Question Time XXIII – Rating a Movie

question time 23

First of all, I just want to offer a quick apology due to my absence, both on my site here and in frequenting your posts. My comments and likes will return, although I seem to be having a similar issue to a few of you, and my comments are going into your spam folder. If you see a like on your page, please double check and see if my comment has been spammed. Feel free to leave it in there if you like, but hopefully comments will go back to normal! :)

Right then, let’s get on with some regular writing again (I hope), starting with the 23rd entry in this series. This week I want to find out about your methods in scoring or rating a movie as part of your review.

Whilst out and about reading your reviews, I see percentages, letters of the alphabet, scores out of ten, scores out of 5, pigeons, pies, 3 guys and heads in vices. A wide selection of findings, and all unique to the writer. My question then is as follows:

How and why did you come up with your system, and how do you settle on your final score?

For some, the answer will be simple. 5 stars and ratings out of 10 seem the most common, but there are so many systems out there that surprise me. I always wonder how people come up with a movie review rating of 74% for example. I find using an out of 10 system simple in regards to having a round number for a film, but it makes me curious how specific some people get, with regards to %’s.

Once you’ve settled on your rating system, do you compare your scores to previous films you’ve reviewed, or take them all on their individual merits? Having never given a film the perfect 10/10, it has to be a special movie in my eyes to get a 9/10, so I try to be as selective as possible when dishing out my final scores. My score fluctuates throughout a movie, I constantly have an idea of what score a movie is currently at in my system/template and then when writing my review, I analyse various aspects and decide on a final score. Unless that movie is Stoker, as I have no idea if I loved it or just liked it. So damn confusing………

Is your method quite technical, or do you just think about it whenever you get round to writing about it?

Maybe you don’t offer a score at all, and I’d love to hear why you choose to go down that route. And if you don’t review movies on a blog, do you ever score a movie in your head, or do you just kind of like or dislike something? I hope this post makes some kind of sense. Ultimately I want to know more about you and your site, hopefully getting a clearer indication into your system and how you judge movies. Thanks for reading :)

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171 thoughts on “Question Time XXIII – Rating a Movie

  1. Nostra

    First of all, why would you have a rating of 1 to 10 and never give out a 10? Of course the perfect movie does not exist, but you there are movies which deserve that score.

    Anyway, my personal scoring generally goes like this: I have a 10/10 scale. If I think a movie is bad it will end up in the lower half (1-5) and good at the top (6-10). Then the score itself basically comes down to how much I enjoyed it so it is very personal. So I don’t mind giving low scores to something which is considered a classic if I really didn’t like it. The score itself is a gut feeling basically.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      I’m not saying I wont (I will, and there are a couple of them coming up) ;) I just havent yet reviewed anything that deserves a 10. Casino was close, a high 9!

      I remember giving Blade Runner a 7/10 and that didnt go down well with its fans. Same as when I see someone give Anchorman (a 10/10 in my eyes) something like a 3……..if you dont like something then a score should be personal, as you rightly say. Cheers Nostra :)

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        1. GaryLee828

          You know what I would rate a 10? The first act of “The Place Beyond The Pines”. It was perfection; but once the first act wrapped, it went downhill. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t nearly as strong as the first act, which was one of the greatest first acts I’ve ever seen! :) I liked the first act even better than “Drive”. But overall, “Drive” was the better film.

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        2. GaryLee828

          Okay, I’ve got a potential 10 score to propose – another De Niro, Scorsese collaboration – one that Mark Walker would be in agreement with:

          “Cape Fear”.

          I can’t think of any flaws. It feels flawless to me. Not a single bad actor. All performances were top-notch, Oscar worthy, even in the supporting roles. No moments where you just roll your eyes b/c something implausible happened; so many surprise moments from Cady; all of the dialogue was great. The ending was tense, and believable and felt organic with the plot as opposed to so many movies where the ending feels forced. De Niro – Nolte – Jessica Lange – Juliette Lewis – Joe Don Baker; Mitchum & Peck making cameos.

          I mean are there any flaws? Are there any reasons not to score this a 10?

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        3. Tyson Carter Post author

          Great film, not quite a 10, but a 9 I guess I’d go for. High 9 though, like 95% :)

          Flaws? No. I just don’t think it’s as good as Goodfellas, or Raging Bull, or Godfather. Those will be my 10′s (spoiler) :)

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        4. GaryLee828

          Goodfellas? Better than Cape Fear? Man, I’mma fly over to the UK and go raging bull on somebody! :)

          Have you ever watched the american dramedy “The Wonder Years” from the 80′s? Ray Liotta’s narration sounds like the narration from “The Wonder Years” and it just irks me! I thought Goodfellas was overrated. I didn’t like Ray Liotta in the part, and think someone a little more rugged should have played his role, even though the character was naive, he just came across very blah.

          Maybe Ryan Gosling should have been cast? Wait, he was only like 10 when that came out.

          What would Goodfellas had looked like if Winding Refn directed in place of Scorsese? lol.

