For 1,595 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 64% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Brian Lowry's Scores

Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 True Detective: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Testees: Season 1
Score distribution:
1595 tv reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Martin’s fantasy world, with its ruthless lust for power, is surely not for the faint of heart, and the sheer number of subplots invariably means that one or two start to sag. Such criticisms, however, amount to nitpicking on a show that operates at such a consistently high level, from the spectacular cast to the sweeping and diverse backdrops, consistently conjuring a summer-tentpole feel.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    There are so many fine performances here it’s difficult to single out just a few.... Benioff and Weiss have become inordinately adept at juggling an almost dizzying assortment of plots, but the manner in which those narratives intersect this time around has only enriched the show.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    To anyone who has followed the ups and downs of Downton Abbey, the good news begins with those first strains of John Lunn's lustrous score, and doesn't abate until Fellowes and company have wrung every last ounce of emotion from these finely embroidered characters.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    At its best, it’s big, bloody and downright glorious.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    The show keeps delivering the kind of mind-expanding dramatic highs that ought to require a prescription.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Simply put, there's no more unpredictable series, and its delicate handling of combustible ingredients will be admired and studied by writers for years to come.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    From virtually any angle, though, Downton Abbey is an almost peerless piece of real estate.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Rich and absorbing, this eight-part drama quickly vaults into elite company, offering a singular voice that’s unlike almost anything else on TV.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    HBO just might have found its next great dramatic addiction --- a vulgar, gritty, at times downright nasty take on the Old West brimming with all the dark genius that series creator and screenwriter extraordinaire David Milch has at his fingertips. [19 Mar 2004, p.2]
    • Variety
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Rectify has established itself as a trip worth taking, and for a discriminating few, at least, the protagonist’s slow road to redemption remains an utterly absorbing one.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Either appropriately or ironically for a show about meth cookers, Bad is simply one of TV's great addictions.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    When television history is written, little else will rival "The Wire," a series of such extraordinary depth and ambition that it is, perhaps inevitably, savored only by an appreciative few.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Those along for the ride since the beginning have rightly come to savor this as one of TV's premier hours --- a meticulously written, superbly acted program that demands undivided attention. [16 Sep 2004]
    • Variety
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Julian Fellowes has created such a vivid group of characters and assembled such an impeccable cast--effortlessly oscillating from comedy to drama--that the hours fly by, addictively pulling viewers from one into the next.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    As with all Bochco series, the writing and intricacy of the characters sets apart Murder One. The show deals in shades of gray that ultimately may work to the series' detriment commercially but nevertheless are dramatically riveting. [19 Sept 1995]
    • Variety
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    [Writer-director Ezra Edelman] has responded with, even in the annals of ESPN’s “30 for 30” docs, what feels like a master opus.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Expectations were certainly sky-high for Boardwalk, but the producers have risen to meet them--in a series that grows richer, deeper and more absorbing with each of the six episodes previewed.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Although the program isn’t as showy or heralded as the network’s other dramas, its sixth-season start reinforces a sense that Justified will be sorely missed when it rides into the sunset.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    The CBS drama continues to provide evidence that quality isn’t necessarily defined by blood, guts or exposed flesh. All it really takes is brains--and in this case, you don’t even have to eat them.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Once the narrative begins hitting its stride in the second episode, it's clear the program remains on a rarefied creative tier, tantalizingly mixing terrific performances with anything-can-happen edge.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Series creator Ray McKinnon manages to incorporate various elements associated with serialized drama into the narrative (such as the local sheriff, played by J.D. Evermore, investigating the beating), while infusing the show with poetic qualities, aided immeasurably by Young’s exquisite, tightly coiled performance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Dexter will be hard-pressed to match the big twists that punctuated last season, but the latest campaign is off to an impressive--and impressively unpredictable--start.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Crisp, smart and spooky, this cerebral sci-fi drama is the best of the new "Something's out there" series.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    FX’s frost-covered drama appears to have equaled its splendid predecessor, capturing the same off-kilter tone while actually enhancing the comedy quotient. If the first series deftly approximated the spirit of its movie namesake, this one works in a cheeky Quentin Tarantino vibe, with results as refreshing and bracing as the region’s abundant snow.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    One of TV's premiere dramas --- a rarity whose darkest moments have a way of lingering in the mind. Such depth and humanity might be unexpected from a show that clearly revels in every four-letter word and exposed cheek, yet as the series so often demonstrates, appearances can be deceiving. [22 June 2004, p.10]
    • Variety
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Credit Lifetime with taking a flyer on a "Promise" for a new generation, and making a movie that delivers on its promise, no two ways about it.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Deadwood will never be everyone's cup of tea, but it stands as one of HBO's most fully realized dramas since "The Sopranos" and exhibits no signs of fading in the second leg of its run. [3 Mar 2005, p.4]
