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Not just YES! But, HELL YES!

Kymberlie R. McGuire

I've been saying this since I joined. Most movies I watch are better than a 3 but not quite a 4, so I end up rating most movies a 4 just to err on the side of caution.

It would certainly make me happy to have a half star rating system.


Yes! My friends and I often leave notes for each other detailing a rating with a half star rating since they don't have it enabled. I sent a suggestion about this a few months ago getting the generic "thanks" e-mail.

E. Craig Crawford

I would appreciate the ability to use a half star rating system, as I can recall movies that I have rated anywhere from 2 to 5 stars where the half star would have better reflected my opinion on some of them.


I think they should go to 10 by tenths (like imdb.com) or have a 100 point scale. The way they have it currently is essentially worthless.

Big Will

There are a ton of movies I would tack a .5 on to that deserves the extra .5 rating. Like Munich I only could give a 4 but probably would have given it a 4.5.


I think they should. Sometimes I have trouble deciding between 1 rating and next. A half star would be the best solution to that problem.


I often wanted a rating between 'liked it' and 'really liked it'.

From a statistical standpoint, it hardly makes a difference. For any movie that would get a half-star rating, there are as many people that'll go high as go low, so it all averages out.

Hunter McDaniel

Fer crying out loud, YES. Even better would be a 1-10 rating, like IMDB - which would make NF ratings and IMDB ratings interchangeable.

On the 5-star system I am very stingy with 5's and am pretty good at avoiding 1's. The vast majority of my ratings end up being 3's or 4's, which leaves no room for fine distinctions.


I think it's a unanimous YES.

A 5 star system with half star increments is the same as a 10 start system with full star increments. That is enough detail without overwhelming the majority. I would argue that it may even be better, because people could still use full star increments and think of it as only a five star system.

I actually think that the current system works better for what Netflix wants, though. If you give more detail in the ratings then I would guess that many of them would be lower than they are now. I'm willing to bet that more people think like Kymberlie, who rates a movie higher than she thinks it deserves, than think like Will, who rates a movie slightly lower.

C Nyze

I think the half star would be a good thing.


I would be ok with it. But I keep it pretty simple.

5 for movies/shows that I love
4 for stuff that I like
3 for something that was watchable or semi-entertaining
2 for something I forced myself to sit through
1 for something I turned off


I think the half star thing is poor idea - it just perpetuates the current silly, "visual", star system and makes it even harder to read the rating. A simple 10 point scale (0-9 or 1-10) using numbers, not icons, makes a whole lot more sense than star icons trailing across the web page.

Of course changing from a 5 point scale to a 10 point scale would affect how one rates the movie. Upside would be more rating accuracy. Downside would be web page redesign and possible reprogramming of the individual recommendations algorithns.

I personally believe either a binary system (i.e. thumbs up, thumbs down) or a base 10 type system (i.e. 10 point scale) are the only two logical ways to rate, score, evaluate, etc., most anything.


I don't see any need for that. I don't pay a lot of attention to the rating stars anyway. I do read readers reviews to see what they say. I've enjoyed some one star flicks and hated a lot of 4-5 star flicks.


I have to disagree with the above comment. More choices are always better (one of the reasons we are all probably using Netflix anyway, instead of our local Video Hut). Anyway, most of the user reviews are worse than useless -- some of the reviewers appear unwilling to grant movies anything less than 5 stars, and sometimes they rate movies they haven't even seen yet!


Netflix did use half-star ratings when they originally launched, but then switched to a whole-star system. So they must have decided against it along the way.


I don't care either way about half-star ratings. However, I really disliked the fact that some time ago Netflix changed the meaning of the star ratings. They used to have a "just okay" middle rating (3 stars) but changed it to mean "liked it." This effectively skews the ratings upwards by creating unbalanced options (2 options express a negative response, 3 options are positive). This violates a basic tenet of good survey design which calls for a neutral middle value (as in "don't know," "not sure," etc.) As a user, "just okay" was a very useful category to have.


