• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 1, 2014
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Halt and Catch Fire Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 195 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Former IBM sales executive Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) recruits reluctant Cardiff Electric engineer Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) and programming prodigy Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) to reverse engineer IBM's BIOS system, setting up the PC revolution.
  • Genre(s): Drama

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Halt & Catch Fire
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Jun 2, 2014
    83
    The thrill comes not from the actual computer building, but the people doing the building. These characters are complex and well-developed, especially Pace’s fiery exec, who is a mesmerizing manipulator.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 28, 2014
    80
    It’s not quite as nuanced as "Mad Men," but it could be before the end of the season.
  3. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    May 30, 2014
    80
    Though the pilot of Halt and Catch Fire, AMC's latest character-driven drama premiering Sunday, doesn't hit the gloriously high bar set by the opening episode of "Mad Men," it is provocative and promising nonetheless.
  4. Reviewed by: Marisa LaScala
    May 30, 2014
    70
    With the relationships among MacMillan, Clark, and Howe in the foreground, Halt and Catch Fire makes impressive use of its time period without treating it as an elbow-to-the-ribs joke.
  5. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    May 30, 2014
    70
    There's a tentativeness to Halt's first hour--it doesn't end especially strongly--but overall, the drama has a mostly credible pilot and lead actors who will probably be able take the show in compelling directions.
  6. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    May 30, 2014
    67
    There are still quite a few good reasons to watch this flawed show. The pilot features some clever twists that I won’t ruin here. The dialogue can be highly quotable, in an engrave-this-mantra-on-your-iPad way. (“Computers aren’t the thing–they’re the thing that gets us to the thing!”) And McNairy is fantastic, simmering with quiet intensity that suggests that there’s much more to Gordon than we’re privy to in the pilot.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    May 28, 2014
    50
    At least in the one episode sent to critics--Halt doesn't offer up complicated, three-dimensional characters. Instead, we get versions of familiar types pulled from the character storage room by the writers.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. Aug 29, 2016
    10
    I just caught up on this show and it's terrific! At first I thought it was aping Mad Men a little much, but it's transformed into anI just caught up on this show and it's terrific! At first I thought it was aping Mad Men a little much, but it's transformed into an incredible drama that has both a great plot and amazingly complex characters. Just when you think you've figured out their relationships to each other, they surprise you in ways that don't feel forced or inorganic. Incredible show from top to bottom. Expand
  2. Jul 22, 2014
    10
    I wanted to wait until I have seen a few show to write a review on this series. I have seen 7 episodes. Going into the series not sure howI wanted to wait until I have seen a few show to write a review on this series. I have seen 7 episodes. Going into the series not sure how they were going to approach the topic. I thought this is an interesting time for PCs and the market.

    I will say that this show is wonderful. The acting is great and the story is intriguing and engaging. I did not watch Mad Men, but did watch Breaking Bad. Breaking bad is on a level all it's own and a handful of shows are on that level. I would say that this show is on the level right below that.

    The writing is great and the attention to detail to the technical side is spot on. They nailed the font style for the PCs for that era. I would recommend this to anyone who deals with computers and for anyone who is not tech savvy.
    Expand
  3. Jun 1, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While the comparisons to Mad Men aren't exactly there, this show seems determined to make it's own path by exploring the early days of the personal computer boom in 1980's texas and by showing these three desperate characters making it much more personal.
    Joe Macmillan seems to be the lead star with the almost Patrick Bateman-esque bad boy charisma.

    The only real fault of the show so far is rushing through some of the technical details like in the montage in Gordon Clark's house when they are taking apart an IMB computer.
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  4. Jun 4, 2017
    9
    I grew up in the era of the original PC, the BBS evolution, and onward. This show captures the high points of the drama I remember from theI grew up in the era of the original PC, the BBS evolution, and onward. This show captures the high points of the drama I remember from the media, in a way that tweaks the imagination of my younger nerd. While not history, the gist of the series emits an air of authenticity, at least for me.

    The set dressing and casting of the show is also spot on, feeling very much like the tech scene of my youth. If you're a hacker at heart, this show is one of the shows that will remind you of where hackers came from.
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  5. Jun 30, 2015
    8
    Season 1 had a very strong cast and a solid story that gave a keen and intense insight to the computer boom of the early-mid 1980's. TheSeason 1 had a very strong cast and a solid story that gave a keen and intense insight to the computer boom of the early-mid 1980's. The season finale took a bit of a nosedive almost as if it was meant to be a miniseries. I'm glad it was renewed though, it's a great AMC original that deserves more viewers. Expand
  6. Feb 18, 2015
    7
    I like the ensemble casts. I love the whole characters in the show. Its more interesting than Fargo because the idea of its computer war era,I like the ensemble casts. I love the whole characters in the show. Its more interesting than Fargo because the idea of its computer war era, its really fresh for me. But, the result of last episode was really hard for me to know what exactly the series wants from Joe to achieve.
    I'm really glad they renew the series because it will be so a big loss to let down this great character of Joe MacMillan, because we thought we knew what Joe wants from the beginning, but in the ending, I was amazed how it turns out. Like, "Not even close?" I wish I knew what this PC revolution was really about.
    I mean, the problem of this series for me is too many depressions. Which is kind of attractive, but to build a teamwork and great company with it? I was worried they will go to no where. I was worried if they put the same plot with the first series.
    I like Donna Clark's character, she's smart and her husband was so weird. I want to know her more. She needs to lead several episodes in the future.
    And, I want to know much more about computer on this series. Computer is not just about laptop.
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  7. Jul 8, 2014
    1
    Show was hanging by a thread in the first three episodes. The baffling events of episode 3 made me literally turn it off 3/4 of the way intoShow was hanging by a thread in the first three episodes. The baffling events of episode 3 made me literally turn it off 3/4 of the way into it. Boring, uninteresting characters with almost no resemblance to reality. A shame considering how much I really wanted to like this show. Expand

See all 36 User Reviews

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