For 709 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 22% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 72% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mike Hale's Scores

Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Springsteen on Broadway
Lowest review score: 10 Amish Mafia: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 709
709 tv reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    You could, as the series winds along and pads out the time with a subplot about Dalby’s former Soviet lover, wish for some of the film’s silliness to enliven the lovely photography and bespoke nostalgia. And the story, while more coherent and consequential, still has a laboratory-maze quality to it. You could also wish, it must be said, no matter how unfairly, for some of Caine’s blunt magnetism.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    There’s a lot going on inside “The Essex Serpent,” not all of it successful, though the mini-series is generally handsome, literate and quite well acted.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Moffat and the director David Nutter (“Game of Thrones”) have made it watchable — favoring humor and action over soap opera — but they haven’t managed to conjure the emotion, or dramatize the ideas, that so many people seem to find in the story.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Tics like these are easy enough to overlook in an action-oriented spy thriller; more bothersome is how the new season adds love to Tamar’s motivations (and encumbrances), a move that jacks up the emotional stakes but makes the drama squishier and a little less interesting. The show does fine with the prickly, mature relationship of Faraz and Naahid, but Tamar and Milad’s romance doesn’t rise above cliché, and Sultan and Alenabi don’t bring much heat to it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The unhurried pace, the cleverly interlocking story lines and the general lack of pretense and contrivance remain in place. It is still, depending on your preferences, a doddering throwback or an oasis of old-school rationality and calm. (If you’re keeping score, we’re going with oasis.)
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    “Ridley Road” is soap-operatic and improbable, with mostly tepid dialogue and mostly routine action. On the other side of the ledger, it has a good cast and it presents the story without a lot of fuss or (until the closing scenes) undue melodrama or sanctimony.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    While the show is no big deal, it handles the psychological and farcical ramifications of Joanna’s dilemma with a sensitivity that gives the sitcom setups an emotional kick you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Some of this has to do with Bayer’s performance — she nails Joanna’s blend of arrogance and abashment with an ace sketch comic’s facility.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show takes an unfortunate turn at a certain point, when it feels the need to take the themes it has been adroitly finessing and make them explicit and grindingly literal. ... Regardless, there’s pleasure in de Swarte’s portrayal of the dogged, take-no-prisoners Natasha and in the sweetly addled performance of the newcomer Amber Grappy as Natasha’s younger sister. And there’s the baby.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    As the violent, manipulative alcoholic and the vain, snobbish fabricator punch and counterpunch in “A Very British Scandal,” the opaqueness of the characters gets tedious and increasingly mystifying. ... Bettany, playing the more shallowly drawn of the two, fares better. He is thoroughly convincing as a smooth-talking, sociopathic cad. ... Foy gives it a valiant try — it’s hard to imagine a more expert performance in the role. But she’s trying to make sense of a cipher.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The mechanics of the story in “Tokyo Vice” are familiar from decades’ worth of both Japanese and American gangster films. But they’re treated with sufficient respect and professionalism, and just enough imagination, to make another ticket on this particular Shinjuku carnival ride worth the investment, at least if you’re inclined to enjoy leisurely neo-noir.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show around Oldman is not entirely up to the standards set by his performance, but it’s not too far off — “Slow Horses” is a highly satisfying celebration and sendup of the John le Carré novels that clearly inspired it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    An intermittently charming biographical hodgepodge on HBO Max.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    As a drama, it’s built entirely around the Isaac vs. Isaac cage match, which supplies fair to middling action and sentiment and consistently satisfying laughs. It’s characteristic of the Marvel Disney+ shows that the ability of the performers exceeds the inventiveness of the crew. ... Jeremy Slater (“The Umbrella Academy”), the show’s creator, and its director, Mohamed Diab (the Egyptian features “Cairo 678” and “Clash”), are only fitfully successful at combining psychological drama, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” desert adventure and superhero origin story.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    As visually satisfying costume drama, the period sections of “Pachinko” are unimpeachable. Also impossible to argue with is the excellence of the show’s large, mostly South Korean and Japanese cast. ... Too often, though, their work is wrapped in several layers of Hollywood gauze; the subtlety of their performances gets obscured by the general tendency of the production toward tasteful schmaltz. ... The TV “Pachinko” melted away while I watched it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Feels like a return. It’s not a triumphant one, but it has touches of the old Schumer, smart and transgressive and self-aware. They’re stretched out a little too thinly over the 10 half-hour episodes, and they don’t really compensate for the overall sentimentality and simplistic psychology. But for the true fan, they’ll be worth the relatively short binge.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    When the story is being allegorical, it can be dreary and more than a little condescending. When it plays things straight with a fairy-tale chaser, it goes down smoothly.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Dull. Comer, Oh and Shaw did a lot of work perfecting the brilliant surfaces of the characters Waller-Bridge created, but the characters are looking washed-out now, and the performances look correspondingly wan.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Mike Hale
    The two-act structure, the “separate but equally important” intro, the Mike Post theme music and the dun-dun are still there. But the hallmarks of the show at its best — urgency, tricky plotting, bourbon-dry humor and, especially, powerful but economical acting — are missing. Maybe someone can subpoena them before the season’s over.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    None of this can end well, it would seem, but it’s a dark, enjoyable, sharply etched ride in the meantime.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The stretched out, heavily padded “Inventing Anna” works as a clichéd morality tale but stumbles badly as a piece of storytelling — more invention and incident means less coherence and less consistent characterization.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The swings have been extreme, but the two actors, especially the effortlessly menacing Esposito, hold things together through the most unlikely turns.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    It’s a muddled and slapdash portrait, though — a thin gloss on its superior sources that consistently dips into caricature. Fellowes’s heart doesn’t seem to have been in it; certainly his ear wasn’t.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The premiere episode is “Mandalorian”-lite — competently put together, with the same quiet atmosphere and deliberate pace but without some of the earlier show’s moody stylishness or attention to detail.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    A lot of what made the series charming has been set aside. ... Overall, you probably know whether you’re the kind of viewer who’s willing to add another complicated Brothers Grimm-meets-Middle Earth saga to your schedule. And if you like your costumed fantasies mythology-forward and you find the mechanics of world building to be an end in themselves, then this new, more mysterious and portentous season of “The Witcher” may be for you.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [The script] doesn’t match the inventiveness of the direction, and it’s also more murky (and sentimental) than it needs to be about Susan’s true nature, which slightly dampens Colman’s performance. ... The script does much better by Chris, though, and “Landscapers” is a showcase for Thewlis, with his angular frame and his distinctive style of commanding awkwardness.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s a modest but promising start, and it seems likely enough that the show can carry its low-key comic energy through four more episodes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The series has a routine professionalism that serves it well in its lighter moments but doesn’t alleviate the drudgery of its later episodes. ... In its resolute ordinariness, the main value of this new “Bebop” would be to drive you back to watch the old one.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Not all of the peripatetic story’s byways are as interesting, and “Anna” has the opposite problem of many current mini-series adaptations: Instead of feeling stretched out, it feels as if Ammaniti was trying to pack too much in. ... If you go along for the ride, though, Ammaniti keeps giving you things to look at.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The one [Apple TV+] have is, in its relatively quiet and only slightly sensational way, better [than Netflix's "Squid Game"]. ... Kim pours on less syrup than the norm, and for most of its run, “Dr. Brain” is a classy and absorbing entertainment.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The story lines Strong and his fellow writers give their Appalachian everypeople are a mixed bag, sometimes skating along on addiction and recovery boiler plate that’s interchangeable with a thousand other dramas. But they’re generally watchable because of the bone-deep credibility of Dever’s and Keaton’s performances.

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