• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 11, 2011
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 10, 2011
    80
    Lights Out isn't an unqualified knockout, but in its milieu, leading man and rich supporting players, score the show a clear winner on points. And that's no bull.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 10, 2011
    80
    Lights Out isn't always comfortable watching, because it forces people we like to do things we don't like. But if it's sometimes hard to watch, it's harder not to.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 10, 2011
    80
    Chalk up Lights Out as another creative success for FX, the basic cable network that specializes in series with male-skewing milieus.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 11, 2011
    80
    Lights Out has its work cut out for it to find and hold an audience and deliver the proverbial TKO, but on the basis of the work alone, it's a triumph.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 11, 2011
    80
    The story of Patrick "Lights" Leary is engrossing from the first bell, with nicely developed plots and psychological twists that transcend the genre cliches of the boxing drama. And the acting is strong where it matters.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 11, 2011
    75
    Lights Out does turn into a good series. A knockout? No. But sometimes, you have to be content to win on points.
  7. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 24, 2011
    100
    Beneath the grit, this is a tale of chivalry. [31 Jan 2011, p.40]
  8. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 10, 2011
    90
    Beyond the superb pilot, Lights Out begins to get wonderfully nuanced and more interesting with each episode. And though the series avoids most boxing cliches while keeping true to the inescapable elements of "the sweet science," the real key to its success is McCallan.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 10, 2011
    91
    A particularly fine new FX drama marred only by a tepid pace in the pilot. But pace and story pick up in subsequent episodes.
  10. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 11, 2011
    50
    Lights Out isn't a bad show, but it's frustratingly uneven. It has its moments, but at this stage, it doesn't offer the kind of deeply fascinating and addictive portrait of human nature that we've come to expect from the top tier of cable dramas.
  11. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jan 11, 2011
    63
    See, despite the fact that Lights Out has every one of these boxing cliches in spades, it also has that thing that makes all great boxing flicks memorable: great acting and characters you pull for despite the fact that you know you're being manipulated.
  12. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 10, 2011
    90
    Thanks to the sharp writing of Warren Leight and a revelatory lead performance by obscure journeyman actor Holt McCallany, Lights Out is a reminder of why Hollywood keeps making boxing stories. Because when they're done well, they're irresistible.
  13. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 11, 2011
    90
    Personally, I have even less interest in boxing than I do in those other worlds, so when I say I swallowed most of the 13-episode first season of FX's new boxing drama, Lights Out in a couple of marathon gulps, it's saying something.
  14. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 12, 2011
    83
    At its strongest, it freshens those themes without melodrama, opting instead for slow-boil tension. The challenge for this artful series is whether that boiling point is too slow for viewers raised on WWE Raw and mixed martial arts.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 11, 2011
    58
    You've been three rounds with this story before. Lights Out sets you up for a sucker punch.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 11, 2011
    70
    It is something shy of electrifying and not always convincing, but it pulls you right along and offers too many good moments and fine performances not to recommend it.
  17. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 10, 2011
    75
    Lights Out may not reach the level of "The Sopranos," but it has enough going for it to at least earn a shot at the title.
  18. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jan 11, 2011
    80
    If many of these plot and character elements are straight off the bargain shelf at the Boxing Melodrama R Us superstore, Lights nonetheless gives them new life--partly thanks to a superlative cast and partly because the show resists the biggest cliche of all: the boxer as innocent victim of poverty and circumstance.
  19. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jan 10, 2011
    80
    In other words, even the soapier subplots of Lights Out are sparingly written and tautly filmed, and the story never strays too far from the violence that is at its core.
  20. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 10, 2011
    91
    It sometimes lapses into the abundant cliches of its genre. Pound for pound, though, you won't see many better dramas this season. Gloves on or off, it keeps scoring points.
  21. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 11, 2011
    60
    Though deliberately and even artfully paced, Lights Out also feels protracted. It has difficulty establishing momentum in its first few episodes, even with a smattering of intriguing subplots and story lines, and no one character exerts that intangible ability to make us keep watching.
  22. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 11, 2011
    80
    It starts and finishes strong, and in between, it passed the most important test this non-boxing-fan could hold it to: when I finished one episode, I immediately wanted to put another in.
  23. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jan 7, 2011
    90
    It's quickly clear that this skillfully sustained, sharply plotted series is a fighter saga you'll want to follow to the final bell.
  24. 80
    Lights Out starts slower but has an even more intriguing anti-hero dad: Patrick "Lights" Leary (in a beautiful and subtle performance by Holt McCallany), a retired heavyweight champion with itchy fists.
  25. Reviewed by: Aaron Riccio
    Jan 7, 2011
    75
    Lights Out isn't a knockout, but it's got enough grit and sweat to keep viewers on their toes.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Mar 31, 2011
    10
    I love this show . it's way better then a lot of the stuff FX shows or has shown. I think this show is right up their with Sons of anarchy ,and the shield . Full Review »
  2. Mar 10, 2011
    10
    Being a avid boxing fan this show has it all. Very witty with a lot of insight to the boxing world. Very true to a real experience of a boxer and everything around him. One of my favorite shows of all time. Teddy Atlas is an advisor to the show and that says a lot. Full Review »
  3. Jan 13, 2011
    6
    That metascore just seems way too high. I had high expectations for this, maybe because FX has debuted such amazing shows over the last few years. But the lead actor is not extremely watchable, the brother is not as interesting as he was on season 2 of "The Wire", Stacy Keach is a poor fit , and the pilot just didn't jump out at me like it should have. Even the scenes from the rest of the season don't seem to offer much to hope for. I'll give it at least one more episode. Full Review »