Todd VanDerWerff

Todd VanDerWerff

Agrees with the Tomatometer 100% of the time.

Todd VanDerWerff 's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
58% Game of Thrones: Season 5 Episode 6 "There's nothing inherently wrong with this storytelling technique, but when it seems like your only storytelling technique, it eventually becomes wearying and stale. " ‐ Vox
Posted May 22, 2015
92% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 14 ""Person to Person" is a beautiful, confounding episode of television. It's my favorite series finale since The Sopranos wrapped with even less closure. " ‐ Vox
Posted May 18, 2015
2.5/5 48% Grace and Frankie: Season 1 (TV, 2015) "I realized that Grace and Frankie was a hangout sitcom about older people. In and of itself, that's not a bad idea, but the show is constantly defeated by some of the hangout sitcom's worst qualities. " ‐ Vox
Posted May 11, 2015
96% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 13 ""The Milk and Honey Route" seems like a downright strange episode of Mad Men until you realize what it's about. " ‐ Vox
Posted May 11, 2015
52% Cristela: Season 1 (TV, 2014-2015) "[Alonzo] appears in just about every scene, nearly all of which require her to land a big moment or two, and she nails each and every one. " ‐ Vox
Posted May 5, 2015
4/5 74% Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) "Not everything about Age of Ultron works... But long stretches of it are as good as anything Marvel Studios has produced, suggesting a bolder, more ambitious vision for the studio going forward. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 30, 2015
97% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 11 "There's still so much left hanging in the air when the episode ends, but it gave this fledgling half-season a purpose it's been lacking and a welcome sense of direction. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 27, 2015
100% Game of Thrones: Season 5 Episode 3 "Here's a thing that "High Sparrow," one of my favorite Game of Thrones episodes in quite some time, drives home - the loss of the old status quo has also been unquestionably dire for too many of these people. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 27, 2015
2/5 30% Happyish: Season 1 (TV, 2015) "Happyish, like so many other shows of its ilk, confuses mentioning weighty, philosophical topics with actually discussing or understanding them. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 24, 2015
89% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 10 ""The Forecast" is the strongest episode of this half-season so far and the first episode of this batch to feel like vintage Mad Men. It makes me much more certain that Matthew Weiner and company know exactly where they're headed. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 21, 2015
100% Game of Thrones: Season 5 Episode 1 "In the grand tradition of Game of Thrones premieres, "The Wars to Come" is more setup than it is anything else, but for once, I'm interested in far more of the plots being set up than usual. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 14, 2015
64% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 9 "Yes, it's a bad episode of Mad Men, but it might be a necessary episode of Mad Men. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 14, 2015
96% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 8 ""Severance" has a host of scenes where the characters talk about that second life they never got to live, the one for their dreams. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 7, 2015
88% Better Call Saul: Season 1 Episode 10 "You couldn't ask for a more symbolic hat tip than ["Smoke On the Water"]. If you lose your heart, as Jimmy just has, then everything else goes up in smoke. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 7, 2015
100% The Americans: Season 3 (TV, 2015) "I would say the show has started getting downright Shakespearean. " ‐ Vox
Posted Apr 3, 2015
4/5 96% Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015) "If Wright's book was a blistering polemic, then Gibney's film is a great companion piece that shows the human side of a slow-motion tragedy. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 30, 2015
85% The Walking Dead: Season 5 Episode 16 "Rick might be too alert. He might be unable to communicate with normal human beings in normal fashion anymore. But he's ready, dammit. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 30, 2015
3.5/5 74% Bloodline: Season 1 (TV, 2015) "The last four episodes of the first season of Bloodline are among the best things Netflix has ever done. They're searing, dark stories of a family pushed to its utter limit, and even a fairly lame twist to close out the season can't get in the way. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 23, 2015
94% Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 2 (TV, 2014) "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gone from a crushing disappointment to a geeky delight, a show that positively glows with love for both its source material and the creative restrictions necessitated by being a tiny part of a much larger world. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 18, 2015
3.5/5 91% iZombie: Season 1 (TV, 2015) "Though it's ostensibly based on a series of comics, it has much more in common with some well-loved TV shows and movies of the past - shows like Veronica Mars and Buffy and even Weeds. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 17, 2015
4/5 87% Community: Season 6 (TV, 2015) "This is a show constantly in the process of becoming something else. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 17, 2015
100% Better Call Saul: Season 1 Episode 6 "What makes "Five-O" so remarkable isn't just the stunning work of Jonathan Banks... No, what makes it so remarkable is that fans of the character had to wait so long to get any real hint of his backstory beyond "former cop." " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 12, 2015
92% Bates Motel: Season 3 (TV, 2015) "Bates Motel is a slow-moving show... But it tells emotional stories so well that it's easy to not care when the overarching plot is mostly standing still. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 10, 2015
4/5 94% Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 1 (TV, 2015) "Yet give Kimmy Schmidt enough time, and it reveals that the real comparison point to make here isn't with 30 Rock. It's with Bewitched. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 9, 2015
