Dorothy Rabinowitz

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For 232 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 71% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 28% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dorothy Rabinowitz's Scores

Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Category 7: The End of the World: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 232
232 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The overwhelming sense of a work drained of vitality-- of a series once rich in suspense of the most brilliantly imagined kind, especially in the past two seasons, now flattened, on the evidence of the first episodes, to a deadly predictability, all of it the inevitable result of works dedicated to sermonizing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    With the second and third episodes ever more predictable, and, not least, with Martha's character gone flat under the weight of a preening righteousness. If bad scriptwriting were a prosecutable offense, Ms. Peake might have a case here. Still, episode one of Silk is smartly written and highly entertaining--a treat, in short, and at two hours a sumptuous one.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The series manages to maintain a certain melodramatic tension, at least from the evidence of the pilot, but it could be hard to overcome the sledgehammer cynicism and mess of nefarious plot turns.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's a lot going on in Bent. A lot of absurdity, a lot of characters, and that vital thing, a lot of talent.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    [The wife is] not to be ignored. The same holds true for these two splendid hours of entertainment.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    All told, a heavily crowded series, stuffed with characters and interwoven tales of vengeance, betrayal, murder--unyielding in its darkness, unfailing in its power to hold you in its grip.
    • 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.
    • 67 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Likable work.... though it's very soon clear that this high-minded enterprise could use a good jolt of acid, and at least a modicum of granite authority in the character of the new secretary of state.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It promises to be a journey that should draw plenty of viewers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A fact-based film of exceptional power.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The breakthroughs described in National Geographic Channel’s ambitious six-part series aren’t all equal in promise or tone.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Thomas Jane and Tanya Skagle's performances aside, Hung remains, despite all efforts to inform it with larger meaning, trapped in being all about just what that title says.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Overstuffed yet altogether gripping work.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The suspense is ripping, the combat violent, in its own peculiarly satisfying way.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    "Justice" chugs along nicely, its plots gratifyingly tense, its dialogue sharp and uncluttered.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Its semi-psychic hero is intriguing enough and confident enough--not everybody can sneak a hypnosis-inducing trance into an exchange with a reluctant witness as deftly as he can--to bring viewers under his spell.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 10 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The only suspects of interest in this crime series are the producers and writers who threw this hapless business together and called it "Prime Suspect."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Forget the preposterousness of the plot -- it's easy enough to do -- and enjoy the suspense, of which there's plenty.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There is no edge to Dancing on Edge, a drama sunk by its pretensions--one, to be sure, that does come clanking to life somewhat in a madly melodramatic final episode. A long wait, for little.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's a strange sense of distance in the picture here of a decade not exactly in the remote past, but there's also something sweetly enticing about its portrayal of relative innocence.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Highly compelling most of the time.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Lots of hearts are likely to harden in resistance to the calculated grimness, the nightmarish images. Not to mention the preening incoherence that pervades this script based on a novel by Tom Perrotta, a work whose measured tone bears no resemblance whatever to the goings on here.
    • 64 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Smarter and snappier than one might have expected from a familiar sitcom premise.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It promised, in short, steadily absorbing plots and skilled writing, and these the series has delivered ever since.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The real Messrs. Gervais and Merchant haven't lost their touch with self-humiliating characters.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This series, about an underground British antiterror team that has joined forces with U.S. Special Forces veteran Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), does succeed in wresting plenty of high-level suspense out of these low-aiming scripts--no small miracle.
    • 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.
    • 64 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    With its sharp writing and a uniformly fine cast, this show about lives in pieces is impressively, entertainingly whole.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's Mr. Sutherland's portrayal of the father--unyielding in his effort to break through to his mute child and grasp what he's trying to say with his numbers--that is the heart of this story, the power likely to sustain this promising enterprise.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    House of Lies about the thievery of management consultants, manages to turn a theme with reasonable comedic potential into a vehicle for 16-year-old males, though dressed up as satire for sophisticates.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There are no surprises in this story. All is predictable, sorrows pass, happiness triumphs--a formula that works out splendidly in this endearing tale.
    • 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.
    • 63 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.
    • 62 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It’s hard, after this encounter with the Muppets, to imagine any confidences from them, private or public, one wouldn’t want to hear more of.
    • 62 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.
    • 62 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    When not trapped in the effort to wring excitement from Fleming's adventurous sex life, the series rolls on compellingly with his spying adventures, his role in creating a special operations unit.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    An intriguing look at Americans with their own ideas of the purpose-driven life.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The only bright light in this grimness is Mr. Piven's Ari--ever his electric self even in the middle of heartbreak (he's separated from his wife). Long may he shine.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 20 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The main deadly force in Eli Stone is its scripts, which are ever so spritely in tone, ever so dumb in essence.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The problem is--as is ever the case in sitcoms with no future, and this is one of them--vapid writing and characters drawn according to formula.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    For all its running time over three consecutive nights, Childhood’s End leaves a sense of a story not quite told--the result, largely, of the fact that it deals so much in large themes and generalities and provides so little of character and detail. Even so, it’s entirely compelling drama, with a uniformly fine cast and dazzling special effects.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    What this comedy has is the charm of its brash comic energy. That it's an energy located mostly in a single character, and not the main one either--officially, anyway-makes little difference.