• Network: SHOWTIME
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 27, 2020
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Adam Graham
    Sep 25, 2020
    83
    Gripes aside, "The Comey Rule" is a frightening and timely look at recent history and its repercussions. Actors will no doubt be biting into the role of Trump for years to come, but to top Gleeson they'll have to do a a heck of a lot of chewing.
  2. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Sep 24, 2020
    80
    As constructed by writer-director Billy Ray, “The Comey Rule” will be a gripping yarn even to those already familiar with Mr. Comey’s history. And its cast of familiar faces will provide a degree of amusement to a narrative that’s not otherwise a lot of fun.
  3. Reviewed by: Nell Minow
    Sep 25, 2020
    75
    Daniels is especially good at showing us Comey's thoughtful, accessible, reassuringly calm expression when faced with terrible problems and pressures. ... Donald Trump, played by Brendan Gleeson, skillfully avoiding caricature, a challenge for a real-life character of excesses and exaggerations.
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 25, 2020
    70
    Like everything else about the Trump presidency, The Comey Rule seems unlikely to change any hearts or minds. There's nevertheless something useful about seeing the dry pages of nonfiction brought to life, in a production that's hardy flawless but whose stellar casting represents showboating in the best TV sense of the term.
  5. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Sep 24, 2020
    70
    The series has a sensibility that’s as traditional and straight-arrow as Comey thinks of himself. But it does get more compelling as it progresses, particularly in part two, when Donald Trump fully enters the picture.
  6. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    Sep 18, 2020
    70
    If you can get past reservations about Ray’s idealization of Comey, Part 2 of The Comey Rule becomes a mesmerizing dramatization of a soul being slowly crushed.
  7. Reviewed by: Kristen Baldwin
    Sep 18, 2020
    67
    It's hard to imagine that Comey, polished and well-acted as it is, will sway many hearts and minds. Those who support Donald Trump are highly unlikely to watch, and those who don't — well, a dramatic re-enactment of the events surrounding the 2016 election may feel less like entertainment and more like ideological torture porn.
  8. Reviewed by: Alex McLevy
    Sep 9, 2020
    67
    As it races to introduce a whole host of characters and motivations in the first half-hour, The Comey Rule struggles under the burden of trying to explain who all these people are, and what role they play in the proceedings. But once we get into the fraught nature of the Clinton investigation—and just as the team, including Comey’s new second-in-command, Andrew McCabe (a superb Michael Kelly), realizes they’re standing on a land mine of partisan undermining of the FBI—the story gets compelling.
  9. Reviewed by: Tom Reimann
    Sep 1, 2020
    67
    Against all odds, The Comey Rule actually manages to accomplish what should be the primary goal of any dramatization of true-life events – it successfully recontextualizes Trump’s election and early presidency in a way that both offers new insight and reflects on the effects those months have had on the current state of the country.
  10. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 24, 2020
    65
    “The Comey Rule” may feel a bit book report-ish to those who followed the 2016 election cycle obsessively, but there’s been so much water under the national political bridge since then that “The Comey Rule” remains engrossing for the small details amidst the familiar broad strokes of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system during her stint as U.S. secretary of state.
  11. Reviewed by: Ed Cumming
    Oct 5, 2020
    60
    A surprising amount of tension builds around outcomes we already know. But at three and a half hours, it is far too long, and too often slips into the kind of self-regard and portentousness Americans are so fond of showing towards their major institutions.
  12. Reviewed by: Anita Singh
    Oct 1, 2020
    60
    The drama is framed by a narrator, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, for no particular reason. It feels like a show you’ve seen a hundred times before – lots of talking in brown rooms with unpleasant lighting, acronyms and beige raincoats and meetings on park benches.
  13. Reviewed by: Charles Bramesco
    Sep 24, 2020
    60
    Because this series works from Comey’s own tell-some book, A Higher Loyalty, the rationale for his actions lands with the soft touch of an absolution-seeking defense. As Ray would have it, Comey’s problem is that he’s virtuous to a fault. ... [Brendan Gleeson’s take on Trump is] a fine impression and middling performance, better in its particulars than in its essence.
  14. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Sep 24, 2020
    60
    Despite all of the authentic, real-life political fireworks they had to work with in this production, which is based on Comey’s bestseller “A Higher Loyalty,” “The Comey Rule” still comes off flat — and even boring — in places. It’s as if the cast and narrative could not compete with the larger-than-life absurdity of the actual people and events they’re depicting. ... These caricatures might distract from the story, but “The Comey Rule,” written and directed by Billy Ray, is still worth watching.
  15. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Sep 1, 2020
    60
    Uneven but entertaining. ... Daniels plays this righteousness and decorum to the hilt. ... Gleeson's accent and intonations waver, yet he captures an interiority the real Trump rarely exposes. It's a mediocre impression and possibly a great performance. Other standouts include a tragically hopeful Hunter and McNairy, whose weaselly, insecure Rosenstein, at times more Salieri than Brutus, represents an ideal compromise of tones that The Comey Rule hits only occasionally.
