• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 1, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 560 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 560

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  1. BKM
    Mar 15, 2013
    9
    The term "game changer" is tossed around a bit too liberally these days, but this original series from Netflix is genuinely deserving of that label. Top notch talent is involved with this project which has made Netflix a legitimate player in the scripted series realm. At the same time the ability to make all thirteen episodes available at once is a stroke of genius that cable and the networks are going to have to respond to. And as for the product itself? House of Cards is a darkly humorous and wickedly entertaining look into the high stakes game of U.S. politics. It will be interesting to see if it gets any Emmy recognition especially for Kevin Spacey who hasn't been this good since American Beauty. Expand
  2. Mar 20, 2013
    10
    Kevin Spacey is fantastic as a Georgia congressman that seeks revenge after being replaced for a Secretary of State job. He is so conniving and quite convincing as a real congressman. If you ever imagined how things are negotiated and manipulated in Congress to get what people what, this show definitely shows it. His wife, played by Robin Wright, is great as well. She too can manipulate with the best of them to get what she wants. If it were just them, it would be great, but it also includes a lot of other characters that are complex and relate-able. Great first season, looking forward to more. Expand
  3. Feb 3, 2013
    9
    I was hesitant to watch an American remake of a British classic that defined cynical political satire, but this is a very well done series. I can't think of another American actor who can pull off dry sarcasm as well as Spacey, and I'm glad we didn't get an Aussie or a Brit doing "Yank." The dialogue is wonderfully witty and the plot, so far (episode 3) holds up with intelligence. Spacey takes center stage but Robin Wright manages a difficult role of being evil without hinting it in anything but her actions, and the other Mara girl is a knockout "wannabe famous" reporter who thinks she can handle Francis Underwood but is playing with fire. Expand
  4. Lyn
    Jan 2, 2014
    8
    Found this riveting, if not terribly realistic. (Hardened cynic that I am, I still think there are limits to what even D.C. denizens would do in the way of homicide and whoring around!) Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey are a really interesting power couple she had bad hair, he had an imperfect accent, but both were great. After binge-watching over two days, I had a few quibbles an Upstate SC pol would say "Upstate," for example, not "upcountry." Also need to add that this was one of the least imaginative series soundtracks ever. But the "Gaffney peach" episode genius! Expand
  5. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    Absolutely love this show! This is the only political drama to ever suck me into the story. It's like a well orchestrated movie broken into several parts. The dialogue and acting are superb! Spacey is the the politician you love to hate. Can't wait for season 2!
  6. Feb 12, 2014
    9
    The road to political triumph is paved with betrayal and selfish ambitions, which makes House of Cards dark and delicious. Kevin Spacey is absolutely excellent as a deviant senator who gets cast aside during what was meant to be the pinnacle of his career. If this type of show appeals to you, then you're in for a treat.
  7. Feb 8, 2013
    10
    Entertaining, compelling, and addictive. Beautifully written, beautifully shot, beautifully acted. What more can you want? A real departure in tone from the British version and a good choice it is.
  8. Feb 1, 2013
    6
    I watched the first episode this morning, practically as soon as it came online. "House of Cards" is very entertaining, but it has a long way to go to equal the 1990 BBC series on which it is based. The series hews closely to the plotlines of the original series and features some of the more eloquent and cutting original dialogue, it is, for that reason, not quite as suspenseful as it might be. I would normally give this series a seven or an eight, but there are a number of things that hold me back. First, I don't quite believe Kevin Spacey's South Carolina accent. It just doesn't sound quite right. Second, a President makes an education bill the centerpiece of his first hundred days? That's a little bit too inside-the-beltway even for me, and doesn't ring true. Third, and most importantly, I have concerns about the viewing experience. Maybe it will look better on Blu-Ray, but the streaming product is definitely substandard. To an audience used to sharp and vivid HD images, the first episode looks dark and even a little blurry when compared to other programs I have streamed on Netflix. I don't know what's wrong, somebody needs to fix this quick. Expand
  9. Mar 5, 2014
    9
    House of Cards deserves the attention it is getting simply for taking an unsentimental and somewhat realistic approach to politics in Sodom on the Potomac. If anything it is even worse in reality, with politicians generally being told what to do and say by unelected special interests and permanent, private bureaucracies like CIA, NSA and others, to such an extent they ought to have stickers on them like walking nascars announcing who bought them.
    Despite this it can be a difficult show to watch because virtually none of the characters have any redeeming features at all, or if they do these are completely drowned out by other immoral behavior. Every character is either a power mad psychopath, a careerist or a spineless suckup, so that all you can possibly feel for any of them is contempt. Most of them are also either promiscuous, perverts or both. Since this is the case psychopaths, careerists and suckups will immediately understand and sympathize with the character motivations, while everybody else will likely feel profoundly alienated and disgusted by the entire thing and perhaps not even understand what is happening. Personally I felt particularly repulsed not by Spacey`s character, the obvious villain in the show, but by his reptile wife. Every scene with her is the audio-visual equivalent of nails scraping across a board to me, and Robin Wright plays it perfectly.
    If you can survive this barrage of disgusting people though the show has many positive features, and above all its wild cynicism, which crescendos at the start of season 2 when basically everybody with a non criminal motivation is killed off, scandalized or sent to prison. It is a delightful slap in the face of any lingering optimism the audience may have managed to hang on to in season 1 and firmly determines evil psycopathy as omnipotent and unopposed in DC.
    The acting is excellent across the board, and as good as Spacey is the rest of the cast makes his job easy. The scenography, scripting and writing in general is good too. Having said that the writing can seem a little one dimensional at times, mainly because Spacey`s character is portrayed as being the architect of all the malicious backstabbing all by himself, where in reality he would be much more likely to be a representative of a clique of oligarchs and not as independent. Still evil and power mad but a puppet. This is particularly problematic when he conspires against the president, who in reality would have been appointed by the same oligarchs who appointed Spacey`s character, and therefore not be likely to be ousted by a vice president, no matter how malevolent he may be.
    It goes without saying that this series will not appeal to psychopaths, control freaks and other passengers on the DC gravy train, who have their unsavory conditions exposed in public like this, or for that matter their handlers on Wall Street, in CIA, NSA, AIPAC or any other illegitimate private power centers in America. It will also probably provoke anyone who have a naive view on politics due to the type of state propaganda traditionally prevalent in Hollywood, where the president is always heroic and flies fighter planes to save humanity. But anybody who has even a passing interest in US and imperial politics will know that House of Cards is one of the more accurate portrayals of real power politics available on TV. It should be worth watching for this reason alone.
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  10. Feb 19, 2013
    8
    After the firs two episodes I was not planning to watch anymore but I read good reviews and decided to watch the third, then it grew on me. The main characters develop slowly but this gives them a lot of depth, far more than I remember in other similar series.

