This page describes my ratings system. Please bear in mind that all ratings are entirely subjective based on my personal experience.
Ratings look like this, and are explained further below:
- Princess Power:
- Bechdel Test: Fail
I rate movies by Princess Power, an assessment of the female protagonists. Ratings range from 5 stars (strong, well-developed, Self-Rescuing Princesses) to 1 star (flimsy damsels in distress).
There is a separate measure for Overall Quality, because all the strong characters in the world can be wasted in a crappy story. And besides—it's not all about the women.
Note that I consider 3+ stars to be a positive rating. You will not find many 1-2 star reviews here; this blog is about highlighting good portrayals, not ranting about bad ones. There are rare exceptions when I feel there's something important to say.
You can find a list of all 5-star princess power reviews in the five star tag.
The Bechdel Test is one way to measure the presence of female characters in media. It is not the be-all-end-all. A movie can fail the test and still present strong, well-rounded female characters (and vice-versa).
For this blog, the Bechdel Test criteria are:
- The movie has to have at least two women protagonists (barely-there supporting roles don't count),
- who talk to each other meaningfully (saying 'hi' doesn't count),
- about something besides a man.
In newer reviews about family-oriented media, I also include Family Content advisories about violence, language, and other mature content. These are neither quantified nor exhaustive; they're just my observations as a parent.