4/5 95% American Crime: Season 1 (TV, 2015) "It's a preachy, didactic, stagy-as-hell series, but it's also often a searing and beautiful one which takes its characters seriously. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 6, 2015
84% The Last Man on Earth: Season 1 (TV, 2015) "It's the most unusual new comedy of the year, and it's also one of the best. " ‐ Vox
Posted Mar 3, 2015
3.5/5 71% The DUFF (2015) "The DUFF won me over, to the degree that I found it to be one of the more charming teen comedies of recent years. " ‐ Vox
Posted Feb 20, 2015
100% Cheers: Season 1 (TV, 1982-1983) "I've often said that Cheers boasts the best comedy pilot I've ever seen. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 19, 2015
100% Cheers: Season 2 (TV, 1983-1984) "I think Cheers' second season just might be its best. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 19, 2015
C- No Score Yet The X-Files: Season 9 (TV, 2001-2002) "In The X-Files, we have a prime example of a show that was no longer necessary once reality made conspiracy-based horror redundant. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
B+ 57% The X-Files: Season 8 (TV, 2000-2001) "The simplicity is a godsend in a show that at times seemed to have its head so far up its ass that it would never see the daylight again. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
C No Score Yet The X-Files: Season 7 (TV, 1999-2000) "We're in for some rough sailing in the weeks ahead. This is a messy season of television, and even if it has some good episodes in the midst of everything else, it's also a season that lacks a strong, clear purpose. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
A No Score Yet The X-Files: Season 6 (TV, 1998-1999) "This was a series still alive with all of the possibilities of being a big, hit television show. It was, in other words, a show playing offense, not a show trying to hang onto its audience for dear life. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
C+ No Score Yet The X-Files: Season 5 (TV, 1997-1998) "The show had completed production on its first feature film, which led to everybody involved in the show seeming kind of tired of it and a strangely rigid structure, that HAD to lead to a destination everybody already knew about. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
B- No Score Yet The X-Files: Season 4 (TV, 1996-1997) "Season four of The X-Files contains some of the show's absolute finest hours and quite a few of those episodes are blatantly experimental. But it also contains some jaw-droppingly awful episodes. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
B- No Score Yet The X-Files: Season 3 (TV, 1995-1996) "Season three of The X-Files is, for me, hands down, its best season and maybe one of the greatest TV seasons of all time. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
A 100% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 7 "These are all notes that the show has played before, but what makes them work so wonderfully in "Waterloo" is that the show can now play around with a sense of finality it didn't really have in the past. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 5, 2015
A- 96% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 6 ""The Strategy" is my favorite episode of this truncated half-season of Mad Men by far, the kind of episode that ended in such a way that it made me half-swallow a sigh of happiness at how well this show can stick landings. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 4, 2015
B+ 87% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 5 ""The Runaways" is either brilliant or a boondoggle. It reminds me of season six's "The Crash" in just how out there and messed up it gets, but it's like that episode in slow motion. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 4, 2015
A- 82% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 4 ""The Monolith" struck me as a bit clunky in places, though I appreciated the way the show called itself out for this, but it had a circularity I found oddly pleasing all the same. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 4, 2015
B+ 100% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 3 ""Field Trip" concludes with Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9," which seems entirely appropriate for an episode where everything feels upside down. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 3, 2015
A 93% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 2 "That scene between Don and Sally in the gas station diner was a knockout and felt almost like a statement of purpose for this final season. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 2, 2015
A- 90% Mad Men: Season 7 Episode 1 "Time Zones is very consciously a "beginning of the end" type of story. It brings our two main characters and a handful of others -- even Roger -- to a place where they're confronting the darkest sides of themselves. " ‐ AV Club
Posted Jan 2, 2015
1/5 28% Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) "Exodus is a movie that desperately wants to be complex and nuanced, but is terrified by the possible consequences of being complex and nuanced. " ‐ Vox
Posted Dec 12, 2014
3.5/5 90% Wild (2014) "As Strayed, Reese Witherspoon is terrific in a part she should be all wrong for. It's a great turn, and it's an even better reminder of when she was one of the most exciting actors in America. " ‐ Vox
Posted Dec 4, 2014
4.5/5 88% Foxcatcher (2014) "Foxcatcher is, ultimately, a deeply political film, but not in the way you might think. " ‐ Vox
Posted Nov 12, 2014
4.5/5 96% Olive Kitteridge: Season One (TV, 2014) "Its unflinching willingness to watch Olive burn everything to the ground around her makes the miniseries one of the best things to air on television this year. " ‐ Vox
Posted Nov 4, 2014
3.5/5 72% Interstellar (2014) "Nolan has always been a director who loves big, big ideas, but one occasionally gets the sense that he would almost rather make a movie of the characters explaining those ideas to one another with flow charts and diagrams. " ‐ Vox
Posted Nov 4, 2014
5/5 88% Gone Girl (2014) "It's Pike whom audiences will be talking about and arguing about long after they've screened the film. She seizes hold of Flynn's conception of a woman slowly losing control over her own narrative with gusto, and Fincher reacts splendidly. " ‐ Vox
Posted Oct 1, 2014
4.5/5 98% Transparent: Season One (TV, 2014) "Creator Jill Soloway has crafted a show filled with beautiful, tiny moments in a series that examines what it means to be happy and what it means to become the best possible version of yourself. " ‐ Vox
Posted Sep 25, 2014
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