Matthew Gilbert

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For 992 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 7.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matthew Gilbert's Scores

Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Friday Night Lights: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Unan1mous: Season 1
Score distribution:
992 tv reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It all felt safe and predictable, a warm goodnight salvo without any of the tartness or twistedness of Ferguson or of the show’s lead-in host, David Letterman.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Human Target is perfectly adequate action fluff. It’s fast-paced, chock full of fight choreography, and filled with gimmicks including an out-of-control train and an upside-down airplane.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It won't insult your intelligence, and it has a completely likable lead actor in Kyle Bornheimer; but Worst Week is nevertheless completely predictable and unambitious.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Critics have been trashing this sitcom for weeks, singling it out as the season's first likely casualty. I have to admit I got a modest kick out of the first episode. [6 Oct 2000, p.D1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    "Lovespring International" is a lively little cable exercise in over-the-top characters, bad taste, satire, and political incorrectness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Walters makes the movie seem like more than it is. She gives us a fully dimensional woman--an art teacher--who is idealistic, self-righteous, humorless, God-fearing, affectionate toward her students, driven, and not any one of those qualities to a great extreme.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Based on a preview of two episodes, Idiotsitter is fairly amusing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a plot-driven, multi-generational melodrama, which feels particularly shallow at a time when shows such as "Friday Night Lights," "Mad Men," "Dexter," and "Nip/Tuck" are pushing their narrative reach.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    A slight but appealing mix of old-school Saturday morning cartoons from the early 1970s along with happy hip-hop tunes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's worth keeping an eye on the show, in case it finds somewhere to go that's both intricate and unusual.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Television dramas rarely get therapy right, and State of Mind only adds to that reputation.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The couples are ordinary, and so are their issues. That’s part of the goal of the show--to dissect the mundanity of love and anger. But making a developing story out of these tangles and skirmishes is extremely difficult, and Tell Me You Love Me doesn’t quite pull it off.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    As it explores the efficacy of varying business tactics, "The Apprentice" actually has a hint of promise. [8 Jan 2004]
    • Boston Globe
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Despite the ambitious effort to show these women as individuals, to explore the ways the men hold them back and the ways they hold themselves back, the show feels generic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's just a thoroughly conventional multi-camera sitcom rooted in familiar Felix-Oscar shtick and that tried-and-true comic standby, a cute kid. It's old school...And happy to be that way. [22 Sept 2003, p.B7]
    • Boston Globe
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The pop allusions (to Carson Daly, Alfred Hitchcock) and the fog-machine-based production design are flat and unambitious. But “The Vampire Diaries’’ nonetheless satisfactorily opens up yet another TV world of heightened youth, where blood-sucking is a metaphor for a whole range of fears and desires.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The TV equivalent of a murder-mystery novel, the kind you can read in between swims and nods on the beach. You know it’s going to be predictable, illogical, and a little trashy, and you don’t mind if the book jacket gets wet or torn, and if the book got stolen you’d forget about it almost instantly, but still, you kind of want to find out who done it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The VH1 series is slight, but it has a certain charm and the potential to grow into a harmless, soapy amusement.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The debut isn't disastrous by any means, it just doesn't crackle.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s an ambitious work that is always fascinating, if not always successful. When all is said and done, Boardwalk Empire may be TV’s best uneven series.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    While it pales next to the original movie, it is an enjoyable Saturday-matinee-styled Western show with a charismatic cast and the potential for savvy plots reflecting the complications of race and violence in the post-Civil War West. [3 Jan 1998]
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The different elements hang together as a nicely faceted whole--until the final minutes, that is. Ultimately neither movie nor series, neither beginning nor end, Virtuality is a flight with no destiny.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The L Word will get some notice because of its frank, soft-core-tinged portrayal of lesbian sexuality. Just as gay men are neutered in the mainstream, shown only as fit, fashion-obsessed, show-tune-savvy fellas, gay women are still trying to shake the Boston marriage image.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Sedgwick ... deserves better than "The Closer," but she still makes TNT's conventional new homicide drama worth checking out. [13 Jun 2005]
    • Boston Globe
