Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Mar 31, 2011
    100
    What sets The Killing apart are its steady sense of dread, its dense atmospherics--that feeling that rain may at any moment pour from our sets--and its beautifully drawn characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Apr 1, 2011
    90
    The Killing is as bleak and oppressive as any, but it's so well told that it's almost heartening.
  3. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 30, 2011
    100
    A bleak, slow-moving, humorless show that is still so good that you will be angry every time an episode ends.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 4, 2011
    91
    This is no CBS crime procedural, and viewers deserve the chance to delve into this smart mystery for themselves.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Apr 1, 2011
    90
    The Killing quickly hooks you with its steadily unfolding story line. Created by Veena Sud, based on a Danish TV hit named "Forbrydelsen," the show draws you into the tragedy of the crime, and then makes you crave its solution.
  6. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Apr 4, 2011
    90
    The Killing is also the least prepossessing, an eerily quiet, yet compelling and complex, tale of the way the murder of a teenager affects the lives of many people.
  7. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 4, 2011
    90
    Even on the rare occasions when those shows [like CSI or Law & Order] tell stories involving the death of a child, they're almost never as raw, palpable and grim as The Killing, an engrossing, well-made drama series that viewers should embrace despite its tough subject matter.
  8. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    Apr 1, 2011
    88
    With their moody new mystery series The Killing, AMC clearly knows what's good for us.
  9. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Apr 1, 2011
    90
    What distinguishes this drama from countless mysteries about missing young women gone to terrifying deaths is the unrelenting focus, complex and haunting, on the family left behind. A riveting tale with a hunt for the killer that's no less compelling.
  10. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 31, 2011
    91
    The disparate detectives of The Killing may have their own means and methods of getting to the bottom of this. But the overall air of believability is palpable from the start. All the better for taking a deep breath and diving right in.
  11. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Mar 31, 2011
    91
    Smart new cop show that takes time to build, but will reward patience.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 30, 2011
    90
    The series is excellent, absorbing and addictive. When each episode ends, you long for the next--a hallmark of great dramas.
  13. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Mar 23, 2011
    83
    Some viewers may find The Killing a little too cold and deliberate, but give it time. Its intensity builds steadily, giving the series unexpected power.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 323 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 85
  2. Negative: 10 out of 85
  1. Apr 5, 2011
    10
    The critics have it right this time: "The Killing" is compelling television. Subtle and intricate without ever seeming slow, the series manages something rarely seen outside of Shakespeare: the sense of a single death having tainted an entire city, from the corridors of power to the hallways of the local high school, even the weather. Normally, I'm annoyed when the media depict Seattle as a place of hard rain, as its precipitation falls mostly as drizzle, but the torrents have a role to play in the series, not as pathetic fallacy, but as something apocalyptic, nature out of control and dangerous. As for more conventional role-playing, I can't cheer loudly enough about the casting, especially the two lead detectives. Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman give unusually raw, intelligent performances, demonstrating by contrast how used to bad acting we've become here in the US. Enos's senior detective, divided between longing for a gentler life and intimacy with violent death, serves as a master class in restraint, hinting at depths of understanding and compassion while maintaining the hard surface the job requires. Kinnaman's young gun is more brash, a badge-wearing bad boy emboldened by success working undercover narcotics and willing to cross ethical lines to solve cases. She's a little bit frumpy, and he's a little bit sleazy, which is brave and absolutely perfect. I'll admit, I don't see much of "Twin Peaks" here, outside the fact that the plot revolves around the body of a murdered girl in water. But "The Killing" lacks TP's quirky characters and fascination with the surreal, and its metaphysics are more "King Lear" than "The Lotus Sutra." The two series do have in common a respect for viewers' intelligence and for the artistic achievement possible in television when those involved are willing to take some real risks. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Full Review »
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    3
    This show didn't appeal to me. I watched the first half of the hour-and-a-half long pilot and I was bored. Some parts of it were thrilling but overall, it was simply too slow and too long to my taste. I feel like nothing happened in the 45 first minutes and I really wasn't caught up in the show. Under the pretense of realism and suspense, the show delivers boredom and depression. Don't watch it -- or if you do, you've been warned. Full Review »
  3. Apr 4, 2011
    10
    Scandinavian noir at its very best. Original and compelling the best TV since The Wire. The acting is excellent and the story twists and turns its way to its climax. Full Review »