CRU Announces Symbol Scoring April 15, 2014

Critics Round Up is now in the process of revamping its scoring system. The precisely-defined 100-point system is mostly out, in favor of the more approximate Symbol Scoring. Five symbols will be used, corresponding to a certain number of points to create the CRU Rating. Here’s an explanation of the symbols:

++: 100 points. An ecstatic reaction.

+: 75 points. Positive.

+x: 50 points. Mixed, ambivalent or barely positive.

x: 25 points. Negative.

xx: 0 points: Extremely negative.

There are a few reasons we’re switching to Symbol Scoring. #1) With these more approximate ratings, mistakes are less likely to be made when we make guesses on a critic’s reaction to a movie. #2) Some critics grade more harshly than others and the numbers could be misleading. An 80 from Mike D’Angelo is a much more enthusiastic reaction than an 80 from most critics. Symbol Scoring actually gives you a better idea where a critic stands on a movie relative to other critics.

One effect of symbol scoring is that most movies have received a boost of a few points (though not in all cases. The new Captain America dropped from 61 to 59). Under Symbol Scoring, well-reviewed movies usually go up and badly reviewed movies go down. And since Critics Round Up usually only covers movies that get good reviews, most of the averages have increased.

The conversion to Symbol Scoring is still in its early stages. Every movie in the homepage slider at the moment has been upgraded (such as Under the Skin at 91, Manakamana at 92, Only Lovers Left Alive at 83 and Inside Llewyn Davis at 88). Converting most of the pages will take time, but I’ll be making changes rapidly through much of this week.

I’m really happy that Symbol Scoring has been realized in exactly the way I’ve been hoping these past several months. I hope you consider it an improvement on the old system too.


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