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NHH Ratings System
The North Hollyhood Ratings System

by Owen Javellana on Nov 9th, 2010

We feel we should explain ourselves. Giving our reviews scores of 1 to 5 may seem like an arbitrary scale, but there’s sense to it, we promise. Time for a breakdown.

Most every movie you see can described later to your friends  as “good,” “bad,” or just “okay.” That’s why scores 2, 3, and 4 make up a majority of the reviews you’ll see. But every once in a while, there will come a movie that hits an extreme. A film so amazing or so awful it deserves special notation. For these diamonds-in-the-rough (or turds-in-the-rough), there are the elusive scores of 5 and 1, respectively.

5 OUT OF 5 = “If you haven’t seen this masterwork of cinema, I hate you a little bit.”

These are the movies you bug your friends about, the ones you don’t mind seeing in theaters for a third time, the DVD’s you offer to loan before anyone even asks. Only a couple of these come along every year. 5’s are award winners, cult classics, and all-time favorites, so we don’t give these out to just anyone.

4 OUT OF 5 = “It’s no Dark Knight, but it was definitely good!”

Not every movie earns a spot on our Facebook “likes,” but there are definitely quite a few that will earn our thumbs up. These are our solid recommendations, the movies we think you should be watching, not just because they’re thoroughly enjoyable, but because we will probably reference them fondly in future jokes.

3 OUT OF 5 = “… S’alright.”

With a 3, you don’t regret paying the ticket price, but neither are you tweeting it’s praise. These movies are fine enough if you feel like a trip to the theater, but flawed or lackluster enough that we’re not sprinting to tell our friends about them (and by “friends” we do mean “the internet”).

2 OUT OF 5 = “You’d be better off waiting for the Netflix release. Or a better movie.”

If you had trouble hearing the movie over your own groaning and scoffing, and you walk out of the theater feeling like you had just been robbed of $10 and 120 minutes, you’ve descended into “2″ territory. While 3’s may not always be worth mentioning in conversation, 2’s are the movies you might go out of your way to warn people about.

1 OUT OF 5 = “I am ashamed for all associated with this film, myself included.”

If you’ve ever spent a quarter of a film’s running time with your face in your palm… If you’ve ever read the end credits with pity and condolences for each passing name… If you’ve ever seen a movie so bad you question your friendship with the person who suggested watching it… My friend, you have found a 1. These are the movies so bad, they’re almost impressive.

So there it is, five scores, plus half-points when we’re feeling indecisive about those movies stuck in the limbo in between. Go forth now with this knowledge, that you may better argue with us when we post reviews. Please be gentle.

E-mail the author of this post at owen@northhollyhood.com


  • Scotty

    Can I give this post a 3.5?


  • Cas Ruffin

    Reading this, I should’ve gave For Colored Girls a lower review.


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