James Poniewozik

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For 583 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Legion: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 583
583 tv reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It's true that Mad Men is deliciously curated, from the omnipresent cigarettes to the rocket-cone brassieres (and casual sexism) to the cool modernist sets. But the subtle, deliberately paced drama has a wider sense of history.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    A witty, mature drama that can hit both the chest and the heart.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The O.C. looks to have enough heart, talent and wit to generate a few seasons' worth of luxurious suds.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Big Love quickly settles you into its odd setting. The particulars of the Henricksons' lives--their intrigues and secrecy, yes, but also their familiar family dynamics and sincere faith--are presented, simply and unpatronizingly, as the reality of the show's universe.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Its world-building is so strong there’s too much material: the episodes tend to run near a full hour and yet feel jam-packed.... Even if it sometimes builds soapboxes and strawmen (Taryn Manning’s Pennsatucky sometimes exists to be a fake-toothed mouthpiece for Ignorant Conservative America), it remains as fresh and interesting as when it began.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Parenthood shows a funny, affecting, distinctive voice that you'll want to keep listening to.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The clever, engaging script and Blonsky's performance--plus the refreshing idea of a teen drama not entirely populated by assembly-line pinups--promise a summer diversion with a little more than usual dramatic meat on its bones.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Bored to Death is good, very good--but it's pilot isn't, so it wouldn't be terrible to miss it or see it late.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It's also, judging by the pilot, flawlessly art-directed, full of well-chosen period music and--for a drama about a country searching for its bearings in its bicentennial year--a lot of fun.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It starts and finishes strong, and in between, it passed the most important test this non-boxing-fan could hold it to: when I finished one episode, I immediately wanted to put another in.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Deadwood is not the next Sopranos. Everyone likes Italian food, whereas this is beef jerky--slow chewing, an acquired taste but substantial. Sometimes Milch's Shakespearean ambitions get away from him, and the story can drag. But the acting is strong.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    MasterChef Jr. is the most delightful, cathartic reality competition on TV because it lets you see contestants taking unsullied pleasure in what they can do.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    But for [Diane] and for this improbable but promising spinoff--it ends up being an invigorating new start.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    High School Musical 2's audience already knows how this movie ends. But they'll watch and re-watch because it has such an unembarrassed good time getting there.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It's an uneven Coen Brothers--like mix of dark comedy and darker moral drama, but Cranston is amazing as a desperate, conflicted gangsta-nerd.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The realism doesn't extend to the exaggerated characters and plots, but if you focus on the sharp dialogue (and aren't an easily worried parent), these students earn a solid ... B.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It’s a first draft told by a first responder, with no time for niceties. But it is deepened and rounded out by some remarkable supporting performances, especially a fantastic Jim Parsons as Tommy, a warmhearted activist volunteer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine is easily the fall’s strongest comedy pilot, clever, appealing, feeling thought-through and lived in after only a half-hour.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It offers a quiet, empathetic picture from the perspective of Romney and his family of what it’s like for a human being to experience the glare of a modern media campaign and to offer himself up for rejection, twice.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    On paper, it sounds like another sitcom dedicated to the tired idea that relationships are forced on men like collars on dogs, the leashes held by annoying, fun-killing women. And yet I enjoyed the show more watching it than I find I am describing it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The Witness films are interesting not just for the external drama but the internal stories of the photographers, who try to explain what led them to seek out this thrilling but potentially deadly work.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The premiere episode is emotional but controlled.... But at its most affecting it’s about something that can’t be massaged and mediated: a woman trying to live an honest life with her family, trying to close the decades-long distance between her self-image and her self presentation.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Even when it’s boring, it’s absorbing, like an art video playing in the lobby of a boutique hotel.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    There’s enough talent and intensity here for me to step behind the tent flap, to see if all this can cohere into something super freaky.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    This My Name Is Girl concept may be outlandish, but Ex List is also fresh and raunchily funny (there's a scene in the pilot comparing feminine waxing choices to historical figures--the "Hitler," the "Gandhi") and Reaser is winning and adorable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The show is filled with Lettermanesque non sequiturs and '70s pop-culture arcana... but it has heart too.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Poniewozik
    There are signs that the premise may not sustain for long (the title, after all, gives it only a week), but it still shows that a good pratfall is the universal language.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 James Poniewozik
    Like a successful patient, the show has learned and grown, becoming more reliably compelling.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Poniewozik
    It's a promising comedy about a shallow man trying to make his life right, one bad deed at a time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Poniewozik
    The new episodes quickly jump back in, with higher stakes and sharper jokes, and creator Josh Schwartz hasn't let the strike stop him from developing Chuck's character.

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