The Honorable Woman : Season 1

Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jul 31, 2014
    100
    This demanding and deliberately paced thriller (written and directed with ruthless intelligence by Hugo Blick) stands apart and above the glut of original programming. With its urgently compelling mysteries and shocking reveals, it's the equal of last summer's brilliant Broadchurch.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jul 31, 2014
    100
    Whatever your viewing regimen, Honorable Woman is highly recommended for its distinctive approach, bravura performances, overall digestibility and, yes, degree of difficulty.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 28, 2014
    100
    The miniseries weaves a spectacularly well-constructed story--intricate, dense, demanding and rewarding--about loyalty, deception, forgiveness and revenge.
  4. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Jul 31, 2014
    91
    The series is ambitious and shaggy--those two go hand-in-hand--but despite its blurry spots, The Honorable Woman is hard not to watch all the way through. The story sucks viewers in farther and farther down a rabbit hole that does not end.
  5. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jul 17, 2014
    91
    The Honorable Woman is a slow-building but gripping story, regardless of where you stand on Mideast politics; Gyllenhaal delivers a remarkably measured and moving performance.
  6. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jul 30, 2014
    90
    While there are some deeply disturbing images, The Honorable Woman is an astute, sensitive and at times delicate psychological drama that is evenhanded in the nonincendiary sense of the word: No side is entirely to blame, and there are villains, innocent victims and foolish dupes on both sides.
  7. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Aug 1, 2014
    83
    The Honorable Woman is really a thriller and, at its best, it's on a level with something like "Homeland" at its best.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jul 31, 2014
    83
    A beauty that requires time and patience, but at least strongly hints at a payoff that will reward both.
  9. Reviewed by: Ray Rahman
    Jul 18, 2014
    83
    We can confirm that it boasts a string of crackerjack performances from the likes of Stephen Rea as a hangdog spy, Janet McTeer as his spook boss, Lubna Azabal as the housekeeper of Nessa's brother (Andrew Buchan), and Gyllenhaal herself. [25 Jul/1 Aug 2014, p.105]
  10. 80
    All in all, this is an impressive piece of work, absorbing provided that you're willing to meet it on its own storytelling terms.
  11. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    A smart, deliberately paced, closed-ended miniseries.
  12. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    The Honorable Woman" doesn't give itself away easily--I was well into the eight episodes before a few things began to be clearer--but Blick uses his other characters so effectively that the wait doesn't seem wasted.
  13. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    The almost contemplative tone of the piece makes the suspenseful moments jump off the screen. But the pace, which is decidedly deliberate to begin with, slows about halfway through, as the political becomes deeply personal.
  14. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    The Honorable Woman is in many ways, most of them cerebral, an extremely impressive piece of work.
  15. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    What works about The Honorable Woman is how well its particular story and larger themes echo each other: trust and mistrust, hope and disappointment, resentment and revenge, repeating for generations.
  16. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jul 30, 2014
    80
    Writer/director Hugo Blick skillfully walks the hairline between a well-paced adventure thriller and a psychological study that gives us enough time to appreciate the nuances of the character we're watching.
  17. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Jul 29, 2014
    80
    This often-brilliant thriller is doing what great political thrillers do--commenting on the real world while also presenting an escapist one for us to leave it behind. It’s also perfectly in line with the smart, adult, well-made programming Sundance has been delivering of late.
  18. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jul 25, 2014
    80
    The series couldn't have arrived at a more timely moment for such subject matter, but there's no point looking for even-handedness or a lack thereof in a work that offers only--give or take a caustic political observation or two--exhilarating drama.
  19. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    The Honorable Woman is intriguing from the start, but almost in spite of itself, as everyone seems to have a dark secret and nothing is what it seems.
  20. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jul 30, 2014
    75
    Although Blick's structural concept skirts close to mannered gimmickry, it also makes artistic sense. We are slowly but unavoidably drawn into the ever thickening mire of secrets, lies and shifting allegiances in both the lives of the characters and, of course, in the constant strife in the Middle East.
  21. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Jul 28, 2014
    75
    Creator Hugo Blick, who wrote and directed every episode, displays a knack for precisely parceling out bafflingly vague innuendos with the occasional nugget of undiluted exposition that comes as a sweet relief, not just for the viewer, but for the characters who are often as clueless as we are.
  22. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Jul 25, 2014
    75
    The Middle East lends itself to intrigues, backstabbings, frontstabbings and long-term vendettas like few other places, and writer-director Hugo Blick lets his puzzle pieces assemble with slow, deliberate power and more than a few surprises.
  23. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jul 30, 2014
    70
    The Honorable Woman is great, in the most traditional sense of the word, which makes its flaws all the more frustrating. The first three episodes are often overwhelmed by soundtrack and studded with near-still-life shots meant, apparently, to offset the shootouts and establish the High Art factor of the series.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jul 29, 2014
    60
    The Honorable Woman certainly doesn’t evoke any enmity. The problem, rather, is that it doesn’t provide enough thrills or momentum to completely reward the viewing commitment of its friends.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. Sep 15, 2014
    0
    Boring. That's the best word to describe this show. There's not much going on except a personal secret s involving the two main characters whoBoring. That's the best word to describe this show. There's not much going on except a personal secret s involving the two main characters who are siblings. If you want to watch a show about cheating, affairs, lies, and illegitimate children that moves at a snails pace, here's your show. I made it through 6 hour long episodes of which there were probably 20 minutes worth of watchable material in total. Won't be surprised to see it cancelled. Full Review »
  2. Oct 13, 2014
    10
    This is the type of show DVD collections were made for. And also for PVR'ing. Languid yet lush cinematography where nearly almost every sceneThis is the type of show DVD collections were made for. And also for PVR'ing. Languid yet lush cinematography where nearly almost every scene is bathed in a type of eerie silence that seems coiled to burst with violence at almost any time. Dangerous relationships, secret passions and the unraveling of a mystery is perfect for "power watching" on DVD. In fact, recording is recommended as the tension is taut, and you may want to watch a scene over again as a single inaudible word might be the difference in following the plot portents or losing it. Plus some parts just demand to be seen again, with excellent camera work, luxurious lighting and dramatic scenery and flawed characters with secrets to maintain while trying to 'keep it all together' in the midst of crisis and remaining warm and human meaning they come across as human and real. One gets the feeling one is in the middle of a feature length film by the time the ending of each episode arrives with a crashing cymbal sound inducing halt. Enough to stoke you for the next episode. It is a very well done series. Original, mysterious and sexy. TV never had it so good until 'The Honorable Woman' arrived on scene. Full Review »
  3. Sep 10, 2014
    10
    By far my favorite show -- mini series, excuse me -- this season. Thoughtful, dense, complex plotting, fabulous acting, thoroughly enjoyable.By far my favorite show -- mini series, excuse me -- this season. Thoughtful, dense, complex plotting, fabulous acting, thoroughly enjoyable. Best thing on TV at the moment. Full Review »