Here in The Critic’s Remote labs, we perform cruel and unusual experiments on remote controls in an effort to scientifically map the highs and lows of our movie and television experiences. Each movie and television moment is guaranteed 100% accurate through the coupling of an everlasting JVC remote and the ever-reliable IBM 5110. (Just… Don’t try running Photoshop on that thing. It takes ages to load on tape cassette.)

Each movie is classified according to the buttons on the JVC remote: Record, Rewind, Play, Fast Forward, and Eject. We’d use the Stop button, but it’s been stuck since 1993.

Our experimental protocol defines each rating as follows:


A movie or TV episode so damn good, you’ll want to buy it on DVD just so you can have it on hand to watch it whenever you want. Then you’ll watch it on loop forever because you’re too blown away to get off the couch, and it’ll still be playing when one of your grandkids finds your Cheetos-coated corpse years later.

In other words, these are masterpieces. Don’t expect this rating to show up often.


A Rewind movie is really great, and you’ll want to watch some parts over and over until the brilliance sinks in. We give the Rewind rating to movies and TV episodes we consider the most memorable.


A Play movie is worth your time. It might not be the kind that makes critics cream their pants, but it’s still better than surfing the Internet for cat memes on a Friday night. A Play rating is still a good thing; it means our finger isn’t twitching to hit the fast forward button.



A Fast Forward movie is the kind where you keep looking at your watch, or wondering when it’ll get to the good stuff. Movies and TV episodes rated Fast Forward might have their moments, but they’re what you’re call a rental: so you can fast forward through the boring parts.


Eject is the evil twin of Record: these are movies so damn bad, you want to get that DVD out before it infects your DVD or Blu-ray player with its crapitude. And then you want to find where the filmmaker lives so you can punch him in the dick.

Movies and TV episodes rated Eject are the kind that make you want to quit being a movie enthusiast and pick up a more rewarding and pleasant hobby such as poking your brain with Q-tips. We keep this rating only for the worst of the worst.

How we calculate ratings

We’d like to tell you we calculate the final rating based on a scientifically-weighted average of individual moments, but that’d be a lie. Sometimes, a single moment can be so striking that it’ll change the entire rating for a given movie or episode. Or something so insanely bad comes along that we decide to hit Eject and crack open the emergency Jack Daniels.

That is to say, the overall rating is based on general impressions, not an average. It’s subjective. Please don’t question our justification, you’ll just embarrass us.