    • Variety
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    There’s always the risk that series creator Ryan Murphy and his team will slip and hit an artery, but so far, things look beautiful.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Despite mining what appears to be a played-out lode (yet another showbiz-insider comedy, complete with self-effacing celebrity cameos), the pair find hearty laughs in discomfort, elicit riotous turns from their guest stars and even manage a touch of pathos in the travails of the show's hapless hero.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Spooning out details and forcing close audience attention to track how events have unfolded on a dual track, it’s the kind of premium drama any network would be proud to have--one in the mold of “True Detective” or “The Killing,” only from the grieving parents’ perspective.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Directed by Adam Bernstein, the 90-minute premiere is particularly taut and effective, with three subsequent episodes slightly less so; nevertheless, there’s enough going on (indeed, almost too much) and such a weird string of dominos that it’s hard not to imagine those sampling the opener won’t want to see things through to the finish.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    With Keith David again serving as narrator, and Jamie Foxx providing Robinson’s voice reading correspondence and from his autobiography, Jackie Robinson exudes class--unhurried, stately, yet never dull. And while Burns’ formula hasn’t really changed over the past quarter-century, it can and should be savored even more compared with the tactics broadly employed in so much similar fare these days.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Featuring wild swings in tone, Louis C.K.’s deeply personal, frequently melancholy vision of life opens with what amounts to a mini-masterpiece of awkwardness, then proceeds to deal with his ongoing peculiar romance, a troubled friend and finally an unexpected encounter that’s both raw and disturbing. Almost nothing else on TV--certainly in half-hour form--rivals the particularity of C.K.’s approach.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    In short, coming off the first season's solid ratings, Justified pretty much looks like a home run for FX, which has been getting by lately on singles and doubles.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Planet Earth again provides a pretty spectacular view from almost every angle.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    “Riveting” is an overused, even lazy, term in criticism, but it’s hard to think of one that better applies to Making a Murderer, Netflix’s stunning 10-part documentary.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    This hour finds the cast in fine form, but the most interesting crumb to emerge might be Weiner's apparent rumination on the program's success and--speaking through his protagonist--his own heightened profile since the series took off.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Not all "The Sopranos'" flights of fancy pan out... but it never fails to fascinate, creating a completely organic world in which it's easy to forget the art and artifice that go into realizing Chase's vision.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Crisp and tense, this Sci Fi Channel staple looks destined to make a headlong plunge toward the finish line in pursuit of that elusive place called Earth.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    If you're not enamored of jazz, Treme's extended musical interludes will play like something of a slog, and keeping track of the disparate stories is nettlesome at first. Fortunately, the talent on display--particularly Goodman, Alexander, and "Wire" alums Pierce (a New Orleans native) and Peters--is such that watching them read the phone book would be superior to much of what's on TV.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Anchored by Mark Rylance’s towering central performance, Wolf Hall is a very quiet “Masterpiece.”
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    All told, it's an impeccably rendered piece, down to the smallest details--the kind of lush, meticulous little parcel that relatively few outlets these days have the means or latitude to cultivate.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Based on the seven episodes previewed, it's every bit as cynical, riveting and brilliant as the four flights that preceded it--a searing look at the decay of a major American city that puts most of what's on television to shame.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Granted, parts of the series feel like a rehash of "March of the Penguins," but there's enough jaw-dropping footage in this seven-part undertaking--including one installment devoted strictly to how the footage was captured--that nobody with even vague interest in the subject matter should be left feeling cold.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Smartly written and well cast, the individual episodes keep circling back to such apprehensions, with darkly satiric overtones that distinguish it from most of what’s currently on U.S. TV.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    A timely, nuanced look at class and race through the prism of events that transpired more than a quarter-century ago, Show Me a Hero is a sobering, spare and meticulously crafted HBO miniseries.... The performances are uniformly strong, although Isaac’s is particularly interesting as almost a primer on the psychology of politics, and how much Wasicsko’s identity is derived from his desperate thirst for validation from voters.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Transparent takes an idea that feels pretty well played out--from “Parenthood” to “Brothers & Sisters”--and invigorates it not through a gimmick but rather via strong writing and performances.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    The translation from stage to screen also yields speeches that probably played better live, although the director has for the most part opened up the Tony-winning material into movie form. In its totality, this represents a powerful piece of work.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    It all speaks to a level of ambition that has become increasingly rare in the broadcast spectrum, as if abdicating to cable this level of quality, or at least the willingness to tackle serious issues in such a nuanced manner.... For those with the patience to invest in it, missing out on American Crime would indeed be criminal.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Arresting from the get-go, the performances in this limited series are almost uniformly superb (with one glaring exception).
