On a scale of 1 or 10

If you’ve ever voted on a movie on IMDb, this post is, statistically speaking, probably aimed at you.

You’re (unfortunately?) free to give each movie a rating of between 1 (worst) and 10 (best) stars. That is, best like in it DOES NOT GET ANY BETTER than this. Now, if you find this concept a bit mind-boggling, I don’t blame you. How are you supposed to know the upper limit of how “good” a movie can physically (yes, everything is physics) be?

This is how I’ve handled this so far. When I was 16, I didn’t have any 10’s on my list. I think I had a 9 on Pulp Fiction. It was the best movie I’d ever seen, but the notion that I’ll never see a better one was too depressing to give it a 10.

As you get older, grey areas start to appear between the black and the white. You’ve stopped wondering why we can’t all just get along or why grown-ups don’t have sex ALL THE TIME like you did (wondered, that is) when you were eight. You start to realize what it means to be human. And that reducing a movies merits to a number is kinda ridiculous. And you’ve seen enough movies that giving a few of them 10’s doesn’t seem as far-fetched anymore. In other words, you’ve developed a legitimate respect for the 10.

About 6% of IMDb users have this respect. If you somehow managed to physically restrain the other 94% from using IMDb, stuff like The Shawshank Redemption would never reach #1, and hopefully not even come near the Top 250. Garbage like Zack Snyder’s (only bad movie) 300 wouldn’t get ridiculous amounts of 10’s just because IMDb doesn’t have an age (or taste) limit.

It’s interesting though, that the only movies whose main ratings are 10 and 1 (except pretentious festival crap where half of the voters are in the crew) are prettyboy vehicles like Twilight, carefully designed to stir up the already extremely fragile emotional lives of tween/teen girls, while luring their minds from the great lie pre-teen girls tell themselves, that they want a nice guy, to the even greater lie of Team Edward, that they want a “deep” guy.

But who am I to tell people how to vote? I can’t demand that all people be movie geeks. Just like writing nazis can’t demand that I end a blog post properly.

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1 Response to “On a scale of 1 or 10”


  1. 1 Fredrik 2011/01/19 at 1:36 pm

    I have three kinds of as-good-asit-gets-ten-ratings to handle The Problem concerning ten rating.

    First of all I list the true poetic masterpiece-ten, the kind of movie that just emotionally and intellectually blows your heart and mind and you feel that you have experienced how the medium has expanded to new and unexplored levels. Here I list (art house) films such as “Stalker” (Tarkovsky, 1979) and “Il deserto rosso” (Antonioni, 1964).

    The second category is just short and the simple The Ten Rating Movie, no more, no less. The difference from “La double vie de Véronique” (Kieslowski, 1991), first category, and let’s say “Fanny och Alexander” (Bergman, 1982) is that the later Feels more like a ten. Furthermore, “Mulholland dr.” (Lynch, 2001) and “Pulp Fiction” (Tarantino, 1994) are also perfect examples of tens from the second category.

    The third and last category of a ten rating movie has actually two sides of the coin. The first one is the example of “Jurassic Park” (Spielberg, 1993), a simply perfect movie but maybe not 100 % emotionally a Ten (and is certainly not 100 % intellectual satisfying). “El Ángel Exterminador” (Buñuel, 1962) illustrate the other side of the third category. The later also lack the emotional criterion of a ten (but reach higher on the intellectual level compared to “Jurassic Park”). But both has such qualities (“Jurassic Park” the entertainment, “El Ángel Exterminador”, the bizarre plot) that you just can’t deny them a Ten

    (Then of course we have the film that is truly a work of a master but simply isn’t a masterpiece (read ten). Here I would consider films such as “Gegen di wand” (Akin, 2004) and “Brødre” (Bier, 2004).


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