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    "Shark" suffers from a variety of flaws too numerous to detail here, not least its sentimentality, its wooden characters, its tin-eared dialogue.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A situation brimming with the potential for suspense, and irony. Those may yet emerge, if only someone produces a script to make it possible. For the moment, all that is brimming here is the evidence of an ill-advised faith in the drawing power of depressive police dramas.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The new run of The X-Files may well, in time, encompass some more up-to-date conspiracies. If so, they’ll be welcome. Nobody is likely to grieve long over the absence of the latest on Roswell and invading aliens from space.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A film that so deepens the dimensions of the known-all thanks to a masterful performance by Rob Lowe--it has the force and mystery of a new story.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    [A] smartly ordered, sizzling drama, which establishes itself from the opening scene and builds from there.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    In this skillfully conceived series the characters never fail to remind us of the forces that drive them, and no one does it better or more compellingly than Thomas Haden Church as Robert, a man in chaos hurling his many selves around, all of them infused with his absurdity and raging wit.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    All told, Katie is a commanding presence, a social commentator with a flair for insult, a housewife with a bottomless capacity for complaint. Ms. Mixon performs commendably. What the show needs now are writers of whom the same could be said.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This series... is, for all its noise, sharply plotted, visually rich, heavily informed by intrigues and intriguing characters
    • 59 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 10 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Government agents loll around the beach, exchanging the kind of banter for which television writers would, in a just world, be sent to some quiet place to reflect on their idiocy. All this, amid the plotting of incoherent designs to trap drug dealers, and plenty of sand and dazzling blue skies--elements that have on occasion succeeded in mitigating the flaws of some deadly TV series. This deadly series isn't one of them.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The scripts exude a distinct touch of ambition. Their content isn’t limited to cases grabbed from today’s headlines--some of them reflect a certain consciousness of history.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    This is a different series, one whose good start has to do with its capacity to be affecting, which it is in its picture of loss and longing--a sense this young Carrie projects persuasively.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The film draws effectively on the power of two seductive performances--those of Nico Evers-Swindell as William and of Camilla Luddington as Kate Middleton....It's a familiar story and an entertaining one.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The series, unevenly written, frequently given to strange tonal lapses, is nevertheless lively, its dramatization of events abetted by its setting.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The fine cast, both regulars and guest stars, elevates the proceedings considerably.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There's more than enough absurd charm in the show, meanwhile, to make the wait worthwhile.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Ms.Tomlin and Ms. Fonda make an immensely potent comedy team. Together, and also separately, they’re the source of most of the ebullience, style and assorted other pleasures of Grace and Frankie, and those are considerable.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A series both formulaic and limited in the writing department, Allegiance shows no signs of the immense ambitiousness of “The Americans.” ... The theme [of sleeper agents] does its work and carries Allegiance, as do Hope Davis, outstanding as the desperate Katya, and Scott Cohen, impressive in the role of her husband.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Mr. Gad is utterly seductive. Mr. Crystal’s endlessly changing facial expressions flow into one another, each containing its own little world of loathing, of mockery. They’re perfect. He’s perfect. All that he, Mr. Gad and this series need is more coherently themed comedy of the kind in the pilot, which they don’t quite have down yet in some subsequent episodes, as one talent-squandering revel in a supermarket shows.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's clear that Mr. Sorkin's main interest in The Newsroom runs to concerns other than characters and storytelling.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There isn’t much that can pass for comedy here, but there’s plenty of compelling viciousness and two powerful performances.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    By the time the three episodes available for review end, a plot is thickening suspensefully, Blackbeard is exhibiting still more interesting propensities, and nobody can possibly mind not being able to figure out which woman in the Commodore's court is doing what with whom.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's one that's sharply plotted, fast-paced, with impressive performances.
    • 55 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    That this rich, impressively ambitious film says far more about Martha Gellhorn than about Ernest Hemingway was inevitable.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Their new effort--about a band of young careerists--shows considerable signs of promise along these lines, its depressing heroine notwithstanding.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The writing is sharp, the atmosphere thick with tension from, among other things, car and foot chases.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There are aspects of the series that are engaging--Daniel's intricately conceived sleuthing for the FBI, for instance--but, as the voices in your own head soon tell you, there's a lot more of it that's wearisome.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Sharp-tongued, ambitious, highly seductive--a TV series that has, it can be said, done the job.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It has its strengths--most of them derived from the skilled cast--but none related to any capacity for originality.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    A docudrama, the REELZ film finds its focus in ballistics talk, much of it intriguing, and ballistics tests. Better yet, it manages to maintain a certain suspense--that having to do with the wait for the inevitable other shoe to fall. The time that invariably arrives in films of this kind, when documentary moves on to derangement.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    It's not likely the audience for The Kennedys will be spending much time pondering what it was about this potent, lavishly produced eight-hour miniseries airing on ReelzChannel beginning Sunday night that caused former JFK speechwriter Ted Sorensen, self-described political activists like the filmmaker Robert Greenwald, and concerned others to go to so much trouble to get the project quashed.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 10 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The question is, who's laughing? Worth asking along with the aforementioned curiosity about what the programmers were thinking, not only about this mother but all the rest of this unutterably mirthless enterprise--the dim-witted father (Beau Bridges), too stupid to use a telephone properly, included.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Dorothy Rabinowitz
    There didn't seem to be anything like [a plot] for the first two episodes, though there has been no lack of good looks, with Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer around and filling out their firemen togs nicely. Still there's hope. In episode three, to be exact, where we find a hint that the writers have caught on to the uses of a story line, this about a corrupt police detective.

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