David Hinckley
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For 1,161 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Hinckley's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Justified: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 I've Got A Secret: Season 1
Score distribution:
1,161 tv reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    It might be 16 of the best upcoming hours on television.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 88 David Hinckley
    It just might be the kids, the ones who grow up too soon in the hard world of "The Wire," who steal opening night.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    With the bar set at Emmy, Homeland has little room to falter. With this return episode, it doesn't.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Like "The Sopranos," Breaking Bad finds nuance and drama within this compromised world, and in the process suggests intriguing and sometimes unsettling parallels to the world in which the rest of us live.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 David Hinckley
    There's enough classic "Sopranos" action -- some of it involving extreme physical violence -- to remind the average person that where the Sopranos are is not where most of us want to go. Yet at the same time, these episodes repeatedly return to the ways in which the Soprano clan, in its desperate, sometimes twisted and sometimes touching way, seeks to embrace family values.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 David Hinckley
    It boldly goes where no man has gone before.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It's a show about someone trying to figure out life, one little thing at a time, and realizing that sometimes, hey, you can't.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    While he starts off a little rusty, the second episode proves he’s kept his edge.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Fabulous in every respect.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    The real skill and appeal of Mad Men remains in its characters.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Despite living on pay-cable, Homeland also doesn't feel obliged to create explicit moments just because it can. But it's also possible it's just keeping something in reserve--a lot like its compelling characters.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Watching it, to be blunt, is more work. It’s work well rewarded.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 40 David Hinckley
    Tambor, a good actor, gets whipsawed by some of what he’s asked to do, and the show sometimes has the same feeling. It too often ends up finding neither the comedy nor the pathos in these tortured lives.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The trump card of Hollow Crown, of course, is that it was written by Shakespeare--and if the language sounds stilted to modern ears, anyone who listens for more than a few minutes will be properly seduced.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Olyphant's even a little better this season than last, as he settles further into the Givens skin. He captures the marshal's essential confidence while never giving away one syllable more than he wants to reveal about the hand he's holding. Further enhancing the fun, there's a new crook in town.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    For all the familiar elements here, however, nothing feels like a gimmick. It’s a crime-and-cop story with enough time to paint detailed pictures of all the people the murder affects.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It's not that we haven't seen the polar regions before. But this special, narrated by Alec Baldwin, puts it all together in a way that makes it feel consistently more intriguing than the nature films you remember from school.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    This year, once again, Benedict Cumberbatch's modern-day Holmes and his intrepid sidekick Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) provide breathtaking non-stop exhilaration.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    No one in Westeros is going soft, and there is no shortage of intrigue and sly drama that doubtless foreshadows death, destruction and plentiful violence to come.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    The next great "Masterpiece Theater" series has arrived.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    This HBO special, it must be noted up front, is not for all ages. Like the other best comedians, though, Louis never seems to tack on the graphic subject matter and language simply for shock. His nongraphic bits are also just as funny, like his riff on divorce and parenting.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 David Hinckley
    Hilarious.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Once you sort out all the teams and players, Game of Thrones falls together like a good Western. But you may need all 167 hours, at least at first, to do the sorting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    The language, the acting, the themes - everything in "Deadwood" is good as gold. In TV entertainment terms, maybe even better.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    This season also takes a few scenes to get into gear. But it’s faster, and Schilling in particular slides right into her new rhythm as the seasoned prison veteran.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Whether you've followed the show to this point or not, you can tune in and savor smart TV drama at its best.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    The Good Wife has endured, despite borderline ratings, because it handles the fundamentals so well. It needs to keep doing that.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The shadows are deep enough over "Breaking Bad" that it's hard to imagine a ray of hope or light shining through anywhere. But the actors and writers are so good that, like Walt, we'll keep looking for it.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 40 David Hinckley
    Somehow, it’s hard to appreciate the insights because the whole thing just feels so gosh-darned depressing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Four hours in, living up to past standards no longer is in question. Setting new ones is what's going on here, as "24," partly by cashing in on our knowledge of and commitment to previous seasons and characters, gets off to its best start ever.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 63 David Hinckley
