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Monday, April 12, 2021

Higher and Lower

A few days ago, Letterboxd introduced a new statistic for Patron-level members: films you've rated higher or lower than the average Letterboxd user. 

Above, you'll see the ten films I rated more highly than the site average. I rated some films highly because of perceived technical excellence, hence the high ratings for controversial films like Triumph of the Will and The Birth of a Nation. Others I rated highly for entertainment value, such as Enter the Ninja, Bad Taste, The Phantom, and Snakes on a Plane. The rest I rated highly because I thought they were good stories competently told. 

Here are the films I rated significantly lower than the site average. These ratings are, I fully admit, more subjective and less rational than my higher than average picks. Simply put, for one reason or another, these films rubbed me the wrong way. Here you'll see that I'm not a fan of Disney or Mel Brooks. I don't like films that are overly sentimental or mawkish (Beaches, Funny Girl, E.T.). I'm not a fan of jingoism (Top Gun) or white savior narratives (The Help). The Florida Project is a technical masterpiece and tells a very important story, but its opening scene made me grind my teeth and took me out of the rest of the film. 

Please consider that these ratings are all snapshots of my feelings at the time. Looking back, I'd probably rate Chariots of Fire, Absence of Malice, Snakes on a Plane, Them, Bad Taste, Enter the Ninja, and Black Belt Jones a star or half-star lower. On the other hand, I can't see changing any of my ratings in the "lower than average" tier. 

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