For 459 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 63% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Hank Stuever's Scores

Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Call The Midwife: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Saint George: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 84 out of 459
459 tv reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Creator Vince Gilligan's much-lauded meth lab saga Breaking Bad, which is back for what looks to be another superior season Sunday night on AMC, is one of those shows that comes from such a dark hole of the American cultural psyche that you sometimes have to wonder how it ever made it on TV.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Enlightened comes through with a triumphant eight-episode arc that broadens its characters, quickens the pace and finishes strong.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Watching this season’s first three episodes, one is struck by how sumptuously far this epic now spreads.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    This is a long way from a half-hour sitcom about a dysthymic guy comedian and his everyday nuisances. It’s good to see that Louie intends to keep pressing our limits.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Hank Stuever
    What makes Homeland rise above other post-9/11 dramas is Danes's stellar performance as Carrie--easily this season's strongest female character, who is also hiding some personal secrets of her own. The latter half of the first episode is exhilarating. I'm hooked.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    It is a uniquely rendered creepshow that specializes in meaningful silences, emotional stress and dour moods. In so doing, it takes its place among recent miniseries that artfully elude their genres.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Hank Stuever
    Transparent is the best streaming-network pilot since Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It’s among the best detective shows--and perhaps even among the best dramas--in several years. It will break your heart and keep you guessing all the way through.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It joins "Planet Earth" and "Life" to reign as a triumvirate in Best Buy showrooms. Nothing looks better, sounds better.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Sherlock is too often a petulant know-it-all, which grows tiresome and makes a viewer painfully aware that each episode is 90 minutes long.... Sherlock's redundancies are improved by a couple of longer story arcs.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Game of Thrones is like no other TV show around right now--brilliant, exasperating, enthralling, and, if you let it become so, hard work.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    what else can I do but yap excitedly and try to get you to watch one of the best shows on TV right now? The first four episodes of the new season will not disappoint fans.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    n terms of character and ambitious writing and acting, Orange Is the New Black is certainly one of the best shows going, however you choose to watch it
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It is intelligent, witty, quick-paced and surprising; it is tragic without being emotionally devastating.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    It’s a gloriously thoughtful wallow in the subtle and sometimes even insecure ways that families and friends relate to one another.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    This new season starts off strong.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The first five episodes of Season 2 are as good or better as what we saw in Season 1.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The first six episodes (which I've watched, dutifully at times) draw you in but sometimes feel overstuffed, overproduced and weirdly gauzy where the series means to be an exercise in crisp, razor-sharp filmmaking.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    The Roosevelts delivers on its subtitle, drawing such a full and close portrait of the extended clan and their social and political circles that a viewer can’t help but feel connected to them, faults and all.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Sherlock moves swiftly and intelligently but also a little too coldly, like a long commercial for better WiFi..... Cumberbatch’s take on Holmes’s narcissism can come off as skeevishly robotic. If not for Freeman’s deeper, more human work as Watson, the style would soon go sterile.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Mad Men is that rare thing that can be as infuriating as it is perfect. I’ve gone back and forth (and hot and cold) on it as much as a critic can; I warmed to it last season but feel a familiar chill this time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The Flag is precisely the sort of film we should be making and watching at this particular distance from the attacks.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    Try as I might, Mad Men fails to resonate, settle in, tell me something. It can no longer get out of its own way so as to allow its multiple story lines to experience actual forward momentum. (Only the calendar does that.)
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    It’s mainly an intelligent crime drama, and a real step forward for Sundance, which is bringing more original programming to its slate. As slow as it seems to go at first, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re addicted.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    As television, Girls is disturbing, sharply honed and even wickedly funny.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    The results are, of course, compelling but also assiduously sterilized.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It fixates on the familiar, sullen murkiness similar to recent procedurals (“The Killing” and “Broadchurch,” for example) and adds several more layers of its own artistic yet unfulfilling murk.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It's rare for Burns and Novick to get lost in their own material, but it happens here.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Absorbing and deeply inspiring.... The film ably transitions to and from its parallel stories of uplift and defeat.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Sing Your Song is broad and complete, but like most biographical documentaries of legendary performers that we've seen of late, it is also hagiographic.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    The characters get better and more complex, the story builds, strange things start to happen and now I can’t wait to see how its interweaving plots unfold.... It’s rare that a show can intuit what the viewer wants and deliver it, but that’s precisely what happened.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    By the third episode, Fargo confidently stretches in a direction that is uniquely satisfying.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Nashville never strays too far from its real story--the ups and downs of glitzy stardom, with Britton and Panettiere performing their own vocals.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Though its central mystery may feel old hat to aficionados of the genre, The Missing seems to have a deep respect for its audience. Its red herrings are few and its emphasis on people and their feelings help elevate the series to another level.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Downton Abbey lacks surprise and is stretched precariously thin, a house full of fascinating people with not nearly enough to do, all caught in a loop of weak storylines that circle round but never fully propel.