Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Roger Ebert Explains Why Some Films "Only" Get ***1/2 Stars

Movie critic Eric Snider is no stranger to criticism, whether giving or receiving (I won't pursue that). When reviewing music for Sputnikmusic I've often felt an inability to reconcile a concrete rating with others. Roger Ebert explains why some films "only" get a near-perfect score:

On Eric Snider's Blog:

In a recent “Answer Man” column, he received this question:

I often find some of my very favorite films are ones you give 3 1/2 star ratings. I’ve never read a review where you explain what costs these movies the last half star…. How do you decide on those?

And Ebert explains it thus:

I wish that I didn’t give star ratings at all and every review had to speak for itself. But 3 1/2 is a very good rating, meaning all a movie lacked was an ineffable tingle at the base of my spine.

There you have it - criticism is visceral. I can live with that. I've been doing it the whole time. An A- or Three-and-a-half stars are very good, near-perfect ratings. So rather than wondering why a critic awarded your favorite game or movie with "only" a B+ (I'm looking at you, whiny Legend of Zelda adulators), accept that some things aren't quantifiable.

So when I tell my friends that Superman Returns did absolutely nothing for me, that's my last word. Last. Word.

Image by Jorodo of the Cartoon Database (Thus the huge "C")

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