For 401 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 21% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 74% 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: 57
Highest review score: 90 Louis C.K.: Oh My God
Lowest review score: 10 Amish Mafia: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 401
401 tv reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    None overdoes the self-conscious creepiness at first. The close-ups of slabs of meat being hacked apart for dinner and a few forced performances from otherwise reliable actors (especially Anna Maxwell Martin as the servant Ethel Rogers) smack of concept getting in the way of common sense.... Once the gathering of the victims has been completed, however, and the murderer goes to work, the series settles into a satisfyingly eerie groove.
    • 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
    • 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
    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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show’s subversiveness, if it can be called that, is partly a matter of degree. It stands out (on basic cable, at least) for its frankness.... You wonder whether Mr. Falk can keep the plates spinning. Some jokes seem to be repeating themselves.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    [A] glossy, generic adaptation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Watching Mr. Robot can be a little like living in Elliot’s skin: engrossed by a skillfully executed dystopian fantasy while nagged by the knowledge that it isn’t everything it claims to be.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Vikings has benefited all along from the accomplished, subdued performances of a number of its cast, including Mr. Byrne, Mr. Roache, Clive Standen as Ragnar’s warlike brother and both Nathan O’Toole and Alexander Ludwig, who play Ragnar’s son Bjorn at different ages. But the heart of the show remains Mr. Fimmel’s smirking, withdrawn, not quite good but certainly distinctive performance as Ragnar.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It would be easy to overrate Search Party for its novelty, and the humor, while frequently sharp, is often of the sideways, trailing-off variety that won’t hit every viewer’s pleasure centers. But the cross-pollination of genres clicks just often enough.
    • 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
    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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The low-key, observational style of the humor in Better Things may leave you restless, and there are moments when the show veers into cuteness or sentimentality. But the show’s real payoffs have less to do with laughs than with aching recognition of the single mother’s plight.
    • 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
    It's fascinating, frightening and more than a little exploitative, just like boxing itself.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The film’s producers include the two executors of Jackson’s estate, and it is predictably admiring, though Mr. Lee keeps it from feeling too fawning, at least until the closing minutes. What it resembles more than anything is a deluxe extended episode of a television music-biography series like “Unsung” (or “Behind the Music” minus the scandals).
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    At least in the early going, the current season avoids the sentimental speechifying about truth and justice that became increasingly prevalent in Season 1. And the let's-put-on-a-broadcast scenes are still reliably entertaining.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It often feels like the cultural lessons are getting in the way of the genre fun. There’s more conversation than action, and the talk has a tendency to slide into debate, about vigilantism or competing ideas of Harlem or visions of the solitary black hero.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Like all zombie stories, The Walking Dead is a life-or-death proposition at nearly every moment. That kind of unremitting intensity stretched over so many episodes can make the question of who survives take on transfixing interest, despite dialogue that’s not always convincing and an uneven cast.

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