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Everything that’s excellent about The Normal Heart--including compelling performances from its stars, Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts, with an especially strong turn from "White Collar’s" Matt Bomer--is also merely just fine; very good but not great; a tear-jerker but not a bawler; and probably beyond reproach.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    The pilot (the only episode made available to critics at press time) has some difficult scenes, including an act of marital rape (or something like it), yet the acting is strong and the story is compulsively intriguing. The first thing you want from The Affair is to see where it leads.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    All the reasons viewers first loved Getting On are here again.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    It’s as watchable as ever, and also as unsatisfying as ever, as it veers toward the helter-skelter.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    I trust completely the template laid out for The Killing by the original "Forbrydelsen" (which I've not seen) and the artistic instincts evident in the first three episodes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    It's often difficult for them to shed the topical baggage they are made to carry and simply be themselves. Still, if you stick with them, you'll see Treme becoming a well-paced work of fiction rather than see Treme spending too much effort speaking truth to an indifferent power.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    The first four episodes of this new season have the same raw and gritty-cool feel as the first season's (it takes no time at all for Dunham to bare her now-famously doughy naked body in a sex scene), but the show has become significantly more predictable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Sons of Anarchy may be wild fantasy and melodrama, but it is tempered by a feeling of verity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    It’s a precise, sharply executed sendup of the high-tech, billionaire-making culture and economy of Facebook/Google/Apple/Amazon/Yahoo that has infiltrated (“disrupted,” as they say) contemporary life. Better still, Silicon Valley is also here to make you laugh.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Downton Abbey comes back stronger and more muscular this time, with intriguing and shocking new plots that provide a bit of vital momentum and an uncharacteristically wrenching dose of tragedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    It’s a 13-episode remake/update lovingly shepherded by Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, who worked on the original series, and hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, a worthy heir to Sagan’s legacy, even if he doesn’t quite possess Sagan’s natural ability to captivate viewers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 30 Hank Stuever
    Behind the Candelabra is one long downward spiral, a gratuitous tale of a man who drowns in his own opulent acts of denial.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    This is not an angry documentary; it's just such a downer--and necessary medicine for those who've remained personally unaffected by events of the last decade.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Community stands on its own intangible excellence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Hank Stuever
    The Honorable Woman is a slow-building but gripping story, regardless of where you stand on Mideast politics; Gyllenhaal delivers a remarkably measured and moving performance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Darabont and his cast excel at conjuring up a taut social study, but let the horror scenes fall oddly flat.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    If Rectify was winnowed down to the length of a feature film and shown at a festival, we could better judge whether or not it accomplishes what it set out to do. Delivered this way, as a meandering, weekly TV show (with commercial breaks), it has spread itself too thin.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Boardwalk Empire is doing what I wish Prohibition had done--it's tempting me to stick around for one more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    The film, which kicks off HBO's long, annual summer of well-curated documentary offerings on Monday nights, is certainly absorbing. For those only vaguely familiar with the competitive chess circuit (or even the game's 1,500-year history), Bobby Fischer Against the World is both an easy introduction and a thorough recounting of Fischer's improbable rise to superstardom some 40 years ago.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Burton and Taylor is intelligently winnowed down to a moment in time, firmly planting itself in the last days of disco.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Director Nancy Buirski's engaging HBO documentary (a Valentine's Day treat, airing Tuesday night), rescues the Lovings from the perfunctory realm of footnotes and newspaper clippings and brings them into a more emotional light.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    The first half of Vito plays almost like a 45-minute "It Gets Better" ad. [Then] Vito exchanges its subtle storytelling technique for a sobering session of gay rights homework, resembling a recent raft of documentaries about the early years of the AIDS crisis.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    An engaging yet taciturn new miniseries.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    The cast is terrific, and some of the lines are screamingly funny, but there’s also an empathetic, moral undercurrent to the story--the usual cautionary tale about having all your dreams come true.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    The cast is marvelous, the gritty, post-war set pieces are meticulously recreated and, even with all the warm-water enemas and splattered afterbirth, the story always has its eye on uplift and good cheer.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    A fresh and even stirring reminiscence.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    It is, as always, beautifully filmed and patiently assembled. Everyone in it clearly believes in the project (and the city) down to their bones, even if the writers have shortchanged their best actors this time. What comes through most is a feeling of over-indulgence--one drink too many, one plate of etouffee too far, one too many hangovers and five too many episodes of an otherwise memorable series.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    Although Jane the Virgin could easily devolve into a frenetic sendup of telenovela cheesiness, it is a remarkably sure-footed, enjoyable dramedy full of strong performances, particularly from Rodriguez.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Circus has no difficulty finding all the usual, romantically enthralling ideals contained within circus life, which unfortunately causes a lot of the series to feel predictable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    It's all so real it verges on the mundane, but the show is also strong and necessary medicine for these times.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    A fascinating new PBS documentary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The show seems somehow sleeker and better paced. Characters may now be people first and archetypes second. This has the subtle but immediate effect of making The Walking Dead less predictable and more frightening.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    All of which is to say that even for the most open minds, Game of Thrones can be a big stein of groggy slog. On the plus side, the first six episodes are impressively free of sorcery and special effects, and instead rely on the stuff of any deeply dark HBO epic: corruption, deceit, illicit sex (incest in this case), unflinchingly gory violence, and a willingness to kill off a prominent character or two in the service of plot.