Here is a refresher on what the rankings mean at the end of each of my articles. All are on a scale from 0 (terrible) to 10 (perfect).
FILM: This considers cinematography, art direction, mise-en-scene, shot selection, thematic elements, and general quality of film. The directors and editors are most likely to effect this score, though the scriptwriter certainly has a lot to do with it as well. Examples of films with perfect scores: Up, Saving Private Ryan, Dr. Strangelove, Shutter Island, Tree of Life.
MOVIE: This is based on pure entertainment value. Are the characters fun? Is the movie enjoyable? Does it encourage rewatching, or if it is a film being seen for an umpteenth time, what makes it fun to watch? Examples of films with perfect scores: The Usual Suspects, Ghost Busters, Aladdin, Princess Bride, The Avengers.
ACTING: Pretty self explanatory. How good are the actors? This also can be where a bad casting call will hurt a film. This category considers chemistry and pure acting ability. It doesn’t penalize a movie just because it is a comedy, though it is certainly harder to achieve a high score in that genre. If the film is animated, it considers the voice work and the job the animators do of displaying character. Example of films with perfect scores: The Wrestler, Good Will Hunting, Up in the Air, The Prestige, Manhattan
EFFECT (DOCUMENTARY ONLY): This replaces acting when considering a documentary. It asks the question: What were the filmmakers trying to say, and how well did they say it? Different from film, in that a Documentary can be extraordinarily well made, but not really change the ball game when it comes to its topic. The only film which has gotten a perfect 10 thus far: Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One.
WRITING: How good is the screenplay, and how well was the story told? A director can screw up a good script and give this a bad score, though I try to make this as much about the script itself as possible. Do the themes work? Are the characters well developed? Example of films with perfect scores: District 9, Let the Right One In, Syriana, (500) Days of Summer, Casablanca
BONUS: This gives me a chance to recognize a particular aspect of a film which is exceptionally strong. This can be anything and everything, and gives one bonus point for each aspect. Examples: The war sequences in Saving Private Ryan or the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire. This can also work negatively against a film if an area detracts from the movie. Examples: Terrible CGI in Snakes on a Plane or the sound editing in Phone Booth.
Each category gets a ranking from 0 to 10. I add them up (including bonus) then divide by 4, giving me an average score. I’m fairly tough on these movies. Nothing has ever gotten a perfect 10 (it is possible, technically, to get higher than that with bonus). The highest a film has scored for me is a 9.75. The following movies have achieved it (click on the link to jump to the article):
Hope this helps!