• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 1, 2014
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Halt and Catch Fire Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 210 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Former IBM sales executive Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) recruits reluctant Cardiff Electric engineer Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) and programming prodigy Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) to reverse engineer IBM's BIOS system, setting up the PC revolution.
  • Genre(s): Drama

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Halt & Catch Fire

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Jun 2, 2014
    83
    The thrill comes not from the actual computer building, but the people doing the building. These characters are complex and well-developed, especially Pace’s fiery exec, who is a mesmerizing manipulator.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 28, 2014
    80
    It’s not quite as nuanced as "Mad Men," but it could be before the end of the season.
  3. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    May 30, 2014
    80
    Though the pilot of Halt and Catch Fire, AMC's latest character-driven drama premiering Sunday, doesn't hit the gloriously high bar set by the opening episode of "Mad Men," it is provocative and promising nonetheless.
  4. Reviewed by: Marisa LaScala
    May 30, 2014
    70
    With the relationships among MacMillan, Clark, and Howe in the foreground, Halt and Catch Fire makes impressive use of its time period without treating it as an elbow-to-the-ribs joke.
  5. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    May 30, 2014
    70
    There's a tentativeness to Halt's first hour--it doesn't end especially strongly--but overall, the drama has a mostly credible pilot and lead actors who will probably be able take the show in compelling directions.
  6. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    May 30, 2014
    67
    There are still quite a few good reasons to watch this flawed show. The pilot features some clever twists that I won’t ruin here. The dialogue can be highly quotable, in an engrave-this-mantra-on-your-iPad way. (“Computers aren’t the thing–they’re the thing that gets us to the thing!”) And McNairy is fantastic, simmering with quiet intensity that suggests that there’s much more to Gordon than we’re privy to in the pilot.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    May 28, 2014
    50
    At least in the one episode sent to critics--Halt doesn't offer up complicated, three-dimensional characters. Instead, we get versions of familiar types pulled from the character storage room by the writers.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38
  1. Aug 29, 2016
    10
    I just caught up on this show and it's terrific! At first I thought it was aping Mad Men a little much, but it's transformed into anI just caught up on this show and it's terrific! At first I thought it was aping Mad Men a little much, but it's transformed into an incredible drama that has both a great plot and amazingly complex characters. Just when you think you've figured out their relationships to each other, they surprise you in ways that don't feel forced or inorganic. Incredible show from top to bottom. Expand
  2. Jun 6, 2015
    10
    Yep, it's a great show! Great story, cast, cinematography, score etc.... one of the best series on! Hopefully, the network realizes this andYep, it's a great show! Great story, cast, cinematography, score etc.... one of the best series on! Hopefully, the network realizes this and green lights more seasons! Anyone giving this a negative rating has an agenda, must be working for a different network or something... Expand
  3. Jun 1, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While the comparisons to Mad Men aren't exactly there, this show seems determined to make it's own path by exploring the early days of the personal computer boom in 1980's texas and by showing these three desperate characters making it much more personal.
    Joe Macmillan seems to be the lead star with the almost Patrick Bateman-esque bad boy charisma.

    The only real fault of the show so far is rushing through some of the technical details like in the montage in Gordon Clark's house when they are taking apart an IMB computer.
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  4. Jun 4, 2017
    9
    I grew up in the era of the original PC, the BBS evolution, and onward. This show captures the high points of the drama I remember from theI grew up in the era of the original PC, the BBS evolution, and onward. This show captures the high points of the drama I remember from the media, in a way that tweaks the imagination of my younger nerd. While not history, the gist of the series emits an air of authenticity, at least for me.

    The set dressing and casting of the show is also spot on, feeling very much like the tech scene of my youth. If you're a hacker at heart, this show is one of the shows that will remind you of where hackers came from.
    Expand
  5. Jun 30, 2015
    8
    Season 1 had a very strong cast and a solid story that gave a keen and intense insight to the computer boom of the early-mid 1980's. TheSeason 1 had a very strong cast and a solid story that gave a keen and intense insight to the computer boom of the early-mid 1980's. The season finale took a bit of a nosedive almost as if it was meant to be a miniseries. I'm glad it was renewed though, it's a great AMC original that deserves more viewers. Expand
  6. Aug 13, 2014
    8
    This show is good, I don't care what the critics say. I really hope it gets renewed cus viewership has been kind of low.

    First I like the
    This show is good, I don't care what the critics say. I really hope it gets renewed cus viewership has been kind of low.

    First I like the unique setting. How many shows are about the 1980s at all, let alone the computer business in any era? TV is littered with cop dramas and angsty romantic comedies, and now the new wave of fantasy and zombies, Halt is a really refreshing change up. Although it's nothing like Mad Men, the uniqueness is similar in that both explore a time period and field that no other show really does.

    Second the acting is really good, outside of Cameron. For some reason I think she comes across as super moody and not realistic. She seems shallow to me, she's so obsessed with making a perfect computer experience I feel like the writers have to kind of push her to be extreme to make the show go certain places. It just doesn't feel quite natural. But every other actor does a stellar job. Donna is amazing as the conflicted wife. Bosworth is a very compelling figure, torn between the new generation's way of thinking and progressing to the future and the old guard that he is part of.

    I don't really see any major plot holes although a few things that happen seem a little far fetched like how quickly they complete certain tasks for one. But otherwise the story never really dragged and had plenty of twists without feeling like the writers were reaching for anything. In all it's a great show I hope more people check out.
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  7. Jul 8, 2014
    1
    Show was hanging by a thread in the first three episodes. The baffling events of episode 3 made me literally turn it off 3/4 of the way intoShow was hanging by a thread in the first three episodes. The baffling events of episode 3 made me literally turn it off 3/4 of the way into it. Boring, uninteresting characters with almost no resemblance to reality. A shame considering how much I really wanted to like this show. Expand

See all 38 User Reviews

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