For 736 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matthew Gilbert's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Rules of Engagement: Season 1
Score distribution:
736 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    "The Larry Sanders Show" begins its sixth season in top form, with no letup in its steady flow of spot-on sendups and ironic rubs. [13 Mar 1998]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Chase has kept his vision unspoiled despite the torrents of praise, hyperbole, and Emmy nomination that have rained down on his show. Yes, the exhilarating sense of discovery that electrified the first season of "The Sopranos" is gone; the first cut is always the deepest. But last season's revelatory buzz is replaced by a certainty that this show has got legs, that the writing is as comic and edgy as ever, and that Chase has a few new monsters up his sleeve. [14 Jan 2000]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Extraordinary. [2 Mar 2001]
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is back in magnificent form, with all its humor, psychological thorniness, and bleak tragedy intact. It remains the highest peak of series TV.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Riveting, gripping, and altogether compelling ... An innovative and expertly executed hour of suspense, '24' is without question the best premiere of the fall season. [6 Nov 2001]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    It is depressing, brilliant, hysterical, excruciating, full of irony, and nothing you'd ever expect to find on American network TV. Rather than sweetening the workplace with fantasies of a home away from home, "The Office" heightens the reality and disconnection of corporate life until it is absurdly funny. The show doesn't touch your heart so much as tickle your spleen. [9 Oct 2003]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    It also showcases Milch's taste for complexity when it comes to both the criminal mind and the lawman's motivations. [19 Mar 2004, p.D1]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    The future of TV comedy is a sick one, my friends. A gloriously, brilliantly, deliriously sick one, where a desperate housewife wears a "SLUT" T-shirt on a prison visit, a businessman sells prefab homes to Saddam Hussein, and a pudgy teen lusts after his first cousin. It's a ferociously Freudian future, replete with a pent-up mama's boy, a family-run banana stand, and a disbarred psychiatrist who wears cutoffs beneath his underwear because he's a "Never-nude." That's a phobia about nakedness he's trying to make into a nationally recognized condition...In short, it's Arrested Development. [7 Nov 2004, p.N4]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Nip/ Tuck also remains gorgeously sick...The makers of Nip/ Tuck never keep it simple, which is simply excellent. [20 Sept 2005, p.C6]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    It's hard to know where to aim the praise first.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    This is a great piece of TV work... Right from its opening minutes, after a flight to Australia has crashed on the shores of nowhere, ABC's Lost simulates the kind of dread we don't expect to find on the small screen. [22 Sept 2004, p.E1]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Thanks largely to the presence of blowhard-par-excellence Denis Leary, who could be neither self-pitying nor unambiguously heroic if his life or his pack of cigarettes depended on it, it's one of the best series of the year.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Amazing. [20 June 2005, p.B7]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    The NBC series certainly has been one of TV’s most emotionally honest and stirring works, and it remains so as it enters its fourth season.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    This extraordinary upstairs-downstairs drama, written by Oscar-winning "Gosford Park" screenwriter Julian Fellowes, is a dramatic, intelligent, soapy, comic, and wise piece of work, one that explores social shifts on the eve of World War I while delivering a remarkably engaging cast of characters.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Gabriel Byrne is in every minute of the show, delivering one of TV's most faceted and intriguing performances....All of the new characters promise to engage as their stories and backstories begin to unfold.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    It offers a great cast, and some very tight, tart scripting. Each of the season's seven half-hours is a little sliver of pleasure.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    A taut exercise in withheld disaster, Breaking Bad is riveting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, though, even with the fantasy, Game of Thrones feels like a historical medieval saga. It's a royal, and royally good, round of musical chairs.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Of all the drama pilots I watched, this was my favorite.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    It's hard to imagine any other comedy series putting such a fitting cap on its run. [21 Oct 2004]
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    The show doesn't seem to have lost any ballast moving forward from the intensity of season one.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    The show beautifully depicts a massive game of musical chairs, a world at war with doom ever present just across the border.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    AMC’s Mad Men returns for season 6 with two hours that are as rich and as deftly literary as anything in the history of the show. The premiere operates like a series of exquisitely written theatrical set pieces, one after another that add up to a moving, ironic, and often comic group portrait.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Beautifully written (by Richard LaGravenese) and directed (by Steven Soderbergh), Behind the Candelabra doesn’t quite fit into the biopic genre--simply because it is so good.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    While The Corner may sound like just more preachy TV cliches about drug abuse and African-American self-destruction, it is so much more than that. It is about the life and death forces at war in that inner-city staple, The Corner, and it is a jarring introduction to the people behind the statistics and the cliches. I hope it finds an audience, despite its rawness. No one ever said great drama had to be pretty. [14 Apr 2000, p.D1]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Matthew Gilbert