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    2. guysfilmquest

      I like your approach. I find myself altering the ratings I give certain movies as I rate other things and kinda compare things. It helps that I’ve got the app I’m developing that helps me track everything and easily sort things and see things by category. I’m not sure how other people kinda keep up with things, but it really works for me.

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  2. Thomas Priday

    I tend not to use stars anymore (I used to use a rating out of four), and that’s because of my reviewing style.

    They’re not quite reviews, which describes the film and how effective it is; they’re more like an analysis.

    Also, if you use a rating system, people tend to look at the rating and make there minds up from there, sometime without even reading the review!

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      I always hope people will check out a movie if they get chance if I recommend it. Even just one person, that’s why I give a score. I do worry when people give a terrible score though, that it puts them off ever checking something out. They may like it as opposed to the reviewer. Nice to get your thoughts on this Thomas, thanks buddy :)

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    2. Shah Shahid

      Hey Thomas,

      I know exactly what you mean. However, I also find that without a Rating to… ‘set the stage’, some people don’t bother searching through the paragraphs to determine if the movie’s good or bad. Especially if the ‘Review’ is long winded, like some of mine tend to be. So it does help for some people.

      I put my Rating in the beginning, and I find that people that disagree with me, are hooked to read on based on my rating. lol.

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        1. Shah Shahid

          Feel free Ty. As long as you know, in your heart, that it was originally mine… I don’t mind. I know you’re harder on yourself than anyone else could ever be! lol.

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  3. themovieuniverse

    “do you compare your scores to previous films you’ve reviewed, or take them all on their individual merits?” – This is something that always bothers me because part of me feels like I should be comparing my scores against other films I have reviewed to get an accurate rating system but I don’t. I take each film on it’s individual merit and try to rate it on how well that particular film did the job that it was supposed to. So if there was a comedy I would be judging it mainly on the amount of laughs I got from it, and if it tried to tackle some drama in place of the laughs then this would lower my score. When I write up my review the score in my mind does change because I either realise how much I actually enjoyed it or that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought. But I suppose my rating system is a little mixed up because even if a film is not well made, not too well acted and the storyline isn’t great… if I still enjoy it, it get bonus points!

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      I think its maybe easier for me to compare, since I try and watch things in the same vibe, horror/violent. So I kind of know what works and doesnt, for me at least. As you say, comedy and other genres make it tricky to compare.

      Enjoying a movie, whether its poorly acted or badly made, means it really connects with you, and they are the best kind of surprises!! Bonus points are the way to go ;)

      Thanks for sharing buddy :)

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  4. Bubbawheat

    I don’t give ratings on my site, I prefer to let my words be the judge of a movie. I also try to figure out a movie’s merit outside of my own tastes. If it’s, let’s say a sappy romantic comedy, which I don’t generally like but I know there are people out there that do like those kind of movies. While I don’t give a movie a specific rating on a scale, I usually just say how much I enjoyed it, and if I need to qualify how I enjoyed it like when I’m enjoying something on the bad movie scale. If I have to rate a movie, like when I’m on a podcast or when I submit for lamb scores, I just go with my gut based on how much I liked the movie.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Fair point Bubba. Words are the most important bit, the only time I avoid reading them is if its for a movie I really want to see, I scroll down to see what you guys and girls give as a rating, just out of curiosity.

      Going with your gut is the best way! Thanks Bubba :)

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  5. Morgan R. Lewis

    I settled on a five-star system early on, and I’ve never regretted it. I have trouble distinguishing between a 7 and and 8, for example, and so a 10-point scale never really worked for me. Probably a holdover from when I used to read a lot of video game reviews, and would look at a score, and look at the review, and wonder how they were making the distinction. I also don’t use half-stars for that reason. “Five stars with halves” is really the same as “ten stars”. So I just keep it simple, 1 through 5; awful-poor-fair-good-great. I do find that, once I’ve settled on a score, I can sometimes distinguish where it falls within that score — i.e., a “high four” or a “low four” — but as this is a nuance that develops after the initial decision, I leave it off the site.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      I’m with you on the half points, and on the high and low scores. As I mentioned above, Casino is a high 9 for me, just not quite a 10. I wouldn’t know what to do with it out of 5! :)

      Thanks for your input Morgan

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  6. Squasher88

    I use a 5-star rating scale, but I don’t actually put it in my review. I use it for my review index, Netflix and letterboxd. I tend to think about my rating as I watch the movie. I usually start every movie with a 4 and then move up and down based on how good it is. I don’t usually compare a specific movie to another movie when I’m rating. I always judge it on its own merits.

    I agree with Nostra, give some more perfect scores! There must be lots of movies that you love?

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Another vote for the out of 5′s then! Some films I watch are east to compare. 2 home invasion movies for example, 1 french, bloody and better then the US version so I would compare and score them that way.

