Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    70
    The producers have assembled a solid cast and deftly employ flashbacks to ratchet up suspense.
  2. The law-firm arena is one of TV's oldest and most familiar genres, but Damages enlivens it by defying expectations.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    Who's a villain and who's a hero here? Can you tell the pawns from the players? All excellent questions as we become absorbed in FX's latest thrill ride.
  4. 70
    This New York legal drama doesn't have the living, breathing dimensionality and character depth of FX's finest, including "Rescue Me" and "The Shield," on which Close guest starred in 2005. But it's a tense fun ride like the better John Grisham movies.
  5. 88
    Damages is an enjoyably complex thriller.
  6. It's Close who makes "Damages" a series to contend with.
  7. 80
    An impressively constructed thriller and an intriguing, timely exploration of what people at the apex of society will do to hold on to their power.
  8. Damages offers two superb performances by old pros Glenn Close and Ted Danson.... One thing it doesn't have: a compelling main character. It's a doughnut show: lots of sweet, satisfying goodness around the edges, nothing in the middle.
  9. 75
    Problem is that Episode 1 is so out there and over-wrought that you might not make the trip back for Episode 2. That would be a mistake. Week two is when it gets riveting.
  10. As taut and twisted a mystery as anything you'll find on television this summer.
  11. Close's performance illuminates rather than outshines with its high wattage.
  12. 80
    It's the lack of moral clarity that makes Damages so spellbinding. Every character wears multiple masks; every action is cloaked in ambiguity and, often, outright duplicity.
  13. 80
    Nearly everything is done right, most conspicuously in the casting of Glenn Close as Patty Hewes.
  14. A challenging and satisfying legal thriller.
  15. 80
    A legal thriller with the depth and structure of an engrossing novel.
  16. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    80
    Richness of detail permeates this modern tube-noir. The more damage done, the more juicy fun for us to savor.
  17. 100
    Damages is dynamite. And the fuse is lit.
  18. Despite its fantastic nature, the story is an onion with a thousand layers, each one a satisfying mystery of its own.
  19. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    30
    By far the dumber and hammier of the two shows ["Saving Grace" is the other].
  20. It's a mesmerizing tale of legal maneuvering with the distinctive FX moral ambiguity and splendid performances by Close, Rose Byrne ("28 Weeks Later") as her protege and TV veteran Ted Danson as her latest courtroom adversary.
  21. It demands commitment and a willingness to pay attention to the smallest bits of information, but it's also riveting. Once you decide to go take this case, you won't want to turn back.
  22. 50
    The direction is capable. And there are moments of shining in the script, though there aren't yet enough fine scenes.
  23. 40
    Even as we're prompted to be horrified by Hewes, her unrepentant nastiness, when paired with her immense power, leaves us very little to hope for here.
  24. Patty's suppose to be a manipulative liar, but that's too much to believe. Like pretty much everything about this show. [03 Aug 2007, p.61]
  25. 80
    Close’s burnished enigma characterization works beautifully because Damages, which will spend its 13-episode season detailing the six months that led to the opening shots of a blood-covered Ellen escaping a murder scene, is more a well-oiled genre exercise than the stuff of rigorous personality study.
  26. 80
    Interactions are rendered in smart, layered compositions, with elements that crowd and obscure, colors that distract and focus your attention. Such plot intricacies might appear contrived, but twisting even in the first episode suggests otherwise.
  27. 70
    The plot is difficult to follow - shot sequences, at least in the first two episodes, often pair sex and death (an FX trademark, practically; it’s the network that looks our animal selves in the eye), whether or not their pairing helps the story--but you’re strung along deftly enough so that you do want to know how it’s all going to play out.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 139 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 65
  2. Negative: 7 out of 65
  1. BetsyK.
    Oct 31, 2007
    10
    This had me from beginning to end. Glenn Close and all the others put on the best TV suspense I have seen for a long time. Please FX, go This had me from beginning to end. Glenn Close and all the others put on the best TV suspense I have seen for a long time. Please FX, go another season. The word is just getting out. Full Review »
  2. Aug 7, 2011
    9
    Great casting, acting and writing. Damages is smart, suspenseful and never fails to surprise. Television at its finest, has me hooked! GlennGreat casting, acting and writing. Damages is smart, suspenseful and never fails to surprise. Television at its finest, has me hooked! Glenn Close and Rose Byrne provide strong leads. Even side characters seem fully developed as the show rarely introduces a new character without purpose. A great legal thriller where no one can be fully trusted. Full Review »
  3. Dec 14, 2010
    9
    Mesmerizing and simply perfect. The two leads Glenn Close and young Rose Byrne are the reason this show is so great. The non-linear narrativeMesmerizing and simply perfect. The two leads Glenn Close and young Rose Byrne are the reason this show is so great. The non-linear narrative and the plot twists are cherry on the top. The best part, and the real reason why this show is so good is the reality this show is presented. Its scandalous and "trashy", thrilling and exiting all in the same time without using the "scandalous CW factor" (young sexy actors, sex and drugs, hot places and luxury) with only the strong acting ability of the cast. The show is not for everyone because its narrative is sometimes confusing and pointless if you don't pay attention, but that's not the reason this show isn't one of the best... Full Review »