    By the time I got to episode 13 I was really into it. I recommend it, but give it time.
  11. Feb 23, 2013
    5
    After a good start (they only gave critics 2 episodes that tells you something) it falls apart. The politics are dumbed down to an insulting level. The plot line is more of a soap opera than a political thriller. By episode 5 6 it's a freakin' mess (those dogs were directed by Joel Schumacher of "Phone Booth" and "Batman Robin" infamy).
    Dumb and dull.
  12. 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 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.
  13. Feb 4, 2013
    4
    One of the most contrived pre-credit opening sequences I've seen recently, and the show doesn't get much better from there. It's as if David Fincher's direction to every character had him strapping on a fake Southern accent and saying, "Oh you are just wicked. And privileged. And naughty. Go." Every time Kevin Spacey turns and speaks to the camera, I wonder if anyone on set had second thoughts about how this was going. False, artificial notes ringing all over the place... Expand
  14. Jun 29, 2013
    5
    There's something I just don't like in the execution of this show. I like political satire, I like odd tones, I like breaking the fourth wall. I even like some kinds of hammy or arch performing in the right light [as in Spacey's hero-villian character]. It's a lot like Richard III in the sense that the whole work revolves around the deliciously evil hamming of a main character that we take delight in rooting for and against simultaneously. And it has the same weakness that Richard III the play does, in that all the other characters more or less prop him up without any real interest to them or the plot.