      I love lots of movies, but I try and review stuff thats a little more niche, mixed in with De Niro stuff of course. Thats where the 10′s will come in, I cant give any old film a 10! Drive, Casino, I Saw The Devil all got a 9. There will be 10′s one day soon, and hopefully some new stuff I watch. Maybe the Oldboy remake? ;)

      Thanks for sharing your methods, much appreciated :)

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  7. Foogos

    I was lazy and took screenshots of Netflix’s stars, so I’m at the mercy of a five-star review system, with no half-points. A perfect score movie is one I can watch over and over again, so it’ll usually be an older movie that I love – like Roger Rabbit, or Ghostbusters – rather than something new I just saw last week. Completely horrific movies that I don’t finish automatically get 1 star. For the most part, it’s not difficult to determine where films fall in between, but the lack of half-stars makes it tricky sometimes. Man of Steel is so-so, and I may not want to give a three, but I think its better than a two. Faced with a hard choice, I just go with my inner King Solomon and do what feels right in those situations.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      I like your perfect score conclusion. I rewatch a load of old crap, but I have to reserve the perfect scores for those rare gems :)

      I try and stay with a film, however bad, but sometimes it is impossible. 1 star sounds perfect for those. Doing what feels right is all that matters :)

      Cheers Foogos

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  8. Todd Benefiel

    Right now I use a ’5′ system, using asterisks as stars, because that’s what I used when I started my printed guidebook five years ago…and I didn’t want to have ten long asterisks at the end of a review! After awhile, I started adding half-stars, for times when I couldn’t decide between a 3 or a 4, or when a film just wasn’t quite a perfect 5, and would get a 4.5 instead. However, now I’m considering going to a ’10′ system, because (for whatever strange reason) I feel like a 5/10 offers a better gauge of my thoughts on a film than a 2.5/5 does. And with the ’10′ system, I won’t have to use half-stars. Or stars at all…I’ll switch to actual numerals instead.

    And I rate my films based on how much I enjoyed them, and to some small extent, I factor in how much I think someone else might enjoy them, too. I give perfect scores to films a) that, in my eyes, make no mistakes or do anything wrong in storytelling or presentation, b) I could watch again and again, and c) I would own on DVD.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Thats why I went out of 10, as 2′s and 3′s would of been too common for me, and I always feel a 6 is good, but 7 is very good. Half stars are the work of the devil ;)

      I own so many dvds so that rules out a way of me marking something perfect. I guess no film is truly perfect, but it feels like it is to us individuals at times. Drive is not far off perfection :)

      Thanks for sharing Todd, and I look forward to your numbers or whatever you go for!

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  9. Gene

    I use a rating out of 5, with half points. I find myself comparing how much I liked a movie with movies I know I loved. Sometimes I’ll initially score a movie, then think of another I’ve given that same score to but is really a better movie, so I’ll move it down 1/2 a point or something. What’s tough at Let There Be Movies is we have 6 writers, all with different ways they rate a movie, so it kinda makes it tough for our readers to know a movie’s quality based on just the rating if they don’t know what that writer has rated other movies before. We’re working on a more uniform rating system, hopefully that helps!

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Thats how I do it most of the time, comparing to another in the same mould that I gave a similar score to, then work out if I prefer it more or less. Something like that.

      6 writers will make it tough…….I demolished the IMDB ratings purely for that reason. All the guests would give out a score which wouldnt fit with my code……plus they gave far too many 10′s out ;)

      Thanks for the insight Gene :)

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  10. jmount43

    My blog is called Written in Blood; so the idea to make my rating 0-4 blood drops kind of fell into place. 0=Worthless 1=Poor 2=Fair 3=Good and 4=Excellent.

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    1. GaryLee828

      jmount, I like your rating system; you know what I think could possibly improve it a tad – in my opinion, of course – take it or leave it. :) Is 0-5 blood drops. 3 = good; 4 = great; 5 = phenomenal (or excellent – masterpiece – classic; or whatever adjective you’d describe best of the best) I like the 0 blood drops in your ratings systems b/c some films simply do not deserve a single star.

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    2. GaryLee828

      Jmount, I meant to explain another point before I closed my comment. The reason I suggest a good – great – excellent (or masterpiece, etc.) scale is b/c on your scale as you have it now, sometimes a film will slip through the cracks of your ratings system; meaning it’s better than “good” but maybe not quite “excellent”. I think there’s a big gap between good and excellent – so a “good” then “great” then “masterpiece” offers more flexibility; this is basically what I told Issy over on his blog with his ratings system, and he totally agreed and tweaked it, and created one more rating on his system, and he loves it now.

      So with this tweak your system would look something like:

      0 = worthless
      1 = poor
      2 = fair
      3 = good
      4 = great
      5 = masterpiece (or whatever adjective you deem most fitting)

      Yes, I think this ratings system looks awesome!! Just a suggestion. :)

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      1. jmount43

        I considered a 5 drop rating, Gary; and I may actually use it in the future. For now I’m satisfied with the 4 drop rating I currently use. I do appreciate the input, though. You may have also given me an idea for my next post.

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      1. jmount43

        Wait…what? We’re playing? What do I win? Did I win? What did I win? Oh, pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaassssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee tell me!!

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  11. williamjepma

    I’ve always does a score from 1 to 10, but since I ten to be really I decisive and specific with both my critiques and opinions, I use a 40-point scale. Which gives me more freedom to explore different ranges.

