0 ■ junk = These are movies with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The worst of the worst are ones which are not only junk, but have pretensions to being great, but with the whole mess handled hamhandedly.
1 ■ average = These are merely watchable movies. Not really good, not really bad. Ho-hum.
2 ■ good = Better than average but not great. Sometimes just merely good.
3 ■ excellent = Excellent movies have characteristics of greatness about them – they are very good, and much better than about 9 out of 10 of all other movies.
4 ■ superior = These movies are rare works of art, combining aesthetics and intelligence.
History of the List
I first started rating movies I see after I moved to Boston in early December 1996 (I lived there till August 2001). I originally started doing it chronologically on a small notepad, then converted it to a simple HTML list by title and by rating. After I moved back to Ottawa, I began to work with the great web development and design team Lapbaby, and iteratively they converted it into the database, with links to IMDb and to TMDB, and now with searching by title, rating, decade, and keyword, as well as an ongoing summary of “the stats.”
The first movie I ever rated was Breaking the Waves, which I saw at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, MA, in early December 1996. The 2,000th one, which I watched at home in Kingston, ON, on New Year’s Eve 2010, was Die, Monster, Die!, which is also the first movie that I have a memory of seeing in any cinema: it was at the old Regent theatre in Corner Brook, NL, likely in the mid- or late 1960s. And the 3,000th movie I watched was in my condo in Ottawa, ON, over December 28–29, 2022, called Scarborough.