For 174 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 70% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 28% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dorothy Rabinowitz's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Graceland: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 174
174 tv reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This season's "Sopranos" is quite simply dazzling in its inventiveness, its reach, and one other aspect -- its capacity to pound audiences emotionally as the series has never before done.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There is no mystery about the potency of this series, slathered in wit, powered by storytelling of a high order.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    They [the Loud family] are to the contrary enlarged, explained, their family loyalty honored, in a film that ends up packing an emotional punch that's as surprising as it is eloquent.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The vibrant brew of upstairs-downstairs relationships is more savory now, the characters more complicated.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Once you watch the first episode, it's going to be hard standing the wait for the next.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Taken together there is in these 5 1/2 hours, breathtaking in their scope and detail, nothing approaching a dull moment.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Television's best drama series is, in short, back with all that was delectable about season one on vivid display again-first-class writing, sterling performances, rocketing suspense.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Moment after moment the drama deepens, the rich complexity of Ford's characters make themselves felt in all their strangeness and variety.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The drama unfolds in a series of flashbacks separated by many years. Hart and Cohle, no longer young, end up reporting on the past in separate interviews—a formula carried off with subtlety and high intelligence, like everything else in this detective story.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's clear that all that has made "24" so huge and deserved a success is on display again in these first smashing episodes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Thoroughly sharp, seriously compelling.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's not often that television with a scope so novelistic--so ambitious--comes along, and not often, either, that it yields drama so sterling.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A work as shapely as it is sprawling -- no small trick -- it renders the complex history that led to 9/11 with a ripping power that can at times feel overwhelming.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Its capacity to maintain an unyielding grip on your attention becomes similarly evident fast, as does one's strong sense that that grip isn't going to weaken anytime soon.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Its vivid, cliché-free writing has always been In Treatment's singular strength. That's even truer in its riveting new season--no small accomplishment.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This three-hour production, starring most of the cast of the 2004 Broadway revival, flies by with lightning speed--and that cast led by Ms. Rashad, superbly authoritative, impossibly attractive as Lena, is no small part of the reason. Ms. McDonald is heartbreaking as Ruth, desperate to understand her husband's descent into misery, and Mr. Combs, who portrays that husband, delivers a sterling performance.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The new season returns with a full roster of the vivid characters who have distinguished the series from the outset, and in ways more important than the cultural detail for which Mad Men has been rightly praised. They're smart, they're self-seeking, they're recognizably human.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There is scarcely a central figure in American film, whether Cecil B. DeMille, Darryl Zanuck, Frank Capra, William Wyler, Orson Welles or a legendary star--that list is far too long to recite--who doesn't come to life here, in fresh perspective. It's entertainment for grown-ups all right, and you won't find that at the multiplex.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's quickly clear that this skillfully sustained, sharply plotted series is a fighter saga you'll want to follow to the final bell.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    What distinguishes this drama from countless mysteries about missing young women gone to terrifying deaths is the unrelenting focus, complex and haunting, on the family left behind. A riveting tale with a hunt for the killer that's no less compelling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The cast is crowded and uniformly splendid. There's little about this captivating fusion of music, dance and potent storytelling of which the same couldn't be said.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It is, in its artfulness and drama, a smashing pilot and--from the evidence of the next episodes--a reliable indicator of the quality to come.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This immensely absorbing drama is worth any trouble it takes to catch up with its singular pleasures.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The Americans unfolds a thoroughly seductive tale of sleeper KGB agents.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Golden Boy is packed with fine performances, but no amount of actorly talent could have done for this series what its intelligently twisty plots, its nuanced dialogue bearing a distinct resemblance to human exchange--even from the mouths of TV police detectives--has done.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    To watch Mr. Pacino's Spector pull himself back from the edge to shout, bitterly, that of course he knows this is only a rehearsal--he'll go on, awkwardly, to assure the shaken defense team that they've done well--is to feel the full force of the intelligence behind this drama.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    [A] captivating series created by Ann Biderman--sharply written, sophisticated even at its most melodramatic, with first-class performances throughout.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It was impossible to imagine anything like the gripping power of Life According to Sam.... Not long into the film, it becomes difficult to look at anyone but Sam--who has by sheer force of his intelligence, his unmistakable assurance, become a magnetic presence.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The new season--suspenseful as ever, more brutal in its violence, perhaps, and more expansive in its reach into history--easily upholds the standard of the first.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A tartly written number, (by Paul Feig) that is amusing and frequently hard-eyed in its look back at certain not so dear old school days. [27 Sept 1999, p.A32]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Ms. Jones's president is compelling--a force to contend with. Much the same can be said of the new 24 itself--a force now returned in strength and, once again, highly addictive.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's an old story rolled out with all the power of the new--meticulously plotted, irresistibly suspenseful.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's promise, plainly, of rich developments ahead.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Mr. Gervais has in no way lost his touch.