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Olbermann is still Olbermann: left-leaning, punctuated by ironic humor, veering into bombast, and underpinned by sincerity. You'll just need to look a little harder in the far reaches of cable to find him.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It would be great to see the network come up with something as honest as, say, “My So-Called Life,” or as original and amusingly metaphorical as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” or as thought-provoking as a movie like “River’s Edge.” But in the meantime, a mostly happy dramedy like Chasing Life will do, marrying strong female roles with CW-style 20-something melodrama that’s as mindlessly angsty as the Bon Iver on the soundtrack.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    These actors help save the show from pure whimsy and excess.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The show, from Greg Berlanti and Nicolas Wootton, does a good job of making Clark both appealing and overly ambitious.... What doesn’t work at all in the first two episodes of Golden Boy is the more familiar procedural material.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The familiar show, which is set in Boston but too clearly filmed elsewhere, adds in some romantic intrigue, as both Harmon and Alexander appear to be interested in the same FBI agent (Billy Burke). But the dominant theme on Rizzoli & Isles, as on "The Closer,'' is fighting crime and not fighting tears.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's completely stupid, although somehow, on top of it all, it manages to pull out a laugh or two if you're willing to channel your inner juvenile.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    'Kitchen Confidential" is the kind of new TV show that fits perfectly beside the adjective ''promising." Pilots sometimes strain to set up the entire series, and tonight's episode of ''Confidential" has its share of forced material.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    There’s a hint of “Arrested Development” in the air, but Working the Engels is ultimately a much more common kind of dysfunctional family sitcom.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Jewel is a bit of a host-and-judge-bot, delivering her lines with a steely stiffness, but DioGuardi is usually worth listening to....Platinum Hit has a few flaws. The casting is far too predictable. All the songwriters are pretty and, with one or two notable exceptions, pushy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    "Million Dollar Listing" is a pretty collection of vignettes about people with money making more money, and it's a little obscene.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It succeeds as a charming, silly, and idealistic piece of whimsy along the lines of "In and Out."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Clearly, the action in ''Black. White." has been manipulated and edited to justify its existence as a spark-filled TV look at black-white relations. Indeed, the show... can be downright hokey. But it nonetheless pushes you into questions about your own behavior and feelings.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Donnie Loves Jenny is a reality show that delivers scenes that were clearly prefabricated, comments that were likely calculated for effect, and intimate moments that feel awkward because we are in the room.... And yet, I found the hour surprisingly endearing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The two-part miniseries makes missteps aplenty, with tone and plot changes from the novel that will likely offend purists. But it nonetheless has a warm spirit and an original vision, which is more than I can say for Roman Polanski's rote 2005 version.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    At this point, Scrubs has turned its original style into a formula; the fantasy sequences are more predictable, the earnest denouements are automatic. It’s a good formula, but one that’s no longer vibrant.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The Fox series' formula is pretty stock teen material, with immature guys and unsuspecting parents and ditsy girls, but it's got a few inventively surrealistic scenes and a breezy tone that make it worth watching. [22 Aug 1998, p.C4]
    • Boston Globe
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    [Piven] brings a contemporary delivery that is jarring in the context of all the period elements around him. Alas, in this particular entourage, which is filled with promise, Piven is the weak link.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, ''Random 1" is a portrait of the giving spirit in action, not a fantasy show about happy endings.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    [Scott's] vital, star-making turn in "Saved" comes as a surprise, as it makes his earlier work seem muted by comparison.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's all extremely familiar material, despite plot tweaks here and there, and yet the show is still somewhat charming in its emphasis on idealism and bravery. Flimsy, but charming enough.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    You won't be drawn to True Blood if you don't like a heightened, almost cartoonish atmosphere. Paquin, giggly but calmly assertive, is something of an acquired taste as Sookie.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's just a little novelty, much like the plastic body fluids its characters are selling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, Fisher comes across like that overly intelligent, entertaining, articulate analysand who has her own story all figured out, but still doesn't know how to let it go.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's good, but not quite inventive or mysterious enough to demand we swallow yet another serving of serial.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The show... is juvenile, vulgar, and crude, and yet, I still think it contains more sparks of originality than TV's top-rated comedy, "Two and a Half Men."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Without its classic, punk, and alternative allusions, the New York romantic comedy would be just another ''Sex and the City" with dudes, another ''Jake in Progress" or ''Four Kings." But with its musical knowing, ''Love Monkey" comes off more like a small-screen ''High Fidelity."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The dog-and-owner interplay ranges from the awesome and comic to the cringe-worthy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s just fine, although it never strays outside the conventions of poignant coming-of-age stories. Everything about the show is too familiar. The sincerity is refreshing in an animated context, but the characters and the stories are old hat.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    OK, watching celebrities get taken down does have its nice side. [20 Apr 2003, p.N5]
