Matt Zoller Seitz
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For 285 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matt Zoller Seitz'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: 25 out of 285
285 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Family Tree is less belly-laugh funny than wry and occasionally poignant.
    • 63 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's magisterially trashy: sweet, glorious madness.
    • 78 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The fourth hour immediately went on my list of the year's best drama episodes; at least half of it is eye-rollingly silly, but the other half is magnificent. Just when you think the Underwoods can be written off as comic strip political cousins of the Macbeths, they do or say something that's genuinely moving, and that makes you realize they have hearts after all, even though they're probably tiny and ice-cold, and only beat for one another.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There's a lot to like in these first two episodes: Dana and Jessica's scenes have greater psychological weight than before, thanks to Brody's absent presence, though they do raise the uncomfortable question of how interested we need to be now that the family isn't directly connected to the show's central institution anymore (the Betty Draper problem on Mad Men). The episodes also give us a clear, at times unnerving sense of how hard it must be for somebody as gifted but volatile as Carrie to work in such a button-down environment, and how easy it must be to write her off as merely unstable or merely crazy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show is a compendium of high-octane clichés, just clever enough that you can't call it stupid and just stupid enough that you can't call it clever.... There are three saving graces. One is the premise, which is enjoyably ludicrous.... The second saving grace is the multicultural cast and international flavor.... The third saving grace, certainly not to be underestimated, is Luna, who's got a marvelous Everyman quality.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    As sitcoms about talented, self-defeating assholes go, though, Maron is pretty good, though it has yet to plumb the sublime depths of self-loathing showcased on the likes of Louie, Girls, and Veep.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Quality-wise, it's closer to Child's Play 2 or The Kiss than it is to Re-Animator--which truly is awesome, as anyone who's seen it will testify--but I love the fact that The Strain seems to be trying to evoke these sorts of better-than-government-work horror midnight time-wasters.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Sagan was on record as being agnostic, but he carved out a space within the 1980 Cosmos for believers as well, and some of his more oracular turns of phrase convinced many people of faith that he was, if not an ally, then at least not an adversary. This new Cosmos is not so easygoing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Political comedies tend to work best when they're absurdist (like Duck Soup, or HBO's Veep) or much, much subtler (the gold standard being Tanner '88, a collaboration between Trudeau and Robert Altman). Alpha House falls somewhere in the middle and gets stranded there, though the company is so likable that it's a limbo you may not mind being stranded in.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's good again. Not great, but good: smarter than you expect, more patient with its storytelling, less interested in the characters' plotting and counter-plotting than in their often miserable inner lives.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Living in the Material World foregrounds [George Harrison's] qualities so pointedly that it seems to be channeling the personality of its subject. It's a problematic, at times off-putting, but ultimately fascinating work, moving through George's life with its own mysterious internal logic.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's TV designed for people who watch a lot of TV and know a lot of TV, and aren't necessarily coming into Wayward Pines to be stunned by its novelty but to see if a group of talented actors, writers, and filmmakers can stitch a crazy quilt of influences into something coherent and pleasurable. They do. But it takes a while.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    An unsteady but very likable debut. ... That's about as good as anyone can expect from a talk show that debuted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and that's going to spend the next few weeks or months perfecting itself while shouldering the burden of immense and mostly unreasonable expectations.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is still a charming series, and the cast gets plenty of mileage out of the role-reversal at the show’s heart.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There are a few lackluster characterizations and performances, and scenes in which supposedly hardcore professionals seem more naïve than they might be in life, presumably to make it easier for The Bridge to set up little lessons in sociology, history, and politics. But this show’s worth watching regardless of how you feel about its bits and pieces. It’s an attempt to make an epic on an indie-film budget.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This feels like a "two steps forward, one step back" storytelling strategy, not unlike what you'd seen in almost any other sitcom that has a rather slight story and needs to pad things out. If not for the droll and frequently profane byplay between Richard, Erlich, and housemates Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), and Jared (Zach Woods), Silicon Valley's paralyzed feeling might grate more and feel too obviously like an attempt to run out the show's storytelling clock until the writers can figure out what the next really good move is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Gregg's the best thing in the pilot.... the pilot definitely has its moments.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's witty but never overly pleased with itself, and even when it's predictable, it's predictable with a wink that says, "Come on--you know you needed that to happen."