Matt Zoller Seitz
Select another critic »
For 246 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matt Zoller Seitz's Scores

Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 246
246 tv reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    For the most part, Oz is an awesome achievement - an alternately crude and elegant attempt to expand the boundaries of the one-hour drama. If it can avoid an over reliance on prison movie clichs, stay focused on the redemption theme and give its powerhouse cast more room to breathe, it could be one of the most important works ever aired on American television. [12 July 1997, p.29]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The greatest dramatic series in the history of American television. [6 Mar 2005, p.1]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    LeBlanc is brilliant; the writing and direction are brilliant; the show is brilliant.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Archer is the next generation version of "Get Smart," with a similarly thickheaded, overconfident, horny hero whose petulant deadpan lines are funnier than they have any right to be.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Mildred Pierce is a masterpiece.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Is Game of Thrones one of the great HBO series? It's too early to tell, though judged purely as an immense yet improbably graceful narrative machine, I'd have to say yes.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    [Homeland] sounds as though it could have been pitched as "The Manchurian Candidate: The Series." But set that aside, if you can, and look at what's on-screen, because it'll reward your attention.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A masterful two-hour finale to an already exceptional program. [21 Oct 2004]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Louie is the anti–Anger Management: bizarre, inventive, and bold.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A triumph of writing, directing, and acting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There’s a solid, patient, confident quality to this movie that’s rarely seen in modern mainstream cinema. It’s better than most American films playing in theaters, and better than most of HBO’s films, too.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    At its best, Futurama blends raised-eyebrow postgraduate-thesis humor and fifth-grade-lunchroom spit-take humor. That’s not a combination you see every day--and as a bonus, Futurama stirs in unironically beautiful, at times thrilling visuals.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Whoopi Goldberg presents Moms Mabley is simple but perfect--one of those documentaries that's about what it seems to be about, but is also about something else.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is one of the best movies about the artistic process I've seen--a film that can engross and illuminate even if you know nothing of Sondheim.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    You could say it’s as close as a broadcast network has gotten to the personal artistry of the best premium-cable shows, if it weren’t bolder and more elegant than anything on pay cable right now, including HBO’s own serial-killer drama, True Detective.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The film has poetry and vitality, too, and its greatest virtue is that it seems not to give a damn if you approve of any of its creative choices as long as you connect with it emotionally and intellectually.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The storytelling seems to have hit a new peak of relaxed confidence. In every scene you get a sense of steady forward motion. New characters are introduced and old characters deepened, and devious new plots are laid out so deftly that it's not until midway through episode three that you look back over everything that came before and laugh at yourself for not having seen a particular surprise coming
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    "The Larry Sanders Show" is the most painful comedy on TV, and I mean that as a compliment. At its best, this half-hour sitcom, set in and around a Los Angeles-based talk show, achieves a sublime level of cruelty. [13 Mar 1998]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    An earnest, soulful update of the Superman myth. [16 Oct 2001, p.55]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    "Curb" never presents itself as anything but a cleverly plotted, deliberately offensive comedy. But it's more than a comedy: It's a comedy of manners, or bad manners; delightfully rude, and, in its unreal way, honest. [3 Jan 2004]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It believes in the story it's telling and expects everyone watching the series not just to have a good time, but to commit. If every drama series had a tenth as much passion, TV would be a far more interesting place.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Sherlock is a wonderful series. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Even at its worst, Boss radiates intelligence and toughness, and an appreciation of politics as a nonstop performance in an unscripted drama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It lets you simultaneously laugh at and with the characters, and feel justified for laughing, then ashamed, and then the pendulum swings back again; this is a much messier and more fascinating set of reactions than what sitcoms typically evoke.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The physicality of the visuals and the performances helps power Game of Thrones past any rough patches--not that there have been that many.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This series is Burns doing Guthrie, bringing a lifetime of experience and craft to bear on a story of people struggling through hard times. He's picking up a guitar and telling us a story--a great one.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    For all its gore, gunfire, and criminal nastiness, it's a joyous show; even when the characters are scowling, the show seems to be grinning at you.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    I suspect it might be a classic that deserves a spot in the pantheon of great, long-delayed follow-ups, though I need to watch the whole thing again and live with it and then write about it again to be sure. That I’d want to rewatch the whole season immediately is, of course, another, possibly higher compliment.