Wall Street Journal's Scores

For 657 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 The Andromeda Strain
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 466
  2. Negative: 0 out of 466
466 tv reviews
  1. The casting is effective. William Miller gives Oliver the requisite vulnerability and steeliness.
  2. Five Came Back aspires to the grandness of a ’40s Hollywood production, with its star lineup, Ms. Streep’s narration, the kind of period animation that adorned Capra’s epic “Why We Fight” and Thomas Newman’s heroic music--which is a bit, shall we say, insistent. But overall, the series is much like its story: mythic, adventurous, romantic. And real.
  3. Director Rhys Thomas shows admirable restraint in not applying too much period embellishment, or letting Comrade Detective become a one-joke show. It works as drama, as well as comedy, and it seems as if putting it together might have been fun. The finished product certainly is.
  4. It is sharp comedy enriched by a cast led by Allison Janney as Bonnie, the mother in question, and Anna Faris as Christy, her daughter.
  5. The Path delivers a sharp and persuasive commentary on the needs fulfilled by faiths of this kind, on the unyielding determination of the believers to continue believing.
  6. As was true in season one, the first thing to notice about Togetherness--in addition to its spectacularly talented cast--is the amount of sophisticated wit the writers manage to dredge from standard sitcom craziness, the exuberance they wring out of emotional pain and everyday sodden travail.
  7. The fantastic Ms. Ullman is as funny as ever, depicting a new slew of characters in sketches that mock the way we are.
  8. Its unyielding moral passion, exemplified in the character and pursuits of its hero, Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), is the life force that propels this powerful--and powerfully violent--tale of New York City, 1864.
  9. Behind the Candelabra, a snapshot from the last decade of the pianist and showman Liberace, is sublimely entertaining.
  10. Divorce, father issues, an aging Peter Pan—we've seen these things before. Not like this, though, with no false notes, and reactions, from pain to optimism, that feel honest and not manufactured.
  11. The writing is sharp, the atmosphere thick with tension from, among other things, car and foot chases.
  12. The good stuff: To the music that nobody can take down or chip away at. To the energy and excitement and drama of a James Brown performance, from the footwork and the sweat to the drama of the moment when Brown, apparently near death from exertion, was draped with a cape and lead shuffling slowly offstage until, UNH! he would turn around, spring back to the microphone and the whole frenzy would begin again.
  13. Even on the basis of the two episodes made available, it's easy enough to see that Mob City has plenty up its noir sleeve, including some rich plotting. Above all there's the cast, mainly responsible for the aforementioned life and energy.
  14. As always, figuring out what makes the sheriff tick is the best puzzle of all.
  15. Hard as it may be to imagine, there is still drama in the subject of crime families. And National Geographic Channel's contribution, the six-part Inside the American Mob, is impressive on that score. Most of its persuasiveness derives from first-person reflections both by federal officials and by Mafios.
  16. The Killing returns with all its powers intact, its uniformly superb performances--not least Ms. Enos's Detective Linden and Mr. Sexton's Stanley.
  17. It is, along with the raunch, the flinty outlook, the “War of the Roses” echoes, and the fun, also about the pull of marriage. Thanks to the aforementioned fine performances, it’s a guide that entices.
  18. Mr. Steinberg, a comedian who is now also an admired television director, is the ideal interviewer.
  19. Darkly wondrous.
  20. The man gets his due in Becoming Cary Grant, a moody jewel of a film that draws on Grant’s unpublished autobiography for much of its narration (delivered by actor Jonathan Pryce) and on a wealth of home-movie footage that provides a Grant’s-eye view of a bygone world.
  21. All are reintroduced in a premiere episode that lumbers along, overpopulated, burdened by the weight of its ambitions, flattened by misbegotten detours--but one, nevertheless, that surges to life in the end.
  22. [A] thoroughly captivating Rolling Stones documentary.
  23. If the quality of this one, so irresistible in its vitality and suspense, does fail to hold up, its creators will have delivered, at the least, one remarkably fine hour.
  24. A fact-based film of exceptional power.
  25. As any rational person would expect, the subject of HBO’s The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee--the executive editor who presided over the Washington Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office--quickly emerges as a heroic figure. What’s not so expected, what comes as something bordering on shock, of a gratifying kind, is how much else the film takes on in this buoyant and mercilessly frank look at Bradlee’s life and career.
  26. It's best to get quickly past the confused and shapeless first episode and on to the rest, where the characters become individualized.
  27. There are no surprises in this story. All is predictable, sorrows pass, happiness triumphs--a formula that works out splendidly in this endearing tale.
  28. Although the film ends on an odd note that seems to endorse near-subsistence farming as the only moral and sustainable form of agriculture, it makes an important record of a receding era.
  29. It would be grim if it were not for the poetry itself, and Mr. Hollander’s soothing approximation of the way Thomas declaimed it on recordings he left behind.
  30. Director Liz Garbus conveys much of the excitement and turmoil surrounding the subject of her documentary, Bobby Fischer Against the World.

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