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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 110 Ratings

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  • 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  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: Tim Goodman
    May 27, 2014
    80
    The good news is that Halt and Catch Fire is a triumphant pilot with excellent writing, impressive acting and a noteworthy cinematic visual style. ... But ultimately that means nothing until we see the next episode. And the one after that. And the one after that. So take this early praise with that caveat.
  3. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    May 30, 2014
    80
    A stellar Toby Huss portrays the hard-driving Bosworth, a commanding presence. There are more than a few of these in Halt and Catch Fire, a drama set in Texas, filmed in Georgia--and from the available evidence an immensely seductive enterprise.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    May 30, 2014
    70
    First impression is that Halt is fresh and fraught with calculated promise, but whether that's enough to catch fire remains to be seen.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jun 23, 2014
    63
    With little exception, MacMillan is the sole character given scenes that seek to bring out his antic inner life, the most memorable of which being his meltdown in an electronics store, where he tries to find a hold of his ambition in a torrent of comingled rhythms emanating from various speakers.
  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 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23
  1. 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.
    Expand
  2. Jul 29, 2014
    10
    This show keeps getting better and better with each new episode. Do not watch this show expecting it to be factually based. It's good fiction and with enough facts thrown in to keep credible. The character development becomes more and more interesting with each episode and the computer's development gives you a perspective of "what if there had really been a developer like Cardiff at the time?" Expand
  3. Jun 8, 2014
    10
    This feels like the one. As soon as i saw Scoot McNairy's smirk after he inspects the armadillo mashed into the front of his Ferrari's grill, i new this was the slick arrogant smarm of the 80's businessman t.v. is so tragically missing. Watch this one take off. Its going to be great. Expand
  4. Jun 24, 2014
    9
    Show is so close to being perfect just needs to tighten up some stories and make the characters around Joe more combative instead of in shock most of the time. Expand
  5. Jul 25, 2014
    9
    Show is really enjoyable. I think it just needed a few episodes to get the characters lined out Now that that's done, the show should take right off. Better get a renewal! Expand
  6. Jul 21, 2014
    9
    This is a fantastic show. I was a part of the computer revolution in the early 1980's, and this brings back many memories to me. I strongly recommend this show to anyone who is a techy and remembers when the computer industry was in it's infancy. The show incorporates some personal stuff into the story, but I suppose that has to be done in this day and age. I will be greatly disappointed if AMC does not pick this show up for Season 2. It's a winner. Expand
  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 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 23 User Reviews

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