    • Boston Globe
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The product tie-in is tiresome, but Wolk in particular, with his winks and grins, adds warmth as Williams’s cocky protege. He also rescues a few scenes in which Williams starts to drift into the nonsense stratosphere.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The new show from "Sex and the City" producer Darren Star, is a strained attempt to build another hit about four peacocky New York women who sip martinis and use the word "penis" as often as possible.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Is it strange to make good will and charity into a win-lose proposition? Is it peculiar to judge the givers on their manner of giving, to quantify their largesse? To me, yes, it is, and the show makes for awkward viewing as a result.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    With its pleasing San Francisco locales and McKidd's sympathetic performance, "Journeyman" is entertaining enough.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    None of the contestants are quite as memorable as their ideas, except for the man fighting for Saucy Balls. The judges are a little more vivid, remaining firm in their opinions and unafraid to reject proposals without much apology.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    You won't be bored, as you strain to keep track of everything, and Isaacs, with his piercing eyes and reserve, is a great lead.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Barker is written as the stereotypical rogue cop who crosses the line into illegality, but Swayze's presence is complex enough to add mystery and weight that aren't in the script....[but] take Swayze and his gravitas out of the picture, and The Beast is a mediocre series that would probably lurk on the cable TV lineup without much notice.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    We've seen all these characters countless times before in movie and TV westerns, but the actors give them distinction here.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Invitingly bizarre... [but] despite all the promise of its premise about the changeability of self, "Meadowlands" never quite rises to excellence.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    "Shark" is a very conventional courtroom TV drama about a do-good lawyer, and its only distinction is the ferocious acting of Woods.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    While The Path is engaging, and smart when it comes to portraying the strangeness of cult life, it suffers from a bad case of tonal overkill.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Defying Gravity is a perfectly decent bit of sci-fi soap - some cool “Star Trek’’ futurism, plenty of pretty “Grey’s Anatomy’’ ensemble melodrama, and a twist of eerie “Twilight Zone’’ mysteriousness when characters refer to the high-tech spaceship as if it has a will of its own.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    So much about the Fox series is unseemly, and I don't just mean the commercial-to-show ratio and the sponsor plugs, which have been downright obscene. "American Idol," a new hybrid of reality TV and beauty pageantry, represents some of the crudest aspects of both network TV and the pop-music industry. ... And yet, and yet. "American Idol" remains addictive TV. [4 Sep 2002]
    • Boston Globe
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Without any framing background information, this affectionate documentary and its continual monologues can feel a little too insidery and indulgent.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a contrived product, but the storytelling reveals the cases and their solutions nicely, if straightforwardly.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The lack of a human entry point renders the whole thing passionless. It's more of a slick contraption than a truly thrilling hour.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Entertaining, stylish, and, most of all, slight.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's hard to know where The Middle will go after tonight's decent pilot. And that's part of the sitcom's promise, that it has the potential to blossom into a sweet if small celebration of a family of oddballs living distinctly unhip lives.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ever respectful of its source, the miniseries doesn't add on sexuality so much as it seeks and finds character depth and dimensionality.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Parenthood is a fairly promising ensemble dramedy that shows TV expanding beyond an emphasis on nuclear families to look at broader family systems reaching from ages 5 to 75.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The wit of the historical re-creations, along with the excellence of the many guest actors in them (including, this season, Connie Britton, Kristen Wiig, Aubrey Plaza, Owen Wilson, and Jack McBrayer) helps to overcome the repetitiveness and slightness of the formula.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, though, Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy isn't as sensational as it might have been. It unfolds without too much of the lurid caricature of so many other Lifetime movies.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    But while it shows Heche at an advantage, the series itself is, to tap into the script's car-driving metaphors, just a rusty old vehicle.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a fun ride at first. The series is tightly plotted, and the twists create moments of satisfying intrigue ... But juicy plot turns alone cannot fuel a series for long, especially when they repeat themselves, and the limitations of "Falcone" become clearer in its second and third episodes. [4 Apr 2000]