    And yeah, I give out 10′s, but for me, a 10 isn’t a ‘perfect’ movie, but a masterpiece that I can find nothing I disliked. Sure there will be flaws to every movie, and everyone will have a different opinion as to what they are, but I like to think if a 10 as saying ” I loved everything about this movie, and I hope you do to.” Also, I look forward to seeing what you’re first 10 will be. ;)

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Crazy bastard……..40 point scale, scientific & precise much? ;)

      I do like your analysis of a 10 rating though. My first 10 will be up soon, and thats because I loved everything about it. And for those that dont, they are idiots ;)

      Cheers William

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        1. Tyson Carter Post author

          Whatever works for people I guess :)

          My first 10 wont be a surprise to most people. Casino nearly got it, a movie similar in tone grabs the 10 ;)

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  12. Abbi

    I started out with no ratings but after a while I felt like my reviews were unfinished so I decided to implement an out of five rating system. All my ratings are based on how likely I am to recommend a film or watch it again and I do give half marks. My scores can be summed up as follows:
    0/5 – Embarrassingly bad. Avoid at all costs.
    1/5 – Pretty much a write off. Might have one scene/performance that isn’t dire.
    1.5/5 – Worth watching if there is literally nothing else on and the only other option is staring at a white wall.
    2/5 – A poor attempt, probably boring/silly but with a couple of okay performances.
    2.5/5 – Completely average.
    3/5 – Worth watching but probably not more than once
    3.5/5 – Better than average. Recommended.
    4/5 – Outstanding. Must watch.
    4.5/5 – I would add this to my personal collection and watch repeatedly
    5/5 – I couldn’t find a single thing I didn’t like about this film

    I’ve given a few fives but mot many. A five normally warrants a proper visceral reaction.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      What are your 5′s out of curiosity? If I dont agree you have to knock them down ;)

      Thats a great breakdown of how you work Abbi, thank you so much for sharing. So great to see how fellow reviewers do their thing! Cheers :)

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      1. Abbi

        I think they will probably surprise you, but since I started rating:

        The Godfather
        The Godfather Part II
        Lawless
        It’s a Wonderful Life
        Warm Bodies

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        1. Tyson Carter Post author

          Agree with both Godfathers, and I gave Wonderful Life a very high 9 I believe. Havent seen the other 2, but Warm Bodies getting a 10? Maybe I should get it watched :)

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  13. le0pard13

    I’m copying Abbi’s answer because it’s closest to my rating structure (btw, I don’t rate them when I review a film, but do list and rate them on Letterboxd). Plus, she’s a hell of a lot more thorough and smarter than I’d ever be ;-).

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      A few of you have mentioned Letterboxd, I’m guessing it’s an American thing? I’ll have to google it.

      She is smarter than all of us Michael!! Thanks for giving your input my friend :)

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  14. theipc

    When I first started my blog I never thought anyone would even look at it aside from a few of my friends – it was a place where we could go on about things and get dirty and curse and all of that shit. Since it was just a few of us I used the only icon I had that wasn’t a smiley face and said “this movie is so good you should wear four top hats to see it” and such. Now that some people more than Wes and Chris look at my site I’ve actually been thinking about not assigning ratings any longer and just talking about the movie. What do you think about that?

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    1. GaryLee828

      Eric, that’s exactly what I do.

      And by the way, is Chris “Film Hipster”? Who is Wes? Does he post comments on your blog?

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      1. theipc

        Hey Gary -

        The Chris I am referring to here is Scrotey and Wes comments occasionally under the name “Lemuel Severence”. They are both not bloggers so it’s more difficult for them to comment which I understand since it’s more steps. Especially Scrotey since he normally reads my blog when he’s off shitting somewhere…

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        1. Tyson Carter Post author

          I know, I know……. :(

          BUT I’m back with it, and making a start with my catch ups. It just takes longer since I have to message EVERYONE after I comment to tell them im probably in spam.

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        2. Tyson Carter Post author

          Just done 1, looks like it went OK and not spam. So as long as everyone clears me once, Im all set. Trouble is as soon as I visit a site that I havent been approved on, WordPress goes mental and crashes. Signs me out, and then the admin at wordpress gets angry emails from me as this shit isnt helping my desire to keep writing. :(

          But I will hit you up 499 more times when I get home :)

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    2. Tyson Carter Post author

      I do love to curse on your site. The only reason I visit ;)

      I like your ratings. You are like me in the way we both always try and find a positive in a film, without ripping it a new one. I think a rating helps readers determine just how much you liked something, and without it because your quite positive with your words, maybe your dislike of something wouldnt show through as clear as a 2 top hat example would? If that makes sense? In other words, it will be excellent whatever you do, but I do love your ratings :)

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  15. Shah Shahid

    I actually never featured a Rating System on my Reviews, until maybe a few months ago. I felt that my rants are subjective, and should be left at that, instead of summing up a movie with a number. That being said, once I started building this community of Bloggers, I realized that without, it’s very difficult for some people to interpret my view of the film, based on my sarcastic run on sentenced ramblings. Also, in the world of ‘Reviews’, it’s important for ones looking to determine what they want to watch, with a rating or recommendation from a ‘reviewer’, which I’m far from being.

