For 358 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 21% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 73% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mike Hale's Scores

Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 90 Louis C.K.: Oh My God
Lowest review score: 10 Amish Mafia: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 358
358 tv reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Mike Hale
    Oh My God, taped in February, is a crackerjack show, a polished, manifestly professional performance that couldn’t be more different in tone from “Louie.”
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Previewing the songs may be enough to draw Foo Fighters fans. For everyone else, Mr. Grohl provides, through interviews, archival clips and his own narration, a musical and social history of the city that’s both surprisingly detailed and decidedly personal.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Mr. Fellowes emphasizes Trollope’s humor without shortchanging the melodrama, and the production has the feeling of a high-def tribute to an earlier era of British film and television (emphasized by the use of old-fashioned fonts for the credits)--it achieves a kind of rollicking serenity.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    They practice the comedy of female semi-empowerment, in which confidence (tending toward narcissism) and a still somewhat startling sexual frankness combine with old-fashioned insecurity and self-abasement, all of them generating laughs.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The story so far is compelling, but, as with that true-crime podcast, our judgments will be heavily influenced by how the series plays out and what kind of resolution it provides (or doesn’t).
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Grimm is not a profound show (what is?), but few are more purely entertaining--engaging, clever, tense, funny, well paced and featuring a remarkably appealing cast as the friends and colleagues who help Nick.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The events and characters of David’s summer are familiar from a half-century of stories of the Jewish suburban experience, but for the most part, they feel fresh, or at least lovingly recreated.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Happy Valley, in addition to being a smart and absorbing thriller, is a morality play, one in which the mystery is secondary (we know who did what all along).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    It’s like watching old episodes of “Served” or “Keeping Up Appearances” or “Allo Allo”: slightly horrifying, like a slow-motion train wreck, but also, every few minutes, convulsingly funny. This has everything to do with Mr. Jacobi and Mr. McKellen.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    At times, it feels like a smarter, less melodramatic version of a backstage series like “Smash” (or a less over-the-top version of a superior backstage story like “Slings and Arrows”)
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    It’s polished, manic, funny and a bit thin; visually, it’s like a toned-down version of the comic-book expressionism of Terry Gilliam.... The two actors are wonderful in their scenes together.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    [The] zone of ambiguity is what sets Key & Peele apart--it leaves us to read the cultural cues ourselves, and isn’t that concerned if we can’t keep up.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    There’s a tricky balancing act going on--crossing a moody detective show with both a comic action thriller and a woman-in-peril psychological drama--but Ms. Rosenberg proves to be mostly up to the task.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The new season is a more straightforward affair over all, reminiscent in tone and structure of the show’s brilliantly mordant first three years.... As Louis C.K. reinvents the classic sitcom in his own elliptical, cerebral style, he seems to be in his absurdist theater phase, or his surrealist short-story phase--Kafka on the Hudson. (Louis C.K. still writes, directs and edits every episode.) At that level of ambition, some things work and some don’t.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    On balance it plays like a well-made and increasingly grim horror picture, with a crispness of execution and a graphic level of intestine-pulling, throat-ripping violence that are both beyond the American norm.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    People eat this stuff up, and a skeptic can find himself riveted by the best of it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Even in the age of the high-quality limited series, it’s rare to come this close to the feeling of reading a book--immersive, compulsive and unpredictable, but also exhausting and sometimes mundane and repetitive. For the most part, the series’s novelistic qualities carry the day.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The 50 Year Argument, which Mr. Scorsese directed with David Tedeschi, is textured and smart but thoroughly celebratory, a paean to the magazine and the amazingly durable Mr. Silvers, now 84.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Beyond the elaborate production design and the stately but genuinely gory and frightening Gothic bloodletting, Penny Dreadful is a fairly typical story of troubled people--all the main characters are hiding something, in their pasts or in their bodies--who manage to do the right thing. That it’s the best of its kind on TV right now, along with “The Strain” on FX, has to do with Mr. Logan’s ability to render over-the-top action and emotions in human terms and to choose actors who can see what he’s trying to do.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    An absorbing and beautifully made film in its own right, whose 208 minutes mostly fly by.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Presumably the producers’ realization of what they had in Maria and her bright, gorgeous, unfettered children led to the bifurcated structure of the series, and it’s the ups but mostly downs of her last eight months on earth that make Time of Death worth watching.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The engineering of the plot is pretty obvious, and the sentimentality that’s part of the Harmon package goes overboard toward the end of the episode.... Everything is back on track, though, in Thursday night’s second episode, a sterling example of Mr. Harmon’s ability to deploy fanboy obsessiveness in the service of funny and affectionate storytelling.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    That the series is still a more satisfying televised mystery than average has a lot to do with its consistently high production values and the original decision to film it in the locations where the books are set. ... The other reason, of course, is Mr. Branagh.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The story of the Dust Bowl is complicated, twisting together ecology, economics and politics, as well as divisions of class and region, and Mr. Burns and his writer, Dayton Duncan, have done as careful and admirable a job as you would expect in laying it out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    What sets the show apart is its tireless, formless, free-flowing pursuit of laughs--and a cast that can ride that wave while also giving some human dimension to what are essentially vaudevillian characters.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Season 2 is, from the start, an entirely messier, more contingent affair, enjoyable in a different and, to me, more appealing way.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Quibbles aside, Game of Thrones is still remarkable for both the scrupulousness and the lavishness of its production, beautiful to look at and mostly engaging to follow, though there is something of the accountant’s method in Mr. Martin’s fantasy--progress through constant addition--that transfers into the television show.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    A brisk and concise 82-minute film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The appeal is elementary: good, unpretentious fun, something that's in short supply around here.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    What Broadchurch has to offer, beyond its central performances and its intelligent but not particularly original plot, is mood: a tasty icing of gloom and foreboding that leans heavily on the music of Olafur Arnalds and the cinematography of Matt Gray, whose shots from every possible angle of the dramatic cliffs behind the Broadchurch beach are essential to the show’s ambience.

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