For 659 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 23% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 71% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.5 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: 34 out of 659
659 tv reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It has a bare-bones, home-movie quality, with interviews that feel as if they were shot on the run. But its 46 minutes fly by, and it is buoyed by the disarming, slightly corny sincerity that Cher brings to the proceedings.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    As constructed as the stories about “love and tenderness and family” can seem, “Secrets of the Whales” is as visually engrossing as you would expect given the time spent and talent involved.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    “Life in Color” is mostly the same old story, the fight for love, food and territory. And as always in Attenborough’s shows, these stock narratives are rendered in a succession of dazzling images, here made even more arresting because of the series’s focus on varicolored plumage and skin.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    That’s the overall effect the series will have, unless you’re a confirmed Greta hater: pessimism for our future tempered by admiration, if not awe, for her preternatural poise, her tirelessness and her courage. The contrast of her seeming detachment and an evident, almost painful depth of emotion, intimately seen in the documentary, is moving.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Some style in the direction or honest feeling in the screenplay could have mitigated the dreariness, but “Mare” doesn’t offer much beyond Ben Richardson’s burnished cinematography. ... The script doesn’t give Winslet enough to do beyond suffering and lashing out ... [Later episodes] may give Winslet more room to operate, but it probably won’t make “Mare of Easttown” any less obvious or colorless.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    “The Nevers,” while handsomely produced and, from moment to moment, reasonably diverting, doesn’t catch fire in those early episodes in part because we — along with the characters — are still trying to figure out what the heck is going on. ... That need for the show to resonate with our present priorities ties into the frustrating vagueness, so far, of the storytelling. ... None of this might matter if there were characters that we really cared about and performances that drew us in, but “The Nevers” is also lacking in those departments.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    In his attempt to replace the traditional narratives about Indigenous and other oppressed peoples with his own storytelling, though, some strategies are less successful than others. ... Peck’s documentary is more polemical and less poetic than [Chris Marker’s “Sans Soleil”]; it constantly makes connections, but it feels more didactic than complex, more academic than allusive.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Meloni’s patented smile-stare — a singular mix of menace and smirk — is as effective as ever. And the action moved with a familiar “Law & Order” dispatch. Much of the episode, however, felt generic, cursorily plotted and filled out with thin and unconvincing characters.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Latifah puts a human face on the formulaic silliness and incapacitates faceless bad guys with aplomb, but there’s nothing in the pilot that requires her to do anything but coast on her charm.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Zackary Drucker (a producer on “Transparent” and “This Is Me”) and Nick Cammilleri, have packaged a complex and contradiction-laden tale adroitly and with remarkable legibility. The assurance with which they tell it matches the boldness with which Carmichael printed counterfeit money or created a company to make and market the Dale.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Odd does not, by itself, equal good, and on the evidence of the three episodes made available for review, the eccentricities of “WandaVision” are mostly just weighing it down. It feels as if we’re still waiting for the real show to get started, and even with half-hour episodes (reminiscent of the hit Disney+ sci-fi serial, “The Mandalorian”) that’s a long time to wait.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    [Two episodes are] a very small sample, but it’s what we have, and it’s a jarringly flat 42 minutes of television. No blame goes to Danson, who strides through the role of Neil Bremer, the newly elected and largely unqualified mayor of Los Angeles, with his typical aplomb.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Despite the efforts of the talented director Aisling Walsh (“Maudie”), who gives the film a welcome restraint and clarity, “Elizabeth Is Missing” doesn’t hit the mark — the screenplay is too fussy and tricky, and the resolution to the twin mysteries, with its mixed notes of heroism and resignation, isn’t convincing. ... Maud may not come fully alive in the script, but there’s nothing missing in Jackson’s portrayal.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Serviceable, workmanlike, maybe just good enough to keep you on the couch for nine hours.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    If you can look past some wooden dialogue and stiff acting, however, the new season might be the show’s best as an adventure-drama delivery system — the creators have only gotten better at pacing and packaging a taut conspiracy thriller over 10 weeks.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The prominence of race in the series’s analysis — critical theory, in a mild form, manifesting in a mainstream television project — can seem both entirely appropriate and slightly out of balance. While the documentary also gives a detailed portrait of Reagan as a fantasist who believed in and embodied a mythical American ideal, it could do a more comprehensive job of showing how race, nostalgia and American exceptionalism were inextricably woven together in his politics.