    I initially started a letter Grading system, to be in theme with my Site, but realized it gets too academic and convoluted with A+, D-, etc… Currently I just use a out of 5 Rating. I’ll go from Stars to other objects, depending on my mood. The rating is essentially reflective of my perception of the movie, and I’ll defend it. I notice that a less dramatic movie may get a higher rating from me than an Oscar calibre film. That doesn’t make me change my mind, just is reflective to how I perceived each film than anything else.

    Nice to have you back Ty.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Excellent answer Shah, as always. :)

      I hear you, a score really sums up our personal thoughts, which can get lost with just words. Especially with your sarcasm and my rambling ;)

      I think Oscar movies and stuff like that, I do find I’m harsher on them too. Not that I review many (any?) of them on here, but even as I watch I find I want to love it, I just dont feel I do as much as the hype tells me I should. As you say, however you feel about it, as long as thats how you feel, you defend your thoughts.

      Thanks for the kind words and more importantly your insight, perfect and appreciated as always my friend.

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      1. Shah Shahid

        I find I’m the same way. I’m more inclined to like a dramatically intense performance in a mediocre movie, rather than a subtle one in an incredibly serious and somber film.

        It’s weird. Sometimes I don’t understand the Oscar choices. But that’s more because I find ‘talky’ movies kind of boring. Eh. S’all good.

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  16. garryarmstrong

    You? A man like you..came back to a place like this? Why? Seriously, very interesting post. Guess I’m still partial to the old 4 star system I grew up with in the New York City newspapers. Marilyn and I just saw RED 2. I’d give it 3 and a half stars. It was very funny, well acted, briskly directed, nice script and left me wanting more. Maybe I should just give in and give it 4 stars because we left the theatre smiling, surprised at how much we’d enjoyed ourselves. A movie featuring stars our age and still tearing it up!!

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    1. GaryLee828

      That is a very strong ratings system, garryarmstrong; some things just don’t really need tweaking, so if you prefer the system you grew up with, that is great. That’s the system Leonard Maltin uses (or at least used to). I believe he also had a “0″ star or a “bomb” ratings which I think is very necessary; a terrible film should not get 1-star in a 1-4 star rating.

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    2. Tyson Carter Post author

      Ah Garry, you magnificent man you!! :)

      Thats high praise for RED 2, I dont think Ive even seen the first one. Maybe I should. You should do more reviews, enticing me already :)

      Thanks for stopping by Garry, always an honour and a pleasure :)

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      1. Marc Winger

        I can only give my opinion, based on facts, interspersed with my personal taste in movies. Like any film reviewer, my audience (outside of WordPress’s walled garden) visits me because they agree with my taste in movies & trust my opinion. You would have your own universe of readers & they like trust your opinion, for reasons of their own.
        That said, I’m curious as to why you “want to like this particular film”. Is Gosling a favorite of yours, is it because you’re more of a fanatic of horror than I? Have you heard of this film in advance? I hadn’t heard a peep about this thing until viewing it, so it was all new to me. There can be no wrong answer on your part. All indications were that it wasn’t meant to be a slasher or horror film & it’s from there that I started my opinion. I’m just curious, as I said.
        I realize that, I’m in a minority (but not completely alone) in my dislike of Gosling. There are people that will like anything he does, whether it’s universally panned or not. There are some actors that I am totally biased, male & female. I make sure I admit that somewhere in my opinion, as a caveat. Whereas; even some of the luminaries of the reviewing world will not afford that courtesy for their own reasons.

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        1. Tyson Carter Post author

          I’ve seen all of director Refn’s previous movies, and loved them all. Drive is one of the finest pieces of cinema I’ve ever seen. So when his follow up again features Gosling who was excellent in Drive, my hopes were high. I’ve followed its progress since it was announced, and the trailer blew my mind. I knew it was hardcore, bloody & brutal, and despite the poor reviews, it also has had some excellent ones from sites I trust, so my expectations are very high. I’m seeing it this week. Hence why I want to like it :)

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        2. Marc Winger

          Thank you. I did like Drive… & upon re-reading my own review of Drive (written 2 years ago) it appears that I used to like Gosling! I guess, he’s just fallen out of my favor. I’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!

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        3. Tyson Carter Post author

          I was never a huge Gosling fan until Drive, then I liked him in Crazy Stupid Love (dont ask) and its more his link up with Refn that has me excited about Only God Forgives. If I hate it, then so be it, my review will say that. But there arent too many films I get excited for anymore, so I have to go in positive :)

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  17. Three Rows Back

    I tend to find ratings don’t give a terribly accurate account of a review, so made the decision from the get go not to use them. I think they can also be a distraction and give people an excuse not to read your full review. It’s horses for courses ultimately, but that’s where I stand.

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    1. GaryLee828

      Tyson, this is PRECISELY how I feel about ratings, as well. For my blog, anyway.

