A question that comes up often is, “How come you gave this movie an A- yet there was nothing negative in the review? What stopped it from being an A?”
The answer is that grading movies ain’t exactly a science. It’s a gut-instinct kind of thing. Sometimes you love a movie, but something makes you hesitant to give it the very top grade. It’s all very subjective, as is the reviewing process in general.
That said, I do try to be consistent with the grades. From a very broad standpoint (and from Rotten Tomatoes’ point of view), anything with a B- or higher is “recommended.” More specifically, here’s a breakdown of how I perceive the grades in my head. This is what I generally stick to, though again, it’s not a science.
(Also, you should never, ever choose a movie based solely on the grade I gave it. You gotta read the review, too. Just because a movie is good doesn’t mean you’d actually be interested in seeing it, you know?)
A An instant classic. A movie that will stand up to repeat viewings. In general,