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Buried beneath the frenzied, too-eager-to-please surface is a comedy that, at its best, evokes the colorful bustle of Malcolm in the Middle and the worn-down wisdom of Men of a Certain Age. There's life in it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Juarez, is unfortunately the weakest of the episodes.... Next week's follow-up, Libya--directed by Abdallah Omeish--is in the same vein. But like the other three episodes of Witness, it runs an hour and merges its disparate parts more smoothly.... The third installment, South Sudan, is even better.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show's antic energy and aggressively kooky heroine may not hit everyone's sweet spot, but the pilot is a brisk, confident piece of work, made by people with a clear vision.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    These are production issues that will fix themselves in time. Olbermann was back. He jumped right back into the thick of things. And he was very, very good.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The Newsroom is the worst of Aaron Sorkin and the best of Aaron Sorkin.... Mostly I like Sorkin's optimism, the very quality that many of my colleagues are hanging him with.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The pilot is funny but exhausting, but I doubt the show's ability to sustain this tone and these characters over the long term.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This show isn't art quite yet, but it's artful. Tiresome as it sometimes is, there's something to it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Paradise Lost 3 never loses sight of the sickening black humor of it all--how Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley became, in effect, mere extras in a shadowplay about the omnipotence of the state. In the shadow of such sickness, all the personal dramas can't help but pale, but there are still surprising and powerful moments.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Not great, but good, and promising.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show is more successful when the Donovans are interacting with rich or otherwise spoiled people than when they’re dealing with their own problems, because the problems, however sympathetically written and acted, are a potluck stew of elements you’ve seen in other stories about South Boston Irish-Americans.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Has a fine, film noirish vibe and an irresistible mystery hook. [25 Sep 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's fair to say that there isn't a single element in The Flash that you haven't seen before. It should all be a big yawn. And yet it's not. The earnestness puts it over.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    I wouldn't say season two of The Newsroom is a big improvement over season one, but the show's definitely more measured and confident--and now that we've accepted that certain tics, such as setting the stories in a recent, real past, aren't going away, it's easier to appreciate what Sorkin and company do well.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show is derivative but passionate, verging on corny. It means what it’s telling us and showing us, and there’s a sense of curiosity and commitment in every frame.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The supporting cast is excellent, even though their characters feel a bit one-note right now.... As long as Andre Braugher is employed, it's a force for good in the universe.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There are times when it takes itself too seriously as modern mythmaking, as if we haven't already seen tales like this before. But even when the momentum flags or the rhythm seems slightly off, the show's sheer gorgeousness is compelling, and it's clear that Darabont has a vision for this thing, even though we can't deduce every detail based on two episodes.
    • 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
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is still a cheeky, trashy, nasty series, one that'll do or show pretty much anything if it thinks it'll get a rise out of you. But its sense of itself has become more refined.
    • 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    You don't immediately sense how all of the characters are connected or how they might eventually become connected--most of the pilot is scene-setting and mood-building--but what's onscreen is compelling.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This A&E miniseries is exuberantly batty.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    the film is as smart and sexy as it is extravagantly silly; its silliness is knowing and affectionate.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    These subplots aren't inherently dull, but they're not as compelling as the sight of a singer belting a new ballad while its authors and their patrons look on.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Pacino and Mirren’s teamwork keeps Phil Spector watchable even when it’s dousing itself in dramatic ethanol and lighting a match.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Vegas isn't art and doesn't knock itself out pretending otherwise. But its no-fuss directness is appealing, and Quaid's ropy scowl keeps it centered.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Gracepoint is a good show--not great, but good.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The more frequently Birthday Boys returns to seemingly unfunny or barely funny bits, the funnier they eventually become--another Python borrowing, and a good one.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    If the season-three premiere is any indication, although AHS has lost its novelty, it still has that seventies and eighties grindhouse/drive-in/midnight movie feeling.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A to Z glides, mainly because its stars, Mad Men's Ben Feldman and How I Met Your Mother's Cristin Milioti, are a flat-out great couple, with an understated screwball energy that Howard Hawks would've known what to do with.
