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Dan Heller's Movie Rating System


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Three Green
Perfect Film: Three green thumbs indicate the movie was not only superbly made and very entertaining for its intended audience, but also had a good message, or made interesting and/or important observations.
Two Green & One Red
Very Good Film: The movie was very good, but had plotline flaws or serious oversights and/or oversimplifications that diminished the film's impact, but not enough to detract from its overall entertainment value.
One Green & One Red
Shoulder-Shrugger: If the rating leads with a green thumb up, the movie was entertaining, but light in its importance or subject matter. It may also have had direction or production problems that suggested simple laziness or neglect by the filmmaker(s). In general, I probably enjoyed it, but it could have been much better.
Green OR Red
OR
Indifferent: The movie was intended only to lightly entertain, so it didn't appear to address any important subject matter, character development, or explore relationships to any depth. It likley had a formula plotline, mediocre acting, or other unrelmarkable features. It may worth a video rental (or seeing at a matinee, for the thumbs-up version), but don't expect much. At best, it may keep your attention or evoke mild emotion for those easily manipulated; at worst, it may bother your sensibilities, but isn't offensive in any way. If it's a single thumbs down, I'd skip it.
One Red & One Green
Mild Smirk: If the rating leads with a red thurmb down, the movie was generally bad all around, but still had a few redeeming qualities that are noteworthy. This usually involves good acting performances, or special effects, or other singular features of the film, but not enough to warrant bothering to see it (especially at today's prices).
Two Red & One Green
Bad, but Important: The movie was a notch worse than bad, but factors prevent it from being dismissed entirely, because either subject matter, and/or noteworthy performances gave it a glimmer of redeeming qualities that deserve acknowledgement even though it may not have contributed to the story or message.
Three Red
Really Bad: I generally don't give movies this bad of a rating unless they were really, really bad, and too much money, time, or hype was spent, or it's more successful than it deserves to be (e.g., "Speed" and "Twister").

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