Marking Gradient

I thought it would be useful to post a marking gradient for reference, before the Edinburgh Film Festival launches in the coming week. This will give you a vague idea of how to gauge the numerical ratings/marks that I award to a film at the end of each entry based on my considerations of two aspects: characters and story. Other elements of the film such as aesthetic, music and design are commented on in the review but these two are the focus of my critique. You will also find a mark for a movie’s rewatch factor; this grades how likely I am to want to see it again. 



  • 1-3: A bad film, not recommended at all.
  • 3-4: Mediocre or distinctly not up my alley; may appeal to some.
  • 5-6: An average film. I’m on the fence.
  • 7-8: Good and interesting, worth a cinema ticket at full price.
  • 9-10: Either one of my favourites or simply an undeniably excellent production.



  • 1-3: Paper-thin stereotypes with no substance, such as horror film tropes.
  • 3-4: Two-dimensional personas- usually with the potential to be interesting. 
  • 5-6: Sturdy and predictable characters of average depth, e.g. Crazy Stupid Love or Sky High.
  • 7-8: Well-constructed people with relatable backgrounds and the ability to surprise. Glorious 39 and ARGO.
  • 9-10: Characters who are altogether personable, fascinating and unpredictable- Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook.



  • 1-3: Downright displeasing, the likes of Uwe Boll and The Last Stand.
  • 3-4: Boring or badly made. Stories that put me to sleep- the easily forgettable.
  • 5-6: ‘Comme ci. Average stories with adequate to interesting plots may be found here. Ironman 3 and The Hunger Games.
  • 7-8: Sweet and solid. A land of tight narratives and sublime scripts.Think Midnight in Paris or Looper.
  • 9-10: Masterpieces. Doesn’t require explanation, e.g. Moonrise Kingdom, Casino Royale and Lemon Tree.



  • 1-2: No, never again in fact.
  • 3-6: Maybe if it was playing on telly and highly dependent on my mood.
  • 7-8: Yes, but not for another year or two.
  • 9-10: I’ve probably already made plans to see it again on the silver screen.


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