I love making reviews, but before I start publishing them here, I have to explain my rating system and why I use it.
For starters, I believe an average movie/game/show/book should be a 5 out of 10, not 6 or 7. We’re so used to “okay” being the norm (and to not examining content we don’t like) that is rare that reviewers use 1-5 in their reviews. To boot, I don’t believe reviews should fall on a linear curve (10% of the movies get a “1,” another 10% get a “2,” etc.). I think it should look like a bell curve. A 9 or 10 should be an oddity; a 1 should be so incredibly once-in-a-decade bad that you have to watch it just for the shock value .
That’s why I use a different(-ish) system. I still rate from 1 to 10, but instead of ballparking my numbers over a set of rigid criteria, then summarizing (or averaging) that into a score, I start with a basic score of 5. Then I add up to 1 point for things I liked and I subtract up to 1 point for things I didn’t like. What I add and subtract will vary from one review to the next since you can’t compare apples and oranges. Sometimes, a movie is all about plot and acting, and the music shoe is irrelevant (think Glengarry Glenn Ross or Twelve Angry Men). You don’t go there for the music, so why bother lowering the score because of standard music? Why review music at all? No one went there expecting John Williams, and in fact a superior music score might even be distracting. It’s the same for video games: occasionally, you’ll find a game enjoyable to play and watch for its artistic value, even if it’s super easy (ex.: Journey).
So when I write a review, I only add or subtract points based on criteria that matter for that particular movie/game/tv show/book. Then I let the score fall where it may.
So be warned: you’ll see me rave about aspects of a tv show that ended up having a low score, and complain about aspects of an otherwise spectacular video game. This “Jaycee Scale” has become popular among my friends, but also upsets those who expect more traditional scores.