Matt Zoller Seitz

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For 488 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matt Zoller Seitz's Scores

Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Olive Kitteridge
Lowest review score: 0 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 488
488 tv reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Unfortunately, the show never alchemizes these touchstones into a fresh, distinctive aesthetic. And when projects like this aren’t capable of knocking you out with style, they’d better have vivid characters and a riveting story to fall back on, and that’s not the case here, either.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s a lavishly produced, intelligent, tasteful mixed bag, more interesting to think about than to watch.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The casting is exceptional. Every face and body is credible as one that might actually have lived in that period. The performances are alert and sensitive without seeming studied. ... This is a late-breaking candidate for show of the year, a drama about the place where aspiration and reality intersect.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The idea of escape doesn’t enter the story until the end of the second episode. Nevertheless, the component parts of Dannemora are solid, and often more than that. And all told, the series represents some of the best work that Arquette, Dano, Del Toro, Morse, and director Ben Stiller (playing it absolutely straight behind the camera, for the first time) have ever done.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A lot of the subplots revolve around established and new characters trying to hold Claire to whatever arrangement they had with Frank and learning that the solid ground they thought they were standing on has turned to quicksand. This is explored most elegantly through Claire’s relationship with former White House chief of staff Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) and battles against siblings Annette and Bill Shepherd (Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear), a couple of tech billionaires turned right-wing influencers.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    At times suggesting an unholy fusion of an anything-goes musical telenovela like Glee or Cop Rock and an anti-hero drama built around a charismatic screw-up, the series is mesmerizing in part because it continues to exist and try new things despite being out there all by its lonesome.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The first two episodes are content to operate on perhaps two levels simultaneously, where Mad Men rarely settled for less than five, and the third episode is a satirical horror movie that plays like an unholy fusion of The Shining, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, and François Truffaut’s film-about-filmmaking Day for Night. ... If the first episodes are representative, The Romanoffs is looser and more relaxed than Mad Men in ways that both please and frustrate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Eyre has cut the text to the bone, sometimes to its detriment, though the edits elevate the play’s parallel, secondary story--the bastard Edmund (John McMillan) plotting against his father, the Earl of Gloucester (Jim Broadbent) and his half-brother Edgar (Andrew Scott)--in fascinating ways.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    [Danza's] not an especially deep actor, and neither he nor the show seem inclined to do anything that’ll really rattle us and make us ask if it’s okay to like this guy and think of him as an essentially good-hearted eccentric who has many useful things to teach us if only we’d listen.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Initial signs are promising. It nails the Selleck version’s have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too sensibility, kicking off with a joyously ludicrous action sequence set in North Korea (director Justin Lin of the Fast and the Furious series helmed the pilot), only to turn around and assure us that the rest of the show won’t be like this, then ultimately delivering something not terribly different from what it said it wasn’t going to give us.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s a meticulously observed and often cathartic experience, the kind of show that can make a person feel seen for the first time.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Not all of the series’ risks pay off, and the overall approach is so counterintuitive that it’s bound to frustrate audiences who expected more of a problem-solving space mission story along the lines of Apollo 13 or The Martian. ... But once you get used to The First’s peculiar rhythms, it weaves a spell that’s somewhere between a ’90s John Wells drama (think ER or The West Wing) and a slowed-down TV answer to Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life especially).
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This visually arresting series becomes an illustrated stage production for a while, and amazingly, it works. It’s a terrific working-through of grief, particularly survivors’ realizations that they’re never going to get closure on all the issues that gnawed at the relationship between themselves and the deceased back when they were both alive and could’ve talked to each other. ... Either way, it’s all part of the larger, Mad Men–styled disconnect between intelligence and wisdom that BoJack portrays so well.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This new batch of episodes feels lighter--or at least has a lighter touch--than most of season one, though it doesn’t stay in that mode forever. A lot of the writing has the moment-to-moment exactness of a comedy of manners, or a casual conversation between veterans of the same business. (The Wire and Treme also excelled at those sorts of interactions.)
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Matt Zoller Seitz
    More so than in any other Netflix superhero show, Iron Fist never figures out how to build an aesthetic that reconciles its naturalistic performances and its dialogue, which tends to fall into one of two categories: no-frills information delivery or failed cleverness.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Once you get past all the familiar elements, Mayans M.C. turns into a show with its own personality and focus, though by no means a great one. ... In the end, the biggest problem is that the universe created here by Sutter and James feels more like the product of research plus flights of fancy than of a burning need to communicate lived experience.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is a series you can’t just half-watch while scrolling your phone, because if you do, you won’t know what’s going on. The show can be hard to follow even if you’re watching closely, because so much of the plot is inferred. ... The pleasures of Better Call Saul are almost entirely visceral and emotional.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A bit of a mixed bag. As the series unfolds, there are King-like touches aplenty, including spectacular acts of violence, unnerving monologues by folksy keepers of Castle Rock lore, and flashbacks that give you just enough information to chill the blood but not enough to resolve ongoing mysteries.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    At its worst, this is a still-not-quite-there prestige drama, but at its best and most interesting, it plays like a very solid 1980s B movie, the kind that young filmmakers and critics would have discovered two decades after it came and went, then scrambled to remake.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Whenever Sharp Objects seems to be on the verge of spiraling into contrived pot-boiler absurdity (which is often, particularly in its latter half), the quicksilver filmmaking and Adams’s exact and understated lead performance pull it back.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Not only does The Bold Type merit those comparisons to Sex and the City and Younger], it courts them with intelligence and feeling. ... What puts everything across, even more than the likable performances and efficient storytelling, is the series’ understated authority. Without relinquishing the escapist pleasures that the audience wants, it convinces you that the people who make The Bold Type are grounding the story in lived reality, not just secondhand research.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The end product lacks a certain verve. ... Condor is an honorable effort, thoughtfully made even when it’s struggling to differentiate itself from similar projects that came before.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Though the FX series sometimes has trouble balancing earnest kitchen-sink drama with the otherworldly flamboyance of its ’80s New York ballroom scenes and the innately didactic quality of some of its main characters’ arguments and moments of crisis, the totality hangs together quite well.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s best not to read too much about the new season in advance, because Queen Sugar springs a few doozies right out of the gate. Rest assured that the series never sacrifices emotional realism for the pop of a soap-opera twist.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Picnic at Hanging Rock is the sapphic, David Lynch-influenced mystery-thriller that you didn’t know you needed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It feels timeless, but also very much of-the-time. More so than Francois Truffaut’s 1966 version of Fahrenheit--This Fahrenheit is distinctive, so on-message from one moment to the next, and so scary in both its depictions and implications, that there are times where it feels as if it’s intellectually brutalizing the audience, slapping viewers across the face to get them to wake up from a stupor.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is rich terrain that has been insufficiently explored by a comic mind as fearlessly audacious as Horgan’s. Motherland plants a flag there in its very first scene and commences building a legacy. This is an impressive series, and lots of fun, if you don’t mind revisiting or envisioning everyday, low-level trauma.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Dear White People has leveled up in quality during its second season--no small feat considering how consistently strong it was during its freshman outing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A lengthy and meticulous, childhood-to-grave account of Elvis’s brief time on Earth. ... The superficiality of the film’s biography makes it feel rushed, even when it’s making a point of lingering (as in the sections on Elvis entering the Army and Elvis becoming a sequined creature of Vegas). ... Still, The Searcher excels when it analyzes the evolution of Elvis’s music and image.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Cenac is essentially playing the role of both host and roving reporter. While he’s still getting up to speed on the host part, he’s aces when the show puts him in rooms and lets him talk person-to-person.

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