Rating Systems: How They Work and Correlate/My Rating System

For a long time I have been thinking about rating systems and how they work. In this day and age of the internet can’t go anywhere without seeing a review of something and frankly I love reviews, ratings and ranking movies as well as reading about rankings and reviews on other products. But for this I am going to focus on movies and the different types of rating systems and how the correlate to one another, and ultimately, I am going to tell you on my new way of finding my rating for films.

The Five Star Rating System

The Five Star Rating System is probably the most popular rating system for movies. Generally people rate using whole or half stars. Sites that use this style of rating are “Letterboxd and Rotten Tomatoes.”

Letterboxd Example:

5 Star LetterBoxd

Netflix uses the five star rating as well but you are only able to put in full stars, which is really irritating to me. Netflix separates the stars by Hate, Didn’t Like, Like, Really Like and Loved. I would say this is an ok rating system for the casual viewer, but for me this isn’t sufficient for me. Sure I can rate it by how much I liked it but frankly sometimes if you don’t like a movie it deserves credit for its production value or acting.

Netflix Example:


The Four Star Rating System:

The four star rating system is used mainly by the “high class” film critics like Roger Ebert. It is an even more difficult rating system that really seems to have allot of rounding. 3/4 stars is compared to anywhere between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 stars out of 5 which is too big of a range for me.

The Letter Grading System:

This system is one that took me quite a while to understand. The Ranking on the letter grading system are used by some magazines and Richard Roeper. This system uses F, D-,D,D+,C-,C,C+,B-,B,B+,A-,A,A+. This is probably the more precise of all the Systems I have covered so far. F cover between 0 and .9 stars. The Ds between 1-1.9, C between 2-2.9, B between 3.0-3.9 and Finally A between 4-5 A. (C+ correlates to anywhere between 2.6-2.9 stars, a C to 2.3-2.5, and a C- to 2.0-2.2.) But the fact that uses letters requires conversion to adapt to most sites and frankly, it is annoying.

The Ten Star Rating System:

This system is generally favored by me and correlates most easily to all the other rating systems.  A 5/10 correlates to 2.5/5 stars, 2/4 stars and a C in the Letter Rating System. Using the 1-10 scale is nice but sometimes it doesn’t always work for me and I have to split it in half. IMDB is a site that uses this system.

IMDB Example:


The Percent Rating System:

This system is the most accurate of all the ranking systems. It uses 1-100%. A 50% relates to a 5/10, 2.5/5, 2/4, or a C. What is nice about this system is that is can be the most exact and one can rate a 53% that correlates to 5.3/10.  The only site I can think of that uses this is Rotten Tomatoes but only the 5 star for users.

Rotten Tomatoes Example:

Rotten Tomatoes

My Rating System:

My rating system is going to be based off the 10 star rating system but by adding in the use of decimals so that it is basically an abbreviated Percent System.



Now I am going to explain how I find my rating. It is based off of IGN’s rating system (For further explanation: http://www.ign.com/wikis/ign/Game_Reviews).

I have narrowed movies down to six sub topics; Acting, Visuals, Story, Personal, Concept, Re watch-ability. I rank each one of these out of 10 and them up and divide by 6.


This one is pretty self explanatory.


Cinematography, Production Design, Costuming, Effects, Editing


Screenplay, Dialogue, THE STORY


How Well I Liked It, Emotional/Spiritual Experience


The idea of the film. (Some films have great ideas but the movie’s story and acting ruin what could have been a great idea.)

Re Watch-Ability:

Entertainment Value, Worth a Second Viewing For The Sake Of Film Study


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About grantfitzgerald

God. Family. Friends. Parkour. Film. Theater.

2 responses to “Rating Systems: How They Work and Correlate/My Rating System”

  1. Sam says :

    I like this; what about a criteria for a film’s themes?

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