Movie Key

Here you will find a guide to all the colors and symbols used on this website.

Red – Thriller / Suspense / Mystery / Horror

Orange – Documentary

Blue – Animated (hand-drawn, computer-drawn or stop-motion) Note: It’s getting more difficult to determine what makes a movie animated and what makes it live-action, thanks to the rise of CGI. I’ve chosen to label a movie “animated” only if it relies heavily on animation both for backgrounds and characters. See the next category for further explanation.

Half Blue / Half Black – Animated and Live Action, or a film that relies mostly on motion capture. Note: This category also applies to movies containing a mix of live actors and CGI/motion-capture characters, along with a large amount of computer-generated backgrounds and landscapes. (Similarly, any entry that is half one color and half another means that the film belongs to both genres, or contains enough of one genre to warrant the color distinction).

Sl – Silent

SlWS – Essentially silent (with intertitles) but with elements of synchronized sound, such as brief sound effects and/or a synchronized score

FL – Foreign language (other than English)

Hybrid – Features carrying this designation originally aired on television, the internet or on DVD/Blu-ray but subsequently received a theatrical release (general, limited or at at least two major festivals). Shorts with this designation originally aired on television, the internet or on DVD/Blu-ray but subsequently received at least one showing in a theater to a general, paying audience.

TV/Web/NT – Features carrying this designation neither received a theatrical release nor screened at at least two major festivals. (“NT” stands for non-theatrical.) Shorts with this designation never played in a theater to a general, paying audience.

Panoram – Shorts carrying this designation are “Soundies,” a precursor to modern music videos, dating from 1940 to 1947. They played exclusively on Mills Panoram machines, which were essentially video jukeboxes, in public places.

* – Best Picture Oscar winner. (An asterisk is also used on my short-film lists for movies that won the Academy Award for best short animated film, best short live-action film or best short documentary.)

$ – Ranked in the top 10 among all-time highest-grossing films (U.S. gross adjusted to inflation); source: BoxOfficeMojo. For international adjusted gross, see Wikipedia.

Cinema – This column on the feature-film lists refers to the number of times I’ve seen a film in a movie theater. If the space is blank, that means I’ve seen the film on TV, on DVD, on Blu-ray, on Netflix, etc., but never in a cinema. (When assigning a star rating, I try to take into account the circumstances of the viewing, keeping in mind a theatrical viewing can be more impactful. I never watch films on mobile devices.) If I’ve seen a film at a festival, I list the name of that festival.

♥ – Contains hardcore sex scenes

Key image from iStockPhoto (#1142937326 by bubaone)