James Poniewozik

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For 559 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Americans: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 559
559 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    Rectify, a drama entering its final season on SundanceTV on Wednesday, is exceptional in being concerned with what comes after prison, for ex-convicts, for their families, for an entire community.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    A satisfying, touching and excruciatingly funny severance package.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    The Leftovers grasps an outlandish idea with absolute emotional commitment: The performances in this final run are spectacular throughout, but especially Ms. Coon’s and Mr. Theroux’s. The final season sometimes repeats the first two, from the use of dream imagery to specific story beats like a business trip Nora takes (recalling “Guest,” a Season 1 standout episode). Because it depends so much on callbacks, it’s designed more to cater to the show’s faithful than to expand its flock.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    They have done what many well-intentioned socially minded writers have tried and failed at: written a story that is about social systems, in all their complexity, yet made it human, funny and most important of all, rivetingly entertaining.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    The Americans has created a crowded bulletin board of characters and subplots, and this new season struggles to pin the yarn to connect them all. But each resonates with the others, like movements in a melancholy symphony.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    [The Wire's] attention to detail, plus a vast canvas of characters, makes for a dense boulder of a story that moves creakily for the first couple of hours. But once it gets rolling, it's irresistible because of the humanity creator-writer David Simon finds in his characters.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    HBO’s fantasy series is as stirring in its action, as rich in characters, and more sweeping in scope as ever.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    Season two broadens its focus to the vast extended Pfefferman mishpocheh: children, in-laws, exes and long-gone ancestors. And it’s all the richer for it.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    The series’ nuanced depiction of espionage as grinding emotional labor is still enthralling.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    [Louie] was and remains one of the best on TV--in any given week, maybe the best, period.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    This is law drama such as Boston Legal's David E. Kelley can only dream about.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 James Poniewozik
    The changes that have come to Mad Men can be discomfiting to watch. But they're rich with possibility.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    Astonishing. ... The Shield did what network cop shows have lately abandoned: it created a richly imagined world with continuing story lines, driven by L.A.'s roiling racial politics--achieving a payoff far bigger than solving the murder of the week.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    As the pressure rises, The Americans, already one of TV’s most astute shows about marriage, also becomes more and more a show about parenting and how parents invest themselves in their children.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    I can't recommend the series highly enough, particularly for the phenomenal performances by Lewis and Danes.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    It is unflinching, vital and scary as hell.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    [A] haunting, creepy, and beautiful French series
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    The confidence and adventurousness of Louie‘s experiments are still present, but reined in and focused.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    It is still a magnificent beast: bold, confident and venturing off in new directions.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    Master of None, the year’s best comedy straight out of the gate, is a lot of things.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    It’s a beautiful downer, a perceptive and acute one, whose empathy distinguishes it from some of its peers.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    It's all breathtaking in much the way that you'd suspect.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    Sherlock, which impresses again in the three-episode season that returns on PBS.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It's intriguing and promising that season four kicks off with another detour–this time into the past–that connects to Harlan County here and now.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    [A] tense and exquisite limited series on HBO. ... The later episodes become a more conventional legal story, as Stone patches together a defense, and the case becomes Nancy Grace-ified in the media. There are nods to TV legal series throughout.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 James Poniewozik
    Dry and offbeat, with an immediate, original voice, this comedy is a back-roads drive through the expansive territory between rags and riches.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The dialogue is at times stagey, and the characters are defined almost entirely through their addictions. But for this last, reality has to share the blame.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    The show acquits itself well. Despite the audience’s knowledge that the former football star Orenthal James Simpson will be found not guilty (history is not a spoiler, sorry), the series is absorbing, infuriating and, yes, thoroughly entertaining.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It's worth hopping on this poetic, profane story of frontier money lust before it rides into the sunset.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 James Poniewozik
    In a way, the show is both complement and antithesis to the true-crime phenomena The Jinx and Serial; rather than attempt closure and a solution, it cares far more about how people live with the unknown.

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