About/Ratings

Hi, my name is Carlos Cuevas. Welcome to AfterImage, a personal blog I started in 2014. The idea was to write short personal reviews on the things I love, mostly movies, music, and books. Fast forward a few years and here we are still.

Please also check out my sister site Cinesthesia, where my friends and I dive deeper into fantastic films, including Sci-Fi, Horror, and other genres.

Thanks for visiting!

Grading movies and shows is a largely silly exercise. While there are obvious indicators of craft, the experience is highly personal and elastic. But since we need some sort of guide, here is how I rate them:

****| Excellent

Emotionally resonant and technically impressive films that push the medium forward. Casablanca (1942), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and Goodfellas (1990) all make the cut.

***½ | Very Good

A cut above the rest. Films that go above and beyond in terms of skill and overall effect. Sunset Boulevard (1950), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and Back to the Future (1985) fit in this category.

*** | Good

Generally solid, well-rounded films, even if there are some minor kinks here and there. High Plains Drifter (1973), Witness (1985), and The Big Lebowski (1998) come to mind.

**½ | Above Average

Pretty good efforts with more hits than misses. Well worth watching, even if you can’t shake the feeling that they could’ve been better. Annie Hall (1977), Total Recall (1990), and Wonder Woman (2017) are some examples.

** | Average

These are the “just okay,” “meh,” “seen better” flicks that have entertaining moments but are mediocre overall. Most movies belong here, from typical blockbusters like Thor (2011) to “prestige” stuff such as Forrest Gump (1994) and The Revenant (2015).

*½ | Below Average

If you’re counting the minutes, that’s a bad sign. Misguided and substandard, these films make you wish you had spent some time at the dentist instead. Think Dirty Dancing (1987), Sucker Punch (2011), and The Visit (2015).

* | Awful

These are not “so bad they are good” cult films that could conceivably earn a higher spot on the list. No, these are just… bad. Stuff like House of a 1000 Corpses (2003), Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002), and Howard the Duck (1986), which I didn’t even finish.

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