***** Indispensible: this must be seen by any serious film-goer.
**** Excellent: a film of substantial merit, though flawed in some essential way.
*** Good: a film of moderate value, but one that might possess considerable appeal for fans of particular genre or style.
** Mediocre: artistically insubstantial, though not truly wretched.
* Poor: films in which even technical competence is at question, or which are remarkably ill-conceived.
□ Worthless: films that need never (or should never) have been created. Reserved for the most bathetic bathwater.
I have filched this system word-for-word from the Rolling Stone Record Guide (1980), substituting only ‘film’ for ‘record’ and so on. All credit to the legendary Dave Marsh and his team.