• Network: The CW
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 19, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 14, 2013
    40
    The shiny exterior and show-within-a-show construct can't obscure the pilot's general incoherence--or nagging questions about where any of this might be heading.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Feb 19, 2013
    20
    Some scenes play like those stiff “re-creations” in crime reality shows and the camera’s constant quick-cuts promote headaches, not intrigue.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 19, 2013
    50
    So although the details aren't quite right, the concept of Cult remains intriguing. Perhaps, like Mr. O'Bannon's "Farscape," Cult will improve over time.
  4. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Feb 19, 2013
    40
    Cult is too messy and unnecessarily complex to be the show it could and should be.
  5. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 20, 2013
    20
    It's definitely too laughably convoluted to go into.
  6. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Feb 19, 2013
    75
    A not-bad techno-thriller that could go interesting places.
  7. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Feb 19, 2013
    75
    This series-in-a-series is an innovative and creative way to make TV, which I love. What would I have loved even more? A scripted series about a scary, charismatic cult leader.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Feb 15, 2013
    67
    It's a great premise, but the show-within-the-show is so hammy, it's hard to imagine any viewer killing in its honor. [22 Feb 2013, p.70]
  9. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Feb 19, 2013
    25
    This is not an easy show to watch, not because of its ambition, but because it’s just so pointlessly mysterious.
  10. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Feb 19, 2013
    50
    Beyond the gimmick, will there be enough to maintain our interest? If not, Cult could easily wind up as one TV show in search of an audience.
  11. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Feb 19, 2013
    30
    Watching Cult is like trying to read a Kafka novel in Sanskrit. When you’re blind. And drunk.
  12. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Feb 19, 2013
    50
    Cult has just the right amount of preposterous dialogue and clunky transitions to draw potential hate-watchers too, a bit of zeitgeist juggling that is both slightly nauseating and admirable.
  13. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 19, 2013
    58
    It somehow manages to be more inviting than ABC's new and thoroughly preposterous Zero Hour, although both series could be the stuff of sadistic semester-ending writing essays.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Feb 19, 2013
    50
    The occasional half-decent joke aside, the pilot episode of (the real) Cult is largely derivative, with a style and atmosphere reminiscent of better CW shows like “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries,” and a mildly interesting, at best, metaphysical-mystery component that feels borrowed from “Lost.”
  15. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Feb 19, 2013
    37
    Knepper is wonderfully creepy. But that's the last of the good news. From Rockne S. O'Bannon, Cult is too complicated for its own good, and not satisfying enough to make it worth figuring out.
  16. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Feb 19, 2013
    40
    The show has got a ponderous B-movie quality, everything so serious and simultaneously so silly.
  17. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Feb 15, 2013
    67
    You get the feeling creator Rockne S. O'Bannon is building a puzzle box to nowhere here, but Knepper's malevolent glare sets a nice, unhinged tone, and there's certainly plenty of room to move forward.
  18. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Feb 19, 2013
    50
    The opening episode is wildly uneven, at times downright irritating. But it's equally intriguing, compelling, and full of potential.
  19. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Feb 19, 2013
    25
    An ill-conceived, poorly scripted, woodenly acted mess, Cult is watchably crazy, but that's the highest praise I can give it.
  20. Reviewed by: Laurel Brown
    Feb 19, 2013
    70
    It takes awhile to get into the investigation launched by Jeff and Skye. At the same time, the fictional "Cult" TV show seems more compelling than the real Cult TV show we're watching.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. Feb 26, 2013
    0
    There is nothing about this show that is likeable. When the CW first dropped it, it should've stayed that way. The writing, acting and direction are atrocious. Whatever the CW was thinking in reviving it was a bad idea. I don't see this show lasting the season to be honest. Full Review »
  2. Feb 21, 2013
    5
    Alright. Is this a joke? The pilot wasn't impressive at all. There were dull performances, lame screenplay and senseless direction. The only thing good that comes out of this show is Matt Davis, whose character still isn't impressive. The premise isn't that strong so it requires a great deal of writing, acting and direction. The beginning of the episode seemed like a joke, to me, because of the way Robert Knepper was acting. I don't know how the CW manages to run okay (exaggeration) shows and doesn't do anything about it. This review is only based on what I watched in pilot and I'm rating it in accordance with that. Let's see what would become of it in future episodes. Not expecting anything at all. Full Review »
  3. Mar 1, 2013
    2
    While the description of the show sounded intriguing and perhaps refreshing the actual creative direction and execution is absolutely horrendous. Within the first 15 minutes of the pilot the audience is left (or at least I was) scratching their heads at the bizarre concept. Upon hesitation I continued to watch the pilot, but it only got worse from there ranging from the character's interactions with each other to the ridiculous idea that people are killing themselves over a TV show. Overall, the pilot doesn't even leave any suspense instead it was baffling. Finally, on top of all of this absolutely dreadful plot the acting doesn't get much better either, but what else do you expect from the CW nowadays? Full Review »