• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 16, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 80
    Olyphant creates a sense of suspended time whenever Raylan comes into contact with thugs--as if a gun standoff isn't so far from standing at a bar with a drink in hand. His Raylan is the kind of guy who doesn't say much, but gives us plenty to talk about.
  2. There are too many instances of people conveniently running into each other. In short, common sense is missing from Justified.
  3. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    88
    Olyphant's devilish looks balance his white-cowboy-hat principles.
  4. 88
    The shaggily delightful dialogue, the deft pacing, the authentic sense of place, the rock-solid supporting cast and the feeling that you are in the hands of writers, actors and directors who really know what they're doing--all of these are worthy reasons to watch Justified.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    100
    Olyphant is surrounded by a terrific supporting cast, including Dirty Sexy Money's Natalie Zea as Raylan's ex-wife and Nick Searcy (Deke Slayton in From the Earth to the Moon) as his deceptively cornpone boss. But in the end, it comes down to hard stares and that combination of drawled amusement and sudden violence that make him so cool yet exciting.
  6. Justified is one of those programs where, when you get done with the three review episodes FX sends you, you're angry because you know FX could've sent more episodes if it wanted to.
  7. Fine character actors abound, playing people on the rural edges, but it's the main character and Olyphant's performance that lift the sometimes labored plot lines and carry them over the finish line.
  8. Justified doesn't have the bite of "Fire in the Hole," from which the first episode was adapted, but it gets much of the tone--droll, a little weary, frequently tense, sometimes conflicted--never forgetting that at the core, good is challenging evil.
  9. 75
    Less brutal than "Sons of Anarchy" or "The Shield," it's nonetheless a true male fantasy show complete with broads, bad guys, blow-ups, bullets and buckets of blood.
  10. The pilot, in which Yost liberally borrows Leonard’s trademark lean dialogue from "Fire in the Hole," has a swagger to it, and also a sly sense of humor....Without Leonard’s writing to directly adapt, the later episodes are a mixed bag.
  11. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    67
    Watch for any length of time and you may--as I did--have the eerie if not unpleasant feeling that you've been teleported to a decent network cop show from the 1970s.
  12. 88
    Olyphant plays this laconic, loping lawman with a smiling minimalism that makes Givens both iconic and contemporary.
  13. Justified itself stays on target all the time, too, an instant entrant in the best-new-show sweepstakes in a TV season that already has several solid candidates.
  14. On screen the show has a soaked-in mood, courtesy of pilot director Michael Dinner, and terrific performances that mark Justified as the best new series premiere so far in 2010.
  15. 60
    It does tend to love its sublimely self-confident hero, a quick draw and a smartass who nonetheless walks a sort of moral line that baffles his mostly rube-ish opponents. But the show offers other, pleasures that help to make up for what's predictable.
  16. 90
    FX's Justified translates the intense interactions of author Elmore Leonard's characters into dialogue that's unpredictable, dynamic and positively riveting.
  17. The best news of all is that Olyphant backs it up with an incredibly riveting performance. Better yet, Justified as a whole really delivers, from the explosive pilot to a couple of other, less adrenaline-filled but no less superb episodes that add humor and nuanced storytelling to the mix.
  18. To be sure, the show is like any other crime drama in that it contains darkness and violence--some of it erupting in unexpected ways. But there are enough new wrinkles here to make anyone who takes a chance on it feel thoroughly justified.
  19. Reviewed by: Aubry D'Arminio
    100
    Finishing each episode is like closing up a really great, gritty, little crime novel.
  20. Justified will not stretch the dramatic envelope the way many FX shows have. Still, with its white knight of a hero, fine guest stars and intriguing relationships, one can rely on the show to deliver 13 hours of entertaining and occasionally taut crime drama.
  21. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    50
    It feels as if the attention that should have gone to the storytelling all went to the atmosphere and the repartee.
  22. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    80
    The result is a new-style western that's both entertaining and as mesmerizing as Givens' cold-blooded speech to the crook with the scattergun.
  23. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    100
    This is the best new series, network or cable, of the midseason. An immediately addictive brew of action, suspense and wry humor, the show is grounded in Olyphant's low-key but high-impact star-making performance, the work of a confident and cunning leading man who's always good company.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    Justified has a clear sense of its strengths and shrewdly plays to them. For FX, that savvy combined with Olyphant's charisma has all the makings of a series destined to nail its target.
  25. It is not very often that a TV series invents a new look, or even a new genre. After only two weeks on the air, it may be too soon to gush that way about FX's new drama Justified, but this is one cool show.
  26. 40
    Although Justified qualifies as cryptic, and its mouth is plenty potty, it definitely lacks edge, the most important quality of the three. In fact, it can get downright sleepy between killings. It moseys. It meanders.
  27. Justified is well-written and well-produced, so it would be good with any decent actor in its lead role. But the show got Timothy Olyphant for the role, and the match could not be any more perfect.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 416 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 52
  2. Negative: 5 out of 52
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    9
    Outstanding series. I agree with Whit (the man from Kentucky) that it's got the balls to tell stories like they should be told instead of reverting to the same old Hollywood patterns. It's a perfect offering for FX. The casting for the lead characters ex-wife was perfect. She was incredible in Dirty Sexy Money and even better on this show. Full Review »
  2. Feb 15, 2011
    0
    Now this may just be one of the sappiest shows I have seen in a long, long time. Timothy Olyphant may be a fine actor for a television commercial, but dress him up in a cheesy cowboy hat at your own peril. While the premise of the show may be interesting, one should note that it's set in Nowhere, Kentucky, and how many people can he really shoot in a town of 57 habitants? I've seen ol' Tim play a bunch of terrible bad guys in movies and television before and I really wanted him to do well in this one. He doesn't seem like too bad of a guy and why not cheer for the Working Man's Hero, but the writing in this show is truly brutal. Why even attempt to turn this guy into some sort of mutant television character with Jack Bauer's mean streak, Dr House's wit and Don Draper's womanizing charm? I'd rather saw off my own foot with a rusty saw from 8th grade shop class than be forced to watch this tripe. After all, it's just like my old man used to say: you can't make chicken salad from chicken **** Full Review »
  3. May 26, 2011
    10
    The last episode of this second season has left me breathless and proves that the series has tremendous staying power and can get even better than it already is. What sets this series apart from everything else that's on TV right now (and frankly, has been for the past few years) is plot and character development. Not only is the central plot gripping and innovative, all the subplots thus far presented serve it amazingly well and are worthy in their own right. The same can be said about characters. As if characters as rich and multi-layered as Raylan and Boyd weren't enough, we still get marvelous supporting characters for them to play off of, such as the whole of the Bennett family. Elmore Leonard is a freaking genius!!! Full Review »