For 34 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Katie Rife's Scores

Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Lorena: Season 1
Lowest review score: 42 The Bad Seed
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
34 tv reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 58 Katie Rife
    While some of the show’s themes are talked to death, others wither away, undeveloped. In trying to cram so many ideas into Midnight Mass, Flanagan has left himself with a jumble of mixed metaphors and overwritten soliloquies with not enough terror to cancel them out.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    Although the connection between the two storylines in this I’ll Be Gone In The Dark special is tenuous, both pay tribute to McNamara’s legacy in different ways. First is the conclusion of the Golden State Killer case to which she devoted the last years of her life, and which might not have been solved if she hadn’t brought renewed attention to it. Second is bringing a new injustice to light, with faith that there are more people like Michelle out there who will take up the burden of correcting it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    The shadiness of the characters in Sasquatch gives what feels like real stakes to Holthouse’s research, but it also leaves Rofé few details to work with. As a result, the same facts are re-stated over and over again, and new ones are doled out piecemeal. ... Sasquatch ends on a note of eerie ambiguity, before putting a button on the tale that doesn’t exactly recontextualize it, but does clear up a few lingering questions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Katie Rife
    John Wayne Gacy is dead, and Devil In Disguise is correct in that whatever is left to say about him isn’t a horror story about an evil criminal mastermind, but a cautionary tale of a serial predator who went unpunished because he looked and acted like the men who were supposed to stop him. Where the series falls short is that, in its attempts to be a definitive account, its interrogation of the Gacy case gets caught up with the myth it’s debunking.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Katie Rife
    With too much crammed into even a relatively lengthy four-hour running time to drive home its most salient points, The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel ends up being a tragedy wrapped in a mystery shoehorned into paranormal nonsense.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    Ramirez lurks in the shadows throughout Night Stalker, his presence unseen but chillingly felt. Instead, the main characters of the piece are Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives Frank Salerno and Gil Carrillo, the lead investigators in the hunt for the murderer. ... The takeaway here is a fable about how the love of his family saved one detective from being overwhelmed by the darkness that ripped so many other families apart.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Katie Rife
    We’re left with plot points from the novel explained in more detail than in Powell and Pressburger’s film, a novelistic but unexciting take on the material.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    The actual substance of this four-hour miniseries could comfortably fit into an hourlong episode of a TV true-crime show—or even a Dateline segment, really. That’s if you took out the personal element, of course, as well as the first-person testimony where each of the involved parties gives their side of the story (except for Hamburg’s father, who as previously mentioned refuses to discuss his ex-wife’s death in any detail). Do the extra hours make the story any more complex? Not really. Do they make it more memorable? Definitely.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Katie Rife
    The cinematography, creature work (both CGI and practical), and the action direction in “The Marshal” are all excellent: sweeping, exciting, and gorgeous to look at. ... The adventure story was compelling as well.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    Although Monsterland does suffer from the unevenness that seems to be inherent in all anthologies (horror or otherwise), its highs are among the best genre work of the year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    The filmmakers have an immense treasure trove of footage to draw from, but only a few defectors willing to be interviewed on camera. At times, the whiplash between the banality of the source material and the extreme nature of the allegations is striking. ... One thing The Vow does well is break down the techniques of emotional abuse Raniere and his inner circle used to manipulate lower-ranking members, so we understand why they stuck around—if not why they were devoted to this man in particular.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Katie Rife
    Helter Skelter is full of detailed backstory and an impressively deep archive of vintage materials. ... The series’ structure, however, is not as impressive. ... It’s so committed to detail, it forgets about insight.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Katie Rife
    The types of cases profiled on the new Unsolved Mysteries are also consistent with its ’80s and ’90s incarnation, albeit leaning more toward mysterious disappearances than paranormal phenomena. And the stories told by the victims’ loved ones are indeed compelling. ... Some of the cases are less mysterious. ... The alien episodes are still fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Katie Rife
    Using the classy kind of re-enactments that utilize evocative shots of important objects rather than non-union actors, Garbus shoots much of I’ll Be Gone In The Dark essentially in the first-person, putting viewers into McNamara’s sleepless, paranoid mindset. And yet, she remains an elusive character.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Katie Rife