    I love the suburban satire, which is old territory made fresh again. [Jane] Levy, from "Shameless," is tart and sympathetic, and [Cheryl] Hines is a revelation as a rabidly superficial mom.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Matthew Gilbert
    The script is tight and ambitious, as it attempts to anatomize corruption in the big city.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Matthew Gilbert
    Dern is fantastic as Amy--you cringe as her histrionics drive people away, and cringe again as she tries to suppress her feelings behind a veneer of New Age peacefulness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Matthew Gilbert
    I don't know if it will catch on - westerns can be a hard sell - but it's another fine AMC choice.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Ed has enough potential to qualify as scary. Scary in a "Freaks & Geeks" maybe-I-shouldn't-get-too-attached kind of way. What I mean is that one of this fall's more promising new series is a romantic comedy that NBC seems ready to chuck to the wolves, as it did so tragically to "F&G" last year. [6 Oct 2000, p.D1]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    A smart, exhilarating, well-written hour that, if anything, is a little naive about the folks who run our nation's most important office. [22 Sept 1999, p.E1]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    "Malcolm" is an instantly likable series, as it takes conventional TV-family material and gives it a good old-fashioned goose. [7 Jan 2000]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Sweet and intelligent...A genre-bender if ever there was one, Roswell takes the "Romeo and Juliet" love story, dresses it in "Rebel Without a Cause" Americana, and then gives the whole thing an "X-Files" twist. The show is a long, long way from "My Favorite Martian" and "Mork & Mindy." [6 Oct 1999, p.E1]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Along with its refreshing cast, led by Keri Russell, the WB's Felicity is blessed with a sweet realism that captures the emotional roller coaster that is freshman year in college. It also offers an appealingly non-gritty look at New York City, as seen through the eyes of optimism and innocence...The show transcends formula by staying steadily focused on its characters' shifting emotional realities, and by avoiding the issue-of-the-week plot twists of a series like "Beverly Hills 90210." [29 Sept 1998, p.C1]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    No, The Sopranos is not the equal of Scorsese's masterpiece ["Goodfellas"], but it manages to bring a new spin to the words "dysfunctional" and "family," and it deserves its place alongside other HBO gems like "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Sex and the City." [9 Jan 1999, p.C1]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    In its own affectionate way, Freaks and Geeks puts a pimple into the TV-ized approach to adolescence. This delightfully observed 1980s-set dramedy is high school as many of us remember it, with Twinkie-pounding bullies and Army-jacket wearing druggies and pale nerds with speech impediments and "Star Trek" fixations. It's high school unplugged, a sort of "Dazed and Confused" for the small screen, and it is one of the fall season's most likable new shows. That NBC has thrown "Freaks and Geeks" into the wilds of Saturday night - it premieres tonight at 8 on Ch. 7 - is only further evidence of network nitwitness. [25 Sept 1999, p.C1]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Can Alias work on a weekly basis? While the Alias pilot plunges forward effortlessly, it also leads to some fairly complicated twists involving Sydney's father (Victor Garber) and the nature of her agency. These twists could make future episodes overly layered, or too dependent on backstory. Also, any CIA suspense series, with or without a flashy pilot, faces the challenge of coming up with 20 or so fresh espionage plots each season - no easy task.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    This is cringe comedy at its giddiest best. [2 Jan 2004]
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    A wonderful, imaginative mess brimming with possibility. About a dysfunctional family of space cowboys, the sci-fi series arrives not fully formed, like an elaborate photo that's still clarifying in developing fluid. While many shows burst onto the scene with slick pilots and quickly deteriorate into mediocrity, I'm thinking Firefly is on the opposite creative journey.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    It's an extraordinarily appealing series, one that's so much more than its easy label as a teen private-eye series. [22 Sept 2004, p.D12]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Rescue Me isn't for everyone, particularly those who find Leary's fuming a little too convincing. But it's certainly a TV gem, rough but gleaming. [30 May 2006, p.E1]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The NBC sitcom is so unpretentious and original, it will probably win you over on its own sweet merits.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    'Extras" is far less terminally existential than ''The Office," less depressing to watch.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The new layout of the action - Coach Eric Taylor lives in Austin, coaching college football, while Tami Taylor is at home in Dillon on maternity leave - doesn't make the story any less cohesive or satisfying. [5 Oct 2007, p.D2]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Fiendishly excellent.