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 8.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matthew Gilbert's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 6
Lowest review score: 0 Twenty Good Years: 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]
    • 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]
    • 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 doesn't seem to have lost any ballast moving forward from the intensity of season one.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    A taut exercise in withheld disaster, Breaking Bad is riveting.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    It's hard to know where to aim the praise first.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Of all the drama pilots I watched, this was my favorite.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Matthew Gilbert
    Amazing. [20 June 2005, p.B7]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    ''24" is still an addictive amusement park ride of a show.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Matthew Gilbert
    The show takes the characters' angst and obsessions much too seriously, elevating their histrionics to soap-operatic levels when it should be flirting with satire.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The ABC show... is one of the pleasures of the new season, although it may strike some viewers as too conceptually loose to love.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    If Rock and co-creator Ali LeRoi can continue to bring depth to the characters without succumbing to cliche or sentiment, they will be on a promising path.
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    This is cringe comedy at its giddiest best. [2 Jan 2004]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    So much of the pleasure of Lost is in the way surprise twists arrive completely out of the blue.
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    [It] passes quickly but gleefully.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Matthew Gilbert
    Despite its formal ambition, "Big Day" is disappointingly ordinary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Matthew Gilbert
    The premiere is sloppily made, as it careens loosely among plotlines and characters, but Morgan is a worthy character played by a promising young actor.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Truly there can be something rich and lovely about hospitals, and there is something rich and lovely about Boston Med.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    It's not too early, however, to heap praise onto this astute, well-written show and its many specific wonders.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Mazzello and Dale both add to the humanity of The Pacific with their committed performances, even when the disorienting narrative seems to be working against them.
    • 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
    • 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]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    After the forced setup, evolves into a rich portrait of hard lives and the possibility of healing. By episode 3, the miniseries feels like a smart crime novel, steeped in very specific locales and individuals.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Sordid Lives: The Series has a decidedly amateurish tone, with shoddy production values and acting that shows some seams. But the tone works in the show's favor.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Matthew Gilbert
    It all feels inessential.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a heavy soap opera that's so obsessed with the death of innocence, it forgets about the comic absurdities of decadence.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Pushing Daisies is good, as well as distinctive.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    There's no false modesty here, just a level-headed look back as Belafonte recalls decades of music, family, and activism, but mostly activism.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    One of TV's more interesting reality competitions. ... This season, the series promises to be less revelatory but equally absorbing. [7 Dec 2005]
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The plots are really secondary to the show's winning, easy-going style and its bittersweet tone. This isn't John Cassavetes, but there's something of the director's spaciously paced, slightly improvised technique about the way the men on the show interact as they take their regular hikes and breakfast at the diner.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s an inviting, beautifully acted, and smartly written period drama set in the 1950s
    • 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]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    A strange, fascinating, and sometimes brilliant contemporary take on the father of forensic crime-solving.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Still, even if Curb has lost some of its original wallop, it remains a great comedy of manners.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Breaking Bad works as an unabashedly bold story about a man in extremis, told with the iconographic and ironic sensibility of Quentin Tarantino.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Nashville falls somewhere in between the two extremes, a story that thrives on heightened melodrama and big twists but gives its characters more depth than you generally find in network lather-fests.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    For a new series, Sports Night already has a nicely developed sense of ensemble and texture. Charles and Krause show a natural chemistry as anchors and friends, and Robert Guillaume has strong presence as the imposing executive producer. The most appealing actor, though, is Huffman, who is dynamic as the committed producer who lives only for airtime. She's got caffeine running through her veins. [22 Sept 1998, p.C1]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Tonight's premiere isn't one of the series' most cleverly wrought scripts; it's more of a welcome-back party than a gem.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    In the first four new episodes, her characters remain in their self-contained cultural warp, still only just beginning to mingle with hipsters and hard drugs and cold, careering artists, and, yes, black people.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Dexter enters season 3 on Sunday at 9 p.m. with an increasing--and pleasing--urge to make us like the curious man-child at its center.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The show, as fast-paced as ever, is crammed with subplots this season, some of which will be more engaging than others.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    I admire this show--it's so original, and sequences such as the "Sound of Music" goof are right on. But I admire it more than I enjoy it.
    • 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]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    HBO's Generation Kill is remarkable.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    "Brotherhood" ... may not be one of the all-time great crime shows, but it's certainly a very good one that improves with each episode.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is certainly trippy and visually dazzling, but it’s also a big-thought-provoking series crammed with scientific and historical fact. Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, it is a transporting mass of CGI special effects and cartoon sequences, but it has the heft and scope of cable’s most esteemed science series, “Planet Earth” and “Life.”
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Matthew Gilbert
    It's only a few shades more adult than, say, playing with blocks.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Matthew Gilbert
    Pointless and inert.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    The Walking Dead may depend more on suspense, desolate atmosphere, and creative storytelling than fine acting. The show takes a nightmare generally told in movies and opens it up for the medium of TV. I'm optimistic that Darabont & Co. will continue to find ways to make the characters interestingly human as they dodge death's slow, ruthless pursuit.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Little Dorrit has so many virtues--indelible performances, stirring pathos, and an emotional and psychological heft unusual for Dickens--that you can forgive its one significant flaw.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Matthew Gilbert
    " 'Til Death Do Us Part"... almost contains enough comically clumsy filming and overacting to achieve camp. Almost, but not quite enough, even with Waters doing his twisted Rod Serling bit.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Matthew Gilbert
    'Extras" is far less terminally existential than ''The Office," less depressing to watch.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    All the details have color, and so do the characters, right down to Sam's guilt-ridden parents, with whom he still lives. And there are fleeting hints of drama in the scenario that will surely gain momentum and weight.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    Based on the pilot, [the] mystery promises to be surprising, psychological, and addictive.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    On occasion, McKinnon--perhaps in his appreciation of the actor--lingers too long on Young, as if we’re not already completely aware that he is dazed and confused. It unintentionally undermines Young’s performance. But for the most part, in Young’s Daniel we can clearly see what it means to mystified by freedom, to be on the outside and yet shackled on the inside.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a nicely assembled, topical film that gives us both a sweeping view of gay rights across almost 30 years, as well as an intimate look at an extraordinary person swept up in those times.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Matthew Gilbert
    It offers amusement and a tad of suspense, but little to ponder over the long run.
    • 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]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Matthew Gilbert
    It's subject matter that speaks to the train-wreck spectator in all of us, and designing a weekly show around it is a little uneasy-making. It's dangerously close to "reality" programming. That said, Special Victims Unit is an uneven hour that could improve with some aggressive fine tuning.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The cinematography is beautiful, and there seems to be nowhere around the Big Apple's tents and trailers that the camera won't go. There's just not much in the way of drama here.