    A lot less salacious, and a lot more cerebral, than it sounds.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Tuesday night by plunging its characters deeper into a web of crisscrossing dramas that suggest the law and politics ultimately come down to soap operas. Whether it's true or not, The Good Wife makes the theory entertaining to explore.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 David Hinckley
    In theory, it's an intriguing concept for a series. But in practice, "Six Degrees" doesn't work at all in drawing you in at the start.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    If Sunday night's two-hour return episode of Mad Men ended after the first four minutes, it would still put the show in contention to win its fifth straight Emmy as the best drama on television.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 David Hinckley
    The episodes that kick off this last 10-show run don't feel perfect. But they almost always feel intuitively right.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    It's one of the best new shows from any network this year, and is a total, almost giddy delight from start to finish.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 David Hinckley
    FNL didn't get to be the best new show on prime time last season by losing its balance, and tonight's opener has the large cast still making almost all the right moves. [5 Oct 2007, p.147]
    • New York Daily News
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    Credibility starts to fray when our heroes, or anti-heroes, keep needing miraculous last-second evasions and escapes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Watching HBO's new Boardwalk Empire is like sitting in your favorite tavern and hearing someone say, "Drinks are on the house." Friends, it doesn't get much better.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The Roosevelts doesn’t whitewash its subjects or make excuses for their missteps. It does admire them greatly, for their courage and vision.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Though it’s not the series’ strongest script, the two fine actors can still extract every nuance from it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It remains one of the best.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Okay, it gets silly. But silly can be funny, too, and Archer is, as noted, consistently funny.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    As with the Gervais-Merchant "The Office," the more time you spend with the characters in "Extras," the more you feel their pain as well as laugh at their expense.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Treme, created by "Wire" mastermind David Simon, may not ultimately get to the level of those others, because it's going to take a while to sort out the characters and lay down the themes. It also looks to have a deliberate pace, and it doesn't seem to be setting up for a lot of blood-and-guts action, so it may end up attracting a more cerebral crowd.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It plays at its own pace, a little more deliberate than other TV dramas, and its strongest moments are often understated.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    While many shows that have reached this point in the road have left their creative peak behind, Mad Men shows no such erosion. It still has things it wants to say and it still has the poetry to say them well.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 David Hinckley
    ABC's dense, unblinking and occasionally surreal tale of plane-crash survivors on a strange tropical island moves into its fourth season Thursday with its compass still in good working order.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    It's not comfortable. Just compelling.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Top of the Lake doesn’t fully get rolling for a while. Happily, Moss doesn’t let us become disinterested.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It's a brand new ballgame. It looks to be a winner.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    It's so intensely focused on these specific girls and their "Sex and the City" dream, though, that at times it may not resonate as much with a larger audience.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 38 David Hinckley
    The question, still open, is whether the writers can pack enough comic caffeine into the next 21 weeks to keep viewers along for the ride.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    Easy Money has some promise. But it won't be an easy sell.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Happily, Harrelson and McConaughey play the characters well enough, and the script is crafted ingeniously enough, that we want to know where it all goes next--and don't focus on the likelihood it will be no place good.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 David Hinckley
    This 10-hour production on World War II in the Pacific is an ambitious, imperfect, intense and often compelling look at combat that gets dirtier and more ragged with each episode.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 David Hinckley
    The drama has more false frights than a student horror film, and such an uneven and incompatible tone that it's tough to tell which is funnier, the scenes of alleged humor or the scenes of alleged drama.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 38 David Hinckley
    It's a show where neither the world being created nor the characters populating it are remotely convincing - or interesting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    To say we actually like any of these characters would be stretching it. But we're drawn into their lives, and as it starts its second season, Sons of Anarchy can't be left out of any conversation about the golden age of cable drama.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    What the show doesn't say, but wouldn't mind our noticing, is that even today we should be very careful about giving up some part of our freedom because someone tells us it will "solve" some other problem.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    All the actors nail their parts, but Tyson runs the show.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It's like three, maybe four sitcoms all squeezed into one, and quite an enjoyable one.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Curb remains an acquired taste. Still, even if you never watched a minute of the previous seven seasons, you can tune in and get some laughs. Guilty and otherwise.
