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).

* – 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.

♥ – Contains hardcore sex scenes

AFI 100 – Ranked on AFI’s original list of the top 100 American films

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)

TV – Originally intended for or aired on television (but also received a theatrical release or played at least two major festivals). For TV movies that never received a theatrical release or played at least two major festivals, see the Television/Web list.

Web – Originally intended for or shown on the internet (but also received a theatrical release or played at least two major festivals). For web movies that never received a theatrical release or played at least two major festivals, see the Television/Web list.

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.

Key image from iStockPhoto (#1142937326 by bubaone)