John Anderson

Select another critic »
For 327 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Anderson's Scores

Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Mrs. America: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 327
327 tv reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    "The Bear" was created by Christopher Storer and has the winning menu item of people doing things well. Original Beef is a mess when Carmen gets there, but the cooking is lovely to watch once he gets things on track. What's even lovelier is the way Carmen's imposition of elevated standards changes the staff.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 John Anderson
    Ms. Wang does a few amazing things that are more about the filmmaker than the filmmaking—she gets almost everyone important to talk, for one thing. ... The wild card in the astonishing, enthralling “Mind Over Murder”—which really deserved a more distinctive title—is the play being staged in Beatrice while Ms. Wang is in town shooting. (This is no coincidence: It was Ms. Wang’s idea and part of the HBO-powered production.) ... Understanding the importance of the play—and art itself, as it happens—will require viewers to watch the entire series. Try and stop them.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    “The Lake,” the deliciously bitchy new comedy from Amazon, doesn’t just find the piquant comedy in p.c.; its whole setup makes light of the diversity-obsessed. ... It also has enough self-awareness to make all the purposeful enlightenment part of the comedy, which is plentiful and smart.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Only four of eight episodes were available for review, and the going is slow, at least at the start. But the series is not without its intriguing calculations. ... What a viewer has to reconcile are the intentions of Mr. Assayas and his staggered construction: layers of interpersonal messiness, even emotional self-destruction, atop genuine artistic motivation and, maybe, accomplishment. The former, admittedly, is what grabs a viewer. The latter makes the time worthwhile.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    What will make the series so watchable—and for medical practitioners, perhaps, uncomfortable—is the honesty of it all. Which, considering the long history of TV medicine, will also make it a constant surprise.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The biggest compliment that might be paid to "Prehistoric Planet" is that a viewer won't care in the least [its been manufactured]—he or she will be swept up by the Mesozoic melodrama, worrying about the plight of the river-crossing Hadrosaurs the way they worry about lion-harassed wildebeest on the savannah, or be tickled by the monstrous Mosasaur—like a hippo wallowing in the cooling mud of Africa—having something of a prehistoric spa day as reef fish pick clean its molting skin.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    "Hacks" in season 2 has lost none of its acerbic charm, and Ms. Smart has lost none of her edge.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    It's a complicated case, one that probably deserved its eight episodes to lay out properly, but Mr. Campos hardly makes economical use of his time. The frequent flashings back and forth in time are confusing, the relationships between Peterson family members are never sufficiently explained. ... Mr. Firth and Ms. Collette, as the loving couple who may have hated each other, are playing complex characters with Emmy-worthy aplomb. ... But they find themselves in the middle of a messy business.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Despite being set upon the rather parched storytelling landscape of financial chicanery, "The Big Conn" is infectiously engaging, the directors using copious re-enactments, graphics and solid interviews that never run aground, keeping our attention afloat amid a sea of fraud and bureaucratic minutiae.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Ms. Foy keeps one entranced and is abetted by the work of the series’ makeup artists (the designer was Catherine Scoble; the supervisor was Suzi Long) and costume designer Ian Fulcher. ... Mr. Bettany, who’s a little young for the term “beloved,” is an extremely likable actor, but he’s also good at being morally dubious. He makes the allegedly high-born Ian convincingly dissolute, insouciant and seedy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Ms. Dimmock, in collaboration with first-rate editor Ian Olds—and the very evident awareness that she's telling a story too—has created a memorable, thought-provoking and thoughtful piece that crisscrosses with considerable cool the often-imperceptible line between reality and realistic storytelling; between narratives and the way they're perceived; and between the awful truth and news that's stranger than fiction.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Ms. Lyonne's presentation is a little Mae West, a little Rodney Dangerfield, with maybe a dash of Leo Gorcey in a Bowery Boys movie. But she's also as consistently funny as anyone on a series, mini- or otherwise. The program also deserves credit for making its convoluted, spoiler-lousy story as clear and accessible as it is. If "Russian Doll" were a place, it would be less like the grid plan of Manhattan and more like the incoherence of Boston. But Ms. Lyonne is certainly an entertaining tour guide.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    "Outer Range" certainly corrals one's attention, wrangling a herd of plotlines into just the first of eight episodes. ... The creator of "Outer Range," newcomer Brian Watkins, is clearly striving for a gothic-in-the-great-outdoors atmosphere and is successful at it, even without the portal.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The filmmakers, including narrator Keke Palmer, don’t pretend that “Not So Pretty” is anything other than an advocacy documentary.