    • New York Daily News
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 David Hinckley
    It does a good job of selling an event that by all historical measures should sell itself.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Pushing Daisies is perfect.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    We watch a relationship develop between Johnson and Masters, played particularly well by Caplan. Yet much of Masters still feels clinical, as if it isn’t sure how to remain faithful to the real-life story and still give the TV drama the sex appeal viewers expect.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The show still occasionally talks about this stuff more than real-life guys probably would. But mostly it lets the action speak for itself. Men of a Certain Age is aging well.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    If you liked the movie, approach the TV show without fear.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    A viewer who knew nothing of the earlier incarnations could come to this one and find it immediately engaging, like a good modern police buddy-team drama.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 David Hinckley
    The truth is that at this point, the complex subplots and nuances of all the backstories make it more satisfying for longtime fans than for recent drop-ins.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 David Hinckley
    Fox and K-Ville creator Jonathan Lisco get credit for setting their new police drama in post-Katrina New Orleans--but future episodes will have to settle down and get serious if the show is to do justice to its setting and potential.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    He has always been wrapped a little tight but now he's about to explode, and Chiklis plays it beautifully, making it sound as if he must measure every phrase so that just opening his mouth doesn't release all the frustration in a nuclear blast.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Nashville plays as a smartly written and well-appointed soap.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Painful as that journey may be, the show and these actors hit all the notes that make us want to come along.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Season one set the bar high. Season two clears it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    This reincarnation of The Normal Heart raises all the right disturbing questions.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The Affair looks to be a bit more cerebral than some of Showtime’s other star shows. That makes it no less compelling.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Weiner’s ability to capture “human” set Mad Men apart at the first beginning and shows no sign of faltering at the second.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It's still not a show for everyone, since 99% of the action is conversation. But it's intelligent conversation, and the problems of the patients, including Weston, are multilayered and compelling.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    Sondheim comes off as distant and a bit cool here, reluctant to make eye contact and often speaking with a professorial air even when he’s talking about himself. But what most people want in Sondheim isn’t a drinking buddy. It’s a musical composer, and in that he qualifies on all counts.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The Killing marks another bull's-eye for AMC in presenting complex, literate, well-crafted television.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Bryan Cranston's Walter remains one of the best-played characters on television, and he's surrounded by a strong cast that, knowingly or unknowingly, plays off his desperation.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    Short scenes [are] designed to suggest we just walked in on random real people. It's a raw look that is, nonetheless, a look. It also, inevitably, says scripted TV drama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    A relationship with Julie, which has been percolating for some time, might be just a good cover for Dexter. But it feels more complicated than that, which at the very least reflects good writing and acting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    While some of their "family values" are perverse and illegal, most are rooted in the same principles embraced by the straightest arrows in town. That's what makes them more than motorcycle thugs and makes their show worth the discomfort it sometimes takes to ride with it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The show's droll and mostly apolitical humor fits the exaggerated characters well, it's still got a good fast rhythm, and the five major players work well as an ensemble.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    The droll office comedy Better Off Ted could have quickly turned into a one-joke bore. Instead, it sails into its second season tonight as one of the best sitcoms on television.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    A strong documentary that examines a sympathetic yet imperfect character while admitting it's impossible to pin down his precise impact on history.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Sleepless in America plays like a meticulously researched horror documentary.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    Some of the resulting tech and geek jokes feel accessible to all. With others, we feel like we need a password, and that could limit the long-term appeal of Silicon Valley. But if it only settles in as niche humor, it’s solid there.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    A few things in the first episodes of season five, which kicks off Tuesday night, feel a little disjointed. Denis Leary remains a magnetic lead as New York firefighter Tommy Gavin, and the show still has inspired moments.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Justified has reached the point where we know some of its tricks. But thanks to Leonard and Olyphant and writer Graham Yost’s fine balance of humor and mayhem, it’s still an hour worth looking forward to.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    It's unavoidable that True Blood will fall into some of the same dramas as other vampire shows. It's just got sharper teeth.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    Sorting out the sins and sinners in the final eight episodes of Boardwalk Empire promises to be as intriguing as it will be intense.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    It still has the same problem, which is exactly where it can take itself, but the ride remains as delightful as the bright shiny colors with which the show lavishly decorates itself.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Season four continues the good work of past seasons by building on all the trouble Jackie has heaped upon herself.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Goldberg’s documentary doesn’t dwell on the what-ifs. It focuses on what a remarkable woman did accomplish, just by making us laugh.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Hinckley
    [Creator Julian Fellowes] never been afraid to have characters we like do things we don't like. That continues in season three, which finds plenty of new ground even as it inevitably begins treading back over some old.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 David Hinckley
    Poehler has great skill at delivering outrageous lines in a droll deadpan. That sets the tone for a cast, including Lowe and Scott, with similar abilities. Too many of the sketches, though, cross that fine but visible line between bemused absurdity and slapstick.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Hinckley
    Despite soapy moments, it offers a more honest portrayal of contemporary high school life than a "90210."

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