  16. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Oct 5, 2020
    58
    Ultimately, and rather uninterestingly, “The Comey Rule” becomes hagiographic and enamored with Comey’s self-made myth of duty and loyalty above all and the self-serving notion that if mistakes were made, they were made in the name of higher truths.
  17. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Sep 28, 2020
    58
    “The Comey Rule” doesn’t try too hard to get the audience invested in anyone but Comey. So it’s not until Trump arrives and starts throwing the FBI out of whack that scenes carry an extra edge to them. ... Ray also isn’t shy about amping up the sinister nature of Trump through formal touches. ... All of this helps frame “The Comey Rule” as a monster movie more than a melodrama, which mostly works in its favor.
  18. Reviewed by: John Serba
    Sep 28, 2020
    50
    I’m on the fence with The Comey Rule — it’s not revelatory, and mostly tells us what we already know. When it’s entertaining, it seems almost unintentional. But ultimately, it’s a curiosity watch that’ll compel you to stick with it through its entirety.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Sep 25, 2020
    50
    “The Comey Rule” does a fine job of stating the case, on the record. What it doesn’t do is go beyond the surface in its portrayal of Comey or its re-creations of events we already know all too well.
  20. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 25, 2020
    50
    Comey's story in black and white, with not much shading in between.
  21. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Sep 24, 2020
    50
    “The Comey Rule” is not good drama; it’s clunky, self-serious and melodramatic. But it makes an unsparing point amid our own election season.
  22. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 9, 2020
    50
    “The Comey Rule”is an occasionally artful and eventually absorbing dramatic reenactment of former FBI director James B. Comey’s unfortunate and, by his account, unavoidable role in two permanently upsetting events before and after the 2016 election of President Trump.
  23. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Sep 29, 2020
    40
    A bigger problem with The Comey Rule is that it tells a complex historical event from the point of view of one person. ... Ray tries his best to pull in other voices, but the word Comey is in the title and the reality is that this story is much bigger than him.
  24. Reviewed by: Doreen St. Félix
    Sep 29, 2020
    40
    Rather than letting loose a little, crafting an original psychological portrait of this inscrutable, high-ranking functionary, Ray gives us a series of labored impressions.
  25. Reviewed by: Richard Lawson
    Sep 25, 2020
    30
    All the cornball dialogue, heavily conveying its intent like a mallet over the head. ... You could certainly watch it on Sunday night. Though I can’t for the life of me imagine why you would want to.
  26. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Sep 24, 2020
    30
    American politics is so preoccupied with the participants as characters and partisans. Comey doubles down on that unfortunate tendency. ... You could argue that, as a drama, Comey’s chief purpose is to entertain rather than inform. But by that metric, its dull think-piece monologues, expository dialogue and long scenes of people in suits arguing in boardrooms are even less successful.
  27. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Sep 1, 2020
    30
    The movie bends and strains to accommodate Comey’s showy displays of duty and righteousness. ... Gleeson is at once the best and worst thing about “The Comey Rule,” uncannily evoking the president’s aura of menace and doing so while pushing his performance past a bizarre sheath of makeup that misses the mark. ... This series fails to find anything provocative or narratively rich in Comey’s dismissal from government. ... Self-satisfied, inert.
  28. Reviewed by: Liam Mathews
    Sep 14, 2020
    20
    It posits that Comey is an imperfect but decent man who did what he thought was right and whose biggest flaw is an outsized ego. ... But the show fails to adequately contextualize Comey's mistakes, which are institutional rather than just personal. It's a failure as an attempt to clarify recent history, made worse by a series of artless creative choices.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Sep 29, 2020
    0
    This was very boring and poorly written. I would not recommend this to anyone unless you want to fall asleep. Skip it!
  2. Sep 28, 2020
    9
    I didn't think I would be able to get into this show because of the depressing topic, but I am glad I did. It was well acted by both JeffI didn't think I would be able to get into this show because of the depressing topic, but I am glad I did. It was well acted by both Jeff Daniels as James Comey and Brendan Gleeson as the President as well as the rest of the ensemble cast. The story was well told and showed me aspects that I was not aware of. It was pretty long, but it had a good pace and was well written. Full Review »
  3. Sep 28, 2020
    6
    The Comey Rule tries way too hard and edgy as Adam McKay's Vice that it turned out to be a drag after a few hours. However, there are a coupleThe Comey Rule tries way too hard and edgy as Adam McKay's Vice that it turned out to be a drag after a few hours. However, there are a couple laughs I did not expect to get out of after seeing this and I did enjoyed some parts of it. And let's admit it, the actor that portrayed Donald Trump is hauntingly good and the makeup in this show is top notch no doubt about it. Well, let's see what 2020 holds till the elections comes out that could end up good for a change or bad. Full Review »