If things aren't thrown in my face during a 3D movie, I feel somewhat disappointed. I also appreciate the use of 3D to enhance a wide-angle shot, a humorous close-up, give a subtle sense of depth, and so on. Other times, I wonder why the movie is in 3D at all.

Is there a phrase used when rating the 3D-specific cinematography of a 3D movie?

  • I think the rating comes down to opinion really on how well it's done vs how many effects there actually are. Far as I know there is no defined chart and the only real way to tell is to read reviews or ask people who have already seen it in 3D.
    – Tablemaker
    Dec 19, 2011 at 19:27
  • I think that giving a rating for the 3D effects used in a movie, in the end, comes down to opinion. From what I've heard and seen, different people perceive the effects of 3D a bit differently, and this can even be affected by the setup of the theater.
    – DForck42
    Dec 19, 2011 at 20:16
  • I don't want to repeat the 'it comes down to opinion' answers, but I do want to state that it isn't everyone's desire to be 'impressed' with the technology when they go to the movies, but in my case it is to be drawn into the movie. Yes, I went to 3D movies at first to enjoy how they throw stuff at you, and going with kids this is great fun. After a while that fun from the tech becomes rather dull, and I want a 3D movie to be rather more subtle and just add to the realism of what I am watching. Stuff flying out of the screen to make me jump just makes me realize more that I am in a theater. I
    – iandotkelly
    Dec 21, 2011 at 14:00
  • 3
    Lotta opinions showing up here as answers, which isn't quite what d3vid is asking for here. So you hate movies that jab you in the eye with a sharp stick? Me too. Don't care. If you don't have an answer, don't answer.
    – Shog9
    Dec 21, 2011 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


There doesn't appear to be any official rating system, disappointingly. As a previous user @Pubby answered, what you are referring to is the "depth" of the film (as per Wikipedia):

Depth perception is the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions (3D) and the distance of an object.

A few websites have had users try and champion a ratings system (e.g. Meant to be Seen), but nothing has been adopted by a "large" company. The nearest thing to a decent ratings system I have seen is a blog called 3D Perfection, where the author defined his own 3D ratings system as follows:

3D....Perfect use of 3D. There is an excellent 3D depth throughout the movie and several pop-out moments.

2.9D....the 3D depth is very good and consistent throughout but occasionally there are anomalies. This could be some scenes that lack a 3D depth or a few scenes that are incorrectly aligned etc. (overall though, there is nothing too distracting to really spoil the vast majority of the 3D)

2.8D.....a mixed bag of both strong and weak 3D. There are several scenes with nice 3D depth but unfortunately there is also a large amount of moments with weak 3D (a narrow separation or even incorrect alignment)

2.7D....generally weak 3D with a narrow separation but occasionally a good 3D scene might pop up.

2.6D.....poor 3D. There is a very narrow separation and the 3D effect is weak and flat looking.

2.5D.....a poor post production conversion.

He's rated some 95 films on his blog in this way. It's not much, but it's better than anything else I've come across.


The term would be depth (or rather, the illusion of depth), although I haven't seen any actual ratings of it.

Films that really seem to pop are generally filmed in 3D and then enhanced post-production when adding in special effects.

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