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Not making Claire an obvious monster might be a brave choice post-#MeToo, but Fidell hasn’t made her anything else that’s particularly interesting or revealing. ... [Robinson] has more of a struggle making sense of Eric, who’s positioned as sensitive and fragile but comes across as preternaturally adult, in a way that doesn’t quite add up.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Not every detail of the series’s social and political intrigue makes sense, especially with regard to the newspaper business. The human side of the equation mostly adds up, though, and Laurie nails the contradictions of Laurence, who tries kindness on for size but only to see whether it fits with his consuming ambition.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    This should all be sexily entertaining, and even fun. .... The fun lasts a little way into the second episode, with Jonathan’s whereabouts uncertain, Grace’s nerves fraying and the shape of the mystery still unclear. It dissipates pretty quickly after that. ... Scene after scene, we’re put through the wringer of watching manifestly intelligent people doing stupid and highly improbable things on the witness stand, on TV or in response to late-night booty calls. ... After a while, everything else about the show is just noise.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    “Gambit” never quite gets back to the charm of its Dickensian opening chapter, though, and it gets thinner as it goes along. Frank pulls off his combination of themes with a lot of old-Hollywood-style skill, but in the mix, neither the sports nor the personal-demons story line hits the levels of visceral excitement or emotional payoff that you might want. In the end, it was an admirable package that I wanted to love more than I did.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    In its determination not to be sensationalistic errs on the side of vagueness. (If the point is that Nilsen was just an empty shell, it’s not made in a way that I found very compelling or particularly chilling.) ... Enjoying “Des” — well, appreciating “Des” — has to do with its details, which include the seamless, highly capable ensemble work among Mays, Watkins, Tennant and Barry Ward (as Jay’s right-hand man) and the appropriately musty evocation of the period by the production designer Anna Higginson and the cinematographer Mark Wolf.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    “The Good Lord Bird” — a seven-episode adaptation of James McBride’s 2013 novel — is fine entertainment, capturing some measure of McBride’s jaunty, irreverent humor and featuring an absorbing performance by Ethan Hawke.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    [It has] a nasty chilliness and a lack of empathy for its characters, who are blunt instruments Flynn uses to deliver shocks to the strapped-in audience. ... The show’s directors (Toby Haynes, Susanna Fogel and J.D. Dillard, so far) keep it moving right along; if it isn’t engaging, neither is it boring. And the cast is uniformly good, supplying more feeling, dimension and humor than the scripts indicate.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It’s a more ordinary show, a more mundanely plotted and “watchable” show (through the nine episodes available for review), with less of the strangeness and arch surrealism that didn’t always work but generally kept you engaged with the stories. Its oddities felt original in earlier seasons; here, they tend toward caricature. And cliché.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    “Wilderness” makes copious use of the kind of formally paced, meticulously art-directed recreations Morris pioneered, and viewers’ taste for them will break down along established lines. ... If you come to “A Wilderness of Error” looking for a definitive answer, or for some startling final-episode reveal that puts everything in a new light, you’ll be disappointed. This isn’t that show.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It’s a modest live-action sitcom. ... More focus, overall, could have made something sharper out of the idea the talking trash can and marker represent, that Keef’s sudden wokeness can make him feel as if he were going crazy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    All of this scene setting takes place in the highly watchable first episode, which has the hushed grandiosity Scott can bring to this kind of material. Once the believers arrive and Mother starts going into battle mode, the show settles into a more conventional TV-sci-fi groove, parceling out its flashback reveals, arduous journeys and flashy interludes of violence. ... If your appetite for portentous sci-fi action is robust, “Raised by Wolves” may go down easily enough, though mine is considerable and I still found my attention wandering by the second or third episode.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Determinedly cornball. ... In its relentless positivity and commitment to making its audience comfortable while maintaining a sheen of pop-cult knowingness, “Ted Lasso” is the dad pants of sitcoms.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    “Lovecraft Country,” despite its fully hourlong episodes, would be a good candidate for binge viewing — its verve and variety would help carry you through the slow spots, and you could hold the kaleidoscopic story in mind.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Through four episodes, “Lower Decks” feels caught in between. It’s a smooth and zippy package, but it doesn’t register very strongly as either a geekfest or a transgressive satire.

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