For 500 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 24% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 71% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mike Hale's Scores

Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 90 Louis C.K.: Oh My God
Lowest review score: 10 Amish Mafia: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 500
500 tv reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    In a season spent almost entirely on the preparations for an interplanetary voyage (the two-and-a-half-year round trip will be covered in future seasons, if they come), science, engineering, politics and adventure are rationed to make room for soap opera.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    In the early going the competent presentation (the pilot was directed by Anthony Hemingway) doesn’t mask the pedestrian plotting and canned characters. ... However the series is paced, the surreal imagery and moments of dark humor that enlivened the films will be further apart. (There are still good jokes here and there. Ride-sharing is more expensive because of Purge surge fares.)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    A solid spy thriller, with a strong narrative tug and appealing performers (including Wendell Pierce as Ryan’s mentor, James Greer, and Abbie Cornish as his girlfriend, Cathy Mueller), that doesn’t rise to the game-changing heights the new entertainment regime at Amazon might have wanted.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The show is quite easy to watch. The shape-shifting premise proves a flexible, even powerful frame for the usual teenage quandaries--feeling different, being misunderstood by clueless parents, wanting to explore other, kinkier modes of life.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The visual and verbal gags still come fast, but now they’re in the context of a more earnest and straightforward style of storytelling. They feel more illustrative than essential.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    [Odenkirk's] nervous, shifty quality is perfect for the part, but he doesn’t bring a depth to Jimmy that would account for the character’s contradictions. Season 4 continues to bring Jimmy and Mike together for brief, nonessential meetings, which means that for now Saul continues to be about a third of a really good show--the portion in which Mr. Banks gets to exercise his tremendous authority and subtlety in the story line leading directly to the events of “Breaking Bad,” while Mr. Odenkirk and the other major (non-Hispanic) characters spin their wheels in the legal drama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Ms. Zenovich manages seriousness without sentimentality or mawkishness. She doesn’t solve any mysteries, but she leaves you feeling that you know Robin Williams about as well as he’d let you.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The premiere episode feels tepid and inconsequential.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Energetic and entertaining, if not entirely satisfying (four of eight episodes were available for review), it toggles between stylized melodrama and loose-limbed satire--hewing, perhaps a little too closely, to the structure of Mr. Chandra’s sprawling novel.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Next of Kin is an earnest, tightly focused story about the travails of an Anglo-Pakistani family. ... Ms. Panjabi carries off a delicate task, delineating motives and keeping our sympathy, as her character alternately rebels against and cooperates with the British agents tracking her nephew.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    “Deep State” and “Next of Kin” both offer mystery and suspense, and you could be drawn to either out of a taste for international intrigue tied to current events. For gunfire, cynicism and a constant build toward world-shaking revelations, go with “Deep State.” ... You can’t go wrong with Mr. Strong.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The story lines are still on the histrionic side. ... But through six (of 10) episodes, the characters’ behavior is, for the most part, recognizably human. You could see that as a loss of nerve, but at the same time it allows the show’s other strengths--its excellent cast and its solid indie-movie-style production values--to come through.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show as a whole ran like clockwork, without any significant gaffes but also no particularly memorable outbreaks of emotion or eccentricity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Ms. Holt and Mr. Joseph both give prickly, believable performances, but they have to spend a lot of time in the early going arguing, explaining and having prophetic visions. It will be nice to see what they can do when the action kicks in.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The balance shifts away from satire and toward drama as the season progresses. ... It’s an uneasy combination, and while the two sides of the show’s split personality are executed well--the creator is Jesse Armstrong, who worked on the great British comedy “The Thick of It”--they don’t amplify or enrich each other in the way that was presumably intended. You can sense both sides being reined in, especially the satire, which can’t go for broke in this context.