• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 30, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jun 28, 2013
    100
    [A] superbly tawdry new crime series. [8 Jul 2013, p.35]
  2. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jun 28, 2013
    100
    Great acting, writing and direction.
  3. It's a muscular, instantly riveting series that features sensational performances by Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. Based on the early episodes, we could be looking at television's next great character-based drama.
  4. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jun 25, 2013
    100
    At heart, this is a show about good and evil, but sometimes the catch--for both the characters and the audience--is knowing which is which. You won't be able to stop watching.
  5. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jun 12, 2013
    100
    [Creator and writer Ann Biderman has] created the most testosterone, rough and intelligent drama in ages.... Early sneaks of Ray Donovan hinted that Showtime might have a real gem on its hands, but four episodes provides an absolute exclamation point.
  6. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Feb 13, 2014
    91
    The show, stylishly shot and strongly written, throws a lot at the wall in the premiere.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 26, 2013
    91
    Showtime’s taut and pretty terrific Ray Donovan.... Schreiber brings a solid, stolid presence to the role. But it’s Jon Voight as Mickey who gives this drama its ferocious, dangerous and sometimes creepy edge.
  8. Reviewed by: Jace Lacob
    Jun 28, 2013
    90
    The result is something extraordinary and compelling, a first-rate drama for Showtime.
  9. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jun 28, 2013
    90
    This could be the start of something great. In just a handful of episodes, it's already powerfully terrific.
  10. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jun 27, 2013
    90
    [A] captivating series created by Ann Biderman--sharply written, sophisticated even at its most melodramatic, with first-class performances throughout.
  11. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jun 27, 2013
    90
    It’s not as meticulous, cinematic, or original as those two shows ["Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad"], but it’s got the same kind of storytelling ambition. It’s the most vital new series of the year so far.
  12. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Jun 28, 2013
    88
    Ray Donovan is fun, but it’s also heart-breakingly sad and deadly serious, sometimes all at once. In all cases, this is one of the smartest series to come around in a while, sharply written (by creator and executive producer Ann Biderman) with a perfect balance of comedy and tragedy, action and reflection.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jun 27, 2013
    88
    In Ray and Mickey, producer Ann Biderman has created two of TV's most interesting characters and one of its most absorbing dynamics.
  14. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jul 1, 2013
    80
    A few caricatures stick out among the characters, but the subtler conceptions, on the page and in performance, win out.
  15. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 1, 2013
    80
    Ray Donovan generates an authentic and convincing noir atmosphere, something rarely accomplished in the medium.
  16. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jul 1, 2013
    80
    Schreiber’s powerful portrayal of a man whose elemental rage is on a collision course with a rising moral consciousness is the driving engine of Ray Donovan. But it may not even be the show’s best performance.
  17. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jun 28, 2013
    80
    Voight is perfectly cast as the one person who can plausibly terrify Ray, and he and Schreiber have a crackling chemistry. The supporting players are terrific, too, starting with Paula Malcomson as Ray's wife, Abby.... But it's Schreiber, who manages to convey a lot while seemingly remaining impassive much of the time, who somehow holds Ray Donovan together.
  18. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Jun 27, 2013
    80
    Ray Donovan is undeniably derivative, but it sure is fun. Liev Schreiber leads a stellar cast as Ray Donovan.
  19. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jun 27, 2013
    80
    Viewers may find it takes some concentration to sort out the lineup and the dramas here. The payoff is worth the investment.
  20. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jun 26, 2013
    80
    Buoyed by a riveting supporting performance from Jon Voight, it’s a dense, highly organic world--at its best, playing like a present-day “Chinatown.” More often, it’s eminently entertaining, if not initially quite worthy of a spot alongside TV’s velvet-roped A-list.
  21. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    Together with Jon Voight, who's thrillingly twisted as Ray's crazy ex-con father, Mickey, Schreiber helps save this show from becoming just another drama about sex scandals diverted and TMZ headlines deferred.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Lechevallier
    Jun 25, 2013
    75
    The show's large ensemble is mostly free of stereotypes, and nearly every narrative shift feels authentic and punctual.
  23. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jul 1, 2013
    70
    The first four episodes supplied to critics are engaging, but especially in the aftermath of his passing, the shadow of James Gandolfini is, sadly, everywhere.
  24. 70
    The show is more successful when the Donovans are interacting with rich or otherwise spoiled people than when they’re dealing with their own problems, because the problems, however sympathetically written and acted, are a potluck stew of elements you’ve seen in other stories about South Boston Irish-Americans.
  25. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Jun 28, 2013
    67
    There’s just enough crazy in Ray Donovan to keep things interesting.
  26. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jun 27, 2013
    67
    In the end, don't much like Ray Donovan.... [But] Donovan ultimately succeeds on the little things--some very good performances by some very good actors and sharp dialogue by Biderman, who knows how to write Tough Guy talk with the best of them.
  27. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jun 28, 2013
    60
    Though I do not begrudge Ray Donovan its sense of momentum or tension, I was immediately struck by a desire to simply see more of Ray doing his job for a few episodes rather than seeing him deal with his brothers’ various problems.
  28. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jun 27, 2013
    60
    But after five episodes, Ray Donovan is still some good performances in search of a show. It feels made up of pieces of other antihero dramas--a little Sopranos here, a little Brotherhood there, even a little Entourage around the edges. Ray is so far too much a cipher to be an engaging focal character, and his flaws and failings are those of so many middle-aged cable ass-kickers in the past decade.
  29. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    Jun 25, 2013
    60
    [Biderman’s writing and Schreiber’s acting are] a one-two punch that haven’t scored a knockout in the first round, but there’s still time.
  30. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jun 26, 2013
    58
    There's enough strong raw material on hand that Ray Donovan could eventually be built into something great. Right now, though, it's raw material in search of a series.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 160 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 5 out of 31
  1. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    It is a wonderful show. It has a great plot, magnificent acting, and the characters are great. Liev Schreiber is one of a kind. This show isIt is a wonderful show. It has a great plot, magnificent acting, and the characters are great. Liev Schreiber is one of a kind. This show is very promising so far. Full Review »
  2. Jul 31, 2013
    1
    Have I missed something? I find "Ray Donovan" a big disappointment. The writing is beyond terrible. The show feels like a bunch of writersHave I missed something? I find "Ray Donovan" a big disappointment. The writing is beyond terrible. The show feels like a bunch of writers who each write a scene and then are thrown together in a hodge podge that makes no sense. The acting is so bad I find myself laughing during scenes that are suppose to be serious. When Gould's character sees the "Golem'" Voight runs off like a little girl...are you kidding me? Just one of many silly scenes. At least if there was one likeable character I could stay with this dreck, but there isn't. The kids are spoiled brats, Ray is just a dog sniffing after everything, Gould's character and the lawyer are so stereotypical as to be offensive......Beyond all this is the pandering. Voight instructs his grandson on oral sex, Ray dreams his father is screwing his wife, Ray's wife displays her thong that she just bought to the delight of her father-in-law and more, all unnecessary pandering. I could go on about why this show stinks but I don't want to give this show anymore of my time. One star for the nice homes and apartments but I guess I could see that on HGTV. Full Review »
  3. Jul 9, 2013
    1
    I am so disappointed with this show. I thought they would at least give us a guy who would not fall under the sex spell of a teenager. He isI am so disappointed with this show. I thought they would at least give us a guy who would not fall under the sex spell of a teenager. He is as low as the people he tries to clean up after. This show is disgusting. If this is what "Hollywood" is about, I will continue to watch less and less. He is such a good actor, but not much of a decent human being if he can justify this character. Full Review »