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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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It is time for me to fully enumerate my critical evaluation system, both to keep me honest, and to give some sense to the random numbers I dangle on the end of movie reviews. As I mentioned before, the scale is logarithmic, such that a rating of 6 is an order of magnitude better than a rating of 5.

Rating Meaning
0 A movie so horrible that it had to have been crafted that way to prove a point. Horror movie spoofs tend to fit in this category. There still is no value in it, but it can be quite enjoyable as a caricature of a real film.
1 A terrible movie, but one that is not taking itself seriously. Best enjoyed with alcoholic beverages and a group of friends.
2 The worst possible movie; no value, no interest, no originality, no point. Below this, movies actually gain value because of how bad they are being absurd. Movies that receive a 2 are the type of movie that is so horrible it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, creating the desire to put the director out of the misery since they thought they were being serious. No justifiable reason to see the film can be concocted.
3 A downright lousy film, mustering only enough quality to consider this as an example of how not to make a film. Maybe contains one clever line, but bad enough that one should not be able to recall more than 15-30 seconds of enjoyable content.
4 Still a bad movie, right at the threshold of where Ebert turns down his thumb. A few minutes of value in a sea of terrible acting, directing, casting, and storyline.
5 A mediocre movie. It doesn’t leave a bad taste, but it doesn’t leave a good one. An appropriate reaction was “that was fine, I didn’t feel like I wasted my life for the last two hours, but that’s about the best I can say.”
6 A good film. Achieves what it sets out to achieve, has some issues, but at the end of the day one can leave the theater saying “that was a good time” or “that was mildly interesting.” Something that has the power to make one think, but not longer than it takes to gulp down a can of soda.
7 A solid movie, showing some originality, something to which one can safely say “that was good.” Still has some inconsistencies, poor casting, awkwardness, weak character development, pointless interchanges, missing segments, weak editing, and the like, but none of these flaws are on the scale that they jump out at the viewer and offend them; they only really get noticed when one starts reviewing what they have watched. This is about the threshold at which things could receive an academy award nomination (note the use of could and not _should; the Academy has gotten soft).
8 A great work. “That was really good.” Something that has the power to make people think, ponder, and reconsider. These don’t come along very often. There are still things that aren’t quite right, it’s not a perfect story, but it’s damn close.
9 A cinematic masterpiece. Has the power to change one’s life and the way you perceive things. Moving. Any flaws are extremely minor and subjective.
10 A perfect movie satisfying all of the criteria of 9 that holds up under repeat viewing and continues to be just as impressive. This is the sort of movie that leaves one slack-jawed after the fifth viewing.