      If someone specifically asks me for a rating on a certain film, I would probably give them a # between 1-10.

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    2. Tyson Carter Post author

      Thats a fair point buddy. I only skip a review to see a score if its something I really want to see unspoiled. Otherwise I read it all. Mainly to see who insults me in the text ;)

      I would argue that a score is accurate to that reviewer, but not as a whole. I always get annoyed when a film I love gets a bad score elsewhere, and people say they will avoid it due to that score. Scores should never put people off totally.

      Thanks for sharing matey :)

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  18. Ryan

    I don’t have a review site, so this question is wasted on me, sorry. If I did, it would probably be a simple thumbs up (made of awesome), thumbs down (eww, really?) or thumbs sideways (meh…).
    However, if I ever decide to start my own review site, one thing I would create is the Hall Of Free Passes For Life. It’s a simple idea-we all have actors, actresses, directors, screenwriters, producers, FX people/companies, and even set designers who so impressed us with one (or two, let’s be fair) film they made awesome with their awesomeness that we’re willing to watch ANYTHING they’re involved with, no matter how bad it might look. Free Pass, baby. I’ve already mentioned my love of Gary Oldman (and recently squealed with glee finding out that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is on freaking dvd!!!!!!), but a recent-years example would be Aaron Eckhart, who got the pass from me after Thank You For Smoking. Just incredible. That might be a fun Question Time for here, Tyson, as I’ll probably never get around to it.

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    1. GaryLee828

      Ryan, quit slacking and go to wordpress.com and start perusing the templates to find one for your movie blog, and start it up already. :)

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    2. Tyson Carter Post author

      You should start a review site, I’d love to read your opinions, however you scored them :)

      You know, that IS a damn good thought for a future question, if you can think of a way to word it better than I could, I’d love to post it up and give you full credit. Cheers Ryan :)

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  19. Teepee12

    I don’t use any system. I say “I liked it.” Or “I REALLY liked it.” “I loved it.” “I loved it so much I want to become a part of it and never leave.” But I’ve never developed any formal system for rating art, not movies OR books. Even in my (many) book reviews, I tend to keep it personal. “I like it mostly”, “I didn’t like this piece”, “I found this intriguing”, “Wish that were better”, “I think it’s the best since publishing began.” (Never actually have given that last rating.) Systems seem too simplistic. But I may give in and change that eventually.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      LOL -“I loved it so much I want to become a part of it and never leave.”

      I started a rating system just for my OCD purposes, and it keeps them all organised. Simplistic, as you say, but it keeps my weird personality in check :)

      Keeping it personal works well for you, I always enjoy reading your thoughts, but if you do ever cave in and do a rating system, I look forward to seeing you implement it. Thanks Marilyn :)

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  20. Chris

    I don’t rate movies, as pretty much without exception, my views on said movie will always alter somewhat down the line, and I’ve felt every single time that I gave a movie either too high a score, or too low. So, after a while, I just said, to hell with it all, no more ratings, lol! I provide my thoughts on the movie, and you can gather whether I liked it or not based on the tone of the review. As to whether I liked a movie in a 7.5 range an 8? I don’t know, and who gives a damn either way, HA! :P

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      That’s true, there are films I watch again and my score would differ. A bit how I loved Blair Witch when it came out, then years later reviewed it here, and scored it a lot lower than I would of done at the time.

      As you say, who gives a damn!? LOL – exactly, but I do like using my heads in vices at the end :)

      Thanks for joining in and sharing how you work Chris

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        1. GaryLee828

          Oh, no, not trying to promote my site; i’ve been discussing this movie on a lot of boards and when I went to send this link to Chris on his “blogger” site I couldn’t get it to send for some reason – so sent him the link here.

          I don’t really promote my site much, but when I do read a comment by someone who may mention they’re looking for different kinds of movies, etc. I send them to my obscure recommendations page, not to promote my site, but b/c I like to discuss movies. :)

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        2. Tyson Carter Post author

          Not trying to promote it, just leaving links for people to go read your stuff………. ;)

          I don’t mind certain people (like you) doing it, but I know a lot of people hate links being left. If everyone did it would be annoying. You can do it since you provide me with good films to watch ;)

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        3. GaryLee828

          Yeah, I know it’s annoying to leave a bunch of links on a post board, unless it really adds to the discussion at-hand; once in a while I’ll leave a link to a Youtube video if it pertains to the topic of discussion.

          But as far as Chris, he actually is already following me, and knows of my site, and instead of asking him to find the entry on my page, I thought it’d be more convenient to simply provide the link. I tried to post on his “Only God Forgives” post, but it wouldn’t allow me to send for some reason. So yeah, I really wasn’t trying to promote my site (that’d be a little obnoxious, i think) but was trying to get my article to him so we could debate, in which we did. lol.

          And “Only God Forgives” is available to rent on i-tunes or Amazon if you want to watch it ASAP; if you do rent I strongly advise to turn on the captions b/c a lot of the dialogue is low.

