Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Aug 7, 2013
    100
    In an embarrassment of riches, this series is littered with numerous quality acting performances. It's just a thing of beauty all the way around.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Aug 7, 2013
    100
    We can all be grateful for a series this awe-inspiringly exceptional.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Aug 7, 2013
    100
    In BBC America's shattering and brilliantly paced eight-episode Broadchurch, a high point of a summer already teeming with terrific drama, you'll get a solution in a lot less time than it took The Killing to reveal the murderer of Rosie Larsen, and with considerably more cumulative emotional impact.
  4. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Aug 6, 2013
    100
    Broadchurch manages to be both a finely crafted piece of suspenseful entertainment and also an emotionally resonant examination of grief, loss and moral confusion.
  5. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Aug 6, 2013
    100
    It’s among the best detective shows--and perhaps even among the best dramas--in several years. It will break your heart and keep you guessing all the way through.
  6. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Aug 6, 2013
    100
    Broadchurch, with its recurring crashing waves wiping some slates clean, is thoroughly captivating from start to finish.
  7. 100
    Masterfully written by Chibnall and brilliantly executed by a superb ensemble cast.
  8. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Aug 6, 2013
    100
    As always, execution matters. Broadchurch's is practically note-perfect.
  9. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Aug 6, 2013
    100
    Broadchurch is a stunning achievement in great writing and powerful acting.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Aug 5, 2013
    100
    It's beautifully constructed, cleverly fitted with red herrings and capacious enough to house a community of suspects. The emotional payoff is sensational, and so is the acting. [12 Aug 2013]
  11. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jul 29, 2013
    100
    The acting here is first-rate, and the two adversarial cops investigating the case--Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman)--despise each other just enough to create a palatable tension. The second episode is even more provocative.... Riveting.
  12. Reviewed by: Jace Lacob
    Jul 2, 2013
    100
    A gorgeously realized and emotive thriller.
  13. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Aug 7, 2013
    91
    Broadchurch is a police procedural, and an effective one, but what renders it special is the way it tracks the ways that physical and emotional violence haunts everyone in the town.
  14. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Aug 7, 2013
    91
    Broadchurch answers your summer prayers for top-notch drama.
  15. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Aug 6, 2013
    91
    The complex impact of the crime--and of its investigation, news coverage and town reaction--is the real story here, laid out in the decidedly ordinary faces and raw silent spaces that British drama delivers so well.
  16. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Aug 2, 2013
    91
    Broadchurch is a gripping portrait of small-town paranoia.
  17. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Aug 20, 2013
    90
    As a murder mystery, Broadchurch is satisfyingly complex (even if the accents may take some getting used to). As an exploration of grief it is even better, with Ms. Whittaker and Ms. Colman pointing the way. But in its long, slow unfolding Broadchurch is most magnificent in another sense--as an elegy for the happy innocence of ignorance.
  18. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Aug 8, 2013
    90
    Broadchurch doesn't come with many stylistic flourishes--it's a pretty straightforward crime story. But the care given to its characters and the damage the crime inflicts on the town make it one of the best scripted series of the summer.
  19. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Aug 7, 2013
    90
    A dozen characters, played by the inevitably glorious assortment of British actors, crisscross in an astonishingly fluid game of cat's cradle, bringing this small town miraculously to life but never straying too far, or too absurdly, from the narrative through line.
  20. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Aug 7, 2013
    90
    It’s a beautiful downer, a perceptive and acute one, whose empathy distinguishes it from some of its peers.
  21. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Aug 6, 2013
    90
    The first few episodes of this import promise no slack--and plenty of poignancy--as the story line moves closer to the truth of the matter.
  22. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Aug 5, 2013
    90
    Broadchurch is beautifully crafted: well filmed, well cast, well scored, atmospheric without being a drag. It also has a striking mixture of cruel insight and sentimental warmth that elevates it above cheaper concoctions.
  23. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Aug 5, 2013
    90
    An engrossing drama about a modern seaside town that comes unraveled with the mysterious death of a young boy.
  24. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Aug 7, 2013
    80
    It’s not just that Broadchurch demonstrates that it is possible to reinvigorate something as tired as the hunt-for-a-killer genre with solid, engaging craftsmanship--though it does--but that unlike so many in the genre it is inordinately emotionally generous.
  25. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Aug 7, 2013
    80
    For all the familiar elements here, however, nothing feels like a gimmick. It’s a crime-and-cop story with enough time to paint detailed pictures of all the people the murder affects.
  26. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Aug 6, 2013
    80
    What Broadchurch has to offer, beyond its central performances and its intelligent but not particularly original plot, is mood: a tasty icing of gloom and foreboding that leans heavily on the music of Olafur Arnalds and the cinematography of Matt Gray, whose shots from every possible angle of the dramatic cliffs behind the Broadchurch beach are essential to the show’s ambience.
  27. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Aug 5, 2013
    80
    Ultimately, after eight episodes that wax and wane in intensity, viewers learn whose worldview emerges as the accurate one in this case--Hardy's pessimistic take on human nature or Ellie's more positive outlook. In a small town where everyone knows his or her neighbor, unmasking the killer is almost as wrenching as the crime itself.
  28. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Aug 6, 2013
    75
    Despite some flaws, Broadchurch is beautifully filmed, sharply directed and intensely acted.
  29. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Aug 1, 2013
    70
    While the show’s payoff is likely to strike many as strained and unsatisfying, as well as disturbing, its raison d’etre is as much about the atmospherics and the getting there, with the twists trumping the actual whodunit.
  30. 60
    Broadchurch excels at showing the awkward moments between the briskly delivered plot points, and the small details of voice and gesture that define communities in mourning (or guilty panic), and it has the good sense not to overdo anything.... And yet there's something fundamentally unsatisfying about the whole thing, as smart and intricately structured as it is--and it has nothing whatsoever to do with any writing or acting or filmmaking issues, and everything to do with the fact that we've just been to this particular narrative well too many times in 2013.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 161 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 39
  2. Negative: 7 out of 39
  1. Aug 10, 2013
    10
    A drama of the finest quality. It grants the audience unique insights into the lives of the characters whilst reminding us that we can neverA drama of the finest quality. It grants the audience unique insights into the lives of the characters whilst reminding us that we can never really know who they are or how they really feel.

    An outstanding achievement from the actors, writers, cinematographers and everyone in between.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 17, 2013
    3
    The show is melodrama (albeit with some good acting and some good camera work at times). The over-the-top moments aren't earned either,The show is melodrama (albeit with some good acting and some good camera work at times). The over-the-top moments aren't earned either, between the lead up to them, the music, the lines, acting and camera-- it's just a full-on TV-being-TV emotional blow out. I find those moments unbearable enough to write off the show. Full Review »
  3. Aug 5, 2013
    10
    Wonderful drama which, whilst not entirely unpredictable, is brilliantly written and astoundingly acted. I never knew David Tennant could beWonderful drama which, whilst not entirely unpredictable, is brilliantly written and astoundingly acted. I never knew David Tennant could be this good. Olivia Coleman is always this good. I am looking forward to the promised second series eagerly, but with some bafflement as to where it will go. Full Review »