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    As with any great series, Mad Men is becoming richer as these plot strands grow, establishing an engrossing serialized life beyond the hip, reverberating cultural references that demonstrate the smoking-drinking-closeted '60s aren't necessarily "good ol' days" to be mourned, despite the cheery Norman Rockwell image that cultural conservatives proffer.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    For those who have studied the Roosevelts, many of the stories will be familiar. But the beauty of the writing (“No other American family has ever touched so many lives”) and eye-opening video nevertheless make much of this feel fresh.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    If Beyond is deficient in any respect, it's in the minimal follow-up....Still, that amounts to a quibble regarding a series that, unlike most of what passes for "reality TV," feels truly authentic--and sobering.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Game of Thrones excels on multiple levels--with its splendid ensemble cast (able to sell even the clunkier fantasy dialogue), intricate palace machinations, sly humor and growing sense of inevitable conflict. The production's look is a wonder, showcasing a variety of environments (lensing was in Northern Ireland and Malta) and ornate sets and costumes that approximate the feel of a theatrical blockbuster.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Simply put, the third season further confirms the show is as handsome, well cast and impeccably crafted as anything on TV.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    The show doesn't just go down smoothly; it's good to the last illicit, intoxicating drop.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Standing head and shoulders above this fall's other seedlings.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Sherlock weds the old and new in much the way Holmes solves his cases--making a complicated process look almost effortless.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    Mostly, the show deserves to do well because it’s so bloody good--smart, whimsical and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, finding fresh, distinctive avenues into this venerable character, even with multiple incarnations currently in circulation.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    HBO has the ingredients for a series that puts nearly every other genre offering to shame.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    The way the movie unfolds is fascinating, featuring the best work of Miller's career, and Jones so inhabiting Hitchcock--trapped within his grotesque frame--as to quickly get past impersonation to a darker portrayal of genius.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Brian Lowry
    In a sense, 13 Reasons Why turns its audience into voyeuristic bystanders as well. Yet while Hannah's fate isn't pleasant, as presented in this enticing, slickly constructed package, it's hard to look away.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Brian Lowry
    What could be predictable in its efforts to be topical, though, yields an abundance of pleasant surprises. That includes stretching out the party planning over the entire 13-episode season, and plenty of heartfelt moments, such as Penelope's tearful monologue about the strain of being a single mom, which is real and touching.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Brian Lowry
    By unfolding largely from Paul's perspective, the storytelling is inordinately good at keeping the audience guessing about what to believe.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    The program returns from its surprisingly tasty maiden run clicking on all cylinders, with plenty of bed-hopping, two-timing and Texas-sized dealmaking to go around.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Although the series departs from its comicbook roots, the premiere establishes a topnotch look, clever style and bigscreen tone. Perhaps most significantly, the second hour happily matches or surpasses the first.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Lost nevertheless approaches its twists with what appears to be a greater degree of intellectual rigor than almost anything else on primetime.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    With The Flash, the netlet has gone an impressive two for two in terms of developing new dramas that look poised to stick around for a while.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Even with some amusing bleeps and pixelation to obscure saucy language and (apparently) beer labels, L.A. Complex feels pretty authentic, and gets the relationships much better than something like the increasingly preposterous "Smash" does.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Although these series can’t compete with feature budgets, The Flash delivers enough action to effectively work on that level, and has developed a strong array of characters to function as a drama, peppered with humor that happily avoids the trap of camp.... This CW series--seemingly emboldened by its success--isn’t hitting the brakes at all as it races into the future, or the past, or wherever its two-dimensional roots might lead it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    There's no denying the emotion in what transpired, firmly placing this in the same elite league with some of the sports network's fine "30 for 30" documentaries.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Created by Cameron Porsandeh, it’s a delicate balancing act [between science and thrills], but the two-episode premiere (airing with limited commercials) and a subsequent hour--enhanced by Campbell’s stiff-upper-lipped performance, and the clever promo slogan “Play God. Pay the price”--dangle enough DNA strands for a discerning audience to want to see where they might lead.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Well cast, with a sturdy central presence in Jimmy Smits as the adopted son handed the keys to the kingdom.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Accompanied by interviews as well as audio from the secret tapes Nixon recorded in the White House, it’s a truly absorbing look at the 37th president and the devoted insiders who surrounded him--and in several instances went to jail in his service.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    It's loud, silly, rambunctious -- in short, just what most 9-year-old boys were born to like.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Granted, unrelenting cattiness might not wear all that well, but three episodes were previewed, and the quality was consistent. So while the title accurately describes the way Billy and Julie cattily interact with the world, watching Difficult People, happily, was no chore at all.