Only Good Movies – Movie Critic
By Shane Rivers
Welcome to Only Good Movies. My name is Shane Rivers, and you can think of me as your friendly neighborhood movie critic and movie reviewer.
It’s long been my opinion that reading a critic’s reviews for the first time is somewhat akin to visiting with a new doctor. While I can’t kill you through negligence, both relationships do require a certain level of trust in order to flourish.
To help foster that trust, I’ve decided to tell you a little about myself. When that’s done, I’ll also delve into some cinematic likes and dislikes, as well as discussing how I arrive at my movie ratings.
The idea is to let you know where I’m coming from, both as a person and a movie critic. If you like what you see, the hope is that you’ll keep coming around. Just remember: I do make house calls.
So what makes me qualified to be a movie critic? While the only major requirement for this profession is a love of cinema, I also have a degree in Radio/TV/Film from the University of North Texas. This came after stints majoring in Art, Drama, Literature, and Education.
The love of movies is also there, and I’ve watched more films than I can even recall. When I was a child, I thrilled to monster and kung-fu movies on the local television station, and the first two films I saw when the family purchased a VCR were The Road Warrior, and Fort Apache, The Bronx.
I also abhor copycats, which means that my reviews will contain only original thoughts and not those cobbled together from the rest of the critical community. Too often, many critics seem to develop a herd mentality, routinely praising or damning the same movies; that’s something you won’t see at OnlyGoodMovies.com.
Favorite and Not-so-favorite Films
Many readers also find it helpful to know a critic’s favorite and least favorite films, as this enables them to determine whether or not the reviewer likes the same kind of movies. While I do consider my cinematic tastes to be wide-ranging, the following lists should help you get a better understanding of my personal likes and dislikes.
Favorite Movies (Note: These are my personal favorites to watch. I’m by no means claiming that they are the best films ever made. Also keep in mind that I give equal consideration to every film when delivering a rating.)
- Glengarry GlenRoss
- John Carpenter’s The Thing
- The Shawshank Redemption
- Die Hard
- The Quick and the Dead
- Lethal Weapon
- Reservoir Dogs
- Big Trouble in Little China
Least Favorite Movies (Note: While I haven’t seen every movie ever made, these are films which I found to be particularly loathsome.)
- Mad Dog Time
- Vantage Point
- Southland Tales
- Batman & Robin
Let me start by saying that all movies I review are given an equal chance. I’m not going to start deducting stars simply because a film happens to fall within the horror or comedy genre.
On all my movie reviews, I use the five-star rating system. As you might have guessed, five stars is the best rating, while a single star is the worst. I prefer five stars to four, as I feel that it gives me a bit more flexibility when rating films.
I also try to consider other films within the genre when rating a specific movie. For example, Blade II will be compared to films such as Spider-Man or The Dark Knight to determine an appropriate rating; it will not be compared to films like Amadeus or Schindler’s List.
As for the stars, here’s a rough idea of what each rating means:
Five stars indicates a superior film. A film with this rating should be remembered for years to come.
Four stars indicates a strong film with a few flaws which prevent it from being a classic of the genre.
Three stars is an average film. Enjoyable in places but ultimately forgettable.
Two stars indicates a below-average film. It might have a few bright spots, but it’s loaded with flaws.
One star is reserved for the worst of the worst. A movie with this rating should be avoided unless you enjoy pain.
So there you have it: a little bit about what makes me tick, and my philosophy on reviewing films. If you like what you’ve read, I invite you to check OnlyGoodMovies.com for frequent movie reviews and information. Together, we can make this site grow into something truly special.