How Does a Rating System Work?

When you are searching for a movie or a book to read, you often see ratings and reviews written by other people. You may be familiar with the universal star rating system used on movie review websites like IMDB, with one star being the worst and five stars being the best. While this system is useful in comparing movies and books, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how it works. Let’s look at an example involving three movies and their ratings on IMDB – The Dark Knight (2008), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and The LEGO Movie (2014).

The Dark Knight is the highest-rated movie on IMDB with an overall rating of 8.3. It has been reviewed by 1241 users on the site with a five-star rating average, while only 728 users have reviewed it with a one-star rating average. The film is in the science fiction and fantasy genre on IMDB and was directed by Christopher Nolan. Let’s take a closer look at how this particular rating system works.

Five-Star Ratings

The highest rating on IMDB is five stars, which indicates that the movie is very good, it has many pros and few cons, and it is worth seeing. A five-star rating does not necessarily mean that the movie is perfect – there will always be something that can be improved upon – but it does indicate that the movie is very good and probably worth a watch. Let’s take a closer look at the film The Dark Knight and its summary on IMDB:

  • It has a good cast, with Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Harry Potter star Michael Gambon, and more
  • The performances are exceptional, with some extremely talented actors.
  • It is a good movie with a great storyline
  • The special effects are quite good
  • The direction is good

From this short list, The Dark Knight appears to be a very good movie that is worth seeing. The only downside is that it has been reviewed twice as many times as it has been rated, with only two stars being the lowest rating on IMDB. If we were to take this rating system at face value, then we would assume that the movie is not for everyone, but it really depends on how you feel about comic book movies. Let’s move on to Mad Max: Fury Road.

Four-Star Ratings

Mad Max: Fury Road is a post-apocalyptic action movie directed by George Miller and based on the 1982 film of the same name, which in turn was based on the 1976 book by Michael Crichton. Mad Max has an overall rating of 7.7 on IMDB and has been rated by 767 users on the site, with 452 users giving it five stars and 295 users rating it with a one-star rating. Let’s look at the film’s summary on IMDB:

  • It is a very original story that combines several genres
  • The stunts are very good, including a very impressive car chase sequence
  • The performances are very good, especially those of Mel Gibson and Charlize Theron
  • The plot is interesting, although a little unclear at times
  • The dialogue is sometimes funny and sometimes intense

Considering all of these ratings, Mad Max appears to be a good movie that is worth seeing. However, like The Dark Knight, it has been reviewed twice as many times as it has been rated on IMDB, so it is hard to know if this is simply because it is a popular movie or if it is truly that good. Let’s move on to The LEGO Movie.

Three-Star Ratings

The Lego Movie is a 2014 American animated comedy film directed by Phil Lord, and it has an IMDB rating of 6.6. It has been reviewed by 1,023 users on the site, with 752 users rating it with three stars and 371 users giving it a one-star rating. Let’s take a look at the synopsis of The Lego Movie on IMDB:

  • It is a compilation of several mini-masterpieces
  • The animation is very good, with many funny moments, quirky characters, and bright colors
  • There are some very funny scenes, especially the parts where the characters impersonate pop culture icons
  • The jokes are pretty funny, but some of them might be a little too mature for kids
  • The LEGO Movie is a perfect mix of comedy, action, and adventure

Like the other two movies on this list, The Lego Movie looks to be a very good movie, but it has been rated three stars instead of five stars on IMDB, so it is difficult to know if this is simply because it is a popular movie or if it genuinely deserves this rating. For the sake of comparison, we will now look at the average rating for each of the four main genres on Netflix – comedy, horror, thriller, and sci-fi/fantasy.

We can see from this chart that sci-fi/fantasy- and superhero-related movies have the highest average rating on Netflix, which makes sense considering there is typically more than one genre on this list. This also means that these types of movies are probably the most popular on the platform. On the other end of the spectrum, horror movies have the lowest average rating on Netflix by far. Although horror movies are quite common on the platform, it seems that the users who are rating them do not have a very high opinion of them. So it seems that while many types of movies are enjoying success on Netflix, the content might not be for everyone.

One-Star Ratings

The only movie on this list to receive a one-star rating is The Incredible Hulk (2008). It has been reviewed by 71 users on the site, with only 18 users rating it with five stars and 43 users giving it one star. The Incredible Hulk is a superhero movie directed by Louis Leterrier and based on the character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the comic books of the same name. The film centers on Bruce Banner, a scientist whose experiments go terribly wrong, resulting in him assuming the Hulk’s incredible strengths and intelligence. Bruce Banner is played by actor Edward Norton, while the character of the Hulk is portrayed by The Incredible Hulk co-star Julian Glover.

The Incredible Hulk is the highest-grossing film of all time globally, having made over $300 million at the box office. It also received several awards, including a Saturn Award for Best Movie Based on Television. Let’s take a look at its summary on IMDB:

  • Bruce Banner is a scientist who becomes the Hulk after being hit by a gamma-ray
  • The Hulk character is a very funny creature, whose dialogue is often crude and self-referential
  • The animation is very good, although there are some scenes that could use some improvement
  • The story is very predictable and sometimes a little dull
  • Bruce Banner’s character is very annoying and whiny
  • The Hulk’s scenes are funny, but there is a lot of repetition

If you are looking for a movie to watch with your kids, then The Incredible Hulk is probably not the one. With a rating of only one star and a number of negative reviews, this is definitely not a family-friendly movie. This also means that it is likely not for anyone, which makes it quite the contrarian. While this type of movie rarely makes it to Netflix due to its low rating on IMDB, it might still show up on another service or at a local library if you search diligently enough. So if you want to be prepared for whatever comes next, then make sure you have a copy of The Incredible Hulk stored away somewhere safe and sound!

Although these four movies appear to be very good, they have not been approved for children due to their rating on IMDB. This means that while many families might enjoy these types of movies, children might find them confusing, annoying, or even traumatizing. As previously stated, this type of rating does not necessarily indicate that the movies are bad, but it simply means that they are not for everyone, which is something that can be said about most forms of media. With that, we have surveyed the basics of how a rating system works. Remember to read the reviews before you go to see a movie, and if you are unsure of what it is that you are reading, then perhaps it is best to avoid this content altogether. Happy viewing!