For 243 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 20% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 75% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mike Hale's Scores

Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 90 Louis C.K.: Oh My God
Lowest review score: 10 Rob: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 243
  2. Negative: 20 out of 243
243 tv reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Unfortunately, the three hours of the show, while they include chases, sexual entrapment, grisly murders and lots of spycraft, never exceed the tension in those quiet opening scenes.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Do No Harm is a resolutely lightweight entertainment whose silliness isn't necessarily a deal breaker--if you turn off the right parts of your brain, you might enjoy it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    [A] glossy, silly, intermittently entertaining new series.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The film’s inevitable compressions, made worse by the amount of empty, self-congratulatory celebrity blathering, mean that every Pryor fan will have omissions to complain about. But the best strategy is probably to sit back and enjoy what’s there.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mr. Gregg hits the same appealing note of wry authority that he struck in “The Avengers” (it’s not yet clear whether he has any others), and the newcomer Brett Dalton shows some charm as a Bond-style operative. Joss Whedon, meanwhile, has fun with the show’s obligatory jabs of self-awareness.... The first week’s adventure feels perfunctory, though, even given the constraint of introducing characters and back story, and most of the team members are still strictly two-dimensional.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It’s treacle, but it’s distinguished by several things, beginning with its relatively dry style and careful modulation of tone and volume--even the shouting and the car chases are discreetly tasteful.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Kirstie, with Ms. Alley mugging through her role as a kindhearted narcissist, is more like the Ford Focus. If it’s late and it’s all the rental company has left, you might as well take it.... Rhea Perlman is funny as Thelma, but the real revelation of Kirstie is Michael Richards as the shady chauffeur, Frank.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Episodes end with a sit-down interview labeled "Amy Goes Deep"--everything on this show is a double-entendre--in which Ms. Schumer might talk to a sex columnist, a phone-sex operator or a pornography cameraman. That’s a lot of extra business for a half-hour sketch show, and as charming and quick on her feet as Ms. Schumer is in these segments, they can feel like filler.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    This narrative pokiness is redeemed, as usual, by the machine-tooled professionalism of the production, the lavish attention to the mock-medieval costumes and setting, and the mostly crisp, understated acting by the international cast.... More than ever, though, you may find yourself impatient for the plot to wind around to the more engaging story lines.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It’s two characters for the price of one--or for the price of sitting through the three hours (over two nights) of an opaque and contrived thriller.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Matador is definitely B-level--serviceable dialogue, not-quite-cartoonish characters, gimmicky editing--but it’s not grindhouse.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It still has plenty of clever touches in word and picture.... But it’s not particularly scary, and doesn’t even feel that creepy or freakish, despite the sideshow setting and the obvious attempt to emulate one of the eeriest of American movies, Tod Browning’s “Freaks,” from 1932.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    When you do sketch-style comedy, though, you’re only as good as your next idea, and in two subsequent episodes the situations aren’t as distinctive. Jay Baruchel gives Josh an appealing blend of desperation, gallantry and squirming calculation. He’s carrying all the weight, though: The cast includes Eric Andre as Josh’s pick-up-artist best friend, Britt Lower as his sister and Maya Erskine as his ex, but none of their characters are more than foils.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Grantchester will be breezy fun for fans of the form, though the more discerning will be put off by how rudimentary the actual murder mysteries are after being squeezed into 50 minutes (half the norm for this type of show). Others are liable to find it faintly ridiculous, more of a haiku than an actual drama.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Rather than tackle Ms. Sontag’s ideas or their value head-on, the director, Nancy Kates, continually deflects the discussion along other lines: Ms. Sontag as closeted bisexual, serial heartbreaker, liberal provocateur, narcissist, celebrity, camera subject, Jew, cancer survivor.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It offers the minor pleasures of formulaic fantasy and weekly puzzle solving, though in a cheaper-looking and less original package than usual.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The show does a creditable job of cataloging the novel's themes, but it has more trouble capturing the story's Victorian-style sweep and texture.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Franklin & Bash has some of the ingredients of perfectly adequate summer filler: it's handsomely shot; the writing, line by line, is as good as or better than that of most of the cable competition; and there are appealing actors like Malcolm McDowell, Reed Diamond and Ms. Davis in supporting roles. The problem is that Franklin and Bash themselves are resolutely uninteresting.