For 222 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 18% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 77% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mike Hale's Scores

Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 90 Louis C.K.: Oh My God: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Amish Mafia: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 222
  2. Negative: 20 out of 222
222 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    If you fall into its languorous rhythms, you’ll be rewarded by a story that builds tension with clockwork precision and expertly maintains a mood of clammy dread.
    • 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.
    • 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.”
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    These images will stick with you. But so will an overall sense that Frozen Planet is more--a lot more--of the same: an aestheticized, sentimentalized, anthropomorphic abstraction of the natural world, in which gentle soundtrack music, winsome narration (by Alec Baldwin, replacing Mr. Attenborough for most of the American version) and the judicious use of slow motion combine to put us in a pleasant stupor on the couch.
    • 90 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show can be applauded for giving opportunities to a wide range of talented actresses and for representing a multiplicity of ethnicities and orientations in its characters, but the stories built around them are notable for their melodramatic underpinnings and an occasional willingness to resort to clichés.... But Ms. Kohan and her writers, abetted by their excellent cast, know how to leave us laughing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    There are shades of “True Blood” and “Being Human” here, and you hope that the show doesn’t drift away from the everyday dilemmas of the Walkers, who are excellently portrayed by Mr. Newberry, Harriet Cains (Kieren’s no-nonsense sister) and Marie Critchley and Steve Cooper (their parents).
    • 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.
    • 86 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The appeal is elementary: good, unpretentious fun, something that's in short supply around here.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The depiction of the modern country music business in Nashville feels reasonably authentic, and when the story stays within that realm, it has the mix of hardheadedness, sentimentality and honky-tonk come-on you can get from a good country song.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    People eat this stuff up, and a skeptic can find himself riveted by the best of it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [Dr. Oz's presence is not] fatal to the enjoyment provided by the eight hours of NY Med, and we can also forgive the familiar situations and stock characters.
    • 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.
    • 83 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
    • 70 Mike Hale
    What really sets Key & Peele apart are the stars’ performances.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Wartorn sometimes starts to feel prim and preachy. But it also has its share of quietly devastating, haunting scenes, echoes of the nightmares that veterans are bringing home with them from Iraq and Afghanistan.
    • 82 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    You might assume that this meant sacrificing some measure of journalistic credibility in the quest for attention. But the truth is, Mr. Ford and Mr. Cheadle are just as good as any seasoned television correspondent at the newsmagazine drill.
    • 80 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).
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The ending mars what is otherwise a handsome and well-written effort, with good supporting performances.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Capaldi's Doctor is not just older but looks to be drier in his humor, more reticent, more coldblooded and dangerous. From a critic’s point of view, that’s interesting and potentially an improvement.... In other ways, the season premiere is a bit of a space holder, a middling story that’s concerned mainly with introducing Mr. Capaldi and establishing the relationship between the new Doctor and his sidekick, Clara.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    That ensemble may be enough reason to spend 12 hours or so at the fictional Litchfield prison, even if the drama occasionally lags. It’s a surprisingly congenial place.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    A reasonably entertaining though not exceptional science-fiction adventure series with a wild conspiracy plot whose hook is cloning.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Mostly, though, The Wrong Mans coasts along on the strength of Mr. Corden, Mr. Baynton and Tom Basden’s sneaky-funny writing (“You know what danger doesn’t do? Call ahead. Unless it’s the I.R.A.”) and the pleasure of watching Mr. Corden timidly but delightedly snorting drugs at a mobster’s party or trying to blend in with a group of svelte dancers.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    As with most programs in the illustrated-lecture format (the lecturer in this case being the narrator, Christopher Plummer), the early material is the best. TCM, bless its soul, spends three of the seven hours just getting from Thomas Edison, Georges Melies and the Lumiere brothers through the silent era, and those first three episodes are a treat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The half-hour Juarez, on Monday night, is a bracing, at times mesmerizing introduction to the Witness series.... The subsequent films are each an hour long, and while all have powerful material, particularly the South Sudan chapter, they're also more diffuse and more prone to sentimentality about the violence and social disorder the photojournalists bear witness to.