Rubicon : Season 1

  • Network: AMC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 13, 2010
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. If you enjoy following complex machinations, however, and enjoy watching smart TV characters try to figure them out, Rubicon is your ticket.
  2. It's a little aloof, a spy show without the usual espionage theatrics. That may take some getting accustomed to, but in these early episodes, Rubicon makes a strong case that it's a series that's worth the effort.
  3. 80
    If you enjoy slowly piecing together a puzzle without having first seen the final image, Rubicon is right up your alley; if not, the brainteasing will likely unnerve you.
  4. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    67
    Rubicon unfolds at a languid pace, dispensing information at the rate a not-quite-broken kitchen faucet dispenses drops. You want it to speed up. You want some urgency. You want a few more thrills in this thriller. At least this average TV viewer does.
  5. If you're a viewer into quick and easy answers and seek resolution at the 59-minute mark, this is probably not your show. But if you're interested in the notion that post-9/11 paranoia is justified in ways we haven't even realized (and perhaps it would be too chilling if we did), and you have a fundamental distrust of government doings, Rubicon could be your new mental puzzle.
  6. 63
    This pleasantly low-key drama has little trouble creating an atmosphere, but the pace is sometimes slack in the first four episodes.
  7. 88
    Challenging but engrossing.
  8. 100
    It looks like AMC is three-for-three with their newest original drama, Rubicon, a throwback espionage thriller that takes place in the present--if the present were more like the 1970s than the 2000s.
  9. 80
    Without feeling like it's leading us on, Rubicon is a tightly woven and urbanely acted tale for people who like to mull.
  10. Rubicon doesn't have the glossy panache of Mad Men or the in-your-face confrontations of Breaking Bad, but I think that's a good thing. It establishes Rubicon as its own distinct creation from AMC.
  11. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    80
    Rubicon is not a show for the impatience, and it has the kind of ambitions that could set viewers up for a letdown. But so far, I admire its intelligence.
  12. The 13-episode series has all the early earmarks of distinctive drama and smart storytelling.
  13. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    70
    After watching the first four episodes, I'm content to settle on the euphemism deliberate and to note that the performances-centrally that of James Badge Dale as an intelligence analyst named Will Travers-have so far been sharp enough to ward off outright drowsiness.
  14. 80
    With its patient pace and restrained style, Rubicon may take a while to get to the truth, but at least as viewers we suspect that there will be something weighty to discover once it does.
  15. 88
    There are some great characterizations and attention to detail. If you stick with the series, you'll be treated to a lecture on the perfect briefcase by the droll Michael Cristopher that's worth the price of admission. And if you think your office banter is entertaining, try swapping in-jokes with the intelligence community.
  16. Reviewed by: Brian Holcomb
    75
    The show creates a fascinating and wonderful hyperreal world of shadowy figures, secrets hidden in codes, and perhaps even the revelation of a giant conspiracy. It's not completely original, but there's currently nothing on TV even remotely like it.
  17. Reviewed by: Michael Landweber
    80
    The conspiracy here is grounded in human activity and ambition, rather than aliens or supernatural forces.
  18. That there are long passages without dialogue, or indeed without what we commonly call action, will surely put some viewers off--it will be the Rubicon they will or will not cross. But I am happy to bathe in its careful, bad-dreamy atmosphere, to go with its twisty flow.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 54
  2. Negative: 4 out of 54
  1. Oct 25, 2010
    9
    This new series started out slow but only because they invested more in character development and subtle nuance in plot development. TheThis new series started out slow but only because they invested more in character development and subtle nuance in plot development. The Protagonist is a perfect fit in terms of casting and the plot line was a slow building crescendo well worth the investment I put in paying huge entertainment dividends by seasons end. Like most of the finer things in life it takes a bit of time to let something gather its taste, vintage or what have you, Rubicon is a prime example of this school of thought or philosophy. Bar none this is the best series I've seen on AMC and I'm pleasantly surprised and have been won over by it. If you need car chases, bullets flying and T& A on a minutely basis this isn't the series for you go have fun with fast and furious etc...but if your willing to use make use of a brain cell or two this is the show for you. Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2010
    10
    Simply put, AMC's Rubicon is the most engrossing and thought-provoking drama of the current TV season. Yes, its pace is slow and an episodeSimply put, AMC's Rubicon is the most engrossing and thought-provoking drama of the current TV season. Yes, its pace is slow and an episode leaves the viewer with some unanswered questions. But that's exactly the point. We're following in the same footsteps as Will Travers, the CIA analyst who seeks to uncover details behind a deep government conspiracy that killed his boss/father-in-law and led a multi-millionaire to suicide. Rather than revealing it all to the viewer while keeping characters in the dark, we end up feeling the same anxiety and uncertainty that Will battles every day. I like the fact that the show forces the viewer to take in every last detail of what you're watching and hearing, and just when you think you have a grip on someone's M.O., you're later proven wrong. Arliss Howard is outstanding as Kale Ingram, Will's manager and "guardian angel" with questionable loyalties...so much so that I'm hoping that his work is recognized during awards season. Those who are not familiar with 70's conspiracy/espionage thrillers like The Conversation, The Parallax View, All the President's Men or Three Days of the Condor won't grasp the inspiration or flow of the series. An outstanding ensemble of actors, sharp writing, interesting subplots, great character development and a thoughtful use of symbolism all add up to the most worthwhile TV that a viewer could possibly ask for. Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2010
    8
    So far, this has been "Four Episodes of the Condor". Deliberately ponderous in pacing, heavy on the paranoia and relatively subtle in theSo far, this has been "Four Episodes of the Condor". Deliberately ponderous in pacing, heavy on the paranoia and relatively subtle in the plotting, ie. on a network like Fox or ABC, they would get cancelled in the pitch meeting. They have a great actress like Miranda Richardson wondering aimlessly through an empty house for three episodes without almost any dialogue. You have to admire that. This is the 70s paranoia thriller made into series for the oppressed minority of people who like their drama slow, meticulous and oppressive, for the introverted OCD people who giggle with silent glee at the two minute essays about the best kinds of bags for carrying secret documents. On the flip side of the equation - young, dumb and ADD need not apply, which could ruin ratings. Full Review »