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Oh My God is animated by deep skepticism and an appreciation of joy, qualities that don’t normally mix in comedy and that might seem, in a different context, incompatible. But they aren’t incompatible--not here, anyway.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    But what's amazing, maybe even revolutionary, about The Corner is this: as its narrative plays out in six laid-back, detail-packed, one-hour installments, you come to see that all the major characters don't belong in this place, in this life. [16 Apr 2000, p.1]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The phrase "stream-of- consciousness" doesn't do it justice. Geyser-of-consciousness is more like it. What holds it together is the program's unique comic voice. [12 Sep 1997]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The first four episodes sent out for review become stranger and less “realistic” by the hour, not to mention more stereotypically HBO-like (artfully arranged corpses; drug-thug posturing and handgun-waving; gratuitous T&A) and less concerned with the case that Cohle and Hart are allegedly trying to solve. But the show’s time-shifting structure is so painstaking that even when True Detective spirals into lurid madness there still seems to be purpose behind it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's these deeper questions [Deciding to live the day-to-day performance of an ideal, a belief, an emotion, a set of principles, a faith?] that give the action and melodrama a bit of existential heft, and redirect our vicarious enjoyment away from fantasy and back towards reality.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Rick and Morty won't get us any closer to a workable definition of Harmon's genius, but at least it clarifies that the unhinged quality that Community once had wasn't accidental.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show’s version of machismo is hilarious, and feels new. Silicon Valley captures the pack-wolf preening of guys whose muscles are located mostly above their necklines.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    To watch any engrossing drama is to feel for fictional people the way we feel for real-life friends. Even when they piss us off, we wish them the best.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Not since Deadwood has a period-drama production designed to a fare-thee-well and steeped in nasty atmosphere been so politically astute about who has power over whom and why--although the subtler brand of gallows humor and Soderbergh’s fondness for intricately choreographed long takes aligns The Knick with a different TV classic that Deadwood creator David Milch worked on, Hill Street Blues.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    NBC's half-hour slice of small-town life isn't perfect right out of the gate; few shows are. But it's so sure-footed and engaging that it would be a pleasure to see how it turns out. [7 Oct 2000, p.43]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's an absurdist comedy about criminal behavior and suburban life that gently mocks its targets while taking its characters and their emotions seriously. [9 Jan 1999, p.23]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The most stylistically innovative comedy to hit American television since HBO's great, barely seen "The Larry Sanders Show" ... It's also the most squirm-inducing look at everyday deceit that I've seen outside of an Albert Brooks or Woody Allen movie. [14 Oct 2000]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A welcome surprise - an unabashed melodrama that doesn't wink at the audience but doesn't take itself too seriously, either. Every choice it makes, from pacing to photography to music, seems just about right, and the casting is inspired. (I appreciate that it filled its lead roles with two young men who are somewhat credible on the court.) [23 Sept 2003, p.43]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The series tells hard, funny truths about marriage and parenting that often escape notice in other stories - truths which suggest that writer-creator-producer Marc Cherry and his collaborators have actually taken the time to understand the people they're satirizing. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's grindhouse and art house, and it carries itself as if it doesn't give a damn what you think of it. And its infuriating push-pull quality is still fascinating.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Armisen and Browstein's masterstroke is showing how certain flavors of modern leftist sensitivity/engagement can seem (to outsiders) like passive-aggressive self-absorption laced with contempt for the unenlightened.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    You can't just watch this series. You have to commit to it, the way you had to commit to "The Wire" or "Deadwood" to appreciate them as something other than impenetrable fetish objects. Bear in mind I'm not saying that Game of Thrones is a creative achievement on the same level as those other masterful HBO series, which looked, moved and felt like nothing that had come before.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    As adapted, produced and written for the screen by Veena Sud (creator of "Cold Case"), it's a subtle piece of work.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Students of Marshall's life and times won't find any new information here, but the personal shadings are crucial because they humanize what might otherwise have been dry textbook details. Stevens and Fishburne find a strong emotional through-line for Marshall's greatest triumphs: the desire to right injustices visited upon Marshall, his family and his people.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The process of self-discovery is right upfront in Taking on Tyson, and it's fascinating.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    I expected it to be yet another R-rated historical soap with an overqualified cast. It's that. (The series is co-executive produced by ... wait a second ... Michael Hirst? Not him again!) But it's also good. And addictive--not just because of the blood-and-boobs aspects, but because it takes you inside an unfamiliar world and shows you how it works.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    These three new episodes, which premiered in Britain last year, are engaging, tasteful and very well-made.