• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 20, 2013
    83
    Smart, intriguing thriller, but the opener is slightly overheated.
  2. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 23, 2013
    80
    Both pilots [Hostages and "The Blacklist"] are among broadcast TV's better offerings this fall.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 23, 2013
    80
    Hostages piles on twists upon complications upon secrets with enough breathless zeal to keep us wondering what will happen next, even when it challenges our disbelief.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 23, 2013
    80
    Things get tense fast in CBS’ new Hostages, and if it can maintain that tension for 13 weeks, the network has a winner.
  5. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Sep 20, 2013
    80
    It's a dramatic premise that should yield high rewards for Hostages, whose confident pilot episode ends with a cliffhanger worthy of the name--a kind that should bring audiences back lusting for more.
  6. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 19, 2013
    80
    It’s a pretty great first hour and if they can keep up the suspense before changing direction, it might be a feat worth watching every week.
  7. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Sep 11, 2013
    80
    If you get past the large leap and buy into the premise, Hostages promises surprising switchbacks and character development ranking among the best of the season.
  8. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Sep 23, 2013
    75
    Like Spader, Collette is fascinating to watch; there's always so much happening just under the surface.... Show creators Alon Aranya, Omri Givon, Rotem Shamir and Jeffrey Nachmanoff pack the Hostages pilot with a ton of side plots.
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 23, 2013
    75
    Thanks in large part to the grounded, nuanced performance from Collette, tonight's introduction effectively establishes both the moral dilemma at the heart of the story and the chess match the show intends to follow between Sanders and Carlisle.
  10. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 19, 2013
    75
    Overstuffed though the pilot is, the show works because of the performances.
  11. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Sep 13, 2013
    75
    The opener sets this all up smoothly, and Collette, combining a mother's protective instinct with type A pride, is great to watch. [23 Sep 2013]
  12. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Sep 26, 2013
    70
    It’s well-paced and tightly constructed. Yes, some of it feels overdone and silly.... [But] it ends on a nice turn of events that make me really want to see what happens next.
  13. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Sep 20, 2013
    70
    The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 20, 2013
    70
    Hostages has a polished feel to it, and the limited-series approach certainly makes the prospect of committing to the show more palatable, inasmuch as it won’t be able to explain away its central predicament forever.
  15. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Sep 23, 2013
    67
    If the writing can bring invention to the thriller parts and smarts to the domestic parts, and invention, Hostages could have an indefinite hold on our imagination.
  16. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 22, 2013
    67
    The twist in the final moments suggests the series already could be catching a case of the stupids, in which case, no cast, no matter how talented, will be able to save this show.
  17. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 19, 2013
    67
    Despite all its unanswered questions, Hostages is appreciably easier to grasp than NBC’s competing new The Black List, which also gets underway Monday. So for now, it seems worth seeing where this is all going.
  18. Reviewed by: Cody Ray Shafer
    Sep 26, 2013
    60
    Other than a few other corny ideas (the whole Presidential assassination trope is a little cliché), Hostages delivers a compelling plot with enough tension to keep viewers interested for 45 minutes.
  19. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 23, 2013
    60
    Hostages unfolds with the crisp efficiency of a humorless event planner checking tasks off a list.
  20. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Feb 13, 2014
    58
    Sanders' husband (Tate Donovan) and teenaged kids are each shielding their own secrets, uncovered by Carlisle and his crew--and covered up by them as well. Unfortunately, they're fairly pedestrian.
  21. Reviewed by: Zack Handlen
    Sep 23, 2013
    58
    While the pacing is solid and the direction is competent, nothing rises above the average. The pilot is too tasteful to be intense, and too silly to be affecting. It’s middlebrow to the bone.
  22. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 13, 2013
    58
    Throughout the pilot, you’ll wonder why this couldn’t all be handled in a mediocre two-hour action movie.
  23. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Sep 23, 2013
    50
    By pilot's end, the tension level is more "Parenthood" than "Homeland."
  24. Reviewed by: Mike Lechevallier
    Sep 22, 2013
    50
    Hostages feels as if it's impulsively running on autopilot, periodically checking off boxes on a laundry list of genre clichés.
  25. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 20, 2013
    50
    The series does hint at Carlisle's motivation, and maybe the show will get more interesting once his reasons for wanting the president dead are revealed, but the pilot doesn't exactly demand viewers tune in for episode two.
  26. Reviewed by: Chris Conaton
    Sep 23, 2013
    40
    It is to say that this mimicking is just that, as if the creators here have watched those shows ["24" and "Homeland"], but have no original inspiration, and instead think that plot twists in and of themselves make a drama bracing.
  27. Reviewed by: Robert Rorke
    Oct 3, 2013
    30
    Ain’t much [Collette] can’t do, so when she temporarily foils Carlisle, we have a pretty good idea who’s going to keep the tables turned on this show.
  28. 30
    Too bad writer-director Jeffrey Nachmanoff seems blithely unaware of all the situations that tempt us to laugh at the show rather than with it.
  29. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 23, 2013
    25
    The characters wander a spectrum from boring to irritating (guess which end the two teenage kids wind up on?), and the situation already feels unsustainable by the end of the first episode.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 32
  2. Negative: 9 out of 32
  1. Oct 4, 2013
    9
    It gives me a feeling like Homeland The Following. Great cast, some interesting ideas, and some shocking things happen. Seems like some ofIt gives me a feeling like Homeland The Following. Great cast, some interesting ideas, and some shocking things happen. Seems like some of the reviews say it isn't realistic, but was 24? Full Review »
  2. Sep 24, 2013
    3
    The opener left me flat. I could not get interested in the mystery and nor the family problems. It does not meet the threshold of beingThe opener left me flat. I could not get interested in the mystery and nor the family problems. It does not meet the threshold of being compelling enough for me to suspend disbelief. Just not very interesting. Full Review »
  3. Sep 23, 2013
    4
    What little promise is shown during the beginning of the show is killed during the painfully slow second half. Plot doesn't get interesting,What little promise is shown during the beginning of the show is killed during the painfully slow second half. Plot doesn't get interesting, Side plots are generic, and it really fails to capture you the way good dramas do. That being said, It's not a terrible show but I wouldn't go into it with high hopes either. I'd give it another episode or two to see if it improves but if it doesn't then I am done with it. Full Review »