Should I Give Grades?


Hi friends!  I want to ask your opinion.  One thing as a movie blogger I have struggled with is rating or ranking the films I see.  It’s one thing if it is the Pixar reviews or Disney Canon reviews and they are films I can watch multiple times really crafting an “expert” opinion.   I feel more confident in those reviews; although, some of the early Canon reviews I think I was a little bit tough (particularly Bambi and Pinocchio) because I didn’t have much experience writing reviews. But when I am reviewing a new movie it is hard to have that kind of exposure to the film and it is mostly a response to my gut reaction.  It’s tough to take notes although sometimes I do.  I think most readers understand the difference between new and previously released films but I wonder if the grading system I use sometimes hinders me a bit in giving that response.

Here’s what I mean.  There are a lot of films that I enjoy and would sincerely recommend them to people.  That said, I see the flaws and feel they are an average film.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  This according to my grade gets a C grade.  B is really good and A is in running for best of year. But it seems to me that people can become to fixated on the C grade and ignore all the positive things I said in the review.  Sometimes I wonder if people read the review at all and just looked at the grade.

In general I think I’m actually a little bit too generous with the A grades.  After all I gave 22 As in my Disney Canon ranking.  That’s almost half. I gave 10 of the Pixar films A grades.  And yet recently I’ve been accused of being a “tough critic”.  This is mainly I think because of my disappointment in the Minions movie.  However, if you actually read that review I think I was far nicer than many other animation bloggers I know.  In fact I said:

“A friend of mine asked me if she should still see and I said yes.  It’s fine but just know it is made for little kids without a ton of grown up appeal…However, it does look nice and is bright and colorful and the beginning 20 minutes is a lot of fun”

Here I was telling my friends go see it but my giving it a C- (just a hair below average) means I am a tough critic?  I don’t get it?

One thing I have noticed is in my video reviews for my youtube channel I don’t give out grades.  Not out of design but honestly most of the time I simply forget. I just give my response to the film and people seem very happy with that.  I wonder sometimes if people listen to what I say a little bit more because I didn’t give a grade?

Sometimes I feel like the judges on Dancing with the Stars that get booed anytime they say anything negative about a performance.  I’ll say tons of great things about a film and then have a few things I didn’t like and people focus on those instead of all the good stuff.  That can be very frustrating as a writer.

I’ve had people say a ‘you should have given it a B’ but when we actually talk about our experiences and reactions they aren’t that different. It’s just what defines a C to me is a B for him or her.  That makes me want to throw the grades out!

I don’t know.  What do you think?  Do you see value in having a grade at the end of the review?  Is it something you care about?  Do you think I am a tough critic?  Sure I have my preferences but there are very few movies I totally dog (Maleficent I’m talking to you…).

Please give me some feedback my lovely readers.  Do you like the grades or can I do away with them and just write my thoughts on the film?  That’s what I did for Scrooge Month last year and it worked out great.  No grades needed.

Thanks for your help with this!