Dorothy Rabinowitz

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For 219 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 72% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dorothy Rabinowitz's Scores

Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The Americans: Season 4
Lowest review score: 10 Category 7: The End of the World: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 219
219 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A season startling in its intensity and its endless probing intelligence--not to mention the raw suspense that hangs over every moment of every scene.... There is nothing that is the equal of The Americans on TV screens now.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The Americans returns for a third season packed with tension, raw-nerve melodrama and enough levels of ambiguity, moral and psychological, to satisfy the most gluttonous appetite for the stuff. With, in short, all that has distinguished this series from its beginning.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Once you watch the first episode, it's going to be hard standing the wait for the next.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The subjects of this series, seen in their habitats--a massive Nile crocodile, which gets to eat once a year, lying in wait for herds of wildebeests to come by; a hungry polar bear, stalking seals while struggling in the melting ice--have all the impact of characters whose moments on stage are brief but not easily forgotten. An effect largely due to the talent and enterprise of the photographic team for this endlessly compelling work.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    All of which adds up to drama--which includes a fine turn by Bill Murray--of a notably high order.
    • 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]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Slick and entertaining.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It takes some while before the immensity of the history it covers dawns on a viewer of this extraordinary series, so deftly is that history--the reign of Henry VIII (Damian Lewis), Henry’s court, the dawn of the Protestant Reformation in England--woven into drama here.
    • 86 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A hard-charging, unfailingly suspenseful mystery whose tonnage of side dramas and veritable school of red herrings don’t, miraculously enough, undermine its strength. Though it is, on occasion, a close call.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The vibrant brew of upstairs-downstairs relationships is more savory now, the characters more complicated.
    • 85 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]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Nagy's showy ventures in stylization, the raucous jokiness substituted for story are heavy encumbrances for this tale.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Mr. Gervais has in no way lost his touch.
    • 81 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This immensely absorbing drama is worth any trouble it takes to catch up with its singular pleasures.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Some of this can be hard going. Even viewers racked by curiosity about the life, loves and early adventures of Gloria Vanderbilt--an audience that may not be as great in number as might be imagined--would have trouble maintaining their fascination while watching prolonged scenes like the one in which Ms. Vanderbilt and son trudge around poking into piles of old belongings in storage. ... The film, directed by Liz Garbus, is alive with color.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This hour [is] packed with Mr. Brooks at his most endearing.
    • 80 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It is, in short, a busy, fearlessly idealistic president (Martin Sheen) who struts through the neatly packaged, frequently deft and invariably predictable first episode of NBC's The West Wing, If the series continues at this level -- continues, that is, being handsomely produced, polished and thoroughly unexceptional in its content and aspirations, it should stand a very good chance of winning a bunch of Emmys. [22 Sept 1999, p.A32]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The series, created by Simon Block, weaves its way deftly through its engrossing plot entanglements.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    [A] complex, pathos-filled and very funny comedy series
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Plenty of twisty plotting, grim atmosphere and MI5 staff with a rich variety of psychological afflictions, in six parts.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A high-hearted script awash in flinty wit and two extraordinary performances.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    After the briefest of moments with this new president and his wife, the realization sets in: We are already profoundly and inescapably in the grip of two extraordinary performances--the kind that seem so little like performances it’s necessary to remember from time to time that these are what they are.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The Americans unfolds a thoroughly seductive tale of sleeper KGB agents.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Mad Men is infinitely more concerned with entertainment, an effort at which it succeeds, thanks mostly to its first-rate cast, disarming humor and period detail.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Syria and refugees are only the beginning of this season’s potent mix of ripped-from-the-headlines crises.... Carrie is, unsurprisingly, headed back to her old identity as master snoop on the hunt. Between that and the news focus, not to mention the glittering Berlin street scenes, welcome to the new Homeland.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Alert to every deranged impulse of his clients, Mr. Silver brings his lessons home with vigor and wit.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The show's astringent tone, its excursions into low comedy--scenes like the one where everybody trying to diaper the baby ends up throwing up on her, and similarly stomach-churning fun--all work to counter the sentimentality of themes like this one. They work only in part here, and in this case that's all to the good. The show is meant to be a comedy, and it is--a smart and witty one--but there's no missing, either, under all that grotesquerie, its hard-core sweetness.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's plenty of life and overall quality to sustain this series for a long time to come.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This is one circus worth attending, a series bottomless in its capacity to fascinate.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Out of all of this, including the aforementioned excesses--which are, it should be said, carried off with style--there emerges a brawling, crowded and unfailingly compelling film.
