Movie Grades: A to F, * to *****

Our website, www.emanuellevy.com, is now in its 14th successful year.

I am proud to say that at present, the site contains over 27,000 reviews, Oscar pieces, commentaries, interviews, profiles, and so on.

To commemorate this anniversary, we are now in the process of revamping the visual segments of the site, especially photos, videos, and trailers.(Thanks for your patience!).

Almost every month, we get several queries and inquiries about our grading system. What do our grades mean? What’s the difference between A and A-, or between B+ and B-.

In the first year, following the Rotten Tomatoes service, we used to grade pictures numerically (5/5, 4/5, 3/5), or in terms of stars.

However, as the number of our writers has increased (we are now four critics, excluding our manager and media assistant), and Rotten Tomatoes has changed its system, we switched our grading to a standardized school system, the way that Rotten Tomatoes, EW magazine, and other publications are doing.

The grade represents an overall assessment, based on various artistic assessments, which may differ from picture to picture.

To answer a recent query, the fact that a particular movie gets C or D (we usually don’ give F) doesn’t mean you should not consider seeing the movie it just means that the feature lacks significant artistic merits to merit a trip to your multi-plex, or rent the movie on DVD.

As a movie fan since early childhood, movie critic and movie scholar over the pats three decades, I have a feeling that I have seen more trashy movies than most people.

On an average day, I see two films, one in a movie theater, and one at home on DVD (usually very late at night, when my companions go to bed)

During major film festivals, such as Cannes or Sundance, I average about four movies a day, excluding midnight screenings.

Grades in every enterprise are often arbitrary, but they suggest an evaluation of the overall artistic merit. We have no A+. The highest grade a film can get is A (5 stars, or 100 points).

Expectedly, very few movies are getting straight A or even A-, as you must have noticed by now

Thus, when one of our critics assigns a grade lower than C+, it means that in his/her opinion of that movie is really negative.

I used to tell my students that movies, worthy, mediocre, and trashy, are good for you health, by which I meant that the more movies you see, the more informed and the more connected you are to pop culture, American, international, and global.

But, once again, many bad movies are fun to watch and enjoyable on some level, and I think that the concept of guilty pleasure describes the way many of us we feel about those movies.

I hope that the summer season, about to begin May 4 with a bang, “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which is graded B+ (8 out of 10 points), will bring many good and more enjoyable movies.

Our grading scale:

A (10)
A- (9)
B+ (8)
B (7)
B- (6)
C+ (5)
C (4)
C- (3)
D+ (2)
D (1)
F

Over the next several months, to celebrate our anniversary, we will be running long reviews of all the movies that have been graded A or A- on our site.

Stay tuned. Thanks for your support. It means the world to us.

Emanuel