• Network: AMC
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 11, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Aug 6, 2013
    50
    For now, Low Winter Sun has created a reasonably compelling universe, without as yet establishing the gravitational pull necessary to ensure viewers stay in its orbit.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Aug 12, 2013
    60
    Low Winter Sun is a good show with the potential to grow into a very good show.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Aug 12, 2013
    70
    While scenes with a crime crew drag, in part because it's not always clear what's going on with them, anytime the focus shifts to crooked cops Frank Agnew (Mark Strong) and Joe Geddes (Lennie James), Low Winter Sun proves to be a gripping drama with a vibe most reminiscent of "The Wire."
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Aug 9, 2013
    50
    Sun aspires to the breadth if not the depth of The Wire. But it's so self-conscious in its existential misery, lacking the leavening humor and humanity of a modern classic like Breaking Bad, that it often feels more punishing than provocative.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Aug 9, 2013
    40
    It comes off as a straining, overly serious wannabe.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Aug 9, 2013
    50
    Too much simply rings forced and phony, from the dialogue to the plot to the characters.
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Aug 5, 2013
    70
    Low Winter Sun makes you want to watch for the potential, but a little more sun (or dark humor) to offset the This Is Serious tone would go a long way in encouraging that potential to be realized.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Aug 8, 2013
    83
    Terrifically hard to love, but some superb performances indicate that at least it's worth the effort to try.
  9. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Aug 6, 2013
    40
    The drama, which is an adaptation of a U.K. series of the same name, tries way too hard to be a Serious Cable Drama. The strain almost turns it into a parody of the genre.
  10. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Aug 8, 2013
    67
    There's lots of snarling, lots of talk about what men are willing to do to protect or hurt one another, and yet in the early going it feels empty, like a joke being retold by someone who can't remember exactly how the guy he heard it from delivered it. The performances are terrific, though (James especially), and Dickerson shoots the Detroit locations in a fashion that captures both the beauty of the architecture and the absolute bleakness of the setting.
  11. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Aug 12, 2013
    91
    For those looking for yet another quality show for their Sunday nights, Low Winter Sun soars high.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Aug 12, 2013
    70
    Its sometimes distracting and oppressive aspirations aside, Low Winter Sun does nevertheless strike me as promising, solid at its core, powered by plausible cross-purposes. Strong and James are excellent.
  13. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Aug 12, 2013
    50
    The performances really are good, almost good enough to make the hokey dialogue believable, but not quite good enough to make Low Winter Sun a must-see when there are so many other shows--about cops and otherwise--that do this moral ambiguity thing much better.
  14. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Aug 12, 2013
    80
    Not since HBO’s The Wire left the air five years ago has a television series combined urban decay and moral decrepitude in such stark--and yet compulsively watchable--terms.
  15. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Aug 8, 2013
    60
    Low Winter Sun is so clotted with bleak cityscapes, shadowy interiors and brooding portent that the narrative sags under the weight of all that mood-setting.
  16. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Aug 8, 2013
    58
    Low on initial appeal and likewise short on originality, it’s a bleak ’n’ grim undertaking that just doesn’t seem built for the long haul.
  17. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Aug 9, 2013
    50
    Sun, a series adaptation of a British miniseries (which also starred Mark Strong) is, after the two episodes I’ve seen, a unremarkable in itself: a paint-by-the-numbers serious-cable series where all the numbers indicate a shade of black.
  18. 40
    If the show were badly directed, photographed, edited, and acted, at least you could have fun laughing at it, but everyone’s working so hard to put across unremarkable material that the best one can manage is a kind of exhausted empathy.
  19. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Aug 9, 2013
    40
    A situation brimming with the potential for suspense, and irony. Those may yet emerge, if only someone produces a script to make it possible. For the moment, all that is brimming here is the evidence of an ill-advised faith in the drawing power of depressive police dramas.
  20. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Aug 8, 2013
    60
    Low Winter Sun goes for a mood darker than noir. It's atmospheric, but the air it generates is noxious.
  21. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Aug 9, 2013
    30
    It tries to make up for what it lacks in originality with unending bleakness--Malick shots of a mangy dog running through the streets with a rat in his maw, characters who never smile--as if being relentlessly somber were proof of quality. The results are beyond claustrophobic. All the characters want out. So did I.
  22. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Aug 9, 2013
    88
    Low Winter Sun grabs you by the lapels and pulls you--forcefully--right into its seamy, low-rent world of intrigue and double- and triple-crosses.
  23. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Aug 5, 2013
    83
    The drama's just as intense as [Mark] Strong, who's clearly earned his last name. [9 Aug 2013, p.73]
  24. Reviewed by: Mike Lechevallier
    Aug 9, 2013
    50
    Low Winter Sun too often lingers on Detroit's colorless evil more than its spirited righteousness, resulting in an overwhelmingly bleak narrative that feels as cold and lifeless as a corpse.
  25. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Aug 9, 2013
    75
    [A] promising mix of urban decay, moral corruption and brutal betrayal that’s likely to fuel Sun.
  26. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Aug 9, 2013
    50
    It’s a fascinating visual ride. But without heroes worth rooting for or a victim worth avenging, the rubble heaps of an imploded metropolis can only do so much heavy lifting.
  27. Reviewed by: Oliver Jones
    Aug 16, 2013
    50
    The gutted-out city is perhaps the show's most compelling character. [26 Aug 2013, p.38]
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. Sep 8, 2013
    10
    This show is awesome. Great writing and solid acting. Its slowly developing and getting better and i am liking the new layers each episode. it may not be to everyones taste but it works like a novel maybe and not a comic book. Full Review »
  2. Aug 12, 2013
    9
    Superb acting by Lennie James and Mark Strong and intriguing plot. Visually stunning.The art direction is something special. Will be interesting to see the season unfold. Full Review »
  3. Oct 3, 2013
    10
    I am so sick of empty headed people jumping on the bandwagon bashing this show for the simple reason that it followed breaking bad. This is a really great show with an amazing cast. I am a huge fan of Mark Strong and now also of the detective who plays Joe Geddis. THis is a top notch show with tremendous cast, how on earth could this get a 59% review? I had to rate it a 10 just tyo try and rebalance the ratings so this show gets a fair overall score. Great show cant wait to see wahrt happens Full Review »