The Drive-in Zeppelin Rating System Explained:

Argubably the most archaic facet of film criticism in our opinion boils down to the inclusion of ratings to try and quantify movies. Stars, thumbs up/down, the decay of produce – these are all cheats we use to gauge the worthiness of a film in hopes that our time will be put to good use. While its true there is a statistically higher likelihood that a movie will be ‘good’ or ‘entertaining’ if popular sentiment reflects its quality, the fact of the matter is that movies are a personal affair and no amount of skewed metrics are going to change that.

Is IMDB’s rating going to help you in a pinch? Yeah it’s probably a safe bet, as is Rotten Tomatoes. Is there a discernible difference between a 7.1 rating and a 7.2? No, not really. It’s all relative to individual tastes, internal ratings systems, etc. Did you know that How to Train Your Dragon currently has a higher rating than Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars?I think you’ll agree these ratings are utter nonsense. Should you see both films in this case? Absolutely! They’re both uniquely worthy of your time.

So while we at Drive-in Zeppelin will obviously judge films based on an internal rating system, it is our hope that we can translate the familiar star rating system to be more objective in introducing you to the wonders (and monsters) of cinema. Let’s give a quick breakdown of what our ratings mean shall we?


5 out of 5 stars

Trust us, if you don’t immediately fall in love with these, you’ll appreciate the fact that your life was enriched for a few brief hours. Hell, we’ll fly the Zeppelin to wherever you are just to watch them again with you. *Note there may be a delay as we have a habit of inadvertently getting caught up in temporal rifts, triangles of the Bermuda kind, and other general misadventures*

4.5 out of 5 stars

Pretty much anything with this score or higher will surely be talked about for decades to come. These films are often beautiful, masterfully written, and are all ‘must-sees’ . The difference between 4.5 and a 4 usually comes down to the inclusion of more meaningful elements, creative storytelling, etc.

4 out of 5 stars

These are the ‘solid’ movies of the world. You really can’t go wrong seeing them and more than likely these will correlate the best with films that have an IMDB score of 7.5 or above. If The Dark Knight is a 4.5, then The Dark Knight Rises is probably around a 4. Typically you’ll find most of the good action and comedy films in this ranking.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Meh – it’s hit or miss here, but more likely than not you’ll leave the theater somewhat satisfied. There’s usually something interesting or technically noteworthy to be found, though its going to be a matter of taste and what you look for in a particular movie. We’ll try to touch on as many individual facets in the review as possible to give you a clear idea of what to expect. Not everyone is simply dazzled by lights and sound you know.

3 out of 5 stars

It’s probably a safe bet to just wait until this film hits Netflix or Amazon. Chances are you’ll be dissatisfied with your admission expense if you see it in theaters. There are occasionally some diamonds in the rough though.

Anything less and you would be wasting your time in our opinion. There are plenty of better uses of your time.  If you’re one for traditional star ratings, we invite you to check out the Drive-In Zeppelin IMDB profile or shoot us a message for personalized recommendations. As of today, there are about 500 films that scored an 8/10 or better on our list, so you should never be want for decent to masterful movies to watch.