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How I Rate Your Favorite Movies for Home Theaters

By Tyrrell Eccles

November 08, 2023

Keep reading to see how I rate your favorite movie in a home theater environment based on picture quality and use of surround sound.

Video Rating

The video rating scale is between one and five stars with five being the best. This rating is determined by how the movie lokks on it's intended display method. If it's on a 4K UHD Blu-ray disk but the image looks like it's just DVD, 1920x1080, quality wit too much film grain, it will not get a perfect score. I understand that the video equipment plays a role in a movie's quality, so I use high quality eqipment and cabling. This helps me to get the highest quality image reproduction possible. 

Sound Rating

The sound rating is also between one and five stars with five being the best. BUT the sound is what makes or breaks a home theater experience. AND it can also be the most difficult to reproduce for others because of the room's shape, furniture, flooring, etc. So... my ratings for sound are based on a movie's use of surround sound based on its audio descriptio. So if a movie says that it used Dolby Atmos then I give it a sound rating on how well atmos is used throughout it. Scroll down to see my test room dimensions and the equipment that I use for each test.

Overall Home Theater Rating

This score ranges from one to five with 5 being the highest. Each home theater rating is based on a movie's overall enjoyment in my home theater environment.  This rating is specific to the review platform/medium used. If the review medium is a 4K UHD BluRay disc with Dolby Atmos then I expect this movie to use all 5.1 speakers, minimum, and the video should use HDR and/or Dolby Vision technology. Also, this rating is an averge of the sound and video ratings.  You can only get a perfect home theater score if the sound and video ratings get a perfect score too.

These ratings are my own and should not be used to judge the quality of the movies that I rate. None of my ratings are about the content of the movies, actors, directors, writers or stories. But these ratings are meant to give my opinion about how these movies perform in a home theater environment. My intent is to help busy dads and home theater entusiasts decide whether they should or should not watch a movie based on its expected performance in a home theater setting.

I am NOT a movie/sound expert but I am tech enthusiast and busy dad who is short on time and  doesn't have an unlimited budget for movies. So I am the target audience that I make this content for. My hope is to make the content that I don't see for people like me. And maybe I can save a busy dad some time and/or money.

My Home Theater Movie Testing Setup

theater room test environment picture

My theater room is 14ft wide by 19ft long. I have a 7.1.4 speaker system. That means that I have seven bed layer and in-wall speakers; front right, front left, center, left/right surround, left/right rear surround. There's one Subwoofer and four transducers. The transducers use the same signal as the sub so they don't increase the number. And there are four Atmos, over head and in-ceiling, speakers.

The Audio/Video Equipment

The Speakers