specifically mentions what I liked and what I didn’t like, comes into play. So just because you see “★★ / ★★★★,” I wouldn’t disregard the movie. You might be missing out on an interesting film.
10-Point Rating System
The ten-point rating system doesn’t work for me. I’m not sure it works either for most reviewers and critics. How can people rate a movie an 8.6 and another an 8.7? What does the 0.1 point difference mean specifically when it comes to the quality of the artistry on screen? I like being precise but assigning numbers to movies, in my opinion, takes the fun out of the equation.
Length of Reviews
When I started, my reviews used to be only a paragraph long. It worked for me initially because the format forced me to get to the point. Over time, however, I realized that the single paragraph format prevented me from discussing certain aspects of the film that may be worth going into. Also, a multi-paragraph format is more organized so it makes a review easier to read. A full review ranges from 450 to 800 words. A short review, in one-paragraph format, ranges from 150 to 250 words.
Movies vs. Films
I don’t discern between the terms “movies” and “films.” When I write reviews, I don’t tend to focus on things like cinematography, lighting, and structure. I might mention how they tie into the picture’s themes, but a recommendation is not entirely based on them. While they can be important, they are mostly relative. We can argue about cinematography all day but never actually get anywhere.
I didn’t go to film school but I know how to express what I like and don’t like about a movie. I tend to focus on how I felt or thought about when watching a particular scene. Sometimes, I provide an example from my life and relate that to the scene of interest. I enjoy putting something personal in my reviews because that’s what I feel is missing in most reviewers and critics’ writing. Their readers can follow their work for 20 years and almost know nothing about them. I think that’s sad. Writing shouldn’t be robotic or impersonal, especially if I’m trying to persuade you to see or not see a movie. There should always be some kind of a connection.
Film-Review.org and Longevity
I plan to do this for a very long time. Either that or I die unexpectedly.