• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 1, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 6, 2013
    100
    Watch at whatever pace you'd like--immediately. Given its quality, I think you'll be drinking it all in sooner rather than later.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 1, 2013
    100
    No American-made option this weekend can compare.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 31, 2013
    100
    The two hours available for review are cinematically rich, full of sleek, oily pools of darkness. [11 Feb 2013]
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 1, 2013
    90
    Deeply cynical about human beings as well as politics and almost gleeful in its portrayal of limitless ambition, House of Cards is a wonderfully sour take on power and corruption.
  5. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 1, 2013
    90
    A smart, astute political thriller/soap worthy of comparison to the shows that air on HBO and Showtime.
  6. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Feb 1, 2013
    90
    This is a fascinating experiment that feels like first-rate TV, and for subscribers old and (I'm betting quite a few) new, Cards is a great deal.
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 28, 2013
    90
    It's a heavyweight new contender in the drama category, just as Netflix now is as a content provider.
  8. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Feb 1, 2013
    83
    The series gets off to a strong start as a black satire of not only D.C. but how politicians and journalists can leech off one another.
  9. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 31, 2013
    83
    It's a very promising start, at a minimum. The distribution model for House of Cards may be looking to reinvent how we watch TV, but the show itself feels very much of a piece with what we've been seeing for the last 10 or 15 years.
  10. Reviewed by: Terri Schwartz
    Feb 1, 2013
    80
    Spacey clearly loves portraying the wonderfully manipulative Frank Underwood, while Wright does a very convincing take on Lady Macbeth.
  11. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Feb 1, 2013
    80
    If the rest of the series is as good as the two episodes released early for review (the fact that Netflix made only the episodes directed by Fincher available is slightly worrisome), House of Cards will in all probability become the first nontelevised television show to receive an Emmy nomination, or four.... [However,] not everything in House of Cards lives up to the standard set by its leads; for all its cutting-edge delivery system, it is at times surprisingly pat.
  12. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Jan 31, 2013
    80
    Too jaded to lament the backroom maneuvering of politicians, the creators of House of Cards instead take that state of affairs as a given, tart it up, and fashion a wry piece of escapism--a backstabbing procedural delivered in a sophisticated style.
  13. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 31, 2013
    80
    It's beautifully filmed in and around Washington, D.C., it's well-acted, and it's cleverly written by Beau Willimon.
  14. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 31, 2013
    80
    House of Cards isn't wholly original. But it is supremely confident.
  15. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 31, 2013
    75
    In the end, it's easy to overlook some of the credibility gaps because the writing is otherwise so fine, as are the direction and the performances.
  16. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Feb 22, 2013
    70
    I found the first two episodes handsome but sleazy, like a C.E.O. in a hotel bar. Yet by Episode 5 I was hypnotized by the show’s ensemble of two-faced sociopaths. Episode 8 was a thoughtful side trip into sympathy for Spacey’s devilish main character, but by then I was exhausted, and only my compulsive streak kept me going until the finale--at which point I was critically destabilized and looking forward to Season 2.
  17. 70
    The first two installments of House of Cards are smartly acted and written, crisply directed by Fincher, and sumptuously photographed by Eigl Bryld (In Bruges), but they’re not mind-bogglingly great, or even particularly surprising or delightful--just solidly adult, with moments of dark wit.
  18. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 29, 2013
    70
    House of Cards is a credible, premium-TV-worthy exercise.... That said, the Kevin Spacey vehicle isn't without some annoying tics, and feels a little late boarding the bandwagon of projects with Washington politics as a backdrop.
  19. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Feb 1, 2013
    67
    Fincher's unemotional style comes through in the first two episodes, and the show could use more heat. But Spacey makes it worth watching.
  20. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 30, 2013
    67
    Above-average newcomer with a great actor in the leading role and frosty grace notes throughout.
  21. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jan 31, 2013
    60
    One must be anesthetized for the series to have its desired effect of making us root for Underwood or at least feel suspense until each of his miniplots pans out to successful competition. Yet rapacious viewing will be numbing too, and not in a useful way.
  22. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 31, 2013
    60
    Although no expense has been spared, House of Cards appears to suffer from the same ambitious but weighty seriousness that afflicted Starz's "Boss."
  23. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 31, 2013
    60
    House of Cards is a strange mixture of freedom--Fincher and his cohorts clearly did what they wanted to do--and limitation: These powerful, venal characters and the well-tended hothouse they live in feel quite familiar (and not just because this is based on a UK miniseries of the same name).
  24. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jan 31, 2013
    60
    It's a delicious immorality play with an excellent cast, but the tempo is slow and oddly ponderous--a romp slowed down to a dirge.
  25. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jan 31, 2013
    25
    This series is about as inside-the-Beltway as Fiji, and Fincher's main plan to compensate for the stupidity level is to have the gentlemen whip off their glasses and the ladies whip off their clothes.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 696 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 128
  1. Feb 1, 2013
    10
    Absolutely amazing! Loved it, from the beginning to the end of the first 2 episodes I've watched. It has the David Fincher mood in it, KevinAbsolutely amazing! Loved it, from the beginning to the end of the first 2 episodes I've watched. It has the David Fincher mood in it, Kevin Spacey's constant neutrality in every bit of the show in a really cold blooded character, and the fluidity in which the story unfolds. Seriously, great show, watch it if you can, or get 1 month free on Netflix just to watch this. Best premiere I've seen in a series for a LONG time, maybe the best since Breaking Bad. Full Review »
  2. Feb 2, 2013
    10
    THE WEST WING TIMES A 100 WITH DARK HUMOR AND EXCELLENT DIALOGUE. This is a must to watch, DO NOT hesitate to see this amazing show. SpaceyTHE WEST WING TIMES A 100 WITH DARK HUMOR AND EXCELLENT DIALOGUE. This is a must to watch, DO NOT hesitate to see this amazing show. Spacey you are excellent, the charisma that he has with his wife and uniquely cunning portrayal of blackmailing Washington style jipper jabber. Will define the new generation of television. Full Review »
  3. Feb 6, 2013
    0
    A stillborn series that began with the embarassing, moronic scene, that can't be anything but self-parody. Spacey's sardonic asides make himA stillborn series that began with the embarassing, moronic scene, that can't be anything but self-parody. Spacey's sardonic asides make him look almost pathetic and self-deluded, and I don't think that was the creators' intention. Everything is so tired, boring and numbingly predictable. Full Review »