Nancy DeWolf Smith

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For 300 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Nancy DeWolf Smith's Scores

Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Night Of
Lowest review score: 10 The Black Donnellys: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 300
300 tv reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Ultimately, though, it's not what happens to the folks on this show that is so revealing. It's what goes on in our own minds as we watch and listen to them try to navigate the shoals of racial differences.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    As show titles go, Naked and Afraid is inspired. Better still, the new Discovery series is even more entertaining than its title.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Suffice it to say that Bravo has found yet another group of not-very-appealing women to represent their gender and, more broadly speaking, the lifestyle of the heterosexual cheeseball.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    This relaxing series about small-town lives is as burden-free as a day on the beach with an umbrella, a book and a breeze.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    [The Renaissance and Leonardo] bring moments of transcendent beauty to the series, which was written by David S. Goyer, and is laced with aha moments of glorious invention and the scent of mysticism. The line between mystery and bafflement is a thin one, though, and at times it is impossible to tell what's going on or who's who in the flickering torchlight. There is also a distraction, at least initially, in the portrayal of Leonardo--who comes across as a weird amalgam of Peter Pan, MacGyver and a Chippendale.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Another preposterous television premise perhaps, but one that may be comforting to viewers looking for gentle escape with dash of uplift and hope.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    There is some suspense here, even if it is mainly because the violence when it comes is so swift and sickening. But the show still feels slack.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    This film seems to want to scream, but never does, taking instead a mildly passive-aggressive approach to the objects under its microscope while following a trail of inquiry that meanders without ever arriving.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    After the male action sequences, alas, the feminine interludes tend to be soporific.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    What's appealing here is that they, and the show, manage to create something close to real drama, including stretches where there is not a gag in sight.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The Casual Vacancy was riveting while it lasted. When it was over, though, I wanted to stick a fork in my face.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Since the series was filmed partly aboard U.S. Navy vessels, aircraft and with other working equipment, when the big guns go off it looks and sounds satisfyingly earthshaking. Inevitably, some things are formulaic.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Following the show will require some effort for viewers accustomed to less demanding fare.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    After only one episode it's clear that the more we learn about each of them, the more we will want to know.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jokes like that ["You gonna go all 'Twilight' on me?"] and the wisecracking Sally occasionally threaten to turn Being Human into a mild, campy thing. As we get to know the characters, however, and begin to identify with their sense of loss and isolation, humor helps make what is preposterous about their situation seem real.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    While little of this is boring, the movie only sizzles and sparks when it jumps out of flashback mode and into the 1950s "present," with Ms. MacLaine as a slightly cranky and tottering but totally grand old dame.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Mei’s dogged and often clumsy efforts to bring the truth to light ought to seem laughably naive. Yet the more we grasp the enormity of what she is up against--a relentless apparatus of which every citizen of China is aware--the harder we root for Mei and her tiny Chinese family.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    It's a bit old-fashioned, which in today's TV universe makes it seem light and fresh--like the entrancing Ms. Applegate herself.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    This new PBS Masterpiece series written by Andrew Davies is plenty addicting without the lords and ladies, opening a treasure box of tales about love, loss, ambition and the spirit of a new age.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    When it isn't outlandish, it has a more seriously entertaining side in the mystery of a hooded man who was mortally wounded while trying to tell Martin that even his identity as Martin is not real.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The story occasionally gets convoluted, or slightly exhausting....But the cast is so strong that there is always something to marvel at.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Showtime's new comedy series la la land can be torture to watch, whether you end up choking with laughter or cringing at the sight of well-meaning folks being made fools of.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Even without the Hollywood glamour, though, the New York series may turn out to be the superior product, grounded as it is in Mr. Greenberg's compelling, layered character, with a strong mind and vulnerable heart.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Sometimes it works, and we do get to see the already languorous Mr. Duchonvy act like he’s on an acid trip. Much of the time, though, this show set in the era of LSD feels more like a dose of Thorazine.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Fortunately, there are some laughs in Hello Ladies and skewerings of the vapidness that runs like a river beneath the glitzy surface of show business.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Ms. Hunt gets some humorous lines, and the banter between partners Callen and Hanna can make them seem like a new-age Starsky and Hutch.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    If Welcome to the Captain can sustain its tone of tender quirkiness, it may find an appreciate audience stretching from those who loved "Arrested Development" to fans of "My Name Is Earl."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Some fans apparently don't think the sloe-eyed blond actor Jamie Campbell Bower is studly and thrusting enough for Arthur. But boyishness gives him room to grow, and there is plenty that's masterly about Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, who is occasionally seen in a studded hoodie and always shrouded in mystery, but other otherwise all man.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Gold Rush is jaw-dropping television. Not only are most of these men total boobs and incompetents, but their stupidity borders on criminal at times.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The latest version of Treasure Island on Syfy, stands out as a gem--although some plot changes for the sake of agitprop make it a flawed one.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    An exhilarating burst of fresh air.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    No doubt Dollhouse will make a good computer game, although it looks like one already.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Although the theme of toxic corporate greed is still there, the elongating of the story into many hours and the flattening of some mysteries for clarity on television may annoy devotees of the feature film.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    It's a good refresher course, but not a hugely gripping one.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    After the static and bloodless world of “The Girlfriend Experience,” the Showtime comedy Dice is like an explosion of heat and vigor and passion.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Magic City is a little slow at getting under our figurative skin.