Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
Watch On
  1. These three films (adapted from David Peace's novels by different directors), each a singularly gripping work, together form a towering and emotionally complex achievement.
  2. 100
    The powerfully disturbing Red Riding trilogy will haunt you waking and sleeping, night and day. If you survive the watching of it, that is, which is no easy thing.
  3. 100
    Red Riding Trilogy is an immersive experience like "The Best of Youth," "Brideshead Revisited" or "Nicholas Nickleby."
  4. The success of the three, separately screened films -- the first set in 1974, the second in 1980 and the concluding segment in 1983 -- depends not on their specifics, but on their ability to sustain an atmosphere that's appropriate to the dark but haunting story.
  5. Each episode (originally made for British TV) works by itself, but there's a real payoff in following all three. (Nothing matches The "Wire," but this holds its own.)
  6. 90
    Of course the films and the books each have to stand on their own, but Grisoni's stripped-down narrative definitely offers advantages, throwing some of the story's archetypal themes into sharper relief.
  7. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    It's not hard to forgive this series its lack of innovation, because it manages, for long stretches at least, to be something few serial-killer dramas ever are: really, really good.
  8. 90
    An exhausting, morbidly fascinating, and finally thrilling experience.
  9. 83
    Red Riding’s depiction of the avarice and corruption possible when regions become kingdoms unto themselves feels simultaneously cynical and true.
  10. 70
    Grimly mesmerizing saga.
  11. This is meat-and-potatoes genre work, certainly superior to a Hollywood product like "Edge of Darkness," but not by much.
  12. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    The fact that the films hang together at the brink of incoherence is a credit to the assembled acting talent. Rebecca Hall and Maxine Peake deserve note, oases in this nasty, masculine world.
  13. The Red Riding trilogy looks fine blown up on the big screen, though it’s easier to watch at home, where the remote offers fast relief from a grim fiction that, with its murky palette and unyielding cruelty, serves up a nihilistic vision that is unyielding, hermetic, unpersuasive and finally self-indulgent.
  14. 50
    Direction of all three films is no more than workmanlike, which isn't surprising since they were originally made for British television. The acting, on the other hand, is sometimes superb.
  15. One must be very, very, very, very, very interested in Yorkshire, circa 1980, to embrace and enjoy The Red Riding Trilogy. And yet ... there is something to be said for an enterprise this specific and uncompromising.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 28, 2013
    Set against a backdrop of serial murders during 1974-1983, including the Yorkshire Ripper killings, the books and films follow severalSet against a backdrop of serial murders during 1974-1983, including the Yorkshire Ripper killings, the books and films follow several recurring fictional characters through a bleak and violent world of multi-layered police corruption and organized crime. "Red Riding: 1974" sets up a fantastic trilogy- but can viewed, as it stands on it's own. Much of what becomes background material for the second and third films works effectively as the main story for this movie. "The "Red Riding Trilogy" is gritty and brutal--an immersive viewing experience. Over the course of 302 minutes, we are sucked into a virtual world of corrupt police and establishment figures of West Yorkshire in England. In 1974, Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield), a young reporter from the Yorkshire Post, tries to find information on a series of missing girls. Meanwhile, John Dawson (Sean Bean), a local businessman and developer, bribes members of the West Yorkshire Constabulary (WYC) and local councillors into letting him purchase local land and gain permission for a shopping centre he has planned. This is done by burning down a Roma camp previously existing in the area. One of the murdered girls is found on Dawson's land, having been tortured, raped, and strangled, with swan wings stitched into her back. Young, and naive, Dunford pushes his investigation into dangerous areas after being forewarned to stay away. "Red Riding: 1974" is a bit of a challenge, and is not easily summarized--and it demands constant viewer attention. A two-minute trip to the kitchen could end up costing you dearly. For American audiences, there is an additional problem--the accents are so thick that it can be difficult to decipher dialogue and entire passages may be missed. There are versions of the trilogy with subtitles that help tremendously. Only in the third and final chapter of the trilogy, "Red Riding: 1983"-- all the pieces of the dark puzzle finally find its place--revealing the terrifying truth behind the disappearance of the girls. Full Review »