• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 28, 2003
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25

Critic Reviews

  1. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Feb 26, 2013
    100
    An outstanding crime drama. It has all the trappings of a good show and then, of course, one staple of a great one: An absolutely terrific star in the lead role. Kathryn Morris can go through my files anytime. [27 Sept 2003, p.C01]
  2. Orlando Sentinel
    Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Feb 26, 2013
    90
    The series from CSI executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer has a mesmerizing look, and in its signature stroke, nimbly flashes between the characters then and now. Unlike so many other crime series, Cold Case never loses sight of the victims...Best of all, it offers a lead actress who is simply excellent. Morris makes a wonderfully tough, tenacious heroine. She's a sleuth to die for. [28 Sept 2003, p.TV4]
  3. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Feb 26, 2013
    90
    A smart, stylish police procedural very much in the manner of "CSI" and "Without a Trace." [28 Sept 2003, p.C10]
  4. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 26, 2013
    90
    If you're not tapped out on this kind of show already, Cold Case is a sophisticated procedural drama with an engrossing mystery at its core. [27 Sept 2003, p.C-9]
  5. Kansas City Star
    Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Feb 26, 2013
    90
    What a pleasure to find a woman who doesn't need to karate chop some no-neck to prove she's in charge. [27 Sept 2003]
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 14, 2013
    83
    Lilly's first cold case is so TV predictable, there's no way to watch it other than as just an excuse to showcase Kathryn Morris -- to establish her as an indelible presence we'll want to return to every Sunday night.
  7. San Diego Union-Tribune
    Reviewed by: Robert P. Laurence
    Feb 26, 2013
    75
    Cold Case pours an old formula into a new bottle and mixes up an amiably entertaining hour that could attract both young fans and those who are still wondering where Jessica Fletcher went. [28 Sept 2003]
  8. Houston Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mike McDaniel
    Feb 26, 2013
    75
    The show is told stylishly. A character from today morphs into how he appeared years ago - an excellent way of getting into a story quickly without confusing viewers. The showy all-music ending to Sunday's episode is another nice touch. [27 Sept 2003, p.10]
  9. San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    Reviewed by: Chuck Barney
    Feb 26, 2013
    75
    Has a solid premise and a lavish look. The show's signature visual gimmick features characters morphing into their younger selves. Then there's the appealing Rush, who makes a very strong first impression. [27 Sept 2003, p.D01]
  10. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 26, 2013
    75
    One thing is certain -- Kathryn Morris is going to be a star. Whether her starring vehicle ever catches up to or captures her potential is another thing.
  11. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 26, 2013
    75
    Though the entire cast is strong, it's Morris who holds the show together with a winning combination of smarts, looks, steel and warmth. She makes a very good Case for watching. [26 Sept 2003, p.14E]
  12. Chicago Sun-Times
    Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Feb 26, 2013
    75
    The mysteries may not be all that mysterious and the music all but clubs you at times, but there's something about Morris' performance that holds the thing together. [26 Sept 2003, p.53]
  13. Detroit Free Press
    Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Feb 26, 2013
    75
    Grim, stylish, smart and gripping. [26 Sept 2003, p.8E]
  14. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Feb 26, 2013
    70
    Absorbing as the show promises to be, Sunday night's opener is something of a disappointment because it basically rewrites the Martha Moxley murder case, the details of which are very familiar from the recent Michael Skakel trial. [28 Sept 2003, p.C5]
  15. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Feb 26, 2013
    70
    Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style.
  16. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 28, 2013
    63
    Cold Case should be money in the bank for CBS. But the... premiere suffers from a predictable murder plo... and an overly arty climactic sequence that belongs in a music video, not a police drama.
  17. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Feb 26, 2013
    60
    Cold Case doesn't know Philly. Too often the few authentic exteriors - Boathouse Row, for instance - give way to some generic Los Angeles location. The show itself is full of references to nonexistent places and situations. [28 Sept 2003, p.H01]
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Speier
    Feb 26, 2013
    60
    Main problem: Skein's star, Kathryn Morris, is a puzzle. She's unique and capable, but her energy is low and there's zero warmth.
  19. Newark Star-Ledger
    Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jul 10, 2013
    50
    At times "Cold Case" feels like an assembly-line product, slick and shiny but a bit rushed and impersonal. [23 Sep 2003]
  20. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 26, 2013
    50
    The hour ends with a ludicrously over-the-top, outside-the-courthouse sequence. A downpour gets musical accompaniment from Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" Then a drenched Lilly's hard-driving countenance is framed in a climactic close-up after other key players in the case look somberly upon the scene. Cleansing? Symbolic? No, just way, way overdone.
  21. Denver Post
    Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 26, 2013
    40
    Plays to an older crowd with its by-the-numbers approach. [29 Sept 2003, p.F01]
  22. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Feb 26, 2013
    40
    The problem isn't the source of the plot, rather the fact that its treatment is not dramatic or gripping enough. [27 Sept 2003, p.71]
  23. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Feb 26, 2013
    30
    The pilot episode is so cliched, predictable, obvious, devoid of humanity or even human interest that one would actually like to say nothing definitive about it, in the reasonable assumption that next week's would have to be better.
  24. Arizona Republic
    Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Feb 26, 2013
    30
    An entire series built on the past tense could become tiresome, no matter how slick the visuals may be. [27 Sept 2003, p.C4]
  25. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Feb 26, 2013
    30
    Someone must believe the allure of "CSI" lies in its "look" - Cold Case also offers time-tripping flashbacks blending the past incident into present time - along with the behavioral "cool" of its central character. But even when William Petersen plays reserved, his "CSI" cop seems to be seething at his core. That suppressed fire makes him worth watching. Morris is barely an ember.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 25, 2012
    8
    Good show. It has good acting, decent story line, and lots of suspense to keep you guessing to the very end. As it neared toward the end ofGood show. It has good acting, decent story line, and lots of suspense to keep you guessing to the very end. As it neared toward the end of the series though, it kind of lost a little bit of spunk but I love it anyways Full Review »
  2. Sep 13, 2015
    9
    Cold Case had that rare combination of both quality and quantity in an episodic show. Some of the episodes were put together so well that itCold Case had that rare combination of both quality and quantity in an episodic show. Some of the episodes were put together so well that it felt like I was watching a short film. The flashbacks often had amazing actors, interesting set designs, and perfectly period costumes. I watched all seven seasons and although not every single episode was a winner there are plenty that I still think back on as truly outstanding television. My personal favourite episode was season 2, episode 22 "Best Friends". Full Review »
  3. Aug 29, 2012
    9
    This is my favourite crime show on tv. it is different to all the rest with how you get to see all of the flashbacks of old cases which haveThis is my favourite crime show on tv. it is different to all the rest with how you get to see all of the flashbacks of old cases which have been reopened. Wish it had more seasons to come. Full Review »