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    What we get is an unwieldy and mostly humdrum combination of mob tale and backstage musical.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It's neither here nor there: low on sci-fi mystery and intrigue and not yet convincing as ensemble drama. Right now it feels like the beta version.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    All those profiled are on their best behavior, and the show is so focused on teaching that it goes for long stretches without entertaining.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The writers may work their way out of this corner and Mr. McIntyre, who's a bit lightweight at this point, may grow into the central role. In the meantime there are still touches of the unbridled campiness that made the first season amusing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It tries to combine elements of American mob stories and Scandinavian mysteries, seasoned with frequent overt references to "The Sopranos," but the mixture is pretty flat in the first episode.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Resolutely generic.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Nothing in the first two episodes of The Pauly D Project is more than mildly diverting, but that's still more than can be said for the reboot of the candid-camera prank show "Punk'd."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The show around them [the actors], at this point, looks too flat and schematically plotted to succeed as the type of lightweight summer fun we've come to expect from USA.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Hit & Miss is so slow and earnest and teachy--several scenes involve Mia's young son exploring his own sexual identity by donning a dress and headband--that much of the show seems to be performed on tiptoe, and a giggle seems like the appropriate response.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The medical scenes are competent but forgettable, while the scenes of Charlie's peregrinations are sometimes interesting and funny but surprisingly infrequent.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Across the four early episodes provided for review, Pierce's hallucinations are already beginning to feel like stunts covering up for a lack of ideas.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The show suffers from a failure to commit: resolutely charting a middle course between cheese-ball parody and something darker and more sophisticated, it manages to be both over the top and consistently flat, too silly to take seriously and too dull to care about.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The problem is more likely to be the generic nature of Emily's misadventures, and the soap opera implausibility of the medical stories, which is extreme, even for the genre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    [Peter Dinklage, Ciaran Hinds, Paul Kaye, and Dianna Rigg are] all fun to watch, even when their characters don’t have anything in particular to do besides relay information that we need to keep up with the story or keep straight the seven (so we’re told) warring families.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    "Catfish" was a clever riff on a found-footage thriller, Catfish: The TV Show is a standard reality series mixing elements of the dating and rehab-therapy genres.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    What looks like a flat noir thriller could still make for a pretty entertaining police procedural.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The occasional half-decent joke aside, the pilot episode of (the real) Cult is largely derivative, with a style and atmosphere reminiscent of better CW shows like “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries,” and a mildly interesting, at best, metaphysical-mystery component that feels borrowed from “Lost.”
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It’s reasonably smart, reasonably interesting and reasonably well acted without being particularly good.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Golden Boy is a smoothly made but entirely generic show that rides the squad-room-as-family metaphor hard.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Most of the elaborately introduced plotlines fizzle out (or simply vanish), and the final surprise is the worst kind of twist ending, arrived at arbitrarily and seemingly presented for its shock value.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    As to whether the show will get back on track, the early signals are mixed.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It feels cobbled together, from the premise of “Chuck,” “Jake 2.0” and other shows to scenes and situations that recall better productions like “Person of Interest,” “Homeland” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    While Mr. Douglas glides through the film--demonstrating that his talent for portraying carnivorous lechery and polished duplicity works regardless of sexual orientation--and Mr. Damon is earnest and committed, the love, or whatever it was, between Thorson and Liberace never comes into emotional focus.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Hello Ladies is a diverting curiosity, nice to look at and good for a few squirmy laughs.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    This might be more amusing if Shane and Kim were more expressive or interesting, but neither evinces much personality.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Very little that Mr. Fox, or anyone else, does in The Michael J. Fox Show, which starts on Thursday night, will force you to laugh. Everything about his return to sitcom stardom is mild, tucked in, determined not to offend.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    A perilously high-concept but intermittently pleasurable concoction that goes back to the future in several ways.