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Like the book on which it is based, Killing Kennedy sticks pretty much to knowable facts. While this means some suspicions are not ruled out, Oswald is depicted as acting on his own--and seems able to get off several shots quickly--so there is no grassy knoll, etc. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes version of the Warren Commission.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The series might be more fun if "jobmother" Hayley Taylor didn't have to stop each time she utters a harsh truth and comfort an angry or weeping spouse.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    As the series proceeds, the scheming, criminality and even bloodshed that swirl around many of these objects and their acquisition becomes a mounting weight atop Graham and Roxanna in particular. Seeing the bad karma pile on is what makes The Art of More difficult to stop watching.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Watching NBC’s Dracula isn’t always easy, and not only because its Dublin-born star, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is often compelled to speak with a cartoonish American accent.... The biggest distraction of all may be the series’ sociopolitical construct, seemingly ripped from the headlines about Occupy Wall Street, as told to climate-change zealots and written up by Dalton Trumbo.... To its credit, this one isn’t camp and doesn’t clown around.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    While the graphic gore has no discernible artistic function, the tale is a classically compelling one, revolving around a man who is striving to stay moral (and alive) in a wild and cruel world.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The otherwise unknowable details of conversations, wonder and doubt about the apparent resurrection, and political maneuvering are filled in a respectable but usually lively way by a cast of accomplished actors.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    It can be genuinely scary (the pilot has a "Lovely Bones" vibe that's not for children). But it has wit too, and avoids camp.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Judging only by the results of the first episode, the crowd that rules by voting here is more easily excited by entrepreneurs with sappy slogans than by the ones with sound business plans.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Suffering is never easy to watch, and when a series revolves around a woman in near-constant mental anguish, things can creep close to tiresome. Such is Ms. Sevigny's performance, though--at once veiled and yet open to view as she has not often been in other roles—that you can't stop looking.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The miniseries itself never quite reaches dramatic liftoff. Could be the know-how-it-ends curse of biopics at work. Or perhaps it's because it is so difficult to spare time and emotion for a couple of punks.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    There is a lot that is ridiculous here.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    No vampires (so far). But no matter what materializes in the town, it's satisfying to see in the first episode that Haven already revolves around grown-ups.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The language in "Huff" is still graphic and foul. What redeems it, as always, is the artful acting and occasional small scenes of quiet beauty.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    In other words, deconstructionists of the world, there is nothing here for you. Nor, it must be said, for anyone who is not entertained by family-friendly fare. Perhaps future episodes will get down and dirty. So far, however, the series is straight as an arrow.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The whole enterprise is less goosed and glitzy than NBC's successful show, "The Voice." But it's easier to concentrate that way, on the experts who know what they want and talk to the contestants with a brutal honesty that's still softer than the real world.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    If German expressionism is your thing—and the sensation of emotional battering feels real here for the characters and viewers alike--the eight-episode series will be searingly satisfying. Everyone else, be warned and encouraged: This is a long walk on the dark side pierced by occasional moments of glittering, breath-stopping beauty.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    As summer indulgences go, Guilt--made by a team that includes the writers, creators and co-executive producers Kathryn Price and Nichole Millard--is like the paperback you avidly consume on the beach.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Journeyman has a decent hook.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    As beloved as Mr. Wilson is from “The Office,” as it is written the character of the curmudgeon Backstrom doesn’t seem trenchant enough to be memorably offensive or socially tart. Yet if enough viewers pray long enough for his evolution, they may be rewarded by taking other pleasures from the show.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Although their four-hour production sags and drags in places, it is overall a stylish and engaging new take.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The pilot moves along at a cracking pace, introducing new clues and characters and settings so fast that it's very tempting to sit back and enjoy the ride, ludicrous though some of it may be.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Sons of Tucson has a sharp edge that can be funny even as it makes you feel uneasy for laughing.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jules will search for self-esteem in frequent sex and the proof that she is still "hot." Such a quest could be made funny, but here it mostly isn't. Ms. Cox is struggling with some ugly material and often seems desperate.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    What women really want was never more simply put than in the CW's compelling Vampire Diaries.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    [It] leaves only the flashes of comedic brilliance, and even they don't light up the sky very often.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    In the three episodes HBO made available to reviewers, however, the only moment of transcendence for the viewer occurs when some of the characters take to the sea on their boards and ride the waves in an "Endless Summer" moment that comes as a blessed relief after the inexplicable chaos of what precedes it -- and is over too soon.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The result is ridiculous; but it's far more amusing than Hollywood Squares, which is where other formerly famous go to die.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The mind reels from all the action. Most of the time it is an entertaining sensation.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Mr. Coogan makes a perfect Thom, since he is a master of drollery and his expressive face can telegraph defeat and sulky defiance at the same time. There are even some tentatively humorous moments here.... But few of the jokes feel modern, let alone witty.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The Royals is a trashy soap opera that’s not bad enough to be funny and is best when it wallows in melodrama.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The task of holding things together under this assault and others will fall to the amiable tour manager, Bill (Luke Wilson, awkwardly cast as a Lothario) and the production manager, Shelli (Carla Gugino)--who are supposed to have some chemistry between them but don’t seem to spark. ... Almost crushed beneath the farce are small moments that seem genuine.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Tut
    A flaccid script leaves both men without much to work with, however, and the rings of black kohl around their eyes make them look like silent-movie stars in a “Saturday Night Live” skit.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The TV series picks up perfectly where the movie left off, adding spice along the way.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Nancy DeWolf Smith
    The accomplishment here is that tight writing and editing, a solid cast with good timing and Mr. Sheen's chops as the ne plus ultra of sitcom performers, make the whole thing feel, if not entirely fresh-then crisp.

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