The 3 Code Grade System
Rule of Thumb: Getting ‘3/5’ for at least 2 sections, or at least a ‘B-’ overall, means the film is worth a trip to the cinema (or at least the DVD); given that you’re interested, of course. A-Rated (A- to A+) are essential viewing – watch them immediately.
THE FILM AS A FILM (FAF)
How does the film scratch up alongside the greats? Is it a formulaic blockbuster, an Oscar contender, or just pretentious? Techniques, direction, acting, plot & character etc. all taken into account.
* A sorry blockbuster, should be a TV movie / a failed artwork
** A standard blockbuster / a pretentious artwork
*** Nifty, stylish and smart / an idea or two
**** Several interesting ideas, imitated or original, that may stand the test of time.
***** A magnificent masterpiece of the ages.
TARGET AUDIENCE (TA)
Who is the film intended for? Does it live up to expectation?
This considers original text (book, comic, previous adaptation) or genre (drama, sci-fi etc.)
* Just complete lack of empathy
** Misuses and abuses source material
*** What was expected… nothing more, nothing less
**** Stays true to source and will excite / unique twist involved
***** All the superlatives / unexpected ingenuity
GENERAL AUDIENCE (GA)
If you were to never know the director, the premise or the actors, would this film blow you away?
Is it life changing, or easy to understand?
* Keep your money in your wallet / save for a very, very rainy day
** Painfully vanilla / painfully experimental / worth one watch
*** Worth money / zeitgeist fodder
**** Well worth your time / stimulating / perhaps too artsy or long for most
***** Out of this world / a great watch for all
A lettered system, the ultimate verdict to go by.
A+ is nigh on impossible to achieve owing to subjective opinion but included to present a full scale.
F Anything below a C- is a goddamn monstrosity not worth considering