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Turning Dracula into a fanged insurgent battling ruthless oligarchs is a nifty idea, and the electricity plot allows for diverting steampunk-meets-“Bride of Frankenstein” visuals. But nothing about the show is as much fun as it should be. The storytelling is slow and anemic, spelling everything out at length.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It’s competently assembled and has a bland stylishness. What it lacks, at this point, is any kick in its storytelling: There are alienation, daddy issues and a looming love triangle, but they’re all pro forma.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Reign looks good (the pilot was shot in Ireland), moves smoothly and features CW’s characteristic bland but competent performances.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It’s the last of the big-four British costume dramas of recent years to make its American public-television debut, after “Downton Abbey,” “Call the Midwife” and “Mr. Selfridge,” and it’s the most frivolous of the bunch, which is saying quite a bit.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The flashback structure, which could have been cumbersome and distracting, is impressively seamless. But, despite these positives, things start to go off track as early as the second episode.... [Director Cary Joji Fukunaga] doesn’t show much ability here to animate Mr. Pizzolatto’s dialogue-heavy encounters.... There are some nice moments in the later episodes, and they’re the ones with the fewest words.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    A predictable mix of violence, sex and sentimentalism.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    An Adventure in Space and Time turns out to be an entirely conventional backstage drama, moving at a leisurely pace and making every reversal and triumph easily comprehensible for an audience that may not have seen the original show.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Bonnie & Clyde is thoroughly inoffensive and resolutely middle-of-the-road, a big slab of a story about a doomed love affair between two nice, good-looking kids who had some really bad luck.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Much of the time in the early episodes is spent on the preparations for this mission [for one last big score] and on laying out a complicated network of alliances and animosities, and it gets to be a slog. Helping to keep us interested are Mark Ryan, providing a comic touch as a grizzled quartermaster, and Luke Arnold as a not-so-charming rogue named John Silver, not yet Long.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    At least the Sopranos knew how to have fun.... Mr. Momoa and Mr. Henderson acquit themselves well without generating any heat or much of any feeling. The best work is by Julianne Nicholson as Harold’s damaged wife and Zahn McClarnon as a foot soldier in Phillip’s drug operation.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Sirens stands at the far end of a current spectrum in which jokes are considered too obvious and old-fashioned a way of getting laughs. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t replace them with funny circumstances or characters we care about.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    TV Land proves again that no one in basic cable does a more proficient, professional job of executing and packaging traditional sitcoms. What’s not so admirable: the creator and writer Matthew Carlson’s pilot script.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    When Dominion isn’t preoccupied with filling in its portentous back story, it provides some capably filmed action and a higher grade of acting than usual for this kind of show.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It has more of the feel of a traditional family sitcom than the louder, jokier competition on Nickelodeon, but the humor is still pretty broad and the plotting blunt for anyone outside that age group.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The Bridge still feels like a show caught between two masters. It has a lot of the pieces it needs to actually be a compelling murder mystery--some good performances in key roles; an evocative, sun-blasted look; and an ability (presumably Mr. Reid’s) to concoct creepy, suspenseful scenes. Yet we’re still waiting for it all to come together.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The entire season will be available on Friday morning, and, in one sitting, you can cruise through the so-so story and find out before lunch what the future holds for Linden and Holder.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The new show is a perfectly adequate, even above-average example of the genre, but at this late date, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It most closely resembles the assembly-line Hollywood westerns that provide the model for the zombie genre.... The mundanely self-aware screenplay includes references to the zompocalypse and lines like “God, I hate moral dilemmas.”
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Fortitude is great to look at and will eventually provide the basic pleasure of a convoluted mystery solved, but it’s a distinctly chilly piece of storytelling.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    It's not unwatchable--CBS being the last broadcast network that enforces a certain level of competence and coherence in its shows--but it's irrelevant, a wholly generic sitcom so divorced from its source material that you have to pinch yourself to remember it had anything to do with the Internet, or with the world after 1985.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    If you don't have a taste for tears and cheers and group hugs, a lot of time in School Pride is actually spent watching paint dry.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    That's not to say that there aren't laughs in Strange Days; they're just not "Entourage"-level laughs (for those who enjoy Mr. Saget's hilarious appearances as himself on that HBO series).
