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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 290 Ratings

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

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  1. Apr 5, 2011
    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
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    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
  3. Apr 4, 2011
    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! Collapse
  4. Apr 4, 2011
    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.
  5. Jul 27, 2011
    "The Killing" is proof positive that critics need to analyze the entirety of a season, or do follow-ups to their first impressions, before declaring something good or bad. Like them, I would have given this show a 9 or 10, had I only, again like them, seen the first couple episodes and were writing this review in April. Fortunately, I have the benefit of time and watching the full season and can accurately compare this show to going around a roundabout for 13 weeks and not taking off down ANY of the roads leading out of it. Shoddy detective work, shoddy story telling and that godawful last episode really hammer home how poor a series this is. They strung the audience along on the moodiness of Seattle and stellar cast, in an elaborate cover-up of second-rate story construction. AMC prematurely greenlighted this for Season 2. Good riddance. It should go the way of "Rubicon" -- another series of slow build, small payoff. Expand
  6. Apr 18, 2011
    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.
  7. Apr 4, 2011
    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!
  8. Apr 10, 2011
    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
  9. Apr 16, 2011
    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
  10. Apr 27, 2011
    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
  11. May 18, 2011
    I've been watching this series from the beginning. "The Killing" just goes on and on and on .... are the detectives never going to solve this case? I have absolutely no interest in suffering through the grief of Rosie's family and the politician's story is just as dull.
    I want the story to stay with the two--interesting--detectives. Hurry up!
  12. Jun 21, 2011
    How funny to see the Critics give this the highest score this season, one of the worst shows out there. Thank God I stopped watching after episode 2 and didn't have to bare witness to the turd they but out as their final episode. I feel sorry for the people that watched them all this year.
  13. May 30, 2011
    Easily the best show on TV at the moment... the characters are so well drawn and the acting and production is nothing less than masterful. I am always sad to see each episode end.
  14. May 30, 2011
    What a shame. The first two episodes were great, and then the show took an olympic nosedive. Nothing. Ever. Happens. "The Killing"? More like, "The Grieving" or "The Raining." The show is an hour long. In that hour, we get 40 minutes of Rosie's family mourning their daughter's death (who we never meet, by the way, so why should we even care about her?) 15 minutes of the mayor storyline (more on that later) and 5 minutes of actual, you know, mystery solving. And throughout this time, it never stops raining. According to "The Killing's" writer's, Seattle has only one type of weather: gloomy and wet. The Killing should have been 5 episodes long, not thirteen, since it's painfully obvious that they're using the grieving and mayoral aspects as filler. In what little time we spend with the detectives, they make little to no progress. I'm starting to suspect that even the writers don't know who killed Rosie, so they distract us with shots of the Larsen family staring out into space or having dinner in silence, or with the mayoral race. Fun fact: NO ONE CARES ABOUT MAYORAL RACES. In this show, they treat it like a presidential election. Excuse me, this show is called "The Killing," not "The Campaigning." I'm only giving this a 1 because of Linden's partner, the narc. He's the only good part of the show. Expand
  15. Jun 9, 2011
    The critics are right: this one is phenomenal. The pacing, the acting, the story, the music--all of it is top-notch. Dark, moody, intense, and truly entertaining.
  16. Jun 20, 2011
    I have "stuck with it" the entire season. Like watching wet paint dry sloooowwwwly !! The final episode last night convinced me that I will not be a returning viewer next season. Too slow, too long, boring, depressing ... even "real life" doesn't move this slow. This series doesn't even approach Twin Peaks. Boring, Boring, Boring ... I gave it a score of 1 because there weren't any lower choices (-12)!! Expand
  17. Jun 20, 2011
    I watched the entire series and could not wait for each upcoming episode. And the season finale was just the best icing on any cake. Way to finish it. I can't wait for it's return. Yes there is a lot of raining. Yes it's very dark. Yes it's not C.S.I. and it's paced very slowly. It's more like Mystic River in it's plotting. It's extremely depressing at moments. But it's emotionally thorough. It's smart too. The police work seems to me what an exhausting mysterious case would be for a dedicated detective. And I felt compassion for her trying to be a parent and be a dedicated detective. I can understand where people are not interested. It's not just quick resolutions every Night. It's an emotional roller coaster and at times gut-wrenching and challenging. It's everything I would choose over Hawaii-50, C.S.I. or any standard television. I'll be back for sure. Expand
  18. Jun 20, 2011
    Likely to be remembered, ex post facto, as one of the best TV crime dramas ever created - this show is almost cinematic in nature; a great mix of developed characters, intrigue with its narrative and supported by a high quality troupe of actors. Season 1 was simply phenomenal.
  19. Mar 25, 2012
    Amazing show. acting is incredible (with a couple of exceptions). Texture, tension & suspense is internally based and yet so palpable it's uncomfortable at times (in a dramatically good way). It does have somewhat of a similar feel to Rubicon (which I was disappointed they canceled) but with more character development and personal narrative. Extremely compelling "page turner".
  20. Jun 9, 2013
    I stopped watching after the pilot and picked it up when season 3 started. I am glad that I did because it's a rather good show and pretty enjoyable to watch.
  21. Apr 3, 2012
    Frustratingly compelling mystery. Like that long-winded author whose book you just can't put down. Would give it a 9.5, but it's worth rounding up. Superbly acted and very well thought out. It's Breaking Bad for the mystery lovers.
  22. Aug 1, 2012
    This has so far been my all time favorite television show. I honestly think this is better than Lost and Breaking Bad, which or two of my favorite and most critically-acclaimed shows. The Killing is the most suspenseful show I have ever watched, It has produced bigger thrills not even films have given me.BEST SHOW EVER!!!
  23. Mar 26, 2012
    AMC has been crafting beautiful original series' since 2007, and this is no exception. The quiet moments and the darkness define almost all of their dramas, but they are always in original ways. Don Draper staring at trains go by in the darkness, Walter White lighting matches and throwing them into his pool at dawn, Rick Grimes calling Morgan on the radio, and Sarah Linden's hard shell deteriorating watching Stan Larsen scream in anguish, these people know how to hire the people to do a show right. The Killing burns slow, extending every last agonizing detail to the extreme, which brings the acting to the forefront and tests the writers' abilities to capture a moment in someone you'd never be able to see in real life. This is masterful television at its best. Expand
  24. Apr 2, 2012
    The Killing has become my absolute favorite show of all time. I cannot get over its depth and precision. I'm in awe of this series and am grateful for the wonderfully talented actors who bring it to life. I just recently discovered the show a few days before the season two premiere, and I watched the first season in two days. I wish I could watch season two in this way -- waiting between episodes is aggravating to say the very least. Bravo to all who are involved in this series, and I cannot wait for more! Expand
  25. Aug 5, 2013
    Excellent series, beautiful filming, excellent story, very good balance between the protagonists. The performance of Peter Sarsgaard in the 3rd season is impressive.
  26. Apr 11, 2011
    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
  27. Apr 15, 2011
    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
  28. Apr 18, 2011
    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
  29. Apr 8, 2011
    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
  30. Jun 18, 2011
    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

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
    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
    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
    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.