          Now that I think about it, I really do do a lot of promoting on people’s posts, but I don’t promote my site. I promote movies! :)

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        4. Tyson Carter Post author

          Yeah we are renting the movie this week I hope, my wife wants to see it since she loves Gosling. Warned her its meant to be quite brutal……

          Promote away dude, all good stuff, and getting people chatting about movies is why we do this shit :)

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  21. ckckred

    Good question. I don’t use a rating system, mostly because I’m never confident on a rating and plus it forces my viewers to actually read my review ;-)

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Forcing people to read, thats how you play it eh!? ;)

      I stick in pictures and a rating, I might just do away with words altogether!

      Thanks for letting us know how you work buddy :)

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  22. GaryLee828

    I don’t use a ratings system, but on the headline of the entry I do try to convey my overall opinion of the film.

    Like, when I reviewed “Mama” my headline read: “Mama” We’ve Seen This Movie Before!

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Thanks for replying to loads of people dude, you do make me laugh :)

      As for your thoughts, I see where your coming from. I just feel a number would emphasise your final thoughts. What would you give Hidden Face? ;)

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      1. GaryLee828

        An 8 or a 9; see, with me and the way my brain works it would take too much time to figure out the rating to give each film. It’d be classical case of “paralysis by analysis” for me. If the hidden face had a better ending I’d probably give it a 10; the ending wasn’t bad, but it just felt very underwhelming after the twist reveal in the middle.

        Be on the lookout for my next entry regarding “Only God Forgives”. :)

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        1. Tyson Carter Post author

          Yeah but an 8 would agree with me, and a 9 was too high, as you say the ending was more of a whimper than a bang.

          I look forward to your Only God Forgives thoughts, I hope they are more positive than everyone elses!! :)

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        2. GaryLee828

          Dude, they are; the movie was great! BUT you have to understand a few things going in, or you will be lost!

          My entry is an analysis, similar to my “Last Exorcism” entry – only not THAT long! lol.

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        3. GaryLee828

          Yeah, part 2 was definitely not nearly as strong as the first; but I didn’t hate it the way so many others did. I thought it was okay. I was actually interested what those priests were going to do to her at the end, and I was actually surprised they were going to those measures. I didn’t like that – and I actually don’t blame her for coming back at them – and going back to the home and doing what she did I could buy; but then driving away as she did was a little silly.

          The truth of the matter is no matter what they did in the sequel without Cotton, it’s just not the same; had he survived that night and came back I would have been very fascinated.

          But Ashley Bell was great in both parts; strong performances!

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        4. Tyson Carter Post author

          Yeah it needed to reference the original. We never saw cotton die, or the brother, and I liked the sequel in parts but Bell couldn’t save it. She is good though. She was better in The Day, you seen that?

          Like

  23. fernandorafael

    Well, I use stars (from 0 to 5). And I try to rate every movie on its individual merits, but sometimes I need to compare it to other ratings I’ve given just so I get a clearer idea.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Comparisons are vital I feel, just for that extra clarity sometimes. Thanks for letting us know how you work Fernando! And congrats on the famous fan shout out for your blog (I did comment, probably spammed!!) :)

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  24. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop

    It’s all about the motherflippin’ pigeons! I never used to have a ratings system as I wanted people to concentrate on what I wrote but I definitely think ratings systems have their place. Some people might not have the time to read a post or, as you said, they might want to avoid any spoilers and just check out a rating. As for how I arrive at a rating, I normally have a gut feeling when I’ve watched it as to how I’d score it.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      The award winning motherflippin pigeons!! ;)

      Glad we agree, best of both worlds, words for the readers and ratings for the lazy ones or spoiler avoiders! Nice to see you not in the spam, hope I keep out of yours! Cheers Chris :)

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  25. ruth

    Hi Tyson! I just left a comment last week on another blog that’s discussing the whole rating thing and for me, there’s nothing scientific in my rating system, it’s mostly based on gut instinct. I tend to be a bit more generous than I should, ahah. I also grade it based on the film’s own merit, as I realize not every movie aims to be an Oscar winner or anything, but if it entertains and somehow manage to move me in some ways, I’d still give it a high rating.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Hey Ruth!! :)

      I havent seen the blog you mention, there was me trying to be unique!!

      Generous with your reviews and scores is not a bad thing, I hate to dog on something too badly, especially as they at least got a movie made, which is more than I’ll ever do! Thanks for sharing your methods Ruth :)

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  26. thephantomchild

    I’m actually more of the TV Show reviews guy rather than movies, at least blog-wise. But, my rating system is the same for both – a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the worst and 10 is the best. Sort of like a grade, with the only exception being the occasional .5 I might add to my rating if I’m super torn between two numbers and cannot decide.

    My system does not have a “do not watch” or “very bad” numbers — even if I give them a 1, it just means the movie was awful to me and I felt like regretting I’ve watched it, but any other person might actually enjoy it. We all have different tastes, that’s the wonderful part here.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      I like your attitude with your scores, even when I hate something I try and find something with redeems it, or I can appreciate other people might take something away from it. I’m finally catching up with a lot of TV shows I’ve missed so I’ll be sure to drop by and check out your scores :)

      Thanks for joining in :)

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  27. sanclementejedi

    I usually watch the film then commune with nature for a bit, drink a tab, then toss some darts and base my rating on how I play cricket that day.