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    [Michael Mann] gives the project the shove-off it needs. ... [Ansel Elgort] is utterly plausible as a young man who takes on a seemingly impossible task—penetrating Japanese journalism—with the full expectation of making it happen, of being able, if nothing else, to charm his way to success. ... The women of “Tokyo Vice” could be a series unto themselves.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Prolonged exposure to Mr. Hyde Pierce’s Paul might indeed annoy anyone—it certainly annoys Avis. But so might Julia: Ms. Lancashire’s sing-song delivery might have been more tolerable over six episodes than eight. But one of the lovely things about the 5-foot-8 actress’s portrayal of her 6-foot-2 character is the love Julia bears for her husband, the enthusiasm she has for what becomes a late-in-life mission to educate an awakening American public via a new medium and the generosity she shows her colleagues.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    “Slow Horses” is ostensibly a comedy, but it also works as a thriller, a terrorism procedural and a humanist study—there’s not an uninteresting character in the show, not even among the Albion offspring.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    "Pachinko" takes an often beautiful, artfully cinematic and languorous journey through the history of 20th-century Korea, and Koreans. ... But considering the catalog of characters and multiple languages—helpfully, the Japanese subtitles are in blue and the Korean in yellow, linguistic orthodoxy being a critical aspect of the story—it might be tough for some of us English-speakers to engage, especially given all the flashing back and forth. In this case, an ever-shifting storyline is a deterrent to traction.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The hook for the show is that we will be immersed in a 3-D re-creation of the shot in question, but this actually reveals very little, except a director giving a tour of a frozen CGI set. ... [The shots were] triumphal, which doesn't necessarily spell perfection. ... Indications thus far, however, are that Ms. DuVernay is more interested in how a filmmaker was empowered by his or her own filmmaking, something that's very personal and not all that interesting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    If you have a low tolerance for cringe, “The Girl from Plainville” may push the wrong buttons, but the peek it provides into the adolescent psyche, even psyches as medicated as Michelle’s and Coco’s, is vivid. ... That their virtual existence served as a reality for them is the point, but it’s a little confusing to determine where in time the series is happening from moment to moment. The performances, however, are for the most part superb.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Like its predecessor, season 2 is a guilty pleasure without much guilt. ... Unlike, say, "The Gilded Age," a costume drama that takes itself so seriously it's laughable, "Bridgerton" lampoons its genre and is actual fun.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    An engrossing docuseries. ... Mr. Smith’s objective is the creation of mood, which he does quite successfully, punctuating an ethereal portrait of the confused Melngailis’s thought process with the recollections of her employees.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    If “Flatch” were genuinely smart or funny it might be forgiven its offenses. ... Why make these two [Kelly and Shrub] the focus of the show? It’s a bit baffling given the mindlessness of their adventures, but they do fit the agenda, if the agenda is making rural Americans look shiftless, ignorant and incurious.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    How [Robyn (Dominique Fishback)] becomes Ptolemy’s caregiver, while important to the story, is less important to the series as a whole than the dynamic between Ms. Fishback and Mr. Jackson. Their pas de deux is a wonder all its own, something rare and exhilarating, an alchemical reaction of youth and experience, defiance and resignation, fragility and stone.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    What ultimately makes “That Dirty Black Bag” both entertaining and intriguing isn’t its adherence to westerns past, but its own tweaks on the genre.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Seyfried, who was Oscar-nominated for "Mank" last year, is just as revelatory here, but strictly as an actress, not as a window into the phenomenon of Holmes. The portrayal is absorbing, committed and morbidly fascinating. ... Whether Holmes was an enchantress remains mysterious, though she certainly represents the kind of millennial con artistry that's in vogue right now.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Gurley plays with fire in “The Battle for Uber,” which is often more intriguing than it is purely entertaining. Much of the dialogue arrives as speechifying, whether or not someone is giving a speech. ... It’s the Gurley-Kalanick story, though, that gives narrative muscle to “Uber,” which plays with our expectations and maybe even has a moral.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    It is, rather, fiercely emotional, often overwrought and populated by characters well-acted and fully engaging.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The resurrected "Law & Order" is influenced far more by its own spinoffs than its old fans would probably prefer. Neither the dialogue nor the acting is subtle. The points made are obvious, the tone leaden and the old wryness (I really miss Jerry Orbach ) is all but absent.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Fortunately for the series, [Alan Ritchson is] gifted enough—and has a sufficient sense of understated humor—to sell a Reacher-worthy combination of menace, cynicism and even grudging warmth. It's something that helps make the show one of the more watchable on TV, where there's certainly no shortage of crime series.

Top Trailers