• Network: AMC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 3, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 290 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 290

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  1. Apr 11, 2011
    8
    No idea where the comparisons to Twin Peaks are coming from... but I thought this was a very well executed premiere. The title of the show is The Killing so I made the natural assumption that it would focus on a single murder and would take a deliberate pacing choice in revealing plot points. Ignore any baseless comparisons to Twin Peaks and take into consideration that this is a season long arc and I think you will be sucked into this atmospheric, well-acted, engrossing mystery. Expand
  2. Apr 15, 2011
    9
    After waiting for months to see at least one version of this European "sensation" I was treated to AMC's American version. So far it's great! I love edgy, gritty, film noir stories, and this one has it in spades. Witht the exception of Michelle Forbes most of the faces are either new or relatively "unknown." although my wife did recognize the main lead as a polygamist wife from "Big Love." This newness helps the series come off as a close copy of the original Danish series, minus the sub titles, which many Americans cannot abide. Filmed in "rainy" Vancouver to appear like "rainy" Seattle, the series slowly moves it's way giving ample time for characters to evolve, and the who dunnit to meander from potential supsect to potential suspect. Atmosphere is the meat, and dialog is the potatoes. I hope the dessert is just as good. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Apr 18, 2011
    9
    Simply amazing! AMC has struck gold with this riveting show. My wife and watched the premier and haven't looked back since. We are both completely absorbed into the characters, setting and mystery. It would truly be a shame to miss this expertly crafted and acted show. Do yourself favor, AMC is allowing you to watch the full 3 hours of the show without commercials on their website. Take advantage, this is one not to missed! Expand
  5. Jun 22, 2011
    4
    Painfully slow and depressing. I had high hopes for this with the recent string of great shows on AMC, but sadly came to the quick realization this isn't one of them. I have only watched 4 episodes and planned on watching more, but just couldn't continue when nothing ever happened. A whole season trying to solve one murder case. Are you kidding me? I had to delete the rest of the episodes off my DVR. Acting is decent, cinematography is average. You just don't care about the characters, especially Rosie, whom you never meet.