    The most notable directorial achievement in this series is its structure, establishing both doubt and certainty as it weaves together the basic beats of the Zodiac Killer mystery with Stewart’s stubborn insistence that his birth father was the infamous (and still unidentified) serial killer who terrorized the Bay Area in the late ’60s and early ’70s. ... Although Davidson is unafraid to wade into the messy emotions surrounding such a sensational story, he never paints his subjects as anything other than fallible people with complicated motivations.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Katie Rife
    Pacino provides a balanced through-line as even-tempered radical Meyer. ... The rest of the cast is playing a loose collection of thinly drawn archetypes (perhaps even stereotypes), which works better for some characters than others. ... Hunters finally hits its thematic stride in its fifth episode.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    While Nora From Queens definitely bears the mark of the quirky Comedy Central anti-heroines who came before her, at its core the show nails two of the most important things for a successful sitcom: a distinct point of view and genuine heart.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Katie Rife
    The sets for the show, on which no expense was reportedly spared, have a wonderfully textured, dusty, lived-in quality to them. ... While The Mandalorian’s debut is pretty thin, it’s also got a lot of wide open spaces to expand into.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    The documentary makes extensive use of exclusive footage from Carter’s trial, where Carr’s crew were the only camera operators permitted in the courtroom. It’s this journalistic edge that makes up for I Love You, Now Die’s limitations, both as a character study and as a piece of filmmaking. (The cliffhanger/reversal structure, while exceptionally well executed here, is after all quite common in true crime.)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    The gratification of The Act is in the telling. And the show, spread out over 10 leisurely hours that greatly expand on Lifetime’s condensed treatment of the story in the recent TV movie Love You To Death, only gets more compelling with every new reveal.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Katie Rife
    Over the course of four hours, we get to know Lorena as a human being, from her naive Catholic upbringing to her wise middle age. Twenty-five years after her trial, we owe Lorena Gallo an apology. This documentary is a good first step.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    It takes a while to really get going, but once I Am The Night starts spilling its secrets, it doesn’t stop until the very end.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Katie Rife
    Ethical questions aside, the series’ dependence on Ted Bundy to tell the truth about Ted Bundy means that it doesn’t really bring much new information to the table.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Katie Rife
    The Little Drummer Girl prefers to gloss over the messy complexities of Middle Eastern politics entirely, enamored as it is with the intimate realm of romance and the intellectual realm of ethics and identity. Combined, they produce something that’s a bit sluggish as a spy story, but sublime as a work of auteurist art.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Katie Rife
    The real marvel of The Haunting Of Hill House is in its execution. Plot threads that initially may seem to go nowhere, or seem obvious, actually have welcome, complicated layers that reveal the relatable family dynamics underneath the heightened horror as the series goes on.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Katie Rife
    This cardboard-cutout quality extends to the dialogue scenes between the adult actors, where Lowe’s inexperience as a director really shows. ... The only really convincing acting in the film is in the scenes between Lowe and Grace, a couple of which are compelling enough to almost redeem the film as a whole.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Katie Rife
    There are many possible interpretations of what happened the night Kathleen Peterson died, and many different ways to judge the players involved. This ambiguity, the fact that two people can watch the same series and come away with different conclusions, is ultimately to The Staircase’s credit.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    In short, Evil Genius is the kind of documentary that lives and dies by its story. Luckily, it’s a compelling one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Katie Rife
    Wild Wild Country ends up being a character study, an attempt to suss out whether Bhagwan and Sheela really bought what they were selling to white spiritual seekers, making millions in the process. ... That being said, the filmmakers’ tendency to skim over the more unseemly aspects of a story with many unseemly aspects to it may leave viewers wanting to know more about the wilder aspects of the case.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Katie Rife
    The majority of each episode consists of uninspired reenactments full of expository dialogue explaining the thought process behind decisions like digging up your dead daughter and turning her ashes into a tonic for your ailing son to drink. The idea of otherwise reasonable people doing irrational things out of fear is certainly an intriguing one. But surely there must be better ways to convey that than inert dialogue scenes.

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