Restless Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on the novel by William Boyd, Ruth Gilmartin (Michelle Dockery) discovers her mother Sally (Charlotte Rampling/Hayley Attwell) was a spy in the 1940s and has been in hiding since her last mission.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Movie/Mini-Series, Action & Adventure
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Dec 6, 2012
    The uncommon acuity of Boyd's script is immeasurably bolstered by an outstanding female cast.
  4. 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.
  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: 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.
  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.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. Dec 11, 2012
    Okay so the plot and the acting are a little corny but honestly anything from the 1920s gets me riled up. Everything about the timescale of this show is just great. If you're only into sci fi and fantasy and crap like that (the good stuff) this is pretty much the opposite of what you want. Expand
  2. 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! Expand
  3. Dec 9, 2012
    I'm not sure why Sundance channel picked this up, or commissioned it, as it's oh so retro. It's alll very Bulldog Drummondy. I know that puts me in a rare group of folks who remember. The script is poor and follows an adolescent fantasy of "spy world" when the Brits ruled that world before John Le Carre came along and made spying out to be cereberal and not "adventure." Plucky young thing with various accents who falls in love with her spy master (and, I'm guessing, sires his daughter) and 30 years later is pursued by fascist baddies (they do make such good Whipley Snidelash types). Sewell and Rampling must have needed the money. Expand
  4. 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. Collapse
  5. 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. Expand