If you’ve only reviewed a few films, it isn’t hard to grade on a scale; when you’ve reviewed hundreds of films and people start reading you, they start to see discrepancies (whether real or imagined.) It isn’t possible to rate every film against every other film, and words like good, bad, perfect, and awful don’t always set right with those who put their time and effort into doing the best they can (nor does it mean they get a pass, however.)

The most ethical way in my mind to rate films is by my own recommendation (a word I use on EVERY review) since this is MY opinion. Four skulls to zero skulls is used to signify my personal highest recommendation to my least. If you still need a breakdown:

4 Skull Recommendation Out of Four
80% – 100%, Very Fresh
see it in theaters, entirely rewatchable, get a copy

3 Skull Recommendation Out of Four
60% – 79%, Mostly Fresh
catch a matinee, might watch again, worth a rental

2 Skull Recommendation Out of Four
40% – 59%, Slightly Rotten
wait for movie channel, one viewing enough, discount bin only

1 Skull Recommendation Out of Four
20% – 39%, Mostly Rotten
okay for television, never again, re-gift to enemies

0 Skull Recommendation Out of Four
0% – 19%, Spoiled Rotten
never watch, avert your eyes, never own