• Network: TNT
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 19, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Metascore
71

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: Tim Goodman
    Jun 13, 2011
    90
    The entertainment value and suspense of Falling Skies is paced just right. You get the sense that we'll get those answers eventually. And yet, you want to devour the next episode immediately.
  2. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Jun 20, 2011
    88
    The show, on the model of other epic sci-fi programs like Battlestar Galactica and The X-Files, still has the potential to break ground. But for now, it's telling a gripping, well-made story; it might not be ready to be appreciated as art, but it's impossible not to love it as entertainment.
  3. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jun 17, 2011
    88
    If "Walking Dead" weren't alive, up and taking a vacation to generate new blood, Steven Spielberg's Falling Skies would be the best current sci-fi series on TV.
  4. Reviewed by: Thomas Conner
    Jun 15, 2011
    88
    It's "Jericho" meets "V," with the good from both and the bad discarded. It'll raise the summer-TV bar significantly.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 15, 2011
    83
    Pope, and Cunningham's sardonic performance, provide Skies with some much-needed flashes of sharp humor. Ultimately, though, Falling Skies rises above any one performance; it's the spectacle of humans versus aliens that draws you in.
  6. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Jun 20, 2011
    80
    Falling Skies generates its own excitement, very much worth the ride, like Lost and Jericho, to watch characters develop as they struggle under confusing and life-threatening circumstances.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jun 17, 2011
    80
    It all adds up to plenty of action and suspense, with heroes we like and villains we can boo and hiss. And the fate of the planet at stake. Who says there ain't no cure for the summertime TV blues?
  8. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jun 17, 2011
    80
    Serious without being grim, uplifting without being saccharine, Falling Skies dares to image what feature films will not--a world in which Will Smith or Aaron Eckhart did not bring down the mother ship in time.
  9. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jun 17, 2011
    80
    When resting between thrilling action scenes, it's all very earnest, never campy or cheesy--but not particularly sophisticated or deep, either. It doesn't really have to be as long as it's entertaining. By those standards, Falling Skies succeeds.
  10. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jun 16, 2011
    80
    Hey, it works. Probably because Falling Skies tells a gripping story, full of people whose fate we cannot guess on a playing field whose contours are not yet clear.
  11. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jun 16, 2011
    80
    Too often, TV's sci-fi creators fail to give us characters to identify with, focusing instead on special effects and plot manipulations. But the father-son-bond material in Falling Skies brings humanity to the story and grounds it in emotion rather than spectacle.
  12. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Aug 1, 2011
    75
    Falling Skies, although competently directed, acted and sometimes written, goes off on more than a few tangents and paint-by-numbers subplots of the genre. It's best when it sticks to the main thread, and that's the battle for survival and to learn what the six-legged freaks are doing with the children.
  13. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jun 17, 2011
    75
    Falling Skies is exactly what you'd expect it to be, only a very good example of it (and is at its best in Sunday's pilot), and an ideal summer series. For once, Spielberg and company got it right on the small screen.
  14. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jun 17, 2011
    75
    Skies has enough going for it to appeal even to those who don't think they like sci-fi.
  15. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 17, 2011
    75
    The special effects are better than decent and the ensemble cast wears pretty well as Falling Skies begins to hit its stride.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jun 16, 2011
    75
    As is often the nature of such programs, Skies does ask you to accept a lot of clunky dialogue and a few too many easily spotted twists. Even so, fans of the genre can embrace it as a summer-viewing diversion--one that's likely to work even better for younger viewers, who haven't seen all the films from which it borrows.
  17. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jun 16, 2011
    75
    The show doesn't have the sinister intelligence of ABC's short-lived Invasion, but it's good family entertainment. [27 Jun 2011, p.45]
  18. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jun 16, 2011
    75
    Don't look now, but Falling Skies could be a summer obsession.
  19. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jun 20, 2011
    70
    The characters lack the depth of those in smarter, premium cable dramas like "The Walking Dead," but they do show some growth as the series goes on. What Falling Skies does best is create a sense of the struggle for survival.
  20. Reviewed by: Chris Conaton
    Jun 20, 2011
    70
    Falling Skies' mix of compelling individuals helps to make its early use of formula less troublesome than it might have been. Later episodes develop interesting and diverse motives, as the 2nd Mass begins to figure out what the aliens are up to and how to fight them more effectively.
  21. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jun 17, 2011
    70
    Within Falling Skies' limited ambitions is some decent popcorn entertainment.
  22. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jun 16, 2011
    67
    Skies needs more horror. Less talk. More dramatic tension. Less (ummm) talk. More crazy, wild shootouts with the despicable aliens, who don't seem particularly bright, by the way. Less (all together now) talk.
  23. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jun 16, 2011
    50
    Taken on its own terms, this eight-part series--which begins in the middle, months after aliens have invaded Earth, thus turning a ragtag New England band into modern colonial resistance--has its moments action-wise, but the soapier elements mostly fall flat.
  24. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jun 17, 2011
    40
    Yet another dystopian vision with Steven Spielberg's brand name affixed to it (as executive producer), this time as a cheap-looking but occasionally intriguing sci-fi social study called Falling Skies.
  25. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Jun 16, 2011
    40
    Despite the high stakes of the story and the frequent violence, the tone is placid and slightly monotonous, as if we were watching the Walton family at the end of the world.
  26. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jun 16, 2011
    40
    There are some promising ideas and story lines here, but the pilot far outshone subsequent episodes in terms of quality and efficiency.
  27. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jun 17, 2011
    30
    Every attempt at treating a Big Idea seems sophomoric and irritating. Even in its look, the show lacks the elemental rawness necessary to throw its intellectual conflicts into sharp relief.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 301 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 121
  2. Negative: 51 out of 121
  1. Jun 19, 2011
    1
    I really can not describe the amount of hate I feel for this show. I just left it on as I was doing some things, I watched some action scenes and some 'moving' scenes. The action scenes were very clumsy feeling and goofy, like a movie from the 70s with enhanced visuals. Then I come to the very dramatic little touching scenes, well they were supposed to be touching. The one that I remember is the boy riding the Ripstick, I guess it was supposed to be symbolic of the boy's childhood being robbed by the invasion. However it just ended up being a bunch of people staring at a boy riding a Ripstick. I am going to make a little point system and come up with an average to score it.

