Mullen Movie Ranking and Categorization System

Emmit Brown

While it’s not an exact science, what I have coined the Mullen Movie Ranking and Categorization System is meant to, well, rank and categorize movies that I have watched. The intent in doing so is to assist me in recalling the aspects of particular films that I loved and hated, as well as assist those who are asking themselves the age old question:

“What movie should I watch tonight?”

I’ve been where you are. Scrolling through Netflix, struggling with the paradox of choice: options, but too many to choose from. Allow me, if I may, to assist in making that choice. I promise no spoilers, just an evaluation and categorization of a film that might assist in helping you choose a film to watch that might match your mood. Or, if you’re feeling argumentative, feel free to have a read through an evaluation, and tell me I’m a moron for hating one of your favourite films. Either way, I think we all win here.

Film Ranking System

First Viewing Impact                                        /10

Writing                                                                 /10

Acting                                                                   /10

Directing/Cinematography                             /10

Visuals/Effects                                                   /10

Music/Sound                                                       /10

Re-watchability                                                  /10


Total Score                                                           /70


Film Categories

Academy’s Darling – a film that tries to impress across all categories and is clearly after that little golden bald guy. These are fine-tuned, nearly perfect films, often the first to be judged harshly by general audiences due to their connection to the pretentiousness and prestige surrounding the Academy.

Animation Demonstration – a film that heavily incorporates computer or other animation to its advantage. It should be noted that these films often score highly in the Visuals/Effects category and will often have their ranking score accompanied by an asterisk (*) for this reason.

Art House Gem – unique, experimental, and probably altogether pretty weird, at least at times, these films often have a very polarizing effect on audiences. Some hate them for trying too hard to be unique, others get overly excited over the exact same things.

Box Office Boomer – a film that means to entertain through elaborate, probably very expensive, and often explosive means. The studios are definitely looking for a big opening weekend with this one and hoping that you’ll bite and by all their special edition box sets too.

Cinematic Classic – a wondrous, beautiful film that should be watched and re-watched, studied and re-studied, enjoyed and re-enjoyed. Films like these are what make life worth living.

Giving Me that Indy Feeling – whether it’s the soft acoustic soundtrack, the apparently arbitrary inclusion of crude animation here and there, or the fact that some of the actors you know you’ll never see again, these films can try way too hard to seem “indy”, or they can be excellent examples of not needing a big budget to tell a great story.

Gritty, Grittness – the real, visceral feeling that you get when someone gets beat up on film and you feel like you need to call the police before you realize it’s just a movie.

I Wish I Was Him/Her…I Think – basically we’re looking at biopics here. Often the ones that get traction are ones that include a person who reached amazing heights at rather unfortunate costs.

Just For Laughs – Everybody has that movie that they like, it makes them laugh, but they know that what they just watched made them stupider. Some actors make pretty damn good livings off of films like this, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with a good laugh every now and then.

Quirky Weirdness – Not always bad, not always good, quirky weirdness comes from unique directors and performers who bring something a little different to a film. Wes Anderson’s films come to mind, as well as many others that draw you in with their own unique style of strange.

Politics, Politics, Politics – Everything from politicians stabbing each other in the back, to big corporations picking on the little guy.I laboured over this, but there are enough films that deal with political subject matter for it to have its own category. Plus, I find one needs to be in the right mood for these ones, sometimes they make you think, ya know?

Romance Flavoured Cheese – Your classic rom-com, or any film that chooses to show the more optimistic side of love and does so in a light-hearted manner.

Sci-Fi for Days – Currently a huge niche being filled by many a screenwriter, a film earns this category as long as it involves any element of science fiction,be it futuristic destructive alien races, time travel, or good old fashioned space exploration.

Tense Suspense Commences – Jump scares, low tones oozing eeriness, or the classic tension building created by creative camerawork and solid acting performances. It’s quite the spectrum but all films that fit on it fall into this category.

Violence with a Story – Though not specifically created for gangster flicks, they were an inspiration for this category for sure. Gratuitous violence still draws a crowd, and sometimes even has a decent story behind it.

Why Did I Do that to Myself? – A waste of time and space on my “Because you watched…” on Netflix that you hope your friends don’t notice because you’re so damn embarrassed that you pressed play. These films fail in most all areas and make you wonder how hard is it really to get funding for your own project?

You’ve Touched Me in a Good Way – Heartfelt films with genuine emotion and feeling. Touching stories that make you try really hard to hold back tears and teach you a lesson through making you feel those icky emotions that you have.




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An award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter talks movies.

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