Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    May 2, 2011
    80
    South Riding creates memorable characters, particularly Burton and Carne, and it's beautifully filmed.
  2. May 2, 2011
    80
    South Riding has everything you could want from a Masterpiece event: perfect period details, a forlornly gray surf, a swelling soundtrack, disputes over crunchy-gravel real estate, whistling trains and black-tie dinners in hotels, a believable and compelling story involving multiple characters and plots and a faithfulness to its original material that allows for a textured, even sorrowful, bleakness.
  3. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Apr 29, 2011
    80
    These are, in short, characters with a long literary-and Hollywood-pedigree. Which makes all the more impressive the vividness and mystery they bring to this series (adapted by Andrew Davies from a 1936 novel by Winifred Holtby)--thanks, needless to say, to extraordinarily seductive performances.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Apr 29, 2011
    70
    Mr. Davies appears to have struggled with the material...But his dialogue is as sharp as ever, and there are excellent scenes between Sarah and Mrs. Beddows (Penelope Wilton), her champion on the school board, and Sarah and Robert (David Morrissey), the conservative landowner she wins to her side (in more ways than one).
  5. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    May 2, 2011
    60
    For fans of the canon, South Riding is "Masterpiece" comfort food, enjoyable enough in the moment, but melting away to nothing but sugar and fat by morning.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Apr 28, 2011
    50
    As is, South Riding (named for its fictional community in Yorkshire) is a handsome production, but not an especially memorable one--conjuring only a few moments worthy of the "Masterpiece" pedigree before riding into the sunset.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Apr 26, 2011
    25
    If only Holtby and screenwriter Andrew Davies hadn't larded the story with so many cliches, not to mention people who seem like second-rate versions of characters created by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 6, 2011
    6
    For the most part, I liked it, but it was very much derivative of the Jane Eyre plot line, just updated a bit. After watching the 3 hours, I was disappointed with the ending, otherwise, I would have rated it higher. It seemed like that the outcome for each of the characters was shown in a sudden flash forward sequence, with only seconds for each one. Luckily, I have a DVR and could go back and check what had actually happened to each. Up until the end, I enjoyed the acting the dialogue and the characters quite a bit. Full Review »