Negative 10 to 10

In high school I theorized that movies should be rated on a scale from −10 to 10 stars. (Nowadays I’d make it −4 to 4.) A truly great movie is one you want to watch over and over and always get something out of it. A truly terrible movie–a −10–is one that’s so bad that you want to watch it over and over; want to invite your friends over so they can enjoy how bad it is. A movie that’s poorly made, that might have bad technical flaws such as lighting or sound editing, or terrible acting, or a script that just doesn’t work, might be a 1 or 2 or 3 or −1 or −2 or −3, but only a truly awful movie could earn a zero. That’s a movie that’s not so bad it’s good, it’s just bad. You don’t want to watch it ever again, and you don’t want to share it with others. Though not a zero, I spoil The Village whenever I can for this reason (the movie’s actually set in modern day!)–I just don’t want my friends to have to have to subject themselves to it. Joe Queenan, writing for The Guardian, describes this sort of “worst movie ever” in his piece on The Hottie and the Nottie.