All films are rated on a scale from ZERO STARS to * * * *. These correlate to my opinion on the film's quality, obviously mostly influenced by my own emotional reaction. Generally speaking, a higher rating is a higher recommendation, but not every movie is for everybody. Consequently, a genre fan may be satisfied by a * * film, and some will be put off by elements of a * * * * film. Still, here's roughly what these ratings mean:

A brilliant work of cinema, rich in emotion, meaning, and storytelling skill.

An excellent film; while not necessarily without flaws, or possibly lacking the ambition or depth to rise to the level of greatness, this is still worthy stuff.

A good, solid film.

An okay film. This can mean a number of things -- a mediocre but skillfully made movie, or a largely good film brought down by severe flaws, or a film with mediocre craft but a few elements strong enough to make it compelling regardless.

A film of low mediocrity -- fans of the genre or actors or director may be satisfied, but no one else need apply.

A poor film. Only for the curious.

An awful film, only for the masochistic.

A wretched piece of garbage, offensive to art and to humanity itself.


Transcendently terrible, so lousy on every conceivable level that it bottoms out to a place as special as a four-star film for some. You know who you are.