    • 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There's still a sense that The Walking Dead is shambling along too lackadaisically. Great pulp is propulsive, ruthless. But the show's embrace of "B"-movie values is a heartening sign.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s hard to imagine Hannibal scaling new peaks of originality as drama--not with characters and situations that have, in more than one sense, been done to death. At least there’s life in the acting and in the show’s inventive visuals.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Really, though, you don't have to know anything about the British Skins to get into the remake.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The first two installments of House of Cards are smartly acted and written, crisply directed by Fincher, and sumptuously photographed by Eigl Bryld (In Bruges), but they’re not mind-bogglingly great, or even particularly surprising or delightful--just solidly adult, with moments of dark wit.
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Four years in the making and ten hours long, it's a remarkable, if dense and often difficult program--at once the most stylistically stripped-down thing Stone has done and (somehow) the most Oliver Stone-y.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Ben and Kate is enjoyable enough if you don't mind a severe case of the cutes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Arrow is sincere and energetic but visually undistinguished.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Now and then Shameless sloughs off its mostly self-imposed constraints and fires on all cylinders, observing economic hardship, drunken tomfoolery and sexual shenanigans with a keen eye for class specifics.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Nothing in this pilot promises how fascinating the show will ultimately become, and unfortunately, the show is more efficient than truly good. ... The first four episodes contain no aesthetically pleasing shots or sequences, just tedious coverage of talk and action, and too many of its 'shocking' moments are dependent on visual/aural shortcuts. ... Nevertheless, The Following fascinates, thanks to soulful lead performances by Bacon and Justified's Natalie Zea (as Carroll's ex-wife) and the nervy way it develops and sustains its central flourish.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The series' bludgeoning aesthetic is silly, but it works. Much of History's programming aims to intrigue viewers who might never crack open a book, while assuring literate history buffs that the filmmakers know what they're talking about.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Like most Burnett productions, "The Apprentice" is half game show, half sociological experiment - a glitzy, fast-paced TV program that simultaneously manages to critique and celebrate the Western World's cutthroat obsession with success. [7 Jan 2004]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Derek is engaging and sometimes very funny. Parts of it are ostentatiously sentimental, verging on gooey.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    If you think you can tough it out, the The Comedians is worth a look, if only to have an opinion on--and if you stick with it, you may feel that your time hasn’t been wasted, and that perhaps The Comedians just needed time to figure itself out, not unlike the fictional series it’s chronicling. But man, does it test your patience.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The longer this show goes on, the more it seems like a network soap in cable drama drag. ... "Housewives" is a depressingly safe show, one that cushions the impact of its plot twists with the dramatic equivalent of air bags. [27 Sep 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The movie is better than you've heard but not good enough to linger in the mind.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Revenge might sound enjoyably soapy in the abstract, but its execution is problematic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The movie feels too long, padded even, but its relaxed vibe and non-cloying tone are a tonic.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Part of the excitement of "Watching Ellie" comes from wondering whether the people who made it can get around the creative obstacles they created. [26 Feb 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The pilot episode of Forever struck me as the first half of a pretty-good-but-not-great movie; whether it can sustain itself as a TV series remains to be seen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Hell on Wheels didn't turn into a great drama, but it settled into a distinctive groove, growing more relaxed and confident by the week.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's the new Revenge, but so much goofier and more shameless that it makes Revenge look comparatively measured.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The stars are very likable but simply not powerful enough to make you forget the real-life, heavily covered people they're playing. But the movie's precision and empathy can't be denied.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Chicago Fire gets better week-to-week, finding its own vibe, one that mixes TV-14 gore, soap opera entanglements, and working-class-hero earnestness. Sincerity puts the whole thing over.