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    From the brilliant performance by Michael C. Hall to the dryly witty scripting, Dexter secures a position near the top of another year's best list.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Dexter is a masterfully creepy-funny serial-killer series, and it continues to both frighten and amuse as it enters its fifth season.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    This season as much as last, In Treatment brings us into more intimacy with its characters than almost any other series on TV.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    A really extraordinary new drama.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Mad Men returns for season 2 in excellent form: There's a rich and active subtext in this series, you just have to discover it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Mad Men remains TV at its most artful. Like Don Draper, it's beautiful, stealthy, troubling, and, above all, addictive.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    When people ask me to recommend good TV, they never seem to have heard about it. Yup, Breaking Bad is that series.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    This knockout adaptation of the Lorraine Hansberry play is a model of both the pure power of stage acting and TV’s potential to bring us up close to that acting without deadening it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    HBO's Generation Kill is remarkable.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The writing remains remarkable, as it toggles between the rhythms and cliches of 1950s movies and the timeless resonance of mid-20th-century theater. You rarely find such economical and evocative scripting on TV.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Beyond the formulaic outline, White Collar, is actually one of the best new shows of the season.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    This is the kind of TV that viewers ask for but rarely get, driven by characters who are more than the sum of one or two qualities and who harbor depths that are revealed slowly, subtly, and authentically.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The show isn't easy to warm up to, to be honest; it's draped in--and at times stifled by--meticulous period detail and too-perfect lighting, especially in Scorsese's premiere. But in episode two, the characters and the script begin to prevail, and the drama becomes more emotionally distinct and fascinating.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    There may be a smaller number of top-notch newbies this season, but Raising Hope, a celebration of parenthood and childhood, of small joys and big struggles, is certainly one of them.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    [The] sentimental streak in the show is compensated by Frank's coldness and the scrappy urban realism, translated so effectively from the British original.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Based on the first three episodes, I'm thinking season 2 is going to be even better and certainly more consistent.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The Killing quickly hooks you with its steadily unfolding story line. Created by Veena Sud, based on a Danish TV hit named "Forbrydelsen," the show draws you into the tragedy of the crime, and then makes you crave its solution.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    With none of the conventional plot techniques TV viewers are accustomed to, it is a collection of rich moments and poignant characters that loosely adds up to something quite powerful.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    With season two, the drama has fully come to life, with moments of savagery, hypocrisy, and bittersweet loyalty that make it a must-see show.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The Hour is not "Breaking Bad" good, or "Mad Men" good, but it's close.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The unfolding of the Parade’s End narrative has been directed (by Susanna White) and written to challenge--sometimes too much so. While you always understand the connections among the characters on “Downton,” you have to piece them together yourself in Parade’s End.... It’s the kind of demanding storytelling that differentiates “The Wire” from most other crime series.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    The first few episodes of this import promise no slack--and plenty of poignancy--as the story line moves closer to the truth of the matter.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s not as meticulous, cinematic, or original as those two shows ["Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad"], but it’s got the same kind of storytelling ambition. It’s the most vital new series of the year so far.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Orange Is the New Black is a funny, dramatically sound, poignant, and thoroughly addictive adventure through a bleak looking glass.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Unlike the majority of today's youth-market vehicles, Undeclared has been put together with a refreshing lack of cynicism (as well as a refreshing lack of laugh track). [25 Sept 2001, p.E1]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    Created by Mike Judge, it does for techies, venture capitalists, and tech-biz campuses what Judge’s film “Office Space” did for cubicle dwellers, their bosses, and office parks back in 1999.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s a promising reentry. All the major themes, so subtly articulated across the first six seasons, are coming to a head.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Matthew Gilbert
    As a weekly series, the effects need to remain impressive and the writers need to avoid falling into "Lost" and "Walking Dead" band-of-survivors rehash.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Matthew Gilbert
    This is a classic guilty pleasure, with campy twists and a fabulously diva-esque performance by Stowe.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Matthew Gilbert
