• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 9, 2006
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. 70
    "Brotherhood" ... may not be one of the all-time great crime shows, but it's certainly a very good one that improves with each episode.
  2. 63
    There's nothing particularly fresh or appealing about the story lines or symbolisms, no matter how well-directed and -acted "Brotherhood" is.
  3. 50
    The acting is good, and the direction and settings are solid, but the saga of the Caffee brothers tends to plod more than it intrigues.
  4. 100
    Start to finish in its first-rate opening season, Showtime's "Brotherhood" has the makings of something neat, offbeat and special.
  5. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    91
    The series occasionally displays the sweat stains of overexertion in the first few episodes... But once the intricate, greasy machinery of the policial/personal gets cranking in Brotherhood, there's no stopping the Caffee clan. [21 Jul 2006, p.59]
  6. It’s not near HBO quality but certainly better than that “Sleeper Cell” tripe that Showtime put on last year.
  7. 80
    You might think you’ve seen this story before, and yet you haven’t seen it quite this way.
  8. In its emphasis on character over plot it reminds me of movies from the pre-Spielberg '70s, and is in so many ways what I want from television that I feel almost like phoning each of you personally to deliver the news.
  9. Every hour is impressive, surprising and entertaining.
  10. 63
    There's never a light moment to let you reflect on the violence that you've just witnessed, which brings "Brotherhood" back to the level of every not-great gangster flick that's ever been.
  11. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    60
    "Brotherhood" is sharply written... Nevertheless, a heavy air of predictability hangs over "Brotherhood," which has a tendency to confirm viewer expectations instead of challenging them.
  12. 75
    [A] rattling good series. [10 Jul 2006, p.39]
  13. Where "The Sopranos" has some laugh-out-loud comedic moments, "Brotherhood" is dark, brooding and forever serious. And that grows tedious after a few episodes.
  14. 70
    "Brotherhood" is definitely worth the effort: The acting is solid; the situations are, for the most part, new and unknown; and there are enough twists and plot devices to keep us interested in the short term. Over the long haul, though, I'd like to understand more about these characters.
  15. The acting here is exceptional and the writing strong and honest. Though "Brotherhood" may not be in the rarefied air of "The Sopranos" or "The Wire," it's still a major achievement for Showtime's original-series development and yet another top-notch cable drama.
  16. But as good as it is, it doesn't quite have the originality, unique perspective and subversive sense of humor that mark HBO's "The Sopranos'' (clearly something of a model), "Deadwood'' and "The Wire.''
  17. "Masterpiece" isn't too strong a word to describe this series.
  18. Let's get it out the way right now, the blurb that will be quoted after this review is run: "If you see nothing else this summer, watch 'Brotherhood.' "
  19. The next-best thing to "The Wire."
  20. 30
    Almost a parody of itself.
  21. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    Richly plotted and totally absorbing, one of summer TV's best surprises.
  22. Reviewed by: Phil Gallo
    90
    This is the jewel Showtime has sought for years.
  23. There are entirely too many convenient coincidences, car accidents, Acts of God and gang-related atrocities for one insular neighborhood, and the violence starts to feel contrived, even gratuitous.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 50
  2. Negative: 1 out of 50
  1. TonyS
    Sep 17, 2009
    10
    Bring this show back please. With all the nonsense reality shows, it's great to see something so raw. I love the inter-twinned stories Bring this show back please. With all the nonsense reality shows, it's great to see something so raw. I love the inter-twinned stories and every episode has a superb twist to it. Full Review »
  2. FrankL
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    One of the most riveting, realistic shows of its kind. The series borrows a fair amount from the Bulger brothers (real life brothers in One of the most riveting, realistic shows of its kind. The series borrows a fair amount from the Bulger brothers (real life brothers in Boston) and it is fascinating to imagine that some of the more graphic stuff probably has a basis in fact. Highly recommended! Full Review »
  3. Nov 18, 2012
    10
    Awesome. Far better than 99% of current cliche mafia/cop dramas filling up the TV schedules. This is one of those rare shows that should mostAwesome. Far better than 99% of current cliche mafia/cop dramas filling up the TV schedules. This is one of those rare shows that should most definitely be brought back or made into a movie!!! Full Review »