Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 10, 2012
    80
    O'Dowd and Garai are fascinating as they make their characters grow in opposite directions--he more steely, she more compassionate--over the course of the show.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 10, 2012
    80
    It's also a pungent, harrowing and thoroughly captivating entertainment, a welcome reminder of the power of the classic miniseries, which the networks have shunned for far too long.
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 10, 2012
    80
    There are a few revelations in this rich adaptation, concisely written for the screen by Lucinda Coxon.
  4. 80
    Britain's BBC2 and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon have captured the feverish tone and most fascinating storylines of Faber's book in a miniseries making its U.S. debut.
  5. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Sep 7, 2012
    80
    Set in 1870s London, the tightly focused story of manipulative men, trapped women, an inappropriate, even abusive doctor, plus diary entries containing dreams of escape adds up to an inviting, rather highbrow wallow.
  6. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 10, 2012
    75
    What truly makes the miniseries, though, are the performances in general and that of Garai in particular. The entire story and theme turn not only on contrasts but also on character evolution, which demands precision and nuance from the cast.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Sep 10, 2012
    60
    Crimson Petal could lose an hour without sacrificing a single scene or word of dialogue, and it would still seem slow and moody.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Sep 10, 2012
    50
    The show does a creditable job of cataloging the novel's themes, but it has more trouble capturing the story's Victorian-style sweep and texture.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 7, 2012
    50
    So while The Crimson Petal is tough, grim and explicit--and by the last measure provocative, at least relative to those accustomed to Dickens or Austen--the production finally feels unworthy of its length or leading lady.
  10. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Sep 7, 2012
    40
    Amid memorable villains, Dickens always gave us someone to like and root for. It's hard to find anyone to cheer on here.
  11. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 7, 2012
    40
    Frankly, it's avant-garde to the point of feeling overwrought and pretentious.

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