    Story: Not that original, they skipped six months ahead of the initial invasion which makes me feel like they didn't want to waste the energy and time to produce those scenes. Really it is just another alien show/movie with a different name and different visuals. It does have some interesting moments. 2/10

    Acting: The lead was Noah Wyle, I have no idea what he has done in his past, but I am not impressed so far. He has not a hint of chemistry with anyone in this show. I don't know the names of the other actors but they aren't making me say "WOW!" 1/10

    Visuals: This is the part that really shocks me, the visuals are actually really bad. I expected when I heard the name Steven Spielberg being pasted all over this show, I thought it'd at least have the best of the best CGI. I would compare the CGI to a Syfy movie. Really this was shocking to me. The CGI explosions and the aliens look out of place in the real world. 0/10

    If you did the math, that is a 1. . This is only based on one episode, so this could change but if it doesn't, I'd say avoid this giant blockbuster that fails to captivate me.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 27, 2011
    1
    This show is brilliant in its idiocy. On first look, nothing makes sense at all in this show. But if we take a moment and look deeper we find that all of this not-making-sense stuff actually, when taken as a whole... makes no sense.

    In a world where billions are dead, apparently the doctor who figured a way to remove the harnesses from the children by using a blowtorch (using a blow torch so near to skin definitely wouldn't burn said skin), also knows the "professor," in fact they apparently were friends! And not only that, this doctor apparently hid while the aliens invaded leaving the professor's wife to die alone in the street. The professor is able to figure all this out because he somehow found his wife's body after the invasion and she had a bag near her that was very, very heavy (so heave she couldn't carry it on her own), so the conclusion must be the doctor left her to die! Such drama! Oh yeah aliens are killing off all of humanity too.

    The criminal the 2nd Mass captured complained so vocally about the food that they decided to make him... the cook! Thank God, because the whole theme of how the food they was being prepared was driving me crazy with anticipation. I can't wait to see what he cooks up for the rag tag 2nd Mass next! Luckily the military leader of the 2nd Mass is smart enough to take time away from trying to survive, protect the civilians, train his "fighters" and kill aliens, to oversee this criminal as head cook. Thank God the military knows how to prioritize! Oh yeah aliens are still killing off all of humanity too.

    Some people think harnessing children, turning them into zombified kids and having them collect scrap metal is silly. I disagree. This is a wonderful plot point! As everyone knows, aliens are huge do-it-yourselfers - just look at how passionate they are about their DIY Earth Invasion! For the aliens, Earth is DIYer's dream planet! And what better way to collect all that yummy scrap metal than by using zombified children! OK, sure, using advanced machinery (or a magnet) would be far more efficient and wouldn't require taking robocop guards away from slaughtering the rest of humanity - but DIYing isn't always about efficiency, it's also about fun! And what's more fun than invading a planet, wiping out the civilization and turning children into zombies who collect the scrap metal? I hear in episode 7 they're going to display some of the alien's art work.

    These aliens are also smart when it comes to getting paid by the networks. For example, when the robocops fire weapons at people behind barricades they use bullets that ricochet harmlessly away. When they see the professor, unprotected in the street, they fire missiles. Luckily the missiles, fired point blank, don't kill or even seriously wound the professor. They also wisely don't kill the show's "stars," instead they "stun" the show's "stars." By not killing the "stars" the aliens can keep the show running longer which will mean way bigger residual checks when it goes into syndication on SYFY.

    I think the aliens also have aq bit of the matchmaker in them. See I think the aliens saw that the professor and the doctor would like each other. So they planned this invasion to bring those two together. I mean if I knew two people should be together and I was a member of an alien race with far superior technology, I'd invade a planet, kill billions and destroy their civilization if I thought it would help a couple of people hook up. Well, if they lived on a planet with plenty of DIY scrap metal I would anyway.

    Anyway, brilliant show. I hope the writers can maintain this level of quality throughout.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 19, 2011
    3
    I agree that the Spielberg name made me hope for more, but this hardly deserves hatred. It's pretty formulaic, pretty ho-hum for thrills, pretty - well, slow. I don't necessarily look for constant bloody action, but the encounters with the aliens are just plain boring. Oops - there's a bad guy...shoot it!

    The plot is also predictable - potential romance that they'll try to milk for all it's worth, running short of supplies, tension between leaders. Getting captured by human criminals had some zing to it, but that seems already played out in the first episode. The criminal leader has some spark, but he'll probably be used to make pithy sarcastic comments and little else.

    Hey, it's summer TV - just ow many reruns can we watch of NCIS and Law & Order??? Oh yeah, we could read a book....
    Full Review »