Ratings Info

Updated for 2015 to add more nuance to the third section, and to split the fourth section.


I use four different methods to convey information about a movie.

The first is, of course, the review itself.

The second is a set of numerical rankings as follows:

Performance - How good I thought the acting was.
Plot - How good I thought the writing and plot were.
Production - How good I thought the cinematography, sets, props, effects, etc. were.
Overall - My overall enjoyment of the movie. This is not an average of the first three.

These are subjective ratings that range from 1 to 5 in half-steps.

The third is a set of rankings intended to indicate the quality of female representation in the film. I include this because the parts available for women in film are generally of lower quantity and quality than those available to men. This is my small way of shining a light on this issue.

The Bechdel Test is simple: are there two female characters with names who have a conversation with each other about something other than a man? I am also adding a letter grade to indicate the degree of pass or fail. On this scale, A and B are passing grades, while C, D, and F are failing grades. It is important to remember that this grade does not indicate the quality of the movie, only the presence of female roles.
F - Fewer than two women
D - 2 or more women who never talk to each other
C - 2 or more women who talk only about a man
B - 2 or more women who talk briefly about something other than a man
A - 2 or more women who converse about something other than a man

The reverse Bechdel test is just what it sounds like. I have never seen a movie which fails it. This should indicate that Hollywood has a problem. Since every movie passes it, I'm going to leave it out of the reviews.

The Mako Mori test is passed if the movie has a female character with her own plot arc which is not dependent on a man.

The fourth is an ordered list of the movies which I have seen in a given calendar year. This, again, is a completely subjective ranking of how much I liked the movie.
There will be two lists in 2015: one for the usual sorts of movies I see - action, sci-fi, event movies - and one for other movies - documentaries, serious dramas, that sort of thing.

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