    • Boston Globe
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Known for asking tough questions and being the cranky "America's Got Talent" judge, Morgan was indeed surprising--surprisingly soft. He failed to press Oprah hard on any of her more touchy-feely answers. And yet his Barbara Walters-esque method worked, to some extent, since Oprah is not one to bend to pressure.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Revolution is just all right, no better, no worse.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    USA's Fairly Legal is fairly good. OK, I hate myself for that. But the phrase "fairly good" just seems so right in this case.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The characters may be shallow, but that doesn’t keep the show from giving the easy pleasures of reading a quickie mystery novel. And a few of the actors are entertaining despite the limitations of the script.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Television doesn't get any more visceral than this, and you will not soon forget images of the sky exploding into a rainstorm of parachutes, planes, and fire over Normandy, or American soldiers stumbling across a German death camp tucked in the forest...But as episodic television storytelling, Band of Brothers is less successful, marred not only by loose plot threads and war cliches but also by an excess of indistinct characters. [7 Dec 2001, p.C1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    You can feel creator Vince Gilligan (of "The X-Files") straining to build an emblematic American fable and forgetting to fill in his story with particularities and believable motivations.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Margulies and Noth--both of whom have a similarly dark appeal--are well-matched onscreen. Alas, if you feel a “but’’ or two coming, you would be correct. The problem I have with The Good Wife is something that mars too much TV: telegraphing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    [Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors] plays like a long-lost episode of “The Waltons” in which Jennifer Nettles and Ricky Schroder have stepped in as Ma and Pa. It’s a romanticized view of the past, to put it mildly, and it’s as sticky sweet as the caramel apple cider you might find at Dollywood.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    I had hoped The Following' would be a more self-aware about its own violence... Instead, The Following simply goes for more generic thrills, using a lot of horror-story clichés including making the most virulent followers into boys and girls next door. It's a well put together show, so that the four episodes sent for preview flew by. But it doesn't invite bigger thoughts, which is what violent cable series such as "Dexter" and "Boardwalk Empire" have done at their best.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    A neatly conceived show that borrows from sources like Joseph Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness" and George Orwell's "1984." The plot is hard to summarize thoroughly - you'd need an instruction manual for that - but it unfolds easily on screen. [8 Oct 1999, p.D12]
    • Boston Globe
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Galavant is a musical spoof of knight-in-shining-armor stories that is slight, unoriginal, and uneven, but that can be amusing and diverting nonetheless.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    A slick effects extravaganza whose pilot episode kept me looking instead of enjoying.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The movie moved me, but the show feels like it’s going to wear thin after the setup in the pilot.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The writers telegraph every single point, especially the sentimental ones, because subtlety can be so darn challenging. Bunbury, though, delivers an appealingly tough performance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    I love this show, because I love the wide-eyed star, who is fully engaged in her role here. If you dislike her hipster adorability, though, beware.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The CW built this predictable teen supernatural romance as a companion to the similar and better "Vampire Diaries.".
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    With J.J. Abrams as an executive producer, this tech-driven "Early Edition" is shockingly lifeless. Caviezel's Clint Eastwood impression is flat, and Emerson is too darkly eccentric to keep the drama afloat.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The cast is an embarrassment of potential, but Dillon is wearing as a Drama-like dude; the cultural-obsession-with-youth trope is old; and the learning-to-be-a-man stuff is pat. It's very meh.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s straining to be TV’s new obsession, instead of a riveting drama.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The performances are relatively charming. ... But the script is so crammed with musty gender stereotypes and familiar dating tropes that everyone onscreen gets sucked into mediocrity.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    Strain to be the next 'Seinfeld' much? But this one has a strong cast, and punchy one-liners.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s too broad and familiar to hold attention.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The ambition is impressive...But Morrison is a wooden lead, and the back stories--a random collection of fairy tales--don't promise to surprise.

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