One of the aesthetic criteria by which we judge quality of a film or work of art is the feelings it arouses. If something is an imitation, or technically deficient, or tedious, or leaves its viewers cold, or lacks spirit or boldness, the feelings it arouses are not the same as if it is creative, or expertly done, or constantly interesting, or moving.
Perhaps only a very refined taste and judgment can reliably say that two works of the same master vary in quality. I can surely find songs played by Dizzy Gillespie that are better done than other songs done by him, but my having played trumpet for years and listened for years contribute to such a judgment. I cannot compare a piece played by the Duke Ellington orchestra to one played by the Count Basie orchestra (or even many others). They're both top tier as a rule, and they do different things with the music. But these sorts of comparisons are not what has been alluded to here when Jail Bait (or now the Female Jungle) and The Asphalt Jungle are mentioned together and we consider their merits. A case can be made for all of them, on some grounds. My point is that there ARE some grounds, and they are not in view when we express a bald opinion or when we vote or when we refer to the emotional impact on US alone, without reference to a broader context or without further delineation of what that emotional impact is and how well the film elicited it. And this view of mine, that these grounds do exist is primarily to dispel the nihilistic ideas that (a) truth in these matters can't be found, or (b) need not be found, or (c) are useless to investigate and find, or (d) dissolve in the face of MY or YOUR taste and opinion. None of these positions make any sense to me, and I don't think that most people accept them. When IMDb tallies a vote on a picture and when critics write reviews, even if these are not the views of movie experts or aesthetes, they suggest that there is an underlying interest in what's good and what's less good, what is excellent and what is poor. I do not believe that we human beings engage in these admittedly difficult judgments because we deep down believe they are meaningless and that it's all a matter of taste or opinion. We are actually trying to discriminate among films.
The nihilistic approach implicitly denies that discrimination is possible and useful. I do not believe or accept that in any field of human endeavor.