    I would rather give the original a chance, even if it's in subtitles. Once again this shows how out of touch most critics are with the rest of America.
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  6. Apr 8, 2011
    10
    Like other AMC ventures, this is a good show so far. I am not a huge fan of crime dramas, but I am a fan of good acting, and "The Killing" has plenty of that. The show is well cast - even the newly promoted homicide detective, played by Joel Kinnaman, seemed a believable sort. I mention him in particular because he does get quite a lot of face time, and his character seems the most out of his element compared to the rest of the characters introduced thus far. The cinematography is exceptional. The scenery, superb. I was a bit irked at the perceived use of emotion inducing imagery meant to stir up feelings in the viewer. This is fine in and of itself, but I found it to be a tad gratuitous. They're really trying hard to tug at those heart strings. Also, there are several slow-panning close up shots of Sarah Linden, played by Mireille Enos, that are reminiscent of a soap opera. This device was used to show how she was analyzing the crime scene or her surroundings, but I found myself shaking my head during those brief parts. Despite those small annoyances, all-in-all this is a good show, one worth giving a shot. Expand
  7. Jun 18, 2011
    6
    OK so this is a good show but THEY RIPPED OFF TWIN PEAKS and especially the first episode. I really like Holder in the show but Linden just has no personality that is attractive or alluring. At least Twin Peaks had a sense of humor and didn't take itself so seriously. Also, a casino? Really? She was an escort? Why not just call the casino One Eyed Jacks for Pete's sake. PS Does every politician have to whisper everything? UGH. Give TWIN PEAKS some due credit. Expand
  8. Jul 20, 2011
    10
    The pace is just so well done, that to some people it's "slow". These people who find this show "slow" are the same people that dislike shows like Breaking Bad. It's plot is good, and the character interaction is interesting. the season finale is excellent. I want to know who murdered Rosie Larson.
  9. Apr 7, 2011
    10
    Judging from the first two hours, this is going to be a very, very good series, and possibly one of the best on television. The acting, writing, and cinematography are all top-notch, and the story has the potential to be extremely engaging. It's going to be a slow burn, but, for me, that's part of the appeal. Oh, and bonus points for featuring what might be the most heart-wrenching moment I have ever seen in a television show. Expand
  10. Apr 5, 2011
    10
    AMC has themselves a three-headed monster. First Mad Men, then Breaking Bad, and now The Killing. Believe the hype! Now if season 4 of Breaking Bad would just hurry up and start.
  11. Jun 23, 2011
    9
    The killing has a great plot with only minor flaws. Some acting is mad, i hate Mrs. Larson's acting but its hard to predict whats going to happen next unlike other murder mystery shows. I give it a 9 just because there are minor flaws and some bad acting
  12. May 23, 2011
    10
    While the show starts off as a Twin Peaks knock off with a lot of Mireille Enos staring off into space, it quickly begins to carve out a niche of its own. In a world where TV Crime Dramas are dominated by brash and wise cracking cops, The Killing is a breath of fresh air. It's not a show about solving a murder, but rather and show about how one girl's murder impacts a city. It won't appeal to everyone (or even most people), but for those that it does work for it is fantastic. Expand
  13. Apr 6, 2011
    10
    A truly compelling show and I'll keep on watching. The rainy Northwest backdrop is perfect as this tale unfolds. Great acting and production values. And, as an aside, it's refreshing to see lead characters in gritty jobs who don't all look like they bounce out of bed at 4 am to spend the two hours or so necessary to putting on makeup and so forth. Characters are dressed for the part they are playing. Expand
  14. May 6, 2011
    7
    This is good television, not great television. Personally I liked Rubicon a lot more than this AMC show.
    Filmed in Canada with a mostly Canadian cast (just like The X Files) the acting is wonderful, the pacing is appropriate to the premise but some of the investigative plotting is questionable and weak. I am suspicious of the fact that they are encouraging viewers to be interactive in
    solving the crime. Do the producers even know who did it? Or is America going to decide? Is this Dancing With the Stars for crime drama buffs? Expand
  15. Jun 4, 2011
    7
    A nice show. Great acting, great direction, but scenario.. I'll call it "a bit more show". A bit slower then it might be. Guess Law&Order can make a one episode of all this. A bit more predictible then it might be. One suspect per episode with more then enough evidence. Kids were just making movies, someone was just writing letters, someones car was occasionaly stolen.. and they take one episode per suspect? They'll have to check all Seatle population in only a few seasons.. Expand
  16. Apr 18, 2011
    2
    I really wanted to like this. I watched the first 4 episodes and in the end it just came across as one piece of depressing, badly acted , TV detective series. I am sure there must be some mystery to the whole thing but i could not fathom having to endure any more damp depressive dialogue. Awful, Awful, Awful.
  17. Apr 4, 2011
    10
    It's an excellent crime drama, bending the genre and beautifully filmed. The performances are also very good, with Billy Campbell, Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman delivering stellar performances. If you want to see something very different from a standard crime show, then you should see this show!
  18. Apr 4, 2011
    1
    Apparently I missed the critics Koolaid party. I am a Twin Peaks fan, but this series first show borders on "a waste of time" or "horrendous first date" - the next episode will determine if it is permanently removed from my DVR list. It could have (and should have) been condensed to 45 minutes simply by deleting the "gazing into the mist" scenes. It feels like "Fargo" yearning to be "Twin Peaks" with a subplot from "Homicide/Life on the Streets" without benefit of Richard Belzer. I could not wait for the show to end - Somehow I don't think that counts that as a plus! Expand
  19. 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.
  20. May 17, 2011
    10
    This show is just amazing. It features one of the best put together cast in recent times. Most of the actors are unknown; but boy can they act! Especially the young actors (Arya and Bran for example), they do a terrific job of playing their roles.
    As the show goes on you sympathize with their characters, you feel what they are going through. The show is full of deceit, backstabbing,
    violence, outstanding dialogues, intriguing characters and much more. I would even go as far as putting this show up with the likes of The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood and the Shield. It's by far one of the best shows in recent times.

    Of course this show won't appeal to everyone. If you're not into the genre then there's a chance you will not enjoy all other amazing aspects of Game of Thrones.

    A special note should go to the performances of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). Especially the Imp :). He plays his character with so much wit and style that he even outclasses Sean Bean. He's by far the best actor in this series.
    He owns every scene he is in.

    There is however one thing that I dislike about the show and that's King Robert (Mark Addy). I'm sorry but he's the weakest link here.
    Other than that, there's not much to dislike about Game of Thrones.
    I'm always a little sad that I have to wait another week for the next episode! haha.

