Hearne: The KC Confidential Movie Ratings Shakeup

1046447A, b, c, d, e, f, g…

Take a number if you sang those letters in your mind as you read them. Now scratch the letter “g” and you’ll have KC Confidential‘s new, improved movie ratings system.

Starting immediately, we’re leaving the stars, ticket stubs, popcorn bags, fingers – you name it – ratings systems behind.

Beginning with KCC movie maniac Jack Poessiger‘s review of  The Wolverine, we’ll be dishing out Report Card movie rating grades. You know, like A is as good as it gets, B is pretty darn good. A grade of C is about average, if that’s the sort of film fare you prefer, go for it! And while D doesn’t stand for Dog, it’s close.

F means the only one who liked it was Fox 4 critic Shawn Edwards.

05b57ba1a3160509c614a1fb52680371I’m kidding of course, but you get the picture.

Here’s the deal – and I’ve argued this point for years:

Giving movie ratings based on four or five stars is confusing at best, always has been.

Take the Kansas City Star‘s four star ratings, for example.

Since reviewers (and for that matter people in general) are hesitant to label something as perfect, it’s hard to imagine almost any movie getting all four stars.

Yet if they give it three stars – which is damn near as close as you can get – three out of four is on 75 percent, which would be a C on any report card I’ve ever gotten.  So maybe they give it three and a half, well, that’s 87.5 percent – which is good – but now people are having to work the math in their heads.

f-gradeQuick, what’s 2 1/2 stars equal?

Did you get it right away? It’s 62.5 percent, or a low D. I can’t tell you how many 2 1/2 star ratings I’ve seen where the review seemed more charitable than the actual percentage.

Worse yet is 2.5 stars (or fingers) out of 5. I’ve read plenty of reviews that have ascribed this grade – that seemed to somewhat like the movie – yet 21/2 out of 5 is only 50 percent.

survive_grad_school_crop380wAnd in my world, 50 percent is flunking.

In short, going Alphabetical is far more telling and accurate. Like Entertainment Weekly. Again, it was a comments section comment on a recent Jack review that set this in motion.

So away we go…

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9 Responses to Hearne: The KC Confidential Movie Ratings Shakeup

  1. the dude says:

    Just remember, 50% is considered awesome for a weatherman.

    • Super Fatman Who Kicks Glazersass Dave says:

      Unless you are Craig and then it’s always great if he did it and no report card is needed.

  2. PB says:

    The straight analogy to school-related grades isn’t quite right as in most cases anyway, those grades aren’t based on subjective material. Meaning I don’t necessarily agree that the comparison of a 50% grade for a movie is the same as that flunking grade in English. Most movies probably fall into that 50-60% pct. range and many of those can be watchable due to cast members or subject matter. I’m all for whatever helps this mostly culturally-challenged bunch, but couldn’t a 5-star system or even use of a no-star/half star = F added to the current 4-star system have accomplished the exact same thing as an A-F scale? I must say, my head is blown by all this.

  3. admin says:

    Sorry, PB.

    But I’ve been looking at Entertainment Weekly’s movie grades for some time now, off and on, and they don’t confuse me in the slightest. I see what you’re saying but readers can still make those subjective calls based upon the reviews themselves and their gut instincts about loving Brad Pitt movies or whatever.

    Seems like most movies get stuck in that two to three star zone which is a pretty narrow field. See how you like the new ratings system after a week or four.

  4. PB says:

    I was just nitpicking and poking a little fun. If it helps others, that’s fine. Either way, I’ll figure it out.

  5. chuck says:

    Those of us in receipt of a Catholic education have some serious concerns with respect to corporal punishment and the vetting of religious leaders for the new movie review system. I will be reading the reviews in a room with an open door and if my knuckles get rapped over the newest Sacha Baron Cohen release, I am dropping out, AGAIN!!

    Any dudes dressed up in black wanting to check out my “tentpole” will chase me right over to Robert Butler’s blog.

    Just sayin…

  6. jack p. says:

    DAMN, that’s a lot of pressure….

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