Here at Unam Sanctam Catholicam, we use a film rating system based on papal tiaras. Why tiaras? Well, we figured that we'd put the tiara to good use since the popes have not been using it for awhile.
Our films are rated on a scale of 1 to 7 (zero tiaras all the way up through three with increments of half-tiaras in between). Please note that our tiara system does not necessarily denote which films are family friendly or kid friendly. This rating system is not about grading family friendly movies, but about telling you which films are good and which are bad. A film could have three out of three tiaras but have adult themes and language; or, a G-rated kid film could have such a poorly developed story-line and use such an abundance of lame Hollywood cliches that it receives a low rating. Therefore, please do not make the mistake of thinking our rating system is based on what is "family friendly."
Our system uses the following criteria:
- How well are the plot and characters developed?
- Is the acting decent?
- Are there any serious moral problems in the film?
- Does the film support a Catholic worldview or not?
- Was the film enjoyable overall?
For more information on our ratings, see the explanations below:
Three Tiaras: This film was perfect; the casting and acting were spot on and cinematography was engaging. There was a very interesting plot with well-developed, 3-dimensional characters. The film was free of any immoral suggestions and either implicitly or explicitly is consonant with a Catholic worldview. In addition to this, the film was generally enjoyable and is recommended highly as required viewing for anybody interested in quality movies. It is also deeply thought provoking and has a strong, philosophical message.
Two Point Five Tiaras: The film was close to perfect in all of the above mentioned areas, save that is suffers from one deficiency. Perhaps the film was unobjectionable except for a needless occasion of blasphemy; perhaps everything was perfect except for one poor casting choice, minor plot hole, or needlessly inserted gratuitous sex scene. Though flawed, the flaw is not so large as to detract from the enjoyment of the whole film. The flaw is a regrettable oversight in an otherwise excellent film (Examples: Last of the Mohicans).
Two Tiaras: The film is better than most, perhaps worthy of belonging to a personal collection, but suffers from several deficiencies that are more than just incidental. Worldview is ambiguous. Choice of actors alright but nothing special. Cinematography normal. Plot is standard Hollywood and most likely predictable. Main characters may be fleshed out, but probably most of the supporting cast is one dimensional, or vice versa. May be one or two seriously objectionable scenes (ex: extramarital sex put forward as a positive). Overall, the film is still entertaining despite its deficiencies, but could have been better. (Examples: Gladiator).
One Point Five Tiaras: This movie is alright, but boring at many points. The acting is pretty dreary and cinematography is dull, repetitive or bland. The film tends to drag. It's the kind of movie you sit through and derive moderate enjoyment from, but soon after forget and have no desire to watch again. This film's plot may be decent, but it suffers from constant profanity throughout, perhaps a lot of nudity or sexual innuendos, sexual jokes, and/or a worldview that is blatantly hostile to Catholicism, or maybe just a plot that is overall immoral. These tend to be the films that Hollywood extols as masterpieces (Examples: The Horse Whisperer).
One Tiara: This film just straight-up sucks. The plot is lame, and the acting is terrible. To the degree that there is a worldview, it is negative or hostile to Catholicism. Or, if there is a Catholic worldview, it is ruined by so many other elements done poorly. This film is terrible; only better than a half-tiara film by a minor degree. The suckiness of this film is redeemed only partially by perhaps one or two funny or good scenes. Nevertheless, the few good scenes do not redeem the whole film; they exist within the larger film like corns in a turd (Examples: Dirty Work).
Half Tiara: While having a basic, discernible plot, this movie suffers from severe, systemic defects. Perhaps it is so immoral as to make it almost unwatchable; perhaps the acting or editing is so awful as to make the film more of a joke than a serious piece of art. The plot, though discernible, is unsatisfactory and it is wrought with obvious loopholes. This is not the worst movie ever made, but it definitely rates near the bottom (Examples: Disappearances).
Flaming Cow Fart: This movie is an abomination that should have never been made. It is utterly unwatchable; to sit through it is a severe penance at best, a moral and intellectual hazard at worst. There is an utter absence of a plot; acting is terrible - viewers attempting to watch the film end up thinking, "Why am I here?" Otherwise good Catholics of gentle speech are tempted to resort to expletive, scatological language when describing this worthless pile of dung. This is the type of movie you walk out of, or shut off twenty minutes in, or demand your money back for, or apologize to a date for taking them to. It is brought up in casual conversation as "the worst movie I ever saw." Every copy of this debacle of cinema should be hunted down and destroyed.