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    So, concept, story, dialogue: just okay. Cast: outstanding. Sean Saves the World is on my "wait and see" list for sure.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Too much of Political Animals feels like good-enough-for-government-work drama, and I can't help believing it would have been more compelling, maybe genuinely subversive, if it had replaced some of the scenes that attack the show's main themes head-on with pick-axes, and substituted ones that showed the female characters simply doing their jobs, commanding more than reluctant respect from men.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's knowingly dumb and aiming for smart-dumb, and over time it might get there.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    As we head into Season 2, it's becoming increasingly clear that they [the actors] can't make these characters interesting, because they're too thinly conceived.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Both the new actor and the revamped series take some getting used to.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's all rather weightless: just your usual sitcom-style misunderstandings and bruised egos and "complications ensue," with no sense that anything larger is at stake.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Las Vegas is definitely watchable; the pace is so fast that it's as if the filmmakers are fast- forwarding so you don't have to. But the plot is so tangled it's almost incomprehensible, the grace notes are laminated beneath visual slickness - and throughout, it's hard to shake the feeling that you've seen it before and don't need to see it again. [22 Sept 2003, p.35]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Although this miniseries stages large-scale action reasonably well (with the occasional lapse into visual clichés, such as the silent/slow-motion Boston Massacre) and has a marvelous atmospheric quality, it seems more generic and un-special the more conventionally "exciting" it's trying to be.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Missteps are balanced by bits that ring oddly true.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    While it's emphatically not a great show, it is an overheated yet intriguing one, driven more by visuals than words--and if you don't mind that its gory action and soap-opera plots aren't yet matched by dialogue and performance, it's worth a look.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The pilot for ABC's extraterrestrial silly-fest feels half-baked, and parts of it just sort of lie there, but this shouldn't be a deal breaker.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A series that’s not as impressive as its lead actor’s performance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show is fast-paced and unpretentious, and it finds clever ways to deliver exposition that might otherwise be tedious.... [But] It often tries too hard to wow us, when it might have been better off just telling its story and developing its characters.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The weak link is Jesse Bradford's Chris.... The other couples are more humanely drawn. Because they make emotional and psychological sense, the chirpy sitcom banter goes down more smoothly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Still, for all its flaws, this is an intriguing show, packed with atmospheric details and Easter-egg-style grace notes.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Broadchurch excels at showing the awkward moments between the briskly delivered plot points, and the small details of voice and gesture that define communities in mourning (or guilty panic), and it has the good sense not to overdo anything.... And yet there's something fundamentally unsatisfying about the whole thing, as smart and intricately structured as it is--and it has nothing whatsoever to do with any writing or acting or filmmaking issues, and everything to do with the fact that we've just been to this particular narrative well too many times in 2013.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There are glimmers of hope in Portlandia's attempts to build a faux mythology and turn their Portland into a borderline fairy-tale realm--basically Parks and Recreation's Pawnee with an actual zip code.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    In the not great but likable and intelligent Madam Secretary, Téa Leoni’s talent gets a deserving showcase.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's still as detailed, opaque and confusing as ever. [8 Jan 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The first few episodes don’t showcase enough artistry to justify all the slogging and weeping, the bloodied faces and broken hearts. But I’d be lying if I said The Leftovers didn’t fascinate me.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    More troubling is the show's undercurrent of utter confidence, which sits uncomfortably with the clunky drama and borrowed style onscreen. Its best moments are carried by the actors; its worst might give you the disquieting impression that the makers of Gotham think you'll watch pretty much anything if the characters have the same names as characters from the DC universe.

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