Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Dec 5, 2012
    The second chapter isn't much more eventful than the first.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Dec 7, 2012
    As the plot simmers and thickens, Restless keeps its focus on the core story, avoiding the temptation to become a war epic. This serves viewers well. Call it December's best-bet sleeper.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Dec 5, 2012
    Restless could benefit from a little more development of the characters Eva works with--it would make their stories more meaningful and poignant--but overall this four-hour miniseries is a strong entry.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Dec 7, 2012
    It never flags in pace, and all the performances, even the smaller ones (like Gambon's), are enthralling.
  5. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Dec 5, 2012
    Good performances, good period details, good payoff. But Restless would've worked better as a two-hour film.
  6. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Dec 6, 2012
    By the second part of this excellent thriller you won't know who are the bad guys and who are the really bad guys, which is how it's supposed to be.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Dec 7, 2012
    The background music works muscularly to pump up interest, but the story's pacing is ponderous.
  8. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Dec 7, 2012
    In both time frames, the period is richly evoked, and the performances are universally fine.
  9. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Dec 6, 2012
    The uncommon acuity of Boyd's script is immeasurably bolstered by an outstanding female cast.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Dec 6, 2012
    Unfortunately, the three hours of the show, while they include chases, sexual entrapment, grisly murders and lots of spycraft, never exceed the tension in those quiet opening scenes.
  11. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Dec 7, 2012
    It's a testament to the crackling intelligence of the script (written by Mr. Boyd) that the nature of that menace hangs elusively in the air until the end.
  12. Reviewed by: Jessica Shaw
    Dec 5, 2012
    The twisty tale tries to tackle more than it can handle in the suspense department, but the remarkable acting keeps you sucked in till the very last confusing second.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. Feb 1, 2013
    I enjoyed this a good deal; I think it was well-plotted, and I'm always a sucker for the 1930s and 40s. But I was hugely bothered by the impossibility of Hayley Atwell becoming Charlotte Rampling not only because their characters seem so radically different in style and tone, but because Charlotte Rampling has piercing, pale eyes, and Hayley Attwell has deep brown eyes. How could a director overlook such a prominent detail? There are any number of close-ups; this just seemed to underscore the disconnect between the young Eva and the older Eva. What an error in directorial judgment! Full Review »
  2. Jan 20, 2013
    Although the actors try, their efforts are undermined by improbable plot twists and plodding script that is far below the standards of British Television. (See State of Play, The Hour, MI-5.) The premise that an elderly spy would still be pursued thirty or so years after WWII is tenuous. Moreover, the story lacks relevance for our time. Those craving 1940's ambiance would be better off watching the Third Man, Maltese Falcon, etc. for a second, third or fourth time rather than wasting their time on Restless. If you hanker after British spy craft, then watch MI-5 (Spooks in the UK) or see the latest Bond flick. Full Review »
  3. Jan 12, 2013
    Restless is a tedious and dull spy drama that outstays its three hour running time by a considerable margin. Red herrings abound, but it is obvious very early on who the villain is. That in itself is fine, but the screenplay is so confused and lacking in credibility that one loses interest very quickly. Spy dramas can be excellent (Think 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' which was rewardingly complex) but they need to make sense and keep one guessing, or at least be engaged. This does neither. A few sequences ignite with some promised tension, but the film feels a bit like being on a roller coaster where it takes ages to get to the top only to have the exciting drop over in seconds. It is to the credit of Charlotte Rampling that her performance is actually very good and survives its setting. Full Review »