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Our Rating System

In movies and television, 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 or series, a rating of the main hero, and a rating of the other characters.

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.

In 2016, we rated the mentor to the hero.

In 2017 we rated the hero’s transformation.

In 2018, we rated each movie’s effectiveness in tapping into deep archetypes as described by Joseph Campbell.

And in 2019 we looked at the messages that movies are sending and how successfully that message is delivered.

Our evaluation of the movie or series is based on criteria that you might expect:  How entertaining was the product? How well was it made? How effective was the story?  How memorable were the characters? Because this blog is entitled Reel Heroes, we rate the movies (or series) on a 1 Reel to 5 Reels scale.  The more Reels, the better the movie or series.

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

reel-2Two Reels = The movie or series 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 or series 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 or series is good.  It’s worth the price of admission to see it on the Big Screen.

reel-5Five Reels = The movie or series is superb.  Run, don’t walk, to your nearest theater or streaming outlet to see it.

– – – –

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 or series 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 or series 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 or Emmy Award.

– – – –

From 2014 to the current year, we’ve been rating various supporting characters or other aspects of the heroic story.

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 rated the hero’s mentor figure using this wizard icon: mentor1

In 2017, we rated the hero’s transformation using this Delta icon: delta-1

In 2018, we rated each film’s hero archetypes using this arc icon: arc-1

In 2019, we rated each film’s message using this ‘message’ icon:

All these ratings are on a 1 to 5 scale, with low number indicating severe weakness in the film, and high numbers indicating “outstanding”.

1 Comment

  1. MARY GOOD says:

    Wow…you are amazing…thank you so much for this service..so much better than the old Siskel and Every thumbs.

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