    After the forced opening minutes, it's the best multi-cam-com of the season.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Matthew Gilbert
    The tone tips awkwardly between crude and romantic, and a little of Azaria goes a long way. But I'm game for episode 2.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Angel the WB's new child of "Buffy," is no ordinary spinoff, and it has the potential to become a witty hour of unearthly allegory in its own right. If it can maintain a sense of humor about itself, Angel, which stars David Boreanaz as Buffy's brooding former beau, may become one of those rare spinoffs that isn't merely a flat-out cash-in. [5 Oct 1999, p.D1]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    If you're looking for sexual tension amid the laugh track, or social and political point-making between the punchlines, then "Will & Grace" may not work for you. It's a sitcom that has the potential to prove to prime time that attractions between adults are not always rooted in lust. [21 Sep 1998]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The bottom line is that "Ally McBeal" features wonderfully provocative scripts that are as clever as they are wise; supporting actors who are the definitive opposite of stock; and a carefully struck tone that balances the fantastic, the romantic, the sardonic, and the sincere. It is a uniquely imagined TV series that, with producer/writer David E. Kelley as the engine behind it, goes further than ever seemed possible. [14 Sep 1998]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    But the real question is: Will Dharma & Greg be able to expand its central, single joke into an entire series? An entertaining premiere, yes, but there may be a finite number of laughs to be had over those wacky hippies and the cold-hearted WASPs. [24 Sept 1997, p.C6]
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    A surprisingly promising hour that could become something special if it doesn't cop out and decide to become a hipped-up "Beverly Hills 90210." [29 Sept 1999, p.F10]
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    This kind of material would wear thin after a while if the characters weren't as distinct and endearing as they are. [30 Apr 2005]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    A surprisingly stylish adaptation of a story that would seem to be played out after so many incarnations on the small and big screens. If Smallville can keep its supernatural plots engaging, and avoid focusing solely on Clark Kent's familiar teen alienation, it could evolve into a top-tier WB series. [16 Oct 2001, p.D16]
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Compared to the grittier British version, the American Queer as Folk has a sweet, romanticized aura. At times, it even recalls the TV adaptation of "Tales of the City." The script has plenty of conflict, and the sexuality is hard-core, but the show also exudes an ensemble coziness and jokiness that finds the gang gathering regularly for late-night snacks at Debbie's diner. [1 Dec 2000, p.F1]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    As with most HBO series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" isn't for everyone. Prerequisites include not only a desire for more of the best of "Seinfeld" but a willingness to go along with David's Brooklyn-bred grumpiness. [13 Oct 2000]
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Based on the first two episodes of season two, "24" returns tonight with the promise of another year of ambitious, outrageous, and addictive TV drama. [29 Oct 2002]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The show seems to have a light step this season without the heavy-duty silliness of Kim ... And it is refreshing to see many new faces at CTU. [8 Jan 2005]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    ''24" is still an addictive amusement park ride of a show.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The Wire is a cop drama from top to bottom. It does take a systemic view of the issue, like "Traffic," Steven Soderbergh's drug-trade saga. But it never sacrifices drama and character for lecture. [31 May 2002, p.E14]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Why watch The Wire if it's such tough-going--so difficult to follow and then, once followed, so pessimistic? Because it offers the kind of earned understanding that leads to progress.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The shamelessness of Nip/Tuck returns intact, which is a good thing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Of the 36 new network shows premiering this fall, Las Vegas is among the more promising. [22 Sept 2003, p.B7]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Like "Lost," it has the potential to grow into a cross-genre drama that reaches beyond cultiness to all kinds of TV viewers.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The entire series... has been amped up this time around. It's all gotten a little more Hollywood, even if it's as ensconced as ever in the plush offices and dramatic skyscrapers of New York. [9 Sep 2004]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    What a treat it is to find a medical show that doesn't turn its talented MDs into bedside saints in order to calm viewers' fears about mechanical HMO factories.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    No, it's not "groundbreaking," as HBO calls its programming. And I doubt it will give the ratings-slipping channel its much-needed hit. But it will probably find a small, loyal, "Deadwood"-size audience that enjoys a good serial melodrama charged up by a villainess named Atia who turns mothering into something akin to pimping. [26 Aug 2005, p.D1]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    So much of the pleasure of Lost is in the way surprise twists arrive completely out of the blue.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The feverish action is as tantalizing as ever, and so is the script.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The FX drama returns for its fifth season tonight at 10, after a 19-month absence, and it returns to its former glory after an unfortunate fourth-season slump.