I think they need two ratings - one for the movie's technical/artistic qualities and one for how much you liked it. There are 4 movie types - good movies you hated, good movies you liked, bad movies you liked, and bad movies you hated. The confusion comes from equating "good" with "like" and "bad" with "hate." I think that ratings are useless if they combine both subjective and objective ratings. Most people agree "Showgirls" is "bad" and "Casablanca" is "good", but some people will like "Showgirls" more. There's no accounting for tastes. Many movies I've seen are technically good, but I don't like them. Many are technically bad, but they're nonetheless appealing for other reasons.


Another thing they really need to do is let you SORT and FILTER the reviews, by various criteria - newest/oldest, shortest/longest, highest, lowest, star rating, most helpful, least helpful, random order, alphabetical by user name, most/least helpful reviewer, most prolific, least prolific, etc. You should be able to say "ignore" any user and never see their reviews. As it is, a few reviews float to the top and everything else is lost in an avalanche of majority opinions. We need the capability to see the reviews WE want to see and get past the flood of reviews we don't.


Yes, they should go to half ratings. I've always felt that those 5 levels of ratings were not enough to rate movies with any kind of accuracy and I don't trust it at all. I just go over to IMDB to see what the users over there have to say.


whatever, I guess. it's really that big of a deal I already rated a bunch of the movies.

I'm certainly not going to go back and rate them again.

a half a star isn't going to change anything


I think it should be a 0-8 scale based on the following:

0 - Horrible. Among the worst I've seen.
1 - Extremely Bad
2 - Very poor.
3 - Poor
4 - No opinion.
5 - Fair
6 - Good
7 - Great
8 - Exceptional. Among the best I've seen.

This way you have 4 opinions below and 4 opinions above the "No opinion" number.

You could also use .5's with it to give it a bit more "room" to play around with.


This is a bit off topic, but since rejoining Netflix I've noticed that the "helpfulness count" seems skewed towards reviews that unjustifiable against the overall rating ( The very helpful count for 5 star reviews of overall 2 star movies ).

I can't think of what advantage is gained from this kind of sandbagging, but like the user comments on IMDb I doubt their trustworthiness.

Anyone else notice this?


Yes either half stars or 10 stars would make the rating more accurate.

E. Craig Crawford

"From a statistical standpoint, it hardly makes a difference. For any movie that would get a half-star rating, there are as many people that'll go high as go low, so it all averages out."

Well, yes, if that scenario is correct. But, I doubt that every movie is that balanced as far as ratings are concerned. I do pay attention to customer ratings as well as their and the professional reviews. IMO, a 10 star system is overkill, but a half star option is simpler even if it does give one almost 10 options. ;-)


I really wish Netflix, and Amazon for that matter would. There are films I had to rate slightly lower, because I did not want to giveit a 4 or a 5 rating. I would really like to be able to give a film a 3/12 or a 4/12 rating or 1/2 a star even instead of the full 1 rating.


I've been peppering NF with e-mails since I joined to have half-stars. So instead, I'm stuck to rounding up a half. As a result, I get e-mails from friends like, "You gave Aeon Flux 4 stars???" And I'll have to respond with, well I really meant 3.5, plus it was either that or cheaper by the dozen 2 on the plane - and it exceeded my lowered expectations. ;-) The star system (vs. IMDB say) is definitely easier 'cuz all you need to do is click (instead of typing in a number). Plus if NF gives you suggested ratings in halves, why can't we suggest in halves?


Yes! Half-stars would be much better and allow more accurate ratings. They should use BOTH! NetFlix used to give users a choice between the default 5-star and an alternate 10-point rating system. You could make the change in your account settings. The two systems are perfectly compatible, and I can't imagine why they stopped offering this choice. I can see why they want to make the default as simple as possible.

It's possible that this change, and/or changes in the definition of each 1-5 star rating, contributed to the "ratings inflation" that NetFlix experienced in 2004. This is discussed by people participating in the NetFlix Prize at http://www.netflixprize.com/community/viewtopic.php?id=438 . The NetFlix Prize is a competition to improve the NetFlix recommendation system by studying data on several million ratings.


yes i totally agree, netflix should use the half star rating system

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