• Network: A&E
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 15, 2009

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. The action often is energetic and intriguing but is sometimes brought down by Fimmel's uneven performance. The rest of the supporting cast acquits itself well, and Swayze manages to bring the words of scribes Vincent Angell and William L. Rotko to menacing life.
  2. While it follows the current cable pattern of taking dramas a little further than traditional broadcast shows, The Beast essentially serves up familiar cop fare.
  3. Certainly Swayze, as undercover FBI agent Charles Barker, is better than his material. If The Beast, which turns on the relationship between the experienced and not exactly by-the-book Barker and the young agent, Ellis Dove (Fimmel), he's supposed to be training, is more rooted than reality than, say, Fox's "24," it can't be by much.
  4. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Everybody already knows everything there is to know about this maverick make of stock figure and the ready-made tone of cop shows where all the barroom jukeboxes play only electric blues.
  5. 60
    Barker is written as the stereotypical rogue cop who crosses the line into illegality, but Swayze's presence is complex enough to add mystery and weight that aren't in the script....[but] take Swayze and his gravitas out of the picture, and The Beast is a mediocre series that would probably lurk on the cable TV lineup without much notice.
  6. Basically, it's a dumber version of "The Shield." Swayze's performance and the always-memorable Chicago locales are frequently undercut by dialogue that's clumsy and/or spells out things we can see for ourselves, and by model-turned-actor Fimmel, last seen on the WB's deservedly short-lived "Tarzan" remake.
  7. 60
    It’s this credibility that makes The Beast go. Even when the show trots out cliches (rainy nights, junkie informants and strippers, a pretty blond neighbor/love interest for Ellis [Rose, played by Lindsay Pulsipher]), Charlie is compelling, his many performances jaggedy and surprising, his rhythms weird, his sense of humor entertainingly bleak.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    It's pretty much impossible to describe The Beast without getting tangled in the underbrush of potboiler cliche....The good news, in fact, the wonderful news, is that Swayze really is good.
  9. We could be spending our time reading better hardboiled yarns from fresh tough-guy novelists like Charles S. Houston or Duane Swierczynski. In fact, I'd rather watch an hour of ?Swayze reading one of their tales aloud than sit through an episode of The Beast.
  10. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    The series does feature some solid performers in supporting roles, including Kevin J. O'Connor and "The Wire's" Larry Gilliard Jr., and the close of the second hour offers a modest tug to see where the story arc might be heading. The actual cops-and-robbers stuff, however, remains mundane at best.
  11. 50
    What The Beast most clearly has going for it is its main ingredient: Swayze....[Because] it's as though the writers don't trust their audience to understand what's going on or they don't trust their own ability to convey it. In either case, it's sloppy.
  12. 40
    The show is too glamorous for its own good; more realism and grit would help.
  13. Swayze, his face worn craggy by age and his battle with pancreatic cancer, remains a noble figure despite the ridiculousness that surrounds him. With the bearing and the mien of a man who is fighting for the survival of his own humanity, he clearly could have done much more with less.
  14. 40
    The characterizations in The Beast show very little imagination; as for the plots, haven’t we seen enough shows in which agents reveal their sterling natures by freeing Eastern European sex slaves?

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