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    They’re both [Tom Burke & Holliday Grainger] good, particularly Ms. Grainger, who balances sardonic efficiency with intimations of smoky passion, and their interplay is the main reason to watch the show. It doesn’t quite make up, however, for the deficiencies of the mysteries, which are convoluted in conception and prosaic in presentation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Ms. Christian and Ms. Addison have taken every latent idea, every veiled suggestion, in the material and made it explicit. Every piece of subtext has been dredged up so that it can be turned into banal commentary on the benighted attitudes of the provincial patriarchy toward gender, race, class and sexuality. ... All that’s left is a fairly threadbare, clichéd melodrama.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    What we get is a fairly faithful rendition of the book’s events that lacks the warmth and depth of feeling that make the book worth reading. There are some flat-footed attempts at lyricism, or modernization, through the intrusive use of music, or short passages when the cuts come more quickly and the camera moves in for off-center close-ups.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Mr. Berger (“Deutschland ’83”) and his cinematographer, James Friend, package all this in a glossy, fluid that makes the bare bones of Patrick’s story entertaining, if not terribly compelling. Patrick Melrose might be better viewing if you haven’t read the books and aren’t aware of what you’re missing. And of course there’s the consolation of watching Mr. Cumberbatch exercise his peerless technique.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Sweetbitter could overcome the familiarity of its situations if they had a little more flavor to them, but Ms. Danler is stingy with the spice. ... The details of the trade may be presented accurately, but the emotions feel canned and the behavior rehearsed. There’s the same studied, cautious tastefulness that you often get from a Manhattan expense-account restaurant.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Throughout, Bobby Kennedy for President provides information and sometimes fascinating film clips without ever giving us much of a sense of its subject, who remains a Don Draper-like cipher.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    If you don’t mind its superficialities, Genius can be enjoyed for its surface attributes, including Mr. Banderas’s impressive makeup and expectedly seductive performance. (If he suffers in comparison to Mr. Rush, it’s because the show’s conception of Einstein, focused less on seduction, was more interesting.)
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Neither the character nor the show makes apologies for being old school. Bosch isn’t the best or most original series, but it’s honest and reliable, like Bosch.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The show’s creative team--the writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless and the showrunner Zack Estrin--has assembled these spare parts with more competence than the project really required, and in the first couple of episodes they achieve something that could fairly be called Spielbergian, or at least Spielberg-esque. ... Things subside pretty quickly, though, and the balance of the season is a formulaic and increasingly sentimental family drama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Mr. Levinson lays this out with considerable skill and energy, but he’s not entirely successful at turning it into drama. There’s tension around the question of what exactly Paterno knew and when he knew it, and a late plot twist provides what appear to be some answers, but it feels tacked on.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Warmhearted and perhaps imaginary adventures ensue, facilitated by the father’s identical twin (played by the always engaging Chris Diamantopoulos). If you like your nostalgia straight up, without “Stranger Things”-style monsters, it might be for you.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    On My Block has the off-center charm and quirky comic rhythms Ms. Iungerich is known for, but it has a problem that’s tied to its setting. ... The shifts from football game high jinks or a character’s apple-bong-toking abuelita to the question of whether to shoot another teenager in the head are disconcerting, to say the least.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    As a comedy, Alexa & Katie is about average, or a little below, if graded against the cable shows it resembles. But it’s a little more tough-minded than you might expect. The cancer theme leads to sentimentality, of course, but it’s also used to roughen Alexa’s edges.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The result is entertaining, clever and darkly comic, anchored by Ms. Oh’s performance as an intelligence agent whose instincts and resolve have to make up for her inexperience and her tendency to scream like a terrified child in the face of danger. It’s in no way a disappointment, though it might not be as revolutionary or as subversive as its makers and its network would have you think.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The formal inventiveness deployed by Mr. Hawley and his crew of directors, who include the noted cinematographer Ellen Kuras (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and the indie filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour (“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”), is consistently impressive. It also consistently outstrips the storytelling. ... The sense of comic-book business-as-usual is more acute in Season 2.

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