Ratings Explanation (Updated!)

Interpreting the Titles to Our Reviews

Example: Crazy Stupid Love (2011) - M7.4/E9

M7.4 = Moral Value score out of 10 (10 signifying a great moral message)
E9 = Entertainment score (10 signifying that we really enjoyed the movie)

Detailed Explanation

The rating system we had been using was very simple (a Moral Value score of 1-5, 5 being moral and 1 signifying immoral), but it was hard to be consistent on our ratings given that we just looked at a list of criteria and assigned a score that we felt fit best (totally subjective). We've recently developed a formula for a Moral Value score to help us be more consistent and hopefully make our ratings a little more useful and objective. We appreciate all the inspiration and feedback we've received from family and friends on this.

The new formula is:

Moral Value = Edification - Evil

The Edification score consists of our deciding if a movie inspires us to do good, if it is praiseworthy (how willing are we to recommend this movie to a friend), and it's educational value (moral and secular education).  We've kept the range of scores for these factors very small to make it easier to rate, and hopefully more consistent.

The Evil score will take the rating for Language, Sex/Nudity, and Violence found on the kids-in-mind.com website (when available, otherwise we'll rate the movie ourselves in a similar fashion), and then we will adjust the score based on how relevant we feel the Evil is to the overall message of the movie.  Evil is important in movies as long as it is accurately depicted and shows real consequences for wrong actions.  The more appropriate or relevant the evil is to the moral message of the movie, the lower the Evil score will be.

The Moral Value score will be out of a range from 0-10.  We've ran the formula against a good number of movies and feel fairly confident that what we have will work.  We might need to provide a rubric for readers of the reviews to translate the numbers into something meaningful for themselves, but it is probably sufficient to understand what is being taken into consideration in the rating, and that a 10 is a movie with a great moral message, and as you get closer to 0, the message gets weaker or is non-existent.  All in all, it will probably not be much different from our original rating system (see original rating system explained below), hopefully just more consistent.

The Entertainment rating will also be changed to be out of 10, matching with how much we enjoyed the movie overall (similar to ratings users would give on IMDB.com).  Whether or not the movie was moral will probably factor into this rating to some degree, as we tend to enjoy moral movies more than immoral movies.  But in the case that the movie is just a really cool action flick, the moral relevancy will have less impact on the Entertainmen score.

It may take some time to convert the older scores of the movies over, if we end up choosing to do so.  We will also try to put the moral score in the title of the post so that it is clear up front what we thought of the movie (e.g., On the Waterfront (1954) - 10; or Title (Year) - M10/E10.

Some quick examples of Moral Value scores we've calculated with the new formula:

Our ratings are still quite subjective, but scoring films on more categories, giving us more to measure and a formula to plug those values into helps our ratings be more logical and consistent and less whimsical.

Original Rating Explanation

Moral Ratings (Effectiveness of Communicating Moral Values)

  1. Morally offensive
  2. No worthwhile moral message present and/or content is somewhat offensive
  3. Contains moral message (possibly weak), but content is somewhat offensive (violence, sex, inappropriate dialog, etc.)
  4. Contains just a good moral message or Contains a great moral message, though some content may not be suitable for all ages (e.g., Chicago, The Dark Knight).
  5. Contains a great moral message, suitable for family movie night (e.g., Casablanca, Temple Grandin)

Entertainment Ratings

  1. Great acting, plot, music, etc., worth owning (provided that the moral rating is high, otherwise proceed at your own risk).
  2. Worth seeing, especially if moral rating is high (ex. Friendly Persuasion, Gulliver's Travels), acting or other elements can be a bit rough
  3. Average entertainment
  4. Contains one or more of the following: poor acting, cheap laughs, weak plot.  Probably not worth seeing unless moral rating is high.
  5. Avoid at all costs.

Rating Class

  • World Shaker - A must see, must own, must share!
  • Parking Meter - Great, but has one or two things that totally could have been eliminated.  (The offensive content is irrelevant to the movie, just as cutting of the tops of parking meters was a dumb way for Luke to get hisself thrown into a prison camp.)
  • Night in the Box - a waste of time and money, you feel worse after having watched this type of film.

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