• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 22, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 12, 2011
    58
    With J.J. Abrams as an executive producer, this tech-driven "Early Edition" is shockingly lifeless. Caviezel's Clint Eastwood impression is flat, and Emerson is too darkly eccentric to keep the drama afloat.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 22, 2011
    83
    [Caviezel] and Emerson make for one of fall's most formidable odd couples.
  3. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 22, 2011
    75
    The first episode unfolds nicely with plenty of suspense and tension. If they can keep it up week after week, they should have no problem holding viewers' interest.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Sep 16, 2011
    83
    The show can simultaneously unsettle, comfort, excite, and amuse its viewers--something for everyone, if you, like Mr. Finch, like to watch.
  5. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Sep 21, 2011
    58
    Despite the presence of Nolan (who's co-written most of his brother Christopher's films, including "Memento" and "The Prestige") and producer J.J. Abrams, this is very much a CBS crime procedural, one that could fit comfortably alongside "The Mentalist," et al. But it would help an awful lot if Caviezel had a few Red Bulls first.
  6. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Sep 21, 2011
    40
    When the only real tension is one character telling another to hurry and the most emotionally involving scene lasts 30 seconds and involves the cop who may not engage with the principals again all season, it's difficult to remain an interested person.
  7. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    Ultimately, Person Of Interest is built on too cockamamie of a premise to be taken seriously.
  8. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 22, 2011
    80
    Some viewers won't buy the premise of the Social Security numbers. Its beauty, though, is that you don't have to.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 21, 2011
    83
    A gritty, almost plausible winner, and distant reflection of Stephen Spielberg's "Minority Report."
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Nov 29, 2011
    75
    This could grow into a show of more than ordinary interest. [28 Nov 2011, p.57]
  11. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 22, 2011
    60
    Clever but somehow not very absorbing, Person might provoke the paranoid while leaving the generation who's grown up on camera wondering what all the fuss is about.
  12. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Sep 22, 2011
    80
    Of course, it all sounds preposterous, but so did a movie about a guy who remembered everything backward, and Jonathan Nolan was nominated for a writing Oscar for Memento.
  13. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    Beneath that glossy sheen, it seems like it will be a procedural crime show like so many other programs on CBS.
  14. Reviewed by: Chris Conaton
    Sep 22, 2011
    60
    From a storytelling standpoint, though, the real juice of the show is going to lie in its long-form arcs. It's a delicate balance to maintain, and it will be interesting to see if Person of Interest is up to the challenge.
  15. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 22, 2011
    100
    Person of Interest separates itself from the gimmick pack, not only because of superbly nuanced characterization and writing but also because of how it engages a post-9/11 sense of paranoia in its viewers.
  16. So far, though, it has mostly kept its ambition in check, preferring to follow the playbook of a typical crime procedural, with a little more darkness and a little less energy.
  17. Reviewed by: Aaron Riccio
    Sep 16, 2011
    25
    There isn't a single interesting person in CBS's dud-on-arrival Person of Interest; at best, there's only a single interesting idea.
  18. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 21, 2011
    70
    Both Emerson and Caviezel are compelling and the way Nolan and Abrams have constructed the look (lots of nourish far-away shots in crowded streets, a sense of contained doom in an urban city) bodes well. That alone is worth the investment.
  19. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 21, 2011
    50
    If Person of Interest can calibrate the relationship between the leads in a way that makes their interactions more compelling, and if the show finds ways to answer Nolan's questions in creative and unexpected ways, it could be CBS' next addictive drama. If it ends up being a post-9/11 version of 'The Equalizer,' then this person will quickly lose interest.
  20. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Sep 21, 2011
    40
    The result is that the twin aspects of the show, fighting each other for screen time, both end up a little vague and underwritten.
  21. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 22, 2011
    80
    This is the rare crime drama that revels in actual mystery, its dark, paranoid tone embodied by two damaged heroes.
  22. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 21, 2011
    75
    Together they'll be the brains and brawn of this operation in times when the broadcast networks aren't particularly interested in take-charge men with acquired tastes for pounding the hell out of bad guys--or shooting them in their thighs. Thanks. We maybe needed that.
  23. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 22, 2011
    88
    They may not enchant you, but they and their series, the best new hour this year, are unlikely to bore you. Would that every new show could say the same.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 19, 2011
    70
    The show is a shrewd if not terribly exciting bet on upping the network's hip quotient without straying far from its procedural wheelhouse.
  25. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 16, 2011
    50
    It's a whole lot of techno-hooey, relying on screenwriter-friendly leaps of logic. Emerson turns out to be a one-note actor, but Caviezel is appealing in a particle-board sort of way.
  26. Reviewed by: David Eckstein
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    The characters aren't terribly deep and the dialog doesn't take advantage of Emerson's and Caviezel's acting chops.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 290 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 66
  2. Negative: 4 out of 66
  1. Feb 3, 2012
    10
    Great, Great, Great Show! A mix of science fiction, drama, action, espionage, etc., etc. I'm sorry for those of you who don't get it. There are no show like this one. Basically you have "at least" one imperfect person helping others. Full Review »
  2. Nov 18, 2011
    8
    I like this series better, after 8 episodes, than I did at the beginning. I'm no longer much bothered by its premise: a terror-sniffing machine so sensitive that it predicts ordinary homicides but not sensitive enough to distinguish murderers from victims. I no longer wonder how even the world's least competent security agency could be induced to throw out data that would save police, courts, and emergency services billions of dollars, not to mention saving innumerable lives. Instead, I now focus on what the machine represents: vigilance without discernment, an omniscience that becomes an end in itself, rather than a means of preserving life and liberty. In that regard, "Person of Interest" seems one of the few 21st-century series to grapple with the effects of 9/11. For that and other reasons, the series now strikes me as fresher and more interesting than others devoted to the pursuit of justice. Where CSI and its spawn celebrate forensic technology as the fastest and purest route to truth, POI takes a more complex view, one focused on the powers, the limits, and the dangers of a technology that can only gesture in the general direction of truth but cannot make crucial distinctions, such as the one between murderer and victim. The contrast is everywhere, from acting style to soundtrack to cinematography. Compared to the luminous pastels and driving rock soundtracks of the CSI's, POI appears ominous and grim: blue-grey establishing shots with faux-CCTV effects, digital framing of random heads, the subtle foreboding of an orchestral score. POI's two principal characters are not heroes but anti-heroes; they are flawed, injured, even knowingly doomed. Both Reese and Finch hide almost everything about themselves, and their tendency to conceal their feelings has alienated some viewers, who feel deprived of an emotional connection to the protagonists. Again, however, I find their formality and circumspection interesting, their oblique dialog a refreshing break from the improbable self-revelation of the average TV crime-fighter. I now hope that other viewers who were, like me, on the fence are starting to appreciate the show. Full Review »
  3. Oct 20, 2011
    10
    Great new idea for a show. Reminds me a little of Homeland. Unfolds smoothly as the kind of show that even those who couldn't care less about it will find engrossing. Full Review »