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    What was a show about bickering but loving roommates is now a show about, to paraphrase Aidan's narration, living on the dark side. Unfortunately it's not a very interesting place.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Despite the high stakes of the story and the frequent violence, the tone is placid and slightly monotonous, as if we were watching the Walton family at the end of the world.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The two actors do everything they can to make [it] a tolerable situation, but they can never entirely distract us from the fact that they're trapped in Mr. McCarthy's dorm-room argument masquerading as a drama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Ms. Peake is excellent as Costello, but the character, and the show, feel so rigged and inauthentic that even her skilled work can’t make the case for our sticking around.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    It's the entire supernatural teen-soap-opera template, but the execution is rushed and chintzy, without the languorous gloss that makes "The Vampire Diaries" worthwhile.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The pleasant ambience, however, can't entirely obscure the mystery story's inability to deliver.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Wilfred tries for a coarse sophistication that locates it somewhere between HBO's winsome "Flight of the Conchords" and FX's brutally honest "Louie" (which begins its second season on Thursday night). But it ends up muffled and not very funny.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The show has been slowed down this season and stretched out to fill those 10 hours, which means we spend too much time thinking about the story as it develops into a not very interesting allegory involving health care, death lists and big pharma.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The result is that the twin aspects of the show, fighting each other for screen time, both end up a little vague and underwritten.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    American Horror Story has the potential to be a lot of fun, if that style and cleverness can be eventually coupled with characters we care about and a narrative that feels less like a haunted house sampler, stitched with threads of Stephen King, Hammer Films and Lars von Trier's TV series "The Kingdom."
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Conceptual fuzziness isn't the main problem. That would be the writing, a labored attempt to parody certain Manhattan and Malibu attitudes and speech patterns
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Punk'd accomplishes something you might not have thought possible: It makes you miss Ashton Kutcher.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    It's not very good--hackneyed and medium funny at best. But as sitcom comfort food goes, it's not the worst either.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Explain it does, at great length but with very little wonder.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Handsomely shot and deliberately paced, it has a superficially cinematic quality, but it doesn't have the storytelling juice to keep you engaged in Mr. King's convoluted multi-ghost story.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Over all, though, Sunday night's episodes are neither here nor there, lacking the oddball singularity of the movie while not yet achieving the satirical bite that would make the TV show interesting.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    In "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" the raunch is often funny, though, while in Unsupervised it's mostly off-putting; the show's concept and its tone seem to be at odds with each other.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The mixture of "Lost" storytelling and "Paranormal" style is neither intriguing nor particularly scary, and it doesn't help that there's hardly a glimmer of humor.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Missing, created by the screenwriter Gregory Poirier, isn't a particularly good show. The dialogue is mostly wooden, and the plot, through two episodes, is standard spy-story stuff.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    There are not many signs that the show is taking a turn toward anything better--more realism, more audacity, less sentimentality.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The first episode of Mrs. Eastwood & Company has a loose, somewhat rambling quality, as if the producers were still feeling around for characters and story lines, and it goes through dull stretches because no one we see--including Dina --is quite vivid enough to hold our attention on her own.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The new film lacks the glowing cinematography of Néstor Almendros, who was nominated for an Oscar for "The Blue Lagoon." But under the direction of Mikael Salomon and Jake Newsome, The Awakening offers occasional honest moments of humor and adolescent angst.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Sullivan & Son has fewer explosive laughs per episode than Mr. Jeong [Chang in "Community,"] provides per minute.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Here the basic setup is "The Beverly Hillbillies" without Jed.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Pleasant in its details but hollow at its center, Major Crimes could argue in favor of a much-derided TV practice: the traditional network development process. It could have benefited from a year or two spent working on a pilot.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    It's missing exactly the elements that make you want to watch those British shows on BBC America: energy, irreverence, a sense of humor and, crucially, consistently good performances.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The bad news is that this potentially rich stew of frights and kink has been underspiced: Asylum, so far, doesn't have the energy or the over-the-top inventiveness that Season 1 eventually displayed.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The show has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The largely unknown cast is game and not unskilled, but it can't make up for the familiar situations and unremarkable dialogue.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Red Widow has an interesting cast, over all, for a midseason replacement series. Unfortunately, the best performance in the premiere is given by Anson Mount as her husband. Enjoy it while you can.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    It's a typical David E. Kelley creation in all the wrong ways: ensemble drama as a steel-cage match of emoting and moralizing, with lectures and grand gestures given precedence over coherent storytelling. His usual saving graces, sharp characterization and unforced humor, aren't in evidence through three episodes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    A so-so, meandering soap opera that reduces its central character to a set of clichés about missing fathers and American energy and egalitarianism.

Top Trailers