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    From the evidence of the first few episodes, "Criminal Minds" may be a hit, and deservedly.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There are precious few signs of trouble or uncertainty in the polished, instantaneously seductive finished product on display in its first episode.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The standard caution is relevant -- debut episodes tend to be highly polished. All the more reason to enjoy the hilarious scenes and fine ensemble cast here.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Four episodes of Life on Mars have by now aired, each livelier and more confident than the last and--despite its mush of a lead character--justifiably so. That's no small triumph.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A wide-ranging work and a compelling one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    "House of Cards" is not without its flaws -- the occasionally heavy dribblings of symbolism, for instance, as exemplified by the regular appearance of gnawing rats. We could have figured out, without the rats, that this is black comedy. The last episode, further, is so written as to produce an Urquhart of considerably flattened character. By this time, however, it has been a superb ride for so long that no one will care. [25 Mar 1991]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's best to get quickly past the confused and shapeless first episode and on to the rest, where the characters become individualized.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    HBO's Bored to Death sneaks up speedily, an eight-part comic enterprise that's soon transformed into flat-out inspired comedy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Prattle is, in any case, a minor note compared with the crackling pace of the first script, its evocative mood of menace at every turn, each police car racing to destinations that will reveal who knows what tragedy or unspeakable sight.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The lineup of episodes has been rich in their revelations, moving in their testaments to the lives of the employees and, especially, to the meaning to them of their daily labor. There is above all no simulated emotion in what those workers say, no artifice—a new and revolutionary turn for the genre.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's plenty of life and overall quality to sustain this series for a long time to come.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The new Melrose Place may not be the old, but it is, all told, instantly engaging and--from the evidence--likely to remain so.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It promised, in short, steadily absorbing plots and skilled writing, and these the series has delivered ever since.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    For their part, Messrs. Levitan and Lloyd set their ambitious sights on a rare kind of comedy, and they have, it appears, found the gold.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Mike & Molly may not at first seem to offer much (other, that is, than streams of fat jokes), but it boasts a cast with distinctive looks and a capacity to deliver quick comedic jabs that can make you howl. That these come unexpectedly in the midst of endless gross clatter is one of those mysteries of the creative process best not to dwell upon.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Season three's In Treatment [scripts are] entirely original. That may partly account for the so-far stagey quality of the episodes involving Jesse (Dane DeHaan), a 16-year-old gay male adoptee confronting a birth-mother problem....There is, otherwise, little that can detract from this series now roaring back with its old miraculous suspense and flinty intelligence.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    These are, in short, characters with a long literary-and Hollywood-pedigree. Which makes all the more impressive the vividness and mystery they bring to this series (adapted by Andrew Davies from a 1936 novel by Winifred Holtby)--thanks, needless to say, to extraordinarily seductive performances.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Whatever the complaints about the movie, it brings home, as few films on such themes ever do, the terrors of accusation and conviction.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A sharply drawn and riveting one from the evidence on hand, and bolstered by a skilled cast. This club should lure plenty of customers, television-viewing variety. They'll have good reason.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The arrival of one pure and unadulterated drama about a passion as old as man is something to celebrate. That's particularly true when that drama is as spellbinding in its satisfyingly gaudy way, as Revenge turns out to be.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A series about a high-school girl that's neither maudlin nor alarming nor conceived with intent to preach or to shock. It's further distinguished by its focus on entirely recognizable teenage pains, as endured by an entirely recognizable teenager, Jenna. Its other distinction: strong echoes of an older kind of storytelling, the sort whose characters grow and acquire depth.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's no small miracle that Mr. Azaria makes this soppy character work. He does. The same can be said for just about everything else in this appealingly hard-headed, smartly written comedy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The real Messrs. Gervais and Merchant haven't lost their touch with self-humiliating characters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    [The wife is] not to be ignored. The same holds true for these two splendid hours of entertainment.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's one that's sharply plotted, fast-paced, with impressive performances.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The Killing returns with all its powers intact, its uniformly superb performances--not least Ms. Enos's Detective Linden and Mr. Sexton's Stanley.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    That this rich, impressively ambitious film says far more about Martha Gellhorn than about Ernest Hemingway was inevitable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Alert to every deranged impulse of his clients, Mr. Silver brings his lessons home with vigor and wit.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    As the premiere episode nears its end, the plot begins thickening agreeably with so many secrets, dark revelations, shocks and betrayals it all begins to seem familiarly and comfortably absorbing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A suspense story enriched by its psychological dimension and three quietly compelling performances.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    If the quality of this one, so irresistible in its vitality and suspense, does fail to hold up, its creators will have delivered, at the least, one remarkably fine hour.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Its unyielding moral passion, exemplified in the character and pursuits of its hero, Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), is the life force that propels this powerful--and powerfully violent--tale of New York City, 1864.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Sharp-tongued, ambitious, highly seductive--a TV series that has, it can be said, done the job.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's a testament to the crackling intelligence of the script (written by Mr. Boyd) that the nature of that menace hangs elusively in the air until the end.