• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 27, 2014
  • Season #: 1
Manhattan Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

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  • Summary: A group of scientists including Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey), Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman), Col. Alden Cox (Mark Moses), and Glen Babbit (Daniel Stern), along with their wives, settle in the New Mexico desert to begin work on the Manhattan project in this drama created and written by Sam Shaw. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Aug 11, 2014
    This is the best new show of the summer.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jul 29, 2014
    John Benjamin Hickey’s point man performance leads the way, with his character’s demons and dilemmas already etched like fissures in his face. Carrying the weight of the world can be heavy lifting. Manhattan so far shows every sign of being able to shoulder the load.
  3. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Jul 27, 2014
    In a summer that’s offered new programs that pretty much all sit on the spectrum from “silly, but still curious” (Extant, The Strain) on one end to “just plain silly” (Dating Naked) on the other, Manhattan is the most grown up, worth-watching new series we have.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jul 27, 2014
    Manhattan dramatizes with a little extra dab of soap, but generally quite engagingly life in the secret World War II compound where the country's most brilliant scientists were tasked with creating a superbomb before the bad guy could.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jul 27, 2014
    WGN America's bold new period drama Manhattan goes even further [than AMC's Mad Men], eschewing the romantic veneer altogether in a gritty story of scientific mavericks operating in extreme circumstances.
  6. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jul 27, 2014
    Manhattan brings legitimate class to WGN's nascent original content project.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 27, 2014
    Manhattan is awfully overwrought, stocked with personalities as volatile as the radioactive isotopes they're trying to tame. Its melodramatic tone makes it resemble Lifetime's Army Wives more than it does A Beautiful Mind.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Jul 28, 2014
    This is def an 'explosive' beginning! You can get the high levels of radioactivity affecting every single character and resident of the 'town' in such a busy, warm and claustrophobic environment. All is about consequences, as one of the characters say, and now they are paying them...On the production values side, I love the fact that it doesn't try to be like or look like Mad Men. If you were into LOST and The Dharma initiative, you are going to love this TV show. The cast is very good as well as their characters, they have lots to tell and hide, and we, lots to discover and see. Expand
  2. Aug 21, 2014
    I forced my anonymity loving self to register for this site to encourage those responsible for this production to produce more TV drama like it. The driven no rules (other than the laws of physics)intensity of a Dr. Winter, contrasted with the politically savvy, business-like approach of his competition foiled against with the fluffanutter nonsense of what's going on outside of the scientists' experience is riveting for some of us living in the world we live in today where we sit idly by as all hell breaks loose somewhere else. It is another world, albeit a wonderfully ripe fictionalized account of it. Expand
  3. Aug 4, 2014

    Where did this come from? This show is the real deal. Intriguing, interwoven storylines and profoundly complex characters in
    strained relationships. So far everything in this series so is top notch from writing to production design to acting. I'm hard-pressed to find anything significantly wrong with this drama. Usually these serial cable dramas flatline immediately after the pilot, and only return to life at season's end. But Manh(a)tten shows no signs of premature burnout. Their A-team is up for the challenge and in for the whole series. With the occasional exception of a wee too much melodrama for my tastes, this is as good as television gets. Hell, it's as good as any theatrical feature gets. Seriously, give it an Emmy, an Oscar, a Peabody, and a Nobel. Okay, I exaggerate slightly (sans sarcasm). With so many content providers jumping on the mini-series bandwagon, I usually expect stock characters brooding their way through a constipated narrative. Manh(a)tten not only captivates us about a brilliant assembly of scientists and their families bunking together to conceive the inconceivable, and bring to life the most horrifying and destructive device created by humankind. From calculated scribblings to a conscious nightmare that instantly incinerates large pockets of the planet, this production is served by a brilliant team of filmmakers and actors, artists and technicians intent on delivering the payload. Our storytellers are alive and well! The generation of kids who bucked the STEM model, opting for filmschool instead of engineering is paying off (while ironically chronicling STEM experts). While there's no shortage of garbage entertainment stinking up screens of every size, there are, alternatively, plenty of quality programs to choose from. And if you like complex, well-researched, marvellously presented multi-linear story structures with a rich collection of involving and tragically human characters, Manh(a)tten may be the best yet. Expand
  4. Aug 13, 2014
    Manhattan is easily one of, if not the, best new dramas out. The characters have depth. The acting is superb and the cinematography is great. It also revolves around one of the most captivating secret projects in the history of the United States of America. I highly recommend the show. Expand
  5. Jul 30, 2014

    Well we can't denied the obvious, how great everything looks and feels. How the show (pilot) makes you get intrigued about every
    little detail if you put too much tough in to it. It has a heavy dark secrets even on the development of the characters, (at least that is what I felt) and not in the sense of how they will be developed in the next episodes. It's almost like if it matters to get know and see that every character in this show will have a very important role in the upcoming episodes.

    P.s. I hope this is more than just the pilot. Which I am feeling confident about this show, I guess time will tell us.
  6. Aug 21, 2014
    "Manhattan" is a wonderful summer surprise. The acting, dialogue, and cinematography are first rate. What helps make this so good is the lack of "star power" . These are mainly character actors who give this a sense of realism. Sometimes when it gets too scientific I do have trouble keeping focused on the story but the intrigue is what gets me right back to the show. Not perfect but Manhattan is excellent thought provoking viewing. Expand
  7. Sep 15, 2014
    I was really looking forward to this show. I thought it was going to be about the Manhattan project and how the scientific community worked together to create the first atomic weapons. WRONG! It's a soap opera about their wives and their feelings. There are lesbians and alcoholics and prostitutes, but almost nothing of the Manhattan project. The project is just the background for all of the weak and boring characters they invented for this soap opera. If you name a show Manhattan then it should be about that, not about lesbians and cheaters. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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