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    From scene to scene, Treme is novelistic in the best sense--a long, complex, involving story that takes a while to settle into, but that you can't put down and don't want to end.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Pan Am is nostalgic bonbons for the mind, made with the finest ingredients.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's the most engrossing cop series since season one of NBC's Homicide, and maybe the most raggedy and real.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Raylan Givens is off his game, but Justified is as sharp as ever.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The cop stuff feels like it could be happening in any other NBC cop show; I kept expecting Prime Suspect's Maria Bello to show up in that cute hat. But given the originality on display, and the venue, those are minor complaints.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Boss' mix of deft footwork and bull-in-a-china shop clumsiness can be off-putting, but it's always anchored by Grammer's alternately scary and mournful lead performance, and you're never in doubt that there's a fully formed sensibility behind it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Smash got the memo from viewers. I don’t think they read all of it, necessarily, but at least they got it, and they’ve changed just enough to raise the series from a C+ to a B. So: progress.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It feels lived-in, confident. That's a good sign.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    NY Med is filled with warm, honest moments--some poignant, others comic--and characters who would be plenty compelling even if they didn't keep revealing surprising new sides.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is one hell of a debut, and the last seven minutes are brilliant, hitting emotional notes that you might not expect.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The melodrama is deliciously engrossing and occasionally wrenching--two episodes in the middle of season three may empty local Rite-Aids of Kleenex--but in the end, it's a light series: "light" as in the opposite of dark, not insubstantial; warm, hopeful, inspiring.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The Hour has never pretended to be anything other than a very classy potboiler filled with attractive people, one that puts its heroes into predicaments that wouldn't be out of place in a silent film while sneaking social and historical commentary into the margins.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The Americans might take a while to find its footing--most shows do; but it already has a personality, a pulse of life.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Contemporary TV is suddenly filled with shows starring charismatic yet ostentatiously flawed heroines: Homeland, The Mindy Project, Girls, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. Enlightened stands out because its vision is so much wider.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    For the most part, though, what we see and hear is all we’re allowed to know, and it’s enough, just as the accumulation of moments in a fly-on-the-wall documentary are enough to make us feel for the subjects.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    [A] clever, at times tricky season opener. In Lost-like style, it strategically withholds key information that would help us make immediate sense of Don’s behavior, which by turns suggests a prisoner, a sleepwalker, and a ghost.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s not rushing us to the next plot point. It’s content to be present. It breathes.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's the kind of work that I like to classify as "deep shallow," in that it deals in familiar tropes and simple themes but articulates them in a clever, stylish way.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Family Tree is less belly-laugh funny than wry and occasionally poignant.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Mom is about shtick, and it has hired a core group of actors who know how to do it.... The whole cast is just about perfect.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Thanks partly to the writing, but mostly to Elba's performance, Luther rarely comes off as one of those swaggering CBS crime-show smarty-pantses, dumping wisdom on subordinates--and that's good, because even at its sharpest, Luther feels a bit too CBS for my taste.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    For all its comedy, this is a serious show, one that’s keenly attuned to the damage that women do to other women, and that men and women do to one another, and that the state does to its people before, during and after they go to prison.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Some of the encounters evoke the returned abductees in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, while others have the nasty, bone-deep chill you associate with John Carpenter’s stalk-and-kill classics. Beneath it all is an air of existential dread. The universe is out of order. Life itself has gone haywire.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's probably a mite too ridiculous for the dire tone it sometimes affects, but it's confident, verging on brazen, and one tends to respect that quality in entertainment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show’s chilled-out confidence (as if it were starting its second season rather than its first) is appealing, and the cast’s Swiss-watch timing makes even lackluster exchanges crackle, but The Michael J. Fox Show’s selling point is its multivalent comic richness.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show has a knack for Godfather-style plots and counter­plots, as well as for sixties Hammer-horror violence that doles out gore and suffering strategically: a dollop of blood here, a severed head there. There’s a bracing wantonness to the writers’ inventions here.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Masters of Sex is an intelligent, assured drama that gets better and better as it goes along.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    For the most part, this is a light, bouncy service comedy in the spirit of The Phil Silvers Show, Gomer Pyle, USMC, and Stripes, It's a high jinks–heavy but psychology-driven show that wants to please a general audience while also seeming halfway credible to viewers who've served in the armed forces or know somebody who has.