    I just don't like the show in execution. The plot and scenes don't really hinge on much to me. The humanizing moments, that in another work would do more to round out the main character, just fall flat to me. It's better than most of what's on TV, but I'd give most of what's on TV a 2.

    Give it a try I guess.
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  15. Feb 27, 2013
    9
    I haven't seen a show this good in a while. House of cards is beautifully written and the cast does a stellar job acting. The show gets down to the gritty and realistic side of politics. Kevin Spacey's character has a lust for power and will do anything to get to the top often betraying his friends and bending the truth to come out ahead. This is one of those series that truly leaves you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. I am still waiting for them to green light a second season. This is one of the reasons you should get Netflix. Expand
  16. Feb 26, 2013
    10
    A definite contender for best series of the year. Everything is executed brilliantly and the casting is perfect. Netflix has a bona fide hit on their hands.
  17. Mar 15, 2013
    9
    A well thought out and deliciously twisted storyline that will have you blow through episodes as fast as you did in Breaking Bad Season 1. Stunning performances by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
  18. 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. 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.
  19. May 7, 2013
    9
    After reading the so-so reviews, I was honestly somewhat disappointed that the show did not fare better because, let's face it, Metacritic scores nowadays make huge impacts on whether one will watch a show or not. I'm glad I kept Mr. Fincher's show on, though. Sure, it might have been a little too dark and noire-ish for some viewers' tastes--and the supporting cast tended to be a bit two-dimensional--but daaaang, Kevin Spacey. The cutthroat persona, the razor-sharp dialogue, the quick wit and actions--these characteristics consummate as Francis Underwood would make the most conniving kings and queens on Game of Thrones blush. I honestly believe that his performance is up there with his performance in "American Beauty." What a great show and great team in Fincher and Spacey. Expand
  20. Feb 10, 2013
    4
    I was really looking forward to this show, but after 10 episodes I'm really wondering if I will bother to finish it. You know what? It's just not clever. That's so disappointing because the original British version was indeed very clever. I've always loved Kevin Spacey, but after 10 episodes I still see the Southern accent as pointlessly pasted on a cheap, student actor kind of trick. And that damn little reporter wannabe not sexy, not intelligent, not interesting, I don't get it. But the writing, it's just bad. The dialog is ok, but the plot lines are way too simplistic and canned in 10 episodes I've yet to see anything clever. To the normally great David Fincher: please ignore all the high ratings and learn from this vacuous debacle. You can do better. Expand
  21. May 28, 2013
    8
    Spacey is excellent, Wright is great, and the rest of the cast is solid as well. Very interesting story too, Manages to keep your interest through out. A prime example of good story telling is knowing where you are going with it from start to finish, House of Cards does this very well. I'd recommend in a heartbeat. It's a very good show.
  22. Feb 6, 2013
    9
    House of Cards accomplishes a lot with it's relatively small cast. Staying focused on five or six characters at a time it manages to deliver the scope of a nation. You can feel the heaving of the sentiments of millions pushing and hurtling the plot lines forward. There's a shade of hopelessness hanging about the set (Washington and the Fed) that will certainly ring true with the show's intended audience mainly youngish tech savvy interneters (consequently disillusioned). For everyone else there is cable television and football. Expand
  23. Feb 2, 2014
    8
    This show is what I'd describe as The West Wing + Game of Thrones. Also, there's frequent asides that let you get a peak into Frank Underwood's thinking as he maneuvers his way through events. Like Malcom in the Middle, but far more sinister and ruthless.

    It has a solid opening set of episodes, some good middle seasons episodes, and then at the end things get a little muddled. At
    several points in the last 2 or 3 episodes I found myself thinking that they'd gone through a major tonal shift, perhaps without realizing it. Once I got to the end of the season and was able to look back upon the whole thing knowingly, I felt more than ever that they should have cut Season 1 off just a little sooner, and lumped all the cut Season 1 content into the first part Season 2. Expand
  24. Oct 21, 2013
    9
    An excellent first season to the series. House of Cards shows the backdoor dealings of Washington DC with a deft touch. Get too technical and it's boring, but if you don't explain enough the show loses its focus. The show finds the perfect balance between these two, and is incredibly enjoyable because of it.

