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Our Rating System

In every movie, there are heroes, villains, and secondary characters who support either the heroes or the villains. Over the years, we’ve rated all these characters, and more. You’ll notice in our movie reviews that 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 other characters in the film.

In our ratings of 2013 movies, we only rated the movie and the hero in the movie.

In 2014, we also rated the villain.

In 2015, we included a rating of the supporting cast.

And in 2016, we’re now rating the mentor to the hero.

Our evaluation of the movie is based on criteria that you might expect:  How entertaining was the movie? How well was it made? How effective 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 flawed.  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 superb.  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 from around the globe.  For each movie that we review, we rate the primary hero on a 1 Hero to 5 Heroes scale.

h-logo-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.

h-logo-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.

h-logo-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.

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

h-logo-5Five Heroes = The hero is an extraordinary, riveting and memorable.  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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In 2014, 2015, and 2016, we’ve been rating various supporting characters.

In 2014 we rated the villains in the movies using this black hat icon: villain-1


In 2015, we rated the entire supporting cast using this group icon: cast-4

In 2016, we’re rating the hero’s mentor figure using this wizard icon: mentor1

If we assign a rating of “1”, these cast members are weak. If we assign a rating of “2”, these cast members are somewhat flawed. A rating of “3” means they are pretty decent. A rating of “4” means they are quite good. And a rating of “5” means they are outstanding.

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