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Wolf Hall - S01 E05

History . Drama
 

The Act of Supremacy has declared Henry supreme head of the church in England.

 
Episode Title: Crows
Airs: 2015-02-18 at 09:00 pm
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    It takes some while before the immensity of the history it covers dawns on a viewer of this extraordinary series, so deftly is that history--the reign of Henry VIII (Damian Lewis), Henry’s court, the dawn of the Protestant Reformation in England--woven into drama here.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    It doesn’t matter if you know precisely where this story leads (whose head goes to which chopping block), Wolf Hall is about as compellingly and meticulously crafted as television gets.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Wolf Hall really is one of the great pleasures of the small screen this year, even if it doesn't initially make much of an effort (like Cromwell) to curry your favor. But stick with this one. The rewards are considerable.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    This magnificent six-part Masterpiece adaption.... In a powerfully sustained performance of subtle sorrow and steely resolve, Rylance reveals a man who takes little pleasure in carrying out his master's harrowing whims. The true pleasure is entirely the viewers. [6-19 Apr 2015, p.14]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    One of the best TV programs you'll find in this or any season.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Zack Handlen

    Wolf Hall’s efforts to capture the same mood as its source material ultimately serve it well.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Ray Rahman

    This excellent six-part series brings the statesman's [Thomas Cromwell's] shady story to light with wit, empathy, and even surprise. [3 Apr 2015, p.59]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    The show’s deliberately paced six hours turn out to be riveting, precisely because they are committed, without apology or, often, much explanation, to the esotericism of their subject matter.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    It will be interesting to see how Rylance’s superb performance evolves as Cromwell gets within spitting distance of the throne. For the moment, he’s a perfect model of stoicism, and the few flickers of feeling that cross his face (a smattering of tears after the death of his wife and children) hint that when Cromwell’s downfall comes--as history says it must--it won’t be pretty. The supporting actors are equally excellent.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Rylance is everything anyone could ask of an actor whose character's rich interior life can't safely be on display: subtle, watchful and supremely watchable.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Wolf Hall makes for wonderful television in part by resisting the current trends in wonderful television.... It’s every bit as good as Downton Abbey, and when it comes to moody shrewdness, Wolf has it all over Mad Men.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    It is the epitome of slow drama, with action taking place off-screen while intentional silences wreak havoc in the hollow Tudor halls. The miniseries pays off along the way, particularly with Rylance’s extraordinary performance, and it also accumulates into something gripping in the last three episodes.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    The fantastic Wolf Hall is ultra-English is so many ways.... This may be a restrained, morally complex drama, but it is far from inert and stodgy in its execution.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    I recommend it heartily: Mark Rylance is spectacular as Cromwell, bringing subtlety and melancholy to a man who was more of a bulldog in real life (as Hans Holbein the Younger painted him), but conveying the terrifying efficiency of his mind all the same.

    Time Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Anchored by Mark Rylance’s towering central performance, Wolf Hall is a very quiet “Masterpiece.”

    Variety Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    It’s beautifully filmed, with a measured pace and a priority on the performances.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    It’s a lush production--The costumes! The locations!--that’s still appropriately gritty for its 1529 setting and sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction. But it may be a bit slow-paced for fans of Showtime’s “The Tudors,” which told the same story with more soapy shenanigans and gusto. Mr. Rylance gives a quietly commanding performance as the intelligent, politically astute Cromwell.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    Wolf Hall is both stately and fast-moving, exceedingly still yet highly suspenseful.... Though the series comes to a natural stopping place, it also feels, at the finish, incomplete.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Dan Kois

    The series is a robust and satisfying experience, one that doesn’t skimp on the story’s world-spanning political and religious intrigue, but keeps at its center one man whose calm gaze focuses the sweeping material and makes it feel manageable.

    Slate Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Scripter Peter Straughan masterfully hits almost all the right notes in this fictionalized account of Cromwell.... The stage actor doesn’t convey the cunning with which Mantel imbues her protagonist. At times his lawyer seems a bit thick. At the close of next week, however, Cromwell--and Rylance--find their footing.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Although Wolf Hall does require an unusual amount of work on the viewer’s part, as well as the patience of, well, a saint, the performances and how they eventually elucidate the theme of what power can do to a man and a nation when it becomes too personal, make it mostly but belatedly worthwhile.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Margaret Lyons

    The six-part miniseries, premiering Sunday on PBS, is indeed largely excellent.... But that sense of dramatic conservation gets just a little bit stifling, and sometimes Peter Kosminsky's staid direction makes the series feel like a top-collar button begging to be undone, even just for a second, while no one is looking.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    Gorgeous, high-minded, beautifully acted and sluggish, it may be a stretch for those more accustomed to the Olivia Pope-Doug Stamper-Ray Donovan versions of fixers.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    It’s acutely intelligent, luxuriously dressed and well acted across the board. It’s also notably serious and quiet, despite the occasional beheading or session on the rack required by a tale.... [But] the emotional and psychological underpinnings of the narrative don’t resonate as strongly as its ideas about history and governance.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Wolf Hall has its moments if you have the endurance to wait for them.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
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