For 407 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 407
407 tv reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The in-the-field story lines, with their affairs and guilt and post-traumatic stress, tend toward the sentimental, and the series as a whole is weaker for trying to have it both ways--to be both a no-holds-barred, absurdist satire about the primacy of image-making and a straightforward drama about the nobility of public service.... But the jokes are pretty good over all.... And there are nice performances.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The Last Man on Earth is well made, meticulous in its comic details and pleasantly acted by Mr. Forte and Ms. Schaal, but you may wish that it really had been about the last man on earth.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    There’s not a lot going on in Bates Motel--a couple of murder mysteries, the slowly evolving picture of Norman’s true nature--and there’s no guarantee that the show will be able to keep its delicate balance of humor and spookiness, without pushing Norma and Norman into caricature. For now, though, it’s inherited the “Dexter” mantle as the serial-killer show to watch.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    What's different about Life's Too Short, and what makes it watchable, is that Mr. Davis--who portrayed Filius Flitwick in the "Harry Potter" films, as well as multiple "Star Wars" Ewoks--is so good at playing Mr. Gervais's stock character.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    There are clearly larger ideas at play in Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, having to do with healing and human contact and getting back to roots, that don’t quite come into focus. The meta-Americana of Ms. Notaro and Mr. Dore’s travels can be amusing or it can be awkward and slightly condescending. The film’s memorable bits come not from performance but from the serendipity of the road.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show is more imaginative and detailed than others of its type, with a loopy idiosyncrasy that trumps synthetic American quirkiness, and its offhand, seemingly throwaway comic touches come with a dash of Irish poetry.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s all very predictable, and predictably well acted. It’s also fairly appealing, if you like the idea of a legal soap opera done in the style of a restrained British rom-com.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Ripper Street is reasonably clever and sometimes even witty in its depictions of forward-thinking detectives pioneering the forensic methods and investigative procedures that will eventually become the grist for a thousand television shows.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [Garbus] packages it well in a film that's like a more meticulous and dignified version of one of those network television prime-time crime compendiums--a "48 Hours Mystery" with more heart and brain.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Indian Summers lacks the thing that makes “Downton” irresistible despite its sometimes irritatingly muddled storytelling: Julian Fellowes’s ability to create an endless roster of distinctive, quirky characters (and the show’s ability to find actors to match them). Mr. Rutman’s people are more off-the-shelf, but he keeps them moving and orchestrates their predictable perils and heartbreaks with some panache.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    A fairly entertaining conglomeration of nostalgia, postwar intrigue, comic-book science fiction and screwball comedy (with frequent interludes of bone-crunching violence).
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    A prickly alliance founded on mutual respect and constantly threatened by both history and present, unpleasant circumstance, it’s more subtle and moving than your average TV bromance and brings out the best in Common and Mr. Mount.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Some of the situations--the tension between Eph and his son, Zach (Max Charles, replacing Ben Hyland); a new romance between Vasiliy and Dutch--are dull plot stretchers, setting up future crises and filling time until the story lines mesh. Or so we can hope. Meanwhile, the show still gets the tone mostly right and offers consistent pleasure in its details.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [The first episode is] a little dawdling and predictable and unsure of its tone, with cardboard characters and flat dialogue. Things pick up after that, though--once everyone’s been brought onstage and the story set in motion, the episodes have more snap, and the horror scenes go from pedestrian to actually creepy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    An entertaining, wistful, happy-sad film that feels shorter than its 95 minutes.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s a better-than-average, serious-minded science-fiction cartoon, with well-executed space chases and battles but also an introspection more reminiscent of Japanese anime than of the usual American children’s animation.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Family Tree can feel a little loose and inconsequential.... But that also means that we get to spend more time with Mr. Guest’s crack cast of improvisers and there are moments in each half-hour that pay off.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Sometimes, the series veers into the kind of curdled romanticism that otherwise terse westerns are prone to; this can happen with the noble-Indian subplots, and it surfaces in a case in the new season involving a Japanese-American internment camp. But we’re always pulled back in by the performance of Mr. Taylor, an Australian actor who absolutely aces the laconic American lawman.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    As Gordon, Ben McKenzie is solid in a more theatrical version of the upright-cop role he played in “Southland.” Donal Logue is reliably blustery and sarcastic as Bullock. The biggest impressions are made by the villains, whose smaller roles are looser and more fun.... The real star of the Gotham pilot is its consistent style, a combination of production design, cinematography and writing that manages to evoke both the bang-pow 1940s spirit of the original “Batman” and post-”Blade Runner” neo-noir.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    At its best the show’s language is inventively and diversely funny, drawing laughs in two or three or four different ways within the space of seconds.... There are moments, though--and they come more often as the episode goes along--when the tone turns a little more earnest and brushes up against the sentimental.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Its clash of arrested adolescence and premature old age is also more openly sentimental, but the writing has enough of an edge to balance it out.
    • 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.

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