    oh and I like this show so much that I even went ahead and ordered the books :)
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  21. Apr 7, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The more I think about this show, the more I think of flaws - but, I've rated the first two episodes with an "8", so I'm still feeling pretty positive. But in the spirit of playing, "Devil's Advocate", I'll mention some of what I didn't like. The ongoing campaign, complete with campaign staff for the City Council President, (I've already forgotten his name) - seemed like a distraction. If they spend too much time on the intrigue within his office, and his ongoing affair with Miss "why is there a blonde on every show on television" - it could be a turn-off. Also, I really don't like Billy Campbell. How can he and Bruce Campbell be related? I don't like kids on TV programs; they can become cloying, and Rosie's two little brothers were no exception. Hope they fade into the background real soon. The incessant rain also drove me a bit crazy - I just don't like rain. But the investigation into the murder of Rosie Larsen could overtake all of the annoyances. I hope this is the primary focus, and that the male replacement for the female lead detective becomes a fully fleshed out character. I liked that he discovered an extremely important bit of evidence on his own. Wasn't Mireille Enos' character supposed to be moving and getting married? Can she be sure to take her son with her? This can be another great AMC original, or it could become Rubicon. Obviously, I'm rooting for the former. Expand
  22. Apr 10, 2011
    5
    Can't believe Tanseytoes (also can't believe that name) and I are the only ones who feel this series is remarkably derivative of David Lynch's Twin Peaks. The setting (Pacific Northwest), the elements (incessant dampness & rain) the music (ominous, florid, repetitive) and the premise (an already dead character) are Twin Peaks all over again. When does the log lady show up? The killing is a reasonably engaging series, but Lynch should be getting residuals. Expand
  23. Apr 12, 2011
    6
    This is well polished television. As is expected from AMC by now, the show is beautifully produced. The cinematography is gorgeous. The soundtrack broods and creates a terrificly foreboding atmosphere.The acting is superb, for the most part. It is edited, almost, to perfection. The script is, generally, enthralling. For the most part, almost and generally are telling signs of television show that could have been so much more. The actors have not established a workable chemistry yet. I count on this for a new TV series. However, when you bring together characters that don't integrate with each other well, with scenes that linger for far to long and dialog that is pretty much just absurd, then you get a television series that tests the nerves. Expand
  24. Apr 16, 2011
    9
    This is as close to Twin Peaks as Mad Men is to Bewitched. Don't get me wrong I love Twin Peaks but it had it's limits. The surrealism which endeared so many was eventually it's downfall as it seemed that the writers didn't know what to do with it in the end. The Killing is about stripping a story to its bare bones. Where too many procedural's are on the nose with gory murder details, hero cop posturing and comically insane plot twists, The Killing respects it's audience by not ramming the horror of it all down your throat, devoid of the usual cops show fanfare the show is is harrowing in it's sparseness. There is some excellent acting on display, the understated portrayal of the bereaving family is powerful, their anguish is palpable without being gratuitous or overly intrusive, the investigating detectives are intriguingly intense and truly believable, especially Mireille Enos, who must be using all of four muscles in her face but is wonderfully expressive as the highly dedicated and intuitive Detective Linden. As you would expect from the makers of Mad Men the cinematography is excellent, the action is allowed unfold very naturally, close ups are used sparingly and little of the camera work feels forced or stage. Excellent use of the rain to build atmosphere which acts like a drumbeat never at the fore but always there to remind you an impending crescendo. After only three show it's easily one of the best things to watch on TV hopefully the story arc will maintain itself throughout the season Expand
  25. Apr 22, 2011
    9
    Moody and atmospheric, with some pretty stellar acting, 'The Killing' has an air of melancholy about it that reminds me a lot of the video game, "Hard Rain." Has joined my list of Must-See TV.
  26. Apr 27, 2011
    9
    The Killing retains some of the atmosphere of the original Danish series which sets it apart from the other procedurals out there. Dark and chilly, and with a glyphic central character, it takes a while to draw you in but has the makings of a compelling slow burner.
  27. 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. Expand
  28. May 4, 2011
    5
    Sorry to say i didnt find this show that great, not exactly aweful, just not my cup of tea i guess
  29. Jun 21, 2011
    5
    As a »Six feet under« and »Dexter« fan, I really liked the style of this show. Yes, it's slow, but I prefer a TV Show that focuses on the people and their emotions and problems rather than simply show cold unrealistic action.
    That being said, this show is not good. The characters aren't really believable. Every episode ends with the worst
    and cheapest kind of cliffhangers, and you have the feeling that this show will, never, ever get you somewhere.
    Really sad, since I think it had potential. The season final proved that this show is definitely no longer watch-worthy.
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  30. Apr 27, 2011
    0
    I gave this show 0 (zero) cos it's plagiarism of Twin Peaks.

    Ok my taste is bad, but so as this show is. I'm not offended by those who say it's great show and that i have no taste since this i don't like, cos they have no arguments, just empty words :You are a looser, Troll or whatever. Plus this Laura Palmer is ugly. I don't know why here is so many posts defending this show, i guess
    they are paid by producers or company AMC that show this series. This already exist in China and their name is "50 cents commentators". Clearly this is plagiarism and it's not debatable, it's fact that any one that sees TP know what this is, so you who defend this TV show you need to defend for couple months more cos it has only one season. Till sponsors and ADs need mass viewers and show us their products that we "desperately" need to buy. Well i wouldn't buy anything that advertise on this show.

    This show is lame, without excitement, good music or any acting. It will be ended soon, don't worry. It's too stupid even for America's TV. I watched 3 episodes and i'm not amused not for a second. I have do admit, second season of TP is lame and pointless too. But 1st season is what will last forever, and of course OST.

    Long live Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch
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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: Glenn Garvin
    Apr 7, 2011
    80
    Sharply contrasting with the florid Borgias is AMC's emotionally spare and atmospherically dank series The Killing.
  2. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Apr 5, 2011
    80
    In the suspenseful early hours of The Killing, Rosie's family goes about its bereavement in muted tones, and a subplot about a mayoral candidate drawn into the crime's eccentric orbit flashes with potential, and, primarily, our expectations for cop shows are teased, gratified, and artfully upended.
  3. 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.