To many readers and reviewers out there, trying to decide on a proper “score” or “rating” for a review can be a really frustrating task. What does 4 or 5 stars mean to you? How about A,B,C? After a lot of debate, FTS realized that there is more to be said about the final product of a critique than just a star vote. We needed something to show our viewers/readers/listeners how we came to our final number. Therefore, we here at FTS developed a rating system we like to call the TOAST rating system.
The idea behind TOAST is simple enough. We asked ourselves, what makes a great movie? What elements does a film need to have to be, by our definition, “good.” From there we developed TWO main categories that we use to rate the film. The “Essentials” and the “Extras.” The Essentials lists the core components that every film contains (Story/Plot, Entertaining/Captivating, Acting/Directing, writing/Screenplay, Mise en scene.) The Extras are other qualities we love to see in some movies, but not necessarily every movie we watch (Gore, Emotional Impact, Ability to Educate, Humor, Special Effects, Budget Potential, Hot People, Camp, Badassness, Surprise, Originality, Romantic Connection & Rewatchability.) We pick 5 Extras to go along with the standard 5 Essentials when we rate a flick and come up with a percentage out of 100.
Using those categories as guides, it helps us to come to a more accurate conclusion when rating a film. After we calculate the score, then we come up with a FTS percentage and consensus for each flick, followed by a nifty, interactive breakdown chart.
Take a look at what we consider during a review:
Story / Plot: Engaging narrative; Coherent structure; Pacing of the movie; Idea/Concept
Entertaining / Captivating: Audience attention; Enjoyment; Empathy for the characters
Acting / Directing: Believable or appropriate acting; The director’s vision
Writing / Screenplay: Character development; Dialogue
Mise-en-Scène: Cinematography; Set design; Costumes; Music
Gore: Are there some gnarly scenes of carnage? Does it rule or is it weird/excessive?
Educates: Did you come away from the film with some new knowledge in your brain?
Humor: hahaha? Lol? Lmao?* Crickcets*?
Strong Emotional Impact: How does that make you feel?
Camp: Appreciation for the corny?
Special FX: Did you just see that?!
Budget Potential: For the budget, did they make good use of the money?
Hot People: Who’d you rather?
Badass-ness: Kicking ass and taking names.
Surprise: Didn’t see that coming!
Rewatchability: Let’s go see this 5 more times and then buy it on DVD.
Originality: Like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
The chart below is a sample of how we visualize our ratings breakdown. When multiple authors review a film, you can compare their scores side by side. The chart is also interactive, so you can hover over specific categories to see the score out of ten, as well as click individuals names to single out a particular reviewer’s score.
90-100 = Essentially a perfect film, all time favorite
75-89 = Really enjoyable film, has slight flaws but overall is successful
60-74 = Average film, not living in regret that I watched it, there's enjoyable qualities but also detrimental flaws
45-59 = Below average film, with few to no redeeming qualities, could have lived without seeing this
30-44 = Bad film that you wish you could go back in time and never watch
0-29 = Horrendous trash of a film that should never have been made or, you know, TURD