Despite hating applying grades to my movie reviews, I know it is something readers like to look at. Also, at times like this, it is actually interesting to see how it all shapes out. Especially when the result comes as a bit of a surprise.
It’s a rather general consensus that this year’s crop of films hasn’t been all that impressive so one would think the GPA for the year so far would be quite low, and while it’s not exactly burning the house down with a 2.39, it’s actually .24 points higher than last year’s at the exact same time. At first I thought this had to do with the fact I went to Cannes and handed out two A’s, three B+’s and four B’s, but in fact the Cannes GPA was only 2.61 and with those 18 reviews taken out of the equation the GPA for the year so far drops, but only to 2.33. So is the first half of 2010 actually better than the first half of 2009? A question that speaks volumes toward my hatred of grading movies, because it’s obviously not that simple.
If you ask me, 2010 is merely a more consistently average-to-below-average year while 2009 enjoyed more dramatic highs and lows pulling its six-month GPA a bit further down. Once all was said and done, 2009 ended up with a 2.48 GPA after all 142 of my reviews were tallied, giving it the third highest GPA out of my first seven years of reviewing movies. Considering 2003 and 2004 are at the top of the pack, each sporting 2.52 GPAs, I unofficially count 2009 as the year with the highest GPA. As I explained with last year’s mid-term report, it took me a little while to even know what I was doing when it came to reviewing movies.
As you can see from the number of reviews in the list above, it wasn’t until 2008 that I really took reviewing movies rather seriously. From 2003 through 2007 I had a couple of people doing the majority of the reviews for me until I took things over full-time in 2008.
So far this year I have reviewed 81 total movies and I didn’t include the three mini-reviews I did for the Seattle Film Festival, even though adding those three grades to the equation doesn’t change the outcome at all.
Featured below are the GPAs for my 2009 and 2010 reviews. I wrote detailed explanations for 2003-2008 with last year’s edition if you are interested in taking a look back in time and getting a little more perspective on where the site started to where it is today and my history of reviewing movies.
I will have an article very soon taking a look at the second half of 2010, but for now, here’s a quick look back.
2.48 G.P.A. (142 reviews)
2009 was at a 2.15 G.P.A. at last year’s mid-year mark and I still think it is appropriate to look back at it as “The Year that Suffered Due to the Writers’ Strike.” However, the year picked up for me as it went on and I actually managed to piece together a Top 25 Movies of 2009 list. Of course, my #1 film from 2009 (A Prophet), didn’t technically open until 2010, so its A+ grade gets attributed to 2010. Had I added it here that GPA would read 2.49, but that’s not exactly a major bump.
2.39 G.P.A. (81 reviews)
2009 saw my largest total of movie reviews since starting RopeofSilicon in 2003 and 2010 is on its way to breaking that personal record and I couldn’t be happier about it. I still remember back in 2005 when Stealth almost made me give up reviewing movies altogether as an onslaught of terrible movies began eating away at my brain. However, a couple of years of reviewing assistance from Laremy Legel returned me back to sanity. On top of that, I broadened my movie perspective. It was no longer about only watching the year’s major blockbusters. Sure, those are the reviews that get the most reads, but without the independent films a reviewer will lose their mind in the mud of Hollywood spectacle that often results in mediocrity.
This year Cannes already brought me a large dose of diversity and with 81 reviews so far it is more reviews than I wrote in 2003, 2005, 2006 or 2007. Albeit not combined, but to think I have written about more movies in only six months than I was able to over a 12 month span in those four years is shocking to me. It’s only 16 fewer reviews than I wrote from 2006 to 2007 combined and by the end of the year I’ll likely have written more reviews in 2010 than I did from 2005-2007. To say I’ve turned a job into a passion would damn near be an understatement.
I’ll be doing a list of my top ten films from the first six months of 2010 very soon, so for now how about sharing your best and worst experiences at the theaters in 2010 in the comments below. Also, how do you see this year shaping out? Do you expect the second half to make up for the first half or are you worried the trend from the first six months of the year is going to carry over into the final six?