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Our Rating System

We love movies, we love heroes, and we love to hate villains. Therefore, for each movie we provide three ratings on a 1 to 5 scale: A rating of the movie, a rating of the main hero in the movie, and a rating of the villain.

Our evaluation of the movie is based on the usual criteria:  How entertaining was the movie?  How good was the story?  How memorable were the characters?   Etc, etc.   Because this blog is entitled Reel Heroes, we rate the movies on a 1 Reel to 5 Reels scale.  The more Reels, the better the movie.

reel-1One Reel = The movie is atrociously bad and a total embarrassment.  Don’t see it no matter what.

reel-2Two Reels = The movie is pretty bad.  You may want to see it after it leaves the theaters if you like the actor(s) or the movie genre.

reel-3Three Reels = The movie is average, maybe even somewhat enjoyable.  Flip a coin to determine whether you want to pay $$ to see it in the theater.

reel-4Four Reels = The movie is good.  It’s worth the price of admission to see it on the Big Screen.

reel-5Five Reels = The movie is excellent.  Run, don’t walk, to your nearest theater to see it.

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Our evaluation of the hero is based on our expertise on heroes and hero journeys.  Both of us are experienced teachers and authors of hero stories, and our analyses are based on Joseph Campbell’s groundbreaking book on the mythic structure of hero tales around the globe.  For each movie that we review, we rate the primary hero on a 1 Hero to 5 Heroes scale.

superman-1One Hero = The main hero is a disaster as a character.  The hero’s journey in the movie is ineptly delineated and doesn’t fit the classic pattern at all.

superman-2Two Heroes = The main hero is a poorly developed character.  There are some elements of the hero journey present but they aren’t portrayed well at all.

superman-3Three Heroes = The main hero is a fairly average hero.  Elements of the hero journey are there, and have their moments, but overall the hero isn’t particularly noteworthy.

superman-4Four Heroes = The hero is well-crafted and inspiring.  We see the hero’s journey in full form and we are moved by it.

superman-5Five Heroes = The hero is an extraordinarily riveting and memorable character.  The hero’s journey is portrayed in exemplary fashion and the actor playing this hero is likely to be nominated for an Oscar.

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We look for certain qualities in a villain. A good villain should be a challenging, memorable foe for the hero. For each movie that we review, we rate the primary villain on a 1 Villain to 5 Villains scale.

villain-1 One Villain = The villain is weak. Either there is very little backstory about the villain, or the villain’s character is very poorly developed, or the villain offers no challenge to the hero.

villain-2 Two Villains = The villain is below average. We don’t learn much about the villain or the villain is a peripheral part of the hero’s journey.

villain-3 Three Villains = An average villain who has a somewhat compelling personality but doesn’t live up to his or her full potential as a character.

villain-4  Four Villains = The villain is above average. He or she is charismatic and memorable, has an interesting backstory, and offers a formidable challenge to the hero.

villain-5 Five Villains = The villain is a tour-de-force character who almost steals the show. The villain’s journey is told in vivid, compelling detail, and the actor playing the villain is likely to receive an Oscar nomination.


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