James Poniewozik
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For 410 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 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 The Playboy Club: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 410
410 tv reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Luck too is far from perfect, but I found a lot to love in its rough edges.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Awake manages something impressive: it focuses unflinchingly on the subject of loss, yet manages to be not a downer or painful to watch, but moving, absorbing and even hopeful.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    A low-key but moving documentary about these two low-key people and their moving struggle.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The people around Jackie made me stick with this show even when its main storyline was going nowhere, but now that it's committed to really engaging with its title character, it's become appointment TV for me again.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It is, in other words, one more cable reality show about fabulous women. But in this case, the same old reality show is a refreshing change.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Nashville's was the one that made me most excited to see more episodes of the series and see how its world unfolds.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    As a documentary, Vito is fairly straightforward, but by finding a thread connecting Russo's life, his passions and his times, it manages to be something more.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    While it's a rough, sometimes grim, process, it feels that much more well-earned when, at the end of the first episode, one student, Bobby–who struggled to speak for himself in mock interviews–visits a future class to report that he's held a carpentry job for a month.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    In its early hours, Last Resort lays in enough plot and character provisions to potentially last a long, long journey.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    So far it works.... Asylum feels like a more focused, if equally frenetic, screamfest. It's also gorgeously realized.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It's not a movie for music geeks, in the sense of unpacking the band's influences or closely analyzing how their songs worked. Instead it links the music to the members' stories, trying to capture how the electricity of the group's personalities created art. It's not a revelation, but it's an intimate story of the band.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The Dust Bowl is a powerful documentary about what human efforts can achieve and what short-term thinking can wreak.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    House of Cards isn't wholly original. But it is supremely confident.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Beyond the cat-and-mouse international intrigue, which deepens after the pilot, The Americans has an absorbing personal story to tell--one as familiar yet unusual as its aliens-among-us protagonists.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Over the first four episodes, Family Tree doesn’t have the gut-busting, excruciatingly funny moments of Guest’s movies--no Stonehenge here--but it adds a warmth to the usual pathos of his characters, and O’Dowd’s hangdog charm is a good match for the story.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    What’s most compelling about The Bridge is that it emphasizes not the psychology or forensics of the case but its context.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The show becomes more engrossing as is spins out from her story, fleshing out the inmates, their backstories, and their alliances. You may come for the culture-clash cringe-comedy; it’s the real human stories that will have you captivated.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The charming pilot swerves quickly from the expected Bravo-reality-show-catfight scenario and becomes something more complicated and rewarding: a good-hearted comedy about an extended family (including Pete’s two ex-wives) figuring out how to make itself work on the fly.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    In the three episodes sent to critics in advance, Community sounds like itself again.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Refreshingly, Looking doesn’t contort itself to create a character to represent every different aspect of “the gay experience.”
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    While Broad City is not heartwarming comedy, there’s an undertone of need and connection between them that helps their friendship make sense: Ilana needs Abbi’s dependability, Abbi needs Ilana to give her a kick into gear. Together, they give the early episodes an off-kilter sense of fun that recommends sticking around for more. Broad City is not the next Louie yet, nor should it try to be, but it’s a promising version of itself.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    In each one [hour] that we do see, there’s a sense of urgency in the face of change, of characters figuring they have maybe one more chance to get themselves where they want to be.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    As the series itself develops (it was somewhere in episode 3 that I really got on board), all these broad-strokes characters add together into a more complex whole.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The first newscast did feel simultaneously long and breathless, maybe because there was little to vary it or break up the topic segments.... But it was a funny, confident start.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Even the best version of The Leftovers, if it proves a complete creative success, will not be a show for everyone. Yet it believes fervently, messily, heartbreakingly, that even two percent of everyone means more than you can imagine.

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