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    As Feynman, it takes the workmanlike Hurt a little too long to shuffle through the slate of go-to moods and characters he’s played already, but he eventually lands on a unique and compelling take on the man.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Scorsese (with Tedeschi’s help) has found a more worthy sweet spot between introducing viewers to a whole other world and simply making film tributes to people he knows and likes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    House of Cards is almost willfully and sadistically atonal. Its schemes and subplots and internecine politics undulate and intertwine with a suffocating kind of flatness. I find these new episodes watchable yet sterile.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    In Jenji Kohan’s magnificent and thoroughly engrossing new series, Orange Is the New Black, prison is still the pits. But it is also filled with the entire range of human emotion and stories, all of which are brought vividly to life in a world where a stick of gum could ignite either a romance or a death threat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Orphan Black has apparently just scraped the surface--not only with the overall narrative arc but with the depth of character development in each of the clones that Maslany plays.... [However] It is chewing so voraciously through its story lines--at such a rapid pace--that it often verges on collapse.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Though deliberately and even artfully paced, Lights Out also feels protracted. It has difficulty establishing momentum in its first few episodes, even with a smattering of intriguing subplots and story lines, and no one character exerts that intangible ability to make us keep watching.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Smash is a case where not bad is plenty good enough.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    With the line between documentary and amusement-park ride now crossed, it's easy for a critic to start noticing Vietnam in HD's other narrative and technical shortcuts with filler and stock footage, splicing in wherever needed the images we have seen before, including those familiar payload-perspective views of bombs being dropped over the hills and villages.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 58 Hank Stuever
    Boss works hard to resist the usual "this is how we do things in Chicago" nonsense and dutifully aims for a somewhat "Wire"-esque believability. Yet it can also feel like a burden to watch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    From the writing to the performances to some overly artistic visuals and camera cuts, the first episode could not be more crammed with self-seriousness if it tried.... Some strong performances peek through anyhow, especially from Manhattan’s star, John Benjamin Hickey.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Becoming Chaz is one thing--and it's occasionally fascinating to watch--but being Chaz gets old pretty fast.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    As a drama, The Americans struggles to crack a certain code; the concept is tantalizing, but the follow-through lacks the momentum that gets viewers to commit.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    A shipshape, neato-burrito side project that finds the right balance between hype and hyperspace.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Vikings exceeds expectations, so long as those expectations aren’t up in “Game of Thrones” territory. What could be a silly exercise in quasi-historical swordplay is instead an earnest, tightly told family drama.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    Depending on how far it’s willing to press and poke at the issues it raises, Black-ish displays a welcoming sense of humor that might be illuminating in the present context.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    It has a seamless and almost hypnotic quality to its narrative, and it’s easily one of the best debuts this year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    A powerful and unforgettably thorough HBO documentary, is not only an exploration of what happened (difficult questions linger, particularly about the response of the town’s police to the initial 911 call), it also invites a frank and remarkably even-handed discussion of what sort of punishment could ever fit the crime.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    An enjoyable dramatic movie.... [But] Because it’s a film both by and for the devoted, An Adventure in Space and Time tends to too easily revel in its own creation myth, veering quickly into a tidy, Hallmark-like ending.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Homeland is wearing a bit thin even while it nobly stays the course.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    The good news about Sonic Highways is that it doesn’t have enough time to bore us to tears.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    We have to take the good things about Boardwalk Empire (the acting, the authenticity in its exquisite details and most of the writing) along with the bad (the repetitiveness, the plodding).
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Although no expense has been spared, House of Cards appears to suffer from the same ambitious but weighty seriousness that afflicted Starz's "Boss."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    The first episode of Last Week Tonight (and, to be clear, it is only the first episode, with plenty of potential and room for improvement) demonstrated little in the way of innovating or improving on “The Daily Show’s” prevailing concept.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    It’s a lot less fun now; when watching these new episodes, I found it impossible to complete any sentence along the lines of “I hope [blank] happens to [blank],” not counting my hope that poor Adam (Hannah’s increasingly complex boyfriend, played by Adam Driver, who now provides the show’s only gravitational pull) will come to his senses and flee.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    In the Flesh skillfully navigates several genres at once, all of them heavy, none of them comic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Though not as artfully constructed as Penny Lane’s excellent documentary “Our Nixon,” which aired last year on CNN, Nixon by Nixon is similarly judicious in its use of visuals and old footage.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    [The] new episodes are no great shakes, but they do find Futurama humming along.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The show is point-blank, but somewhat brilliantly so.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    I'm slightly more taken with Fox's sweeter absurdedy, Raising Hope, though I still mourn the original title: "Keep Hope Alive."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    What we get for most of the show’s 90 minutes, is a mostly funny, often charming and occasionally unsettling account of a man whose diet and whereabouts are under his wife Camille’s constant surveillance.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    It’s as if someone looked up instructions for making a period cable TV drama and followed them to the letter--and wound up with something like a “Boardwalk Empire”-style story arc set in an old-timey “E.R.,” only with a much weaker pulse.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Effortlessly smart, easy to like and exciting to follow.

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