The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The best Black Mirror episodes - of which "USS Callister" is definitely one - identify issues lurking beneath the surface of the real world and extrapolate them into a future where technology has given them form and heft.
Black Mirror has wowed viewers with its Twilight Zone-esque stories of parallel universes and make-believe societies - but Season 4's "U.S.S. Callister" episode of the Netflix series strikes an uncomfortably prescient chord.
The show seems to have some thoughts about race and criminal justice that it never quite completes. But it haunts me more than any other show. I love it all the more because its brilliance feels finite.
If geek franchises want to move forward, they're going to need to learn how to leave the dead weight of the past behind them. Even in the techno-nightmare future of Black Mirror, sympathy has its limits.
As is always the case on Black Mirror, each narrative functions as a cautionary tale about our increasing reliance on all things coded or in the cloud, primarily its effect on personal privacy and its Orwellian freeze on free will.
If the show wants to position itself as entirely of the moment, it has more work to do in meeting its viewers where they are, at a place where concern over what we're doing to each other extends beyond implanted brain-modification technologies.
With rotating casts and directors, anthology series are uneven by nature, and this season feels more so as "Black Mirror" occasionally struggles to capture the sense of surprise that was long its greatest strength.
As a body of work it's more interesting than satisfying, although "USS Callister," the standout episode, is spectacular, while "Hang the DJ" has the kind of winning optimism that made Season 3's Emmy-winning "San Junipero" such a hit.