Ideally the best way to tell if a movie is good is to see it. But obviously there isn’t time (or desire) to see every movie out there. The next best thing is a personal review from your peers. If people you like enjoy the movie, then there’s a good chance you will too. If you don’t have that personal recommendation it’s time to scour the internet. I hope that Regular Guy Movie Reviews can become a valuable tool to help people assess the good-ness of a movie. But here are the other tools I use.

#1- Rotten Tomatoes “Audience Rating“. I link to this in every review. It says what percentage of the audience scored the movie a 3.5 stars or higher (out of 5). It’s basically asking what % of the audience (who filled out the poll) liked the movie. Because it is based on hundred’s of thousands of votes, it is usually a pretty decent predictor. 90+ is usually great. 80-90 really good. 70-80 pretty good. 60-70 ok. <60 is not good. <50 borderline unwatachable. The stronger the score, usually the more accurate. Meaning the 80+ scores are usually pretty accurate and the same with <60. 60-80 has more variance. Obviously there times your opinion may be way off the common denominator, but there is rarely a movie I love that scores really bad. Vise versa is generally true as well, there is rarely a movie I hate that scores really well.

#2- CinemaScore. CinemaScore is a little more obscure. They poll a variety of moviegoers on opening night and have them fill out a detailed survey about the film. Then they give the movie a score from F to A+. This isn’t trying to rate the good-ness of a movie so much, but the appeal to the target audience. This is the big difference. CinemaScore is predicting how it will appeal to the audience that will likely go see it, not audiences in general. So some stinkers can score A’s with this because they appeal strongly to a certain audience (kids or teenagers usually). This is more of a pass/fail for me. If it gets a B or lower, watch out, it might be really bad because it doesn’t even appeal to its target audience.

#3- IMDB‘s “Your Rating”. Similar to #1 but not quite as predictable for me. But still of some value.