Wall Street Journal's Scores

For 702 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Prohibition
Lowest review score: 10 Graceland: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 499
  2. Negative: 0 out of 499
499 tv reviews
  1. Downton has returned with all its powers intact, not least its power to mesmerize its armies of devoted fans.
  2. Mr. Cannavale’s performance reaches the heights of magnificence. There’s much more that’s stellar both in the cast--Olivia Wilde is outstanding as Devon, Richie’s hopelessly loving wife--and in the writing.... For its creators and its fine cast, this exuberant, hard-eyed and altogether wonderful evocation of an era gone by seems also to have worked out as planned.
  3. After the briefest of moments with this new president and his wife, the realization sets in: We are already profoundly and inescapably in the grip of two extraordinary performances--the kind that seem so little like performances it’s necessary to remember from time to time that these are what they are.
  4. Stunning in a different way are the three Marines at the center of the series. In their true stories and, more importantly, their individual responses to the demands of warfare, we find a perfect trinity of action, emotion and intellect.
  5. What makes The Walking Dead so much more than a horror show is that it plays with theatrical grandeur, on a canvas that feels real, looks cinematic and has an orchestral score to match. For all its set pieces, however, Walking is most breathtaking in its small moments, in which the pain and glory of being human are conveyed with only the flick of a filmmaking wrist.
  6. One welcome aspect of all this is that some of the plot threads which became so distracting last season, threatening to tip Big Love into crazy-flatulent "L.A. Law" territory, seem to be gone. There is more than enough left, along with consistently brilliant acting all over, to keep the show as mesmerizing as it ever was.
  7. To watch the film’s Margaret (a sublime Hayley Atwell), is to see in full detail, the character Forster envisioned. ... In four episodes of sterling drama, Howards End has been brought fully to life on the television screen. That is no small achievement.
  8. Moment after moment the drama deepens, the rich complexity of Ford's characters make themselves felt in all their strangeness and variety.
  9. The drama unfolds in a series of flashbacks separated by many years. Hart and Cohle, no longer young, end up reporting on the past in separate interviews—a formula carried off with subtlety and high intelligence, like everything else in this detective story.
  10. The subjects of this series, seen in their habitats--a massive Nile crocodile, which gets to eat once a year, lying in wait for herds of wildebeests to come by; a hungry polar bear, stalking seals while struggling in the melting ice--have all the impact of characters whose moments on stage are brief but not easily forgotten. An effect largely due to the talent and enterprise of the photographic team for this endlessly compelling work.
  11. If the series were only about the doe-eyed and inscrutable Naz, it would be interesting enough. But it is bursting with other characters and heart-ripping portraits and morality playlets with a life of their own. The main attraction is the disheveled lawyer Jack Stone (John Turturro, in a mind-blowing performance).
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What Mr. Lynch does so well is to imbue something as ordinary as small-town America with an inchoate threat, an ax waiting to fall. In short, Twin Peaks is creepy... After two episodes, Twin Peaks is riveting. And it's so cool, it's chilly.
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. The PBS series is more marvelous, and thrilling, than ever.
  13. The Staircase is consistently, understatedly astounding in what it shows us and where Mr. De Lestrade’s camera goes. ... One of the more enigmatic works of documentary ever made.
  14. Taken together there is in these 5 1/2 hours, breathtaking in their scope and detail, nothing approaching a dull moment.
  15. Once you watch the first episode, it's going to be hard standing the wait for the next.
  16. The best parts of Treme are breathtaking. And then it exceeds that.
  17. This season's "Sopranos" is quite simply dazzling in its inventiveness, its reach, and one other aspect -- its capacity to pound audiences emotionally as the series has never before done.
  18. [The cameras'] sophistication and that of their operators are able to capture animals, their behavior and their habitats with an intimacy previously unimaginable, and breathtaking. With all due respect, Planet Earth II leaves its ancestor in the dust. And seas. And mountains. And jungles.
  19. Intricate plots (many updated versions of old favorites), fast pacing and smart, witty writing make Sherlock one of the most dazzling confections on TV.
  20. A season startling in its intensity and its endless probing intelligence--not to mention the raw suspense that hangs over every moment of every scene.... There is nothing that is the equal of The Americans on TV screens now.
  21. Television's best drama series is, in short, back with all that was delectable about season one on vivid display again-first-class writing, sterling performances, rocketing suspense.
  22. In the final season of The Americans the Jenningses--the KGB spy couple dedicated to unremitting war against the U.S.--are at war with one another, and a bitter, masterfully dramatized war it is. ... It comes as no surprise that one of the greatest drama series in television history should come to its end as powerful as ever.
  23. Perhaps the most glorious Masterpiece Theater of all time.
  24. The vibrant brew of upstairs-downstairs relationships is more savory now, the characters more complicated.
  25. It’s the kind of storytelling--ebullient, moving, brutal and informed with human mystery--whose every chapter only whets the appetite for more. ... A smashing work all around.
  26. There is no mystery about the potency of this series, slathered in wit, powered by storytelling of a high order.
  27. What a perfect show it’s been. Ms. Berry’s authority and, yes, kindness provide an elegant counterweight to Mr. Hollywood’s lad-ish qualities. The Ms. Perkins and Ms. Giedroyc are smartly funny and always supportive of the struggling competitors. The contestants are normal, diverse and inspiring. And highly accomplished.
  28. The trick to Ray Donovan, its gift to TV art, is to make almost every character emerge fully formed, and each scene a stunning vignette: of tragedy.
  29. It takes some while before the immensity of the history it covers dawns on a viewer of this extraordinary series, so deftly is that history--the reign of Henry VIII (Damian Lewis), Henry’s court, the dawn of the Protestant Reformation in England--woven into drama here.

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