Have you ever seen a good film? How about a bad one? Do you keep score? Are you more inclined to like or dislike a movie?
I keep a database that contains all the films I have seen. Part of the entry includes a 1-10 rating of the movie. Here is the key to my ratings:
1 = A terrible movie, avoid at all costs.
2 = A terrible movie.
3 = A movie I didn’t like.
4 = A movie I slightly didn’t like.
5 = I feel mostly neutral about the movie, some good and some bad.
6 = Not a ringing endorsement, but I kind of liked it.
7 = I liked the movie.
8 = I really liked the movie.
9 = An exceptional film.
10 = One of the best.
At the time I wrote this post my database contained 1,013 different movies. Here is a chart showing rating frequency:
These ratings can be grouped into three categories: Negative (1-4), Neutral (5), and Positive (6-10). If we consider a positive rating of a movie as a hit,my movie batting average is 0.502.
So I like ~50% of the movies I see, I feel neutral about ~30%, and I do not like ~20%. These numbers seem skewed toward the positive side, but there are a few reasons for that.
First, I don’t watch movies with other people frequently, so I select the majority of the titles I see. This allows me to avoid certain genres that would be likely to get low marks. The vast majority of movies I see I have a distinct reason for watching (be it the director, someone in the film, the topic, the book it is based upon, reviews I have heard).
Second, I am a bit Pollyanna-ish when it comes to watching movies. I can normally find something to appreciate. In many cases this results in a neutral rating for a movie that might get a negative rating at first glance.
My propensity to like movies is even greater on NetFlix. The rating system on NetFlix does not contain a neutral option, it consists of five stars:
1 = Hated it .
2 = Didn’t like it.
3 = Liked it.
4 = Really liked it.
5 = Loved it.
This forces me to make a thumbs up or thumbs down call. I tend to give any film that I found something to appreciate in at least a 3. Since NetFlix recommendations are made based upon these ratings I do not want to exclude future movies that may contain elements that I appreciated in the current movie.
When I group my NetFlix ratings they look like this:
My NetFlix movie batting average is 0.883, which is ridiculous.
What might be more telling is the mean rating in the two systems. In my 1-10 system my mean rating is 5.51, making it between neutral and kind of liking the film. In the NetFlix 1-5 system my mean rating is 3.20, making it between like and really like.
My conclusion is that the inclusion of neutrality makes makes movie ratings more accurate.
So what would you say your movie batting average is?