This one might be on the controversial side for some, or maybe it will make sense. This piggybacks on a 2020 post, see: How All Movie Review Rating Systems Are Flawed
Have been thinking about this a little while, definitely a lot more over the holidays. With so many movies available to watch and looking back at our 5-star review scale, we need to make a change that benefits closer to what we truly would recommend to friends.
Yes, readers, you are friends. If we recommend something, it should be indicative of something we thought was not just good, but great.
Before getting back to our own review ratings and this 2021 change, let’s look at how Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer aggregated score is flawed.
Rotten Tomatoes’ numerical rating is not an average review score as the percent indicator may suggest, but it’s a measurement of consensus. Every review, whether it’s a middle of the road review, an extreme positive, or an extreme negative, is converted into a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, and the final percentage indicator only specifies what percent of reviewers gave it a positive score to any degree. As a result, the Tomatometer disproportionately benefits safe, middle-of-the-road movies and penalizes polarizing movies that have a lot of rave reviews but a handful of detractors.Wonder Woman 1984’s Release Highlights Major Rotten Tomatoes Flaws
Clearly, middle of the road movies shouldn’t be recommended, it creates a false positive overall. We don’t want to participate in that any longer. We want to create a recommended movie list that consists of great to excellent films.
After all, would we recommend 3-star reviewed movies to people we know offline? Our closest friends and family? Probably not. These 3-star movies are basically slightly above average movies on a 5-star scale. There is no point in saying they are recommended.
If we examine the 783 movies we’ve assigned on a 5-star rating scale since August 2019, this is how the breakdown of star reviews looks so far:
22.2% = 174 out of 783 = 4-stars and above
22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See
41 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing
111 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great
Essentially 1 out of 5 movies we see would meet our new criteria for a recommended movie.
No, we’re not going to go back and edit the 3-star and 3.5 star out of 5 movies we’ve previously reviewed and take out any recommendation. That sounds too much like work and at the time we reviewed the film, we felt it was recommended to see 😉 I have edited the home page to reflect our new recommended criteria.
Going forward, only 4-star 4.5 and 5-star movies and TV shows will be recommended. This list is much smaller and better represents what we felt is the best
If some sort of 2020 retrospective recommended list is created and posted here, then we will follow our new recommended criteria.
Is this subject to change in the future? Of course. Like I said back in May, all rating systems are flawed. It’s our opinions. Some of these movies and TV shows we recommend others will not think as highly and some that we only give 3.5 or less stars to, others will think are higher. Subjective, indeed.
If we go back through every movie seen in theaters in 2020 only *2* movies would be recommended under our new 4-star+ recommended criteria: 1917 and Let Him Go. Would probably have given The Invisible Man 4-stars instead of 3.5 if I could go back and rewatch, because both of us really enjoyed that movie. No Tenet, no Wonder Woman, no Bad Boys 4 Life that took in the most money at the domestic box office, and the list goes on.
Hopefully, this gets us a little closer to a movie or TV show we would truly, honestly recommend to our friends, which, in our book anyway, is the goal worth striving toward.
As always, your commentary is welcome. What type movies do you recommend? How good does a movie have to be in your mind to recommend to your closest friends?