    The asides that the show does takes a bit of getting used to, but they are
    pretty good after that. Give the first few episodes a shot and see if you like them. Definitely worth your time. Expand
  25. Mar 4, 2013
    7
    A smart, dark political thriller. This series is not without it's problems. The middle 4 episodes are especially troublesome. The pace slows considerably during this time and makes the many plot holes even more glaring. I also was displeased with the narrative asides given by Spacey's character throughout the series. They are distracting and I cannot think of one that is necessary to the story or characters. The writing and pacing in this show are perfectly straight forward and never are the asides needed to further what is right in front of us. Now the good. This show looks amazing. You can definitely feel Fincher's hand in the episodes he directed and it continues throughout all 12. This show is superbly acted. Spacey and Wright speak for themselves, newcomer Mara and Stoll are excellent as well. The writing for me is a mixed bag. While I did enjoy most of the story and character arcs there were certainly some plot holes and eye rolling moments along the way.

    Overall this is an enjoyable series that has something for everyone. If you enjoy dark drama or political thrillers you will enjoy House Of Cards.
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  26. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright The ULTIMATE power couple. That I'm terrified of, but continually root for. Love that they wrote Robin's character as a successful individual in her own right separate from her husbands. This couple is ambitious, but they truly love and respect each other. They're driven and I'm excited to see how their drive translates into the second season.
  27. Feb 4, 2013
    10
    Kevin Spacey and David Fincher on the television level, it's an absolute treat to watch them doing some marvelous work which can be easily compared to the HUGE series like Breaking Bad, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. The series has brilliant writing supported by their proper execution and witty and charming screenplay, fabulous cast members all of whom give thrilling performances, the direction is outstanding, the entire premise of the show is a reason to watch the show. Kevin Spacey plays a political personality who is so manipulative that all cards play in his favor eventually. The best thing about it that we don't have to wait for an entire week to watch the new episode, the complete season is readily available. I have this feeling that House of Cards is going to get so much recognition in the upcoming period. Expand
  28. Mar 5, 2013
    7
    Patently overrated by a ton of people on here. First and foremost, comparing this to the West Wing isn't fair. West Wing is a show designed to help people appreciate governance by humanizing the President and his staff. This show seems to focus on the complete lack of humanity in politics, or at least in those who make decisions.

    It's a good show. But is it a 10? Not at all. The
    characters are cliche and predictable. The dialogue is, at it's best, fantastic, and at its worst, painfully cliche. Most the time it's above average. Many of the subplots are just so-so, though I actually thought the Peter Russo sections were fantastic. But then the wife's affair is just so devoid of relevance, I have to question why it is even in the show.

    Ultimately, much of it is fairly predictable, though there are a couple loops, but it seems to take a half hour for an event to unfold when it could take 5 minutes. It tends to drag a bit, and spends far too much time advancing subplots against the overall plot.

    That said, in should be in your Netflix queue while you wait for Mad Men and Breaking Bad to be updated.
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  29. Feb 9, 2013
    5
    I wanted to love this series. A dark look at the underbelly of politics? Sounds good to me! Unfortunately, it feels like the show is confused. Plot points are introduced, but there's no tension. Everything goes according to plan for Mr. Underwood, and Ms. Barnes, and its boring. Spacey is great for the role, and watching him knock the cards over is entertaining. But, it's too easy. And that's also where his asides fall flat too. He almost gets away with the truisms, and clichés, because he fits that charismatic Southern gentleman role. But, without any struggle, and without offering anything new, the asides just feel...awkward. Simply put, the show's premise is quite interesting, but the illogic of some of the characters, and the ease at which Underwood pulls the strings, leaves the show feeling pretty empty. Expand
  30. Aug 3, 2013
    10
    Just watched the first episode and love this show enough to say that it's definitely one of the best TV shows on now. The acting is great, the writing is interesting, and the plot is most certainly interesting thus far. Riveting.
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.