Wall Street Journal's Scores

For 489 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Sherlock: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 Prime Suspect: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 350
  2. Negative: 0 out of 350
350 tv reviews
  1. It is, in its artfulness and drama, a smashing pilot and--from the evidence of the next episodes--a reliable indicator of the quality to come.
  2. Golden Boy is packed with fine performances, but no amount of actorly talent could have done for this series what its intelligently twisty plots, its nuanced dialogue bearing a distinct resemblance to human exchange--even from the mouths of TV police detectives--has done.
  3. The stories are complex and contemporary, with references to a remembered past. But it's easy to forget the past--the present Sherlock, droll yet naive, is so wonderfully weird.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It doesn't happen very often that halfway into the pilot for a new show, you're already looking forward to subsequent episodes just to find out more about the characters you've glimpsed in the first few minutes.
  4. Its vivid, cliché-free writing has always been In Treatment's singular strength. That's even truer in its riveting new season--no small accomplishment.
  5. The Americans unfolds a thoroughly seductive tale of sleeper KGB agents.
  6. A superbly stylish and scary French drama with no equal in its genre.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The first two episodes reveal a show that will benefit greatly from the time and space to develop story arcs, and to exhibit the same cinematic grandeur that distinguished “Breaking Bad.” The pace is a bit quicker, there’s more obvious humor. But the level of ambition is very much the same.
  7. All of which adds up to drama--which includes a fine turn by Bill Murray--of a notably high order.
  8. It is even more excruciating -- which in this case means better -- than last year's.
  9. Each week the story unfolds like a tapestry, its intricate stitches slowly creating not just a scene but a whole world. It's a world to get lost in, but not always easy to endure.
  10. The Americans returns for a third season packed with tension, raw-nerve melodrama and enough levels of ambiguity, moral and psychological, to satisfy the most gluttonous appetite for the stuff. With, in short, all that has distinguished this series from its beginning.
  11. The Canadian wilderness scenery is spectacular and the cast is even better.
  12. The narrative is so intense and the details are so rich that you can forget to breathe.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The exceptional writing and pitch-perfect acting of Southland is not to be missed.
  13. It is not very often that a TV series invents a new look, or even a new genre. After only two weeks on the air, it may be too soon to gush that way about FX's new drama Justified, but this is one cool show.
  14. What makes this documentary so fascinating are the narratives by many of the CIA analysts, operatives and others who worked in the shadows over almost two decades to lay the groundwork for identifying Islamic radicals and tracking terrorists.
  15. The cast--including Michael Cudlitz, Ben McKenzie, Shawn Hatosy and Regina King--is perfection. No ensemble of actors on television is more stunning or exciting to watch.
  16. The new season returns with a full roster of the vivid characters who have distinguished the series from the outset, and in ways more important than the cultural detail for which Mad Men has been rightly praised. They're smart, they're self-seeking, they're recognizably human.
  17. This three-hour production, starring most of the cast of the 2004 Broadway revival, flies by with lightning speed--and that cast led by Ms. Rashad, superbly authoritative, impossibly attractive as Lena, is no small part of the reason. Ms. McDonald is heartbreaking as Ruth, desperate to understand her husband's descent into misery, and Mr. Combs, who portrays that husband, delivers a sterling performance.
  18. The HBO film Grey Gardens shines new light on old subjects, and the result--including a fantastic performance from Drew Barrymore--is beyond entertaining.
  19. Onto this short list of tightly written and intensely acted thrillers now comes Boss.
  20. What distinguishes this drama from countless mysteries about missing young women gone to terrifying deaths is the unrelenting focus, complex and haunting, on the family left behind. A riveting tale with a hunt for the killer that's no less compelling.
  21. The cast is crowded and uniformly splendid. There's little about this captivating fusion of music, dance and potent storytelling of which the same couldn't be said.
  22. Thoroughly sharp, seriously compelling.
  23. Watching "My Name Is Earl" unfold is like taking a hydrofoil ride and flying so fast above the ordinary surface of television life that when the show ends you feel dazed and amazed for hours afterward.
  24. Local stories can have more poetry than grand ones; that is the genius of The Wire. It's not what happens to the characters, or the societal trends the script explores, that matter so much as the authentic and precise way in which events are represented.
  25. A work as shapely as it is sprawling -- no small trick -- it renders the complex history that led to 9/11 with a ripping power that can at times feel overwhelming.
  26. It's not often that television with a scope so novelistic--so ambitious--comes along, and not often, either, that it yields drama so sterling.
  27. There is scarcely a central figure in American film, whether Cecil B. DeMille, Darryl Zanuck, Frank Capra, William Wyler, Orson Welles or a legendary star--that list is far too long to recite--who doesn't come to life here, in fresh perspective. It's entertainment for grown-ups all right, and you won't find that at the multiplex.

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