Alcatraz : Season 1

  • Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 16, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 13, 2012
    Alcatraz sure is [fun].
  2. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jan 13, 2012
    It's all very creepy, mysterious and loaded with questions.
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 13, 2012
    Alcatraz lacks humor and suspense but it could morphs into something interesting. [20 Jan 2012, p.69]
  4. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jan 17, 2012
    Here he has both--mood galore and a premise strong enough to not only sire a great pilot but to sustain a solid series.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jan 17, 2012
    For now, Alcatraz is a sinister bag of sinister pleasures.
  6. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jan 17, 2012
    The pilot moves along well, is a lot of fun--but Madsen is just too blond and bland to create the kind of excitement that Jennifer Garner or other of Abrams' female kick-ass characters were able to do with both hands tied behind their backs.
  7. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 13, 2012
    It was a dark and stormy night--and a weird, fun, trippy one, too.
  8. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 13, 2012
    The show has the makings of great--what else can I say?--escapist entertainment. [23 Jan 2012, p.39]
  9. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 17, 2012
    The pilot looks great, offers an intriguing plot and effortlessly introduces the show's characters and premise.
  10. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jan 17, 2012
    A spunky upgrade over the collection of interchangeable police procedurals clogging the television schedule.
  11. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 3, 2012
    For now, though, this is a series that's seemingly built on an arresting foundation.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 17, 2012
    Alcatraz is easy enough to follow tonight, with twists and surprises that are enjoyable and not enervating.
  13. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jan 13, 2012
    Inquiring minds who liked "Lost," or "The 4400" and "The Event" will find much to feast on.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 146 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 42
  2. Negative: 6 out of 42
  1. Jan 18, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This show had such promise, a talented creator, a basic idea with some merit, decent cast. Alas, the weak script doesn't hold water. Instead of an interesting drama we get another police show in which a blond cop teams up with a genius professor in order to catch bad guys, all the time working for a secret government agency. Haven't we seen this hundreds of times before? Seems like they tried to combine CSI, The 4400 and Fringe into one lousy show.

    The script itself is astonishingly stupid. A guy who disappeared 30 years ago, pops up and goes on a violence spree although we are told countless times that he is not a killer, only a thief. The deputy warden used to treat him badly because that's what deputy wardens do, without any motives or explanations, they're just "bad" people, so he kills him. And then he decides to kill two more cops and another man from whom he takes a key, in order to plant the seed for the show's mystery. The first episode ends with him visiting the grave of his dead ex-wife who divorced him while he was in prison in order to marry his brother. By the way before visiting the grave he kidnaps the brother however we are never told if he killed him or not. Seems the writers forgot about the brother.

    I almost cried from the absurdity of that last paragraph! They writers actually forgot about the brother. What's the point of him kidnapping him if we are not shown the police freeing him. I would advise showing this episode in film school in order to teach people what not to do.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 17, 2012
    Having lived in the Bay Area for 8 years and enjoying "Lost", I *really* wanted to like this show. Unfortunately, though, the dialogue wasHaving lived in the Bay Area for 8 years and enjoying "Lost", I *really* wanted to like this show. Unfortunately, though, the dialogue was pretty poor and the acting was so-so at best. I'll tune in for the next few episodes, but I'll be quickly tuning out if they're anything like the first two episodes. Full Review »
  3. Feb 3, 2012
    Just really, really mediocre. The show's "goody" characters hide secrets from the audience uneccesarily, the dialog is terrible, simplisticJust really, really mediocre. The show's "goody" characters hide secrets from the audience uneccesarily, the dialog is terrible, simplistic and makes me feel like the writers are saying, "do you get what's happened here? No? Ok let us go over it for a 5th time!" As a fan of both Fringe and Lost I am horrifically disappointed by this effort. Full Review »