    In reality I had nothing to do with our 3 guy rating system. It was set up prior to my involvement with the blog. I did suggest we go with thirds of a guy rather than half a guy but my idea got shot down. Those other two guys never listen to my brilliant ideas.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      So you’re the one American that plays cricket eh?!? I hate the sport…… :)

      You should sack those other guys off, have your own site and still go with thirds of a guy. ;)

      Cheers Adam

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  28. atothewr

    After watching a movie I try to think of it in genre terms. I rate it based off of how it works in the genre it is a part of. If it is horror, how good a horror movie was it? If it was comedy, how good a comedy movie was it? So forth and so on. I try to compare apples to apples instead of oranges to apples.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Sounds a solid way to do things buddy. Slightly easier for me since everything is kind of in the same mould here, so I agree its the best way to compare. Thanks for joining in :)

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  29. Mr Rumsey

    I knew when I started up my blog that I would grow to hate whatever rating system I chose, and would really struggle with knowing what number to give something, and whether to go out of five, ten, or a hundred. In the end I just scrapped the whole thing and figured I would let the words speak for themselves. :)

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Thats good, think positive, I will hate this for sure!! LOL – you might have liked your system?! :)

      Your words do indeed speak for themselves, no worries there. Thanks for sharing buddy :)

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      1. Mr Rumsey

        Haha, well I used to rate films on IMDb but grew frustrated with that process – I just don’t think my mind is very good at giving a film a specific rating like that!

        Cheers Tyson :)

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  30. Beer Movie

    Hey man. Looking forward to seeing you back writing regularly. For my rating system, I try and keep it as non-technical as possible. Just the overall feel or vibe that I have about a film when it finishes. I never ever, go back and compare to other films. Otherwise you feel like you have to meticulously rank every film that you see. I do sometimes wish that I had more than 5 levels of ratings to provide, but I am too set with what I have now (plus 10 different beers is far too many for people including me to remember).

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Thanks mate. :)

      Yeah it gets harder to compare when you are reviewing so many different types of movies, I see your point. At least you have a method, and can remember just enough beers!!

      Thanks for sharing your tactics :)

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  31. Daniel Prinn

    Ever since I started reviewing I’ve found my average based on five categories: Cast (so their acting abilities and chemistry), Characters (if I relate to em or how well-written they are), Plot (so if I like it or if it has an obvious end goal sort-of thing), its Genre (how well it executes it, but if it’s sort-of a genre mash-up like a horror comedy I kinda just balance it out), and my own personal enjoyment (I mean, I have to enjoy the darn thing on some levels, right?!)

    I used to find my score that way, and say if it scored 395 out of 500, and that translates to a 79, I’d use that. But now I’m more flexible. I still use that basis, and that’s the general area where my score lands. Sometimes I round it. But I usually just decide which score feels right. It has to look good. LOL. But I’d hate to not give a score. I love scores.

    I don’t really know why I grade on 100. I guess I could on 10, but sometimes I’d give a score of 75 out of 100; and if it were on 10, I’d have to use a decimal… Decimals suck… My grading system is strange sometimes. But yeah, I cannot not give a score. Whoever I see a movie with, I ask them – “What would you give that on 10?” I don’t like it when they can’t decide and not answer… I think scores are really important, to see a range of how great it is. I’m going to start to be picky about which movies get 80′s and 90′s, and especially which ones get 100′s. Sometimes I find I regret the score I give a bit too often… So I’ll have to work on that…

    Anyway, good question, Tyson :D

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  32. filmhipster

    It took me 4 days just to scroll through your comments. Holy Jesus.
    My rating system is as follows:
    10 – The Best (Drive)
    9 – Almost Perfect
    8 – Excellent
    7 – Very Good
    6 – Good (Movie 43)
    5 – Average
    4 – Bad, with some good
    3 – Bad
    2 – Unwatchable
    1 – The Worst

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      1. Monkeyboy

        Your “non-activity” probably matches what I consider to be “activity” for me. Ha-ha, so I wouldn’t worry too much. As for my rating system, it’s just a 5 star rating system but replaced with bananas. 1=Poor, 2=Average, 3=Recommended, 4=Excellent, 5=Classic, with half bananas inbetween (for when I can’t quite make my mind up), which in a way turns it into a 10 out of 10 rating system.

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  33. Derek

    I tend to rate movies by genre so that a horror film I may give an A to doesn’t automatically mean that it is a better movie than a comedy I give a B to; it just means that compared to other horror films it is worthy of that high a grade.
    I base it off an interview that roger Ebert gave where someone was trying to take him to task for giving a better rating to some frothy popcorn move than he gave to some prestige award winning flick.

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    1. Tyson Carter Post author

      Smart way of doing things Derek. Thats why I just stick to one (ish) genre, as I would need to compare them as you do.

      Ebert was a smart man, although I did disagree with a lot of his ratings! :)

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