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This hour [is] packed with Mr. Brooks at his most endearing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Its smartness comes shining through despite the claptrap (none worse than the parade of sex scenes, soft-porn variety, whose noisiness is exceeded only by their unconvincingness); its story, littered with intriguingly repellent characters, like Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), local evil tycoon, grows ever more enticing.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's considerable charm in this medical-drama concoction, which comes with the usual generous supply of spectacular brain disorders nobody you know will ever get--and in Mr. Pasquale's Dr. Cole, a confident, dedicated surgeon.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's a measure of the skill brought to this script by Paul Scheuring that a first episode so awash in multiplying complications manages to maintain its coherence and even a significant measure of suspense.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A fact-based film of exceptional power.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    All are reintroduced in a premiere episode that lumbers along, overpopulated, burdened by the weight of its ambitions, flattened by misbegotten detours--but one, nevertheless, that surges to life in the end.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Rectify is an ambitious and eloquent series, vivid in its portraiture of family and local citizens who don't know quite what to make of Daniel (a proclivity the film seems to share)--assurance enough of an engrossing six hours.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It is sharp comedy enriched by a cast led by Allison Janney as Bonnie, the mother in question, and Anna Faris as Christy, her daughter.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This workplace comedy comes out of the gate with instant appeal. Mr. Williams is never less than formidable in his delivery; the writing is never less than crisp and sometimes it's crisply hilarious.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's a dramatic premise that should yield high rewards for Hostages, whose confident pilot episode ends with a cliffhanger worthy of the name--a kind that should bring audiences back lusting for more.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The unit's work was top secret, its members' experiences, recounted in this film, fascinating above all for what they tell about the determined inventiveness, the all-out ambition to try everything, characteristic of that war effort.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Once past an introductory flow of steamy images--plenty of stripping and unzipping, couplings in darkened rooms--it takes no time to recognize the quality in this sharply written and entertaining saga of four women destined to lead exceedingly complicated lives.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    How this works out over its many episodes isn't easy to predict, but we have, at minimum, a strong beginning--Zamani notwithstanding--one that reaches undeniably satisfying levels of menace.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Hard as it may be to imagine, there is still drama in the subject of crime families. And National Geographic Channel's contribution, the six-part Inside the American Mob, is impressive on that score. Most of its persuasiveness derives from first-person reflections both by federal officials and by Mafios.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This highly personal view of the Nixon years is, for obvious reasons, a sad and wrenching one--a film that is nonetheless filled with spirit, humor and a beautiful sense of irony.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A wonderfully diverting film with Mr. David at his abrasive best.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Even on the basis of the two episodes made available, it's easy enough to see that Mob City has plenty up its noir sleeve, including some rich plotting. Above all there's the cast, mainly responsible for the aforementioned life and energy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    [A] smartly ordered, sizzling drama, which establishes itself from the opening scene and builds from there.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A high-hearted script awash in flinty wit and two extraordinary performances.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A spectacularly entertaining enterprise.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Given the filmmaker's unrestricted access to Mitt Romney through both presidential campaigns, Greg Whiteley's Mitt is an unsurprisingly warm portrait. Which isn't to say it isn't full of tensions, when not outright suffering, perceptible through all the upbeat chatter from the candidate and his wife, campaign advisers, the Romney sons and their wives.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A six-part saga awash in fashionable gloom, set in the mountains of New Jersey, and much of the time a compelling one in its picture of the tensions between the Van Der Veens, members of an Indian tribe, and the blue-collar Jensens, headed by Harold (Martin Henderson), a police officer.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Ms. Reilly, who is otherwise appealing, brings an all-too-steady intensity to the role of Catherine--a kind that makes it hard to tell, on occasion, whether the doctor is on her medication or off it. That aside, and despite some madly improbable adventures in the hospital's brain-surgery unit, creator Amy Holden Jones and team have delivered a Black Box whose content is both smart and seductive.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jack will have his work cut out for him, and audiences will be as enthralled by 24 as they have ever been, if not more, and they'll have good reason.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The writing is sharp, the atmosphere thick with tension from, among other things, car and foot chases.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A stellar Toby Huss portrays the hard-driving Bosworth, a commanding presence. There are more than a few of these in Halt and Catch Fire, a drama set in Texas, filmed in Georgia--and from the available evidence an immensely seductive enterprise.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It succeeds despite its little kinks in logic, mesmerizes despite the fact that we're moved to pause periodically to marvel at a plot line that requires an audience to believe that the sharpest-witted characters can be oblivious to the screaming-in-neon signs of disaster lying just ahead.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The payoff is a work powered by imaginative energy, intelligence and a skilled cast, all of it adding up to smashing entertainment.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Married turns out in succeeding episodes to be an increasingly sturdy comedy-drama of married life--dour, but recognizable, with strong performances from Ms. Greer and Mr. Faxon.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The series couldn't have arrived at a more timely moment for such subject matter, but there's no point looking for even-handedness or a lack thereof in a work that offers only--give or take a caustic political observation or two--exhilarating drama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Just two episodes of this 13-part series have been made available—enough to indicate the enormous care devoted to the look of the '40s, to the primitive living quarters. We get an immediate sense, as well, of the characters likely to command attention.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Highly compelling most of the time.