    • 75 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Who in this family has been plotting what against whom? That this quickly becomes, for the viewer, an urgent question says all that’s necessary about the story’s magnetic pull.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's promise, plainly, of rich developments ahead.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's an old story rolled out with all the power of the new--meticulously plotted, irresistibly suspenseful.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    [The show’s writers revert] at least once to a Carrie who maunders on pathetically during a trip back to America, as she evokes loving memories of the psychopathic Brody for her infant daughter—a truly unbearable scene, fortunately brief. There’s not a lot likely to dim the attractions of this Homeland with its energized spirit--not to mention the implacable Carrie, capable of mounting a war on terror all her own.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Clearly, the creators of Filth (Amanda Coe, writer, Andy De Emmony, director) had their problems settling down to a comfortable tone for this figure who was, after all, famous entirely for her career on behalf of censorship. Julie Walters, who portrays her with grand and ebullient sympathy, shows evidence of no similar problems.
    • 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.
    • 73 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Ms. Comer delivers a compelling portrayal as Ivy, who, even in the grip of terror, projects an air of dangerousness. She’s fragile, but has also developed a core of steel—her experience has made her tough, as she shows throughout the five episodes of this thriller entirely worthy of the name.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    As was true in season one, the first thing to notice about Togetherness--in addition to its spectacularly talented cast--is the amount of sophisticated wit the writers manage to dredge from standard sitcom craziness, the exuberance they wring out of emotional pain and everyday sodden travail.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The Conan Doyle of this series has considerable charm as played by Mr. Clunes, though that takes some time to emerge from the effects of episode one.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There’s a lot of lying going on in this police headquarters. A lot of smart, superbly sustained entertainment, too.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A marvelously complex atmosphere of wartime tension hovers over the peacetime lives of these characters--no small saving grace in a script that includes the hunt for yet another tiresome serial killer/rapist with strange sexual tastes, now a staple of British television mysteries.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It may require concentration to savor all its moving parts. But that’s not exactly work, considering the reward.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    She's not funny, the aide is told--a line that elicited in this viewer a stream of unstoppable thoughts about what was not funny about this show, which is a lot, all of which ended up pointing, inexorably, to its writers. What saves the show is Ms. Louis-Dreyfus's Selina.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    As Bruce meanders through these segments, determinedly inoffensive, the "Seinfeld" team's immortal notion via George Costanza--"let's do a sitcom about nothing"--comes to mind
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Thoroughly sharp, seriously compelling.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A suspense story enriched by its psychological dimension and three quietly compelling performances.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It requires a certain patience to stay with "Thief."
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 60 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's an unpretentiously low-down sitcom about a female odd couple--morally speaking, that is--with characters sufficiently odd, plots that unfold with sufficient zest, to lure a viewer in.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    In You, Me and the Apocalypse the destruction of the world and all life in it is imminent thanks to a comet set unalterably on a collision course with Earth. It’s a measure of the strengths of this strikingly sharp-witted comedy-drama that it’s hard to keep that looming threat of world-wide annihilation in mind, so vivid are the preoccupations of the characters racing around, fending off their private disasters.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Mr. Cannavale’s performance reaches the heights of magnificence. There’s much more that’s stellar both in the cast--Olivia Wilde is outstanding as Devon, Richie’s hopelessly loving wife--and in the writing.... For its creators and its fine cast, this exuberant, hard-eyed and altogether wonderful evocation of an era gone by seems also to have worked out as planned.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A spectacularly entertaining enterprise.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    For all its grisly nature, an involvingly sinister tale.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A wide-ranging work and a compelling one.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The Path delivers a sharp and persuasive commentary on the needs fulfilled by faiths of this kind, on the unyielding determination of the believers to continue believing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The new Killing appears to have taken a sharp turn from the kind of emotional life that enriched the last season, with its drama of a disappeared daughter. In its portrait of family grief, beautifully nuanced to the end, the series landed a dramatic punch more potent than that of the key question, "Who killed Rosie?" Itself a mystery of considerable power, and one that the latest chapter of The Killing will have to go some way to equal.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A wonderfully diverting film with Mr. David at his abrasive best.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It is, along with the raunch, the flinty outlook, the “War of the Roses” echoes, and the fun, also about the pull of marriage. Thanks to the aforementioned fine performances, it’s a guide that entices.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Much about this eight-part series, based on a novel by Stephen King and adapted for television by Bridget Carpenter, is, in addition, fraught with both little and not-so-little comprehension problems.... But there is much here that has undeniable appeal, most of it having to do with the impressive period detail of the early ’60s.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    For the time being it's a hard slog.

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