For 272 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 9.3 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. Positive: 97 out of 272
  2. Negative: 23 out of 272
272 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    For about an episode and a quarter, it’s very good television. But over the rest of its six-episode first season it resembles nothing so much as a bad indie film, the kind of slow and tepid bummer that used to fill Sundance’s late nights and afternoons when it was a full-time movie channel.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    If you've seen the many hours of "The Blue Planet" and "Planet Earth," or are a regular watcher of the nature documentaries constantly available on cable, then you've already seen most of what Great Migrations has to offer, or some version of it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    These highlight reels can be enjoyed for their own sakes. Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick try to construct a larger story around the career of Barry Bonds, who set the single-season and career home run records while becoming embroiled in the steroid scandals, but it never really coheres into something that can give shape to the entire four-hour documentary.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    As crime shows go, it’s pretty good. As comic book shows go, it’s a demonstration of how tricky it can be to turn a comic book into a show.... It’s just that too much of the story feels indistinct, like disconnected chunks of a much-better-than-average cop show.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    However, beyond its stars (and a welcome guest appearance in the pilot by Dallas Roberts), Elementary is a mixed bag. Mr. Doherty, whose primary credit is a long stint on the voluptuously melodramatic "Medium," is good on atmosphere and character but not so strong on plot mechanics.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The result--for the person with a casual interest in cars, anyway--is a show that at this point lacks the character of the British original but is, particularly in its second and third episodes, reasonably entertaining by American reality-TV standards.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The new film, despite the astounding story it tells, is the most conventional, least urgent and, cinematically, the least interesting of the three.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    You need to have watched them [previous three seasons] to comprehend Season 4--to understand much of its humor or to make sense of its convoluted plot--but if you truly loved them, it’s hard to imagine being anything but disappointed with this new rendition.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Friday Night Dinner, which had its first season on the British Channel 4 this spring, is a rowdier, sweatier, more profane show that will probably seem more typically British to American fans of "Fawlty Towers" or "The Royle Family."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Nothing stands out (including the blandly pretty cinematography and insistent music), but it’s saucier than the sum of its parts.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The story ends with a final, not quite believable, flourish on John's part, but Mr. Mackintosh carries it off, riding comfortably above his middling material.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Seriousness has crept in--too many of the sketches have a didactic, lecturing quality at the expense of the wild, smutty humor that made the show necessary viewing.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is great to look at. It moves along at a gallop, and it’s not boring, even if it’s not exactly engaging either. Most important, it has appealing performances by Bertie Carvel as Strange and particularly by Eddie Marsan as the crabbed and proud Norrell.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.

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