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Although the series hardly breaks any new ground, Elba’s commanding presence--and Luther’s willingness to walk a tightrope in terms of police protocol--manage to elevate the material above standard procedural fare, as do the clever callbacks to earlier episodes and characters.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    While the idea of crimefighter-dogged-by-personal demons hardly smacks of freshness, the former "The Wire" star so owns the character as to give it his own spin. Barring that, though, writer Neil Cross' approach to the crime yarns is so visceral and grim it's easy to be drawn in strictly on that level.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    The movie approaches the story with enough time having passed to feel fresh, emerging as a small but engaging international production--one that feels pretty timeless in its look at cover-your-ass bureaucracy--helped by first-class casting that in addition to Hurt includes Bruce Greenwood and Brian Dennehy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    While this is essentially the popcorn version of a quality serialized drama--with more overt appeal to men than most--Vikings--is the sort of nifty endeavor that can give the idea of shamelessly marauding in search of loot a good name.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    The doc (directed by Barry Avrich) does a nice job of taking in the totality of Steinberg’s career, including how a favorable New York Times review launched him, how Burt Reynolds used his clout to get him into directing (beginning with the movie “Paternity”) and why he gravitated toward moving behind the camera as a shift from the grueling nature of the comedy-club scene.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    As always, Fellowes explores the lives of his sprawling cast – both the aristocratic upstairs family and the downstairs servants who attend to them – with wit, unabashed romance and no shortage of humor.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Silicon Valley has impressively built into its storyline a real-life development that struck the show, and come away not only unbowed but with perhaps a renewed sense of vigor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    As played by Julie Walters, Filth is a surprisingly affectionate and sympathetic portrait of a character who easily could have been presented as a priggish scold.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Like most hot-burning cultural phenomena, Glee carries the risk of over-saturation and implosion, which will require evolution and perhaps inevitably a bit of reinvention. Until then, those involved can bask in the glow of what should be another strong year, riding a wave that has yet to fully crest--capable of sending self-proclaimed "Gleeks" away each week with a song in their hearts and a smile on their faces, drowning out the sour notes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    There's also a procedural element in the middle hours, with Luther focusing on individual cases in each installment, that doesn't hold up quite as well. Even those installments, however, have their chilling moments, before the final two episodes take off and regain the premiere's momentum.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    An infectiously energetic, wonderfully silly serialized comedy that feels like a mashup of the Three Stooges and Quentin Tarantino.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    As adapted by Matt Tarses, there's something refreshing about seeing an utterly screwball comedy mounted on an episodic scale. Bornheimer, meanwhile, comes across as the kind of likable schlub who can't figure out why these awful things keep happening to him
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    In short, there's a helluva lot going on, and the assorted subplots feel more compelling this season, including the constant sense of menace surrounding both Eric and Maryann.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    The Curious Case of Curt Flood isn't perfect, but when a documentary can bring sports, culture and politics together the way this one does, score that as a home run.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    It’s hard to do the show justice, honestly, based strictly on a description. But the characters are so sharply drawn and the situation so suspenseful that Netflix’s famous binge function will likely be put to good use here.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    While it's hard to anticipate the next several moves, Braugher, Speedman and supporting players like Robert Patrick (a "Unit" alum) provide incentive to tag along for the voyage, at least for awhile.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    While it’s difficult to divine too much about what’s next from this chapter, Mad Men appears to have reached a hospitable place--one that allows the writers to steadfastly focus on the characters--after sometimes being flummoxed by the program’s attempts to incorporate more wrenching events associated with the ’60s into its narrative.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Awash in gothic atmosphere and tasty performances, Penny Dreadful puts a face on evil in its second season, and feels considerably richer for it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Superheroes is for the most part a credible and serious look at the medium’s history, viewed through the filter of its surprisingly robust present.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Invariably clever and occasionally a laugh-out-loud riot. [1 Aug 2005]
    • Variety
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    His exploration of an aging latenight franchise is so bracingly smart it's sure to hook discriminating viewers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    It's a bit of a kitchen-sink approach, frankly, but there are laughs to be found here, along with genuine familial affection--even if the family members don't always have the words to express it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    The combination of [Atwell] and post-World War II setting make the Marvel-branded vehicle, Agent Carter, considerable fun, and in some ways more promising than the series it’s replacing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    After an hour or two, the series has taken on a life of its own, offering a reminder that there’s always room, at least on a niche basis, for another good one.

Top Trailers