• Network: Cinemax
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 11, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 11, 2013
    50
    The show has some unorthodox elements, but feels fairly cliched in most of its beats, largely serving as an excuse for bouts of grisly violence and gratuitous sex.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 10, 2013
    80
    It's the characters of Banshee and their labyrinth of relationships that make the show an engrossing, entertaining portrait of a fictional small town.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 11, 2013
    60
    Banshee is a mangy mutt of a TV show and doesn't care if you know it.
  4. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 10, 2013
    70
    The show doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is--a violent, sexy, somewhat cheesy, but generally entertaining genre drama--and that makes it easier to like.
  5. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 9, 2013
    70
    Yes, it can often sound like a pulp setup bound to go sideways, but Banshee ends up being taut, entertaining and smart enough, and you won't completely turn your brain off.
  6. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 8, 2013
    50
    Banshee is baloney, but viewed as pure camp, there are some good action sequences and amusing moments.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 11, 2013
    70
    It does what it sets out to do reasonably well without breaking my brain in the process.
  8. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jan 10, 2013
    75
    It's all much better than it sounds, and more importantly, like "Strike Back," is written better than you'd expect.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 11, 2013
    58
    A slow-pokey drama punctuated by shocking violence and sex.
  10. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 9, 2013
    42
    Its overall implausibility and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plotting work against what little promise Banshee has.
  11. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 11, 2013
    75
    It has a solid pedigree. It's also part of Cinemax's effort to expand its original programming. That effort pays off with Banshee.
  12. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jan 11, 2013
    50
    Banshee has has elements of "Justified," "Big Love," Ball's "True Blood" and, of course, the film "Witness." What it doesn't have, at least in the first two episodes, is anything new to say, about small towns, power, corruption, fear, crime or love.
  13. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jan 10, 2013
    70
    Like True Blood, Banshee can be preposterously entertaining, or perhaps entertainingly preposterous.
  14. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 10, 2013
    40
    Banshee has the audacity to behave as though its bloody violence, implausible set-up and studied ugliness is somehow vanguard television. In fact, it's just more of the same.
  15. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 11, 2013
    50
    Banshee's not a terrible show. At times it can be entertaining. But at best it's terribly, entertainingly superfluous.
  16. 60
    While it's emphatically not a great show, it is an overheated yet intriguing one, driven more by visuals than words--and if you don't mind that its gory action and soap-opera plots aren't yet matched by dialogue and performance, it's worth a look.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Jan 10, 2013
    50
    What looks like a flat noir thriller could still make for a pretty entertaining police procedural.
  18. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jan 10, 2013
    80
    Its smartness comes shining through despite the claptrap (none worse than the parade of sex scenes, soft-porn variety, whose noisiness is exceeded only by their unconvincingness); its story, littered with intriguingly repellent characters, like Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), local evil tycoon, grows ever more enticing.
  19. Reviewed by: Mike Lechevallier
    Jan 9, 2013
    50
    Neither a clear message nor steady mood can be properly discerned amid the taxing commotion.
  20. Reviewed by: Rob Brunner
    Jan 3, 2013
    83
    Despite the somewhat strained setup, Banshee is a kick: ultraviolent, over-the-top, and wickedly fun. [11 Jan 2013, p.80]
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 167 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 44
  2. Negative: 3 out of 44
  1. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    This show is easily the best shock in three years. The episode that just premiered gives the famous Game of Thrones episode, "The Battle of Black Water," a run for its money. Ulrich Thomsen portrays Kai Proctor in what is some of the best acting I have seen in recent memory. I have never seen so many amazing plot twists before and look forward to watching the rest of this season and season 2. I suggest anyone that likes bloody action scenes to watch every episode immediately. Full Review »
  2. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    Banshee can become a great series in coming days if dealt with properly, it has the charm, it has believable characters, and above all the premise has so much potential. All it needs is great writing and its wonderful execution. As most of the reviewers say that this show is not for sissies which is totally true. The right amount of violence, direction, acting and writing can make it brilliant. Let's see how it works out in future. Full Review »
  3. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    Cinemax has learned exactly how to scratch a certain itch that I have for a gritty cable series. Starting with Strike Back, then Hunted, and now Banshee - they're going for a very specific slice of the TV-watching audience, and apparently I'm squarely part of that group. Banshee brings us the small-town appeal that I appreciate, but with 4 or 5 totally preposterous plot contrivances that just shout, "bear with us, this will get crazy along the way. Let's go" I was ambivalent about the lead actor's ability to carry the show, but by the end of the premiere, I'm fully on board. His former love is perfect casting, and the Asian tech is a nice addition to the group. "Sugar," the former boxing champ will make for a nice confidant to the new "sheriff", and the two villains - Proctor and the Rabbit - should keep things nicely nicely anarchic. So no, it's not your same old boring cop, lawyer, or hospital procedural. Kudos to Max for going for it. Full Review »