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's still the sort of show that makes you reach out to it, rather than reaching out to you--a characteristic that Treme shares with a good many of its characters, a mostly obsessive and intractable bunch who are inclined to monologues about art, work, family, mortality, and the characteristics of the perfect po-boy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Far From Finished isn’t an instant classic on the order of Bill Cosby: Himself or his stand-up albums Revenge, Why Is There Air?, and Wonderfulness. It’s more like a pencil sketch by a master painter or a late film by Woody Allen or Clint Eastwood.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Throughout, there’s a sense that ­Community is building, or rebuilding, toward something big and bold--that what you’re seeing is not so much a revamp as a restoration. Few live-action sitcoms are so aware of their artificiality and yet so ­singularly alive.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Girls is well aware of the conundrum Hannah and Adam and other characters are trapped in--we're all trapped in it, to some degree--and it has sense enough to let us figure this, and a lot of other things, out for ourselves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There's nothing formally or dramatically groundbreaking about it, except for its "no big deal" attitude. But that in itself is striking. It should be counted as progress. That Looking doesn't seem to be terribly concerned with words like progress should count as progress, too.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Review is more of an experience than a statement; if you ask yourself, "What's the point?" you'll probably never get an answer, and you'll miss out on the agonizing pleasure of this most unusual series, which imports a style of TV comedy that was perfected in the United Kingdom and its far-flung colonies, and somehow Americanizes it without snuffing its daft spark.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The pilot can be alienating, and not in a good way. It's often too schematic, too obvious.... The next three episodes get incrementally weirder, stronger, and more original, to the point that you forget to measure this Fargo against its namesake, or against any of the Coens' masterworks, and simply enjoy the odd, sour, frightening, occasionally splendid thing in front of you.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There were several very strong bits, but the best was Oliver's rant about the U.S. media's disinterest in the Indian elections.... At this point, my main complaint about the show is that it's not an hour.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Live Another Day's drone story extends Bush-era mechanized warfare into the age of Obama. It's another example of 24's knack for mixing left- and right-wing assumptions into a ferocious action film cocktail.... Welcome to one more day.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is also a lovingly wrought series. Every frame is intelligently composed, lit, and decorated, every camera move is purposeful and sometimes startling.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The problem isn’t the sentiments but the clunky way they’re expressed--as if the writers are reserving the good dialogue for the regulars, along with the empathy.... The missteps are easy to forgive because, in content as well as form, ­Orange is a modestly revolutionary show.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    He has a light touch, and his camera's gaze is warm and kind. This movie is knowing, and sometimes ruefully ironic, without ever seeming smug.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    All in all, this is an impressive piece of work, absorbing provided that you're willing to meet it on its own storytelling terms.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Outlander is never more engrossing than when a scene emphasizes Claire's reactions as she's forced to decide whether to say what she really thinks of a man's behavior or assertion or recitation of policy, or err on the side of silence.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It should still be said, however, that pretty good Burns is pretty great, provided you more or less agree with his take on things.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There's loads of potential here; like "The Simpsons," Groening's new effort manages to be edgy and reassuring at the same time, which means it can lead us anyplace and be confident we'll follow with a big grin. [26 Mar 1999]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    I doubt any gay person will see him- or herself represented on Queer as Folk with absolute realism and accuracy. It's basically a trashy soap opera with a veneer of social criticism a gay, sexually explicit "Melrose Place." But it's fun all the same addictive, suspenseful and sometimes moving, a populist glimpse of a subculture that pop culture rarely examines. [1 Dec 2000, p.F1]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Has a fine, film noirish vibe and an irresistible mystery hook. [25 Sep 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Hipsters will roll their eyes at the show's many cliches - decent small-town folk, cynical city slickers, the healing power of the great outdoors, etc. - but everyone else will be grateful. And fortunately, some of the performances are just odd and striking enough to reduce the sugar quotient. [16 Sept 2002, p.23]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    "Reno 911!" isn't quite as rich and subtle as the best improvised comedy - the basic format becomes repetitive, and the performers sometimes drive the material into absurd directions when it might have been funnier to keep things smaller - but all in all, it's still a very funny show. [23 Jul 2003]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    [The first three episodes] contain no evidence that it'll rival or exceed season four, an intricately wrought and unexpectedly spare and bluesy batch of hours whose quality exceeded anything that Terence Winter's gangster saga had given us in seasons one through three.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Really, though, you don't have to know anything about the British Skins to get into the remake.