Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 346 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 346

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  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 SeattleThe 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. 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 everyOK 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
  3. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    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".
  4. Jun 9, 2013
    7
    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.
  5. Apr 3, 2012
    10
    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.
  6. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    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!!!
  7. Mar 26, 2012
    9
    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 shellAMC 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
  8. Apr 2, 2012
    10
    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 betweenThe 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
  9. Aug 5, 2013
    10
    Excellent series, beautiful filming, excellent story, very good balance between the protagonists. The performance of Peter Sarsgaard in the 3rd season is impressive.
  10. 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.
  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. Jun 7, 2011
    9
    @ Why_Not

    I don't think this is Plagiarism. The one element this show shares with Twin Peaks is that the events and characters revolve around the death of one young girl and the investigation to find it's killer, and that's all the two shows have in common. It may only be the second tv show in recent history to use this story mechanic but there have be many books and films that have
    @ Why_Not

    I don't think this is Plagiarism. The one element this show shares with Twin Peaks is that the events and characters revolve around the death of one young girl and the investigation to find it's killer, and that's all the two shows have in common. It may only be the second tv show in recent history to use this story mechanic but there have be many books and films that have revolved around the death of a young girl and the investigation to find her murderer, would you consider all of them plagiarists? No, of course not because to be plagiarists they would not only need to copy the general storyline they would also need to copy characters, and dialogue. The killing hasn't copied characters from Twin Peaks or dialogue.
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    I think a lot of the buzz about the show revolves around the overall presentation. The dark feeling, which some have been calling noir, certainly adds some impact to the material. Overall I like the show and I like it's pacing thus far. However I will say that the slow build up means that the audience will be expecting a big payoff at the end of the season which I hope the writers can deliver.
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  13. Aug 11, 2011
    9
    I loved The Killing. It is not good like the original Danish TV series, but it was worth-watching, gripping and excellent. The Killing is cold and dark, but in a good way.
  14. Sep 4, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I thought I might get some idea of where the story is heading by watching the Danish version -- NOT! While this may be (roughly) based on the Danish show, it has been redone so that this version is its own show. And, what a show. I love the flawed characters, especially Mirelle Enos. I was disappointed in the last show of the season's ending, but I suspect that was intended even though it may (like the Dexter show when his wife is killed) turn some off. Expand
  15. Sep 26, 2011
    10
    Just started in South Africa - only seen three episodes - great show different than the normal crime show. Slow paced but compelling, hope it contunues to be a good show.
  16. Oct 15, 2011
    10
    I love this show!!!! I read about it after the first season was almost over and saw the cast members and knew I just had to watch it. I watched all the missed episodes in marathon style since with this show there really isn't any other way. The cast is as amazing as i thought they would be and the storyline is excellently written and executed. I will say it was a tad slow going at first,I love this show!!!! I read about it after the first season was almost over and saw the cast members and knew I just had to watch it. I watched all the missed episodes in marathon style since with this show there really isn't any other way. The cast is as amazing as i thought they would be and the storyline is excellently written and executed. I will say it was a tad slow going at first, but only the first episode so that the viewers could get all the information needed to continue on. I wasn't sure at first if this was going to be a mini-series or a multiple episode series and I am glad for the latter. I have to say that it is a little ridiculous all the reviews that say how depressing the show is. It's call "The Killing"! Did you think it was going to be a cheerful uplifting comedy?!?!??? It is a depressing concept, but the show is not so much about the killing, but the apprehension of the killer. It is also about how this one event impacts the lives of people who haven't even met each other. Awesome, awesome show and I am sorry to those who gave up on it, you truly missed out on an excellent season. Expand
  17. Sep 8, 2013
    10
    I've seen all 3 series and campaigning for the 4th. Am a Dexter/Breaking Bad sort. This show is under-estimated, and under-marketed. The Killing is possibly the most realistic cop show on TV. I've seen reviews by real life cops who claim they watch this show for that reason. This show goes beyond realism however it draws you in, with surprises after surprises, slowly and surely. It goesI've seen all 3 series and campaigning for the 4th. Am a Dexter/Breaking Bad sort. This show is under-estimated, and under-marketed. The Killing is possibly the most realistic cop show on TV. I've seen reviews by real life cops who claim they watch this show for that reason. This show goes beyond realism however it draws you in, with surprises after surprises, slowly and surely. It goes beyond cop show cliches of the last decade, an amazing feat to pull off. Both lead characters were well-drawn by the writer and the actors. Enos is an amazing and courageous actress as Linda, possibly the sexiest deliberately-unsexy female cop ever. Kinnaman's Holden has depth, intensity, complexity and a unique brand of humor. The overall atmosphere is somber yet with tenderness. The story is well-paced and surprisingly caring about even the dead characters. The ending for Rosie series 1 & 2 promises surprises and satisfying enough resolution. Highly recommended for the discerning ones who're sick of cop genre cliches and cheap gores. Expand
  18. May 20, 2012
    10
    This show was pretty straightforward at first, and then had you guessing the rest of the time. The pacing was great, the acting was spot on, and the tone of the show matched the subject matter. I was glad that I could watch all of season 1 in one sitting. If I had to wait all week I would freak out. Just like Lost. I am totally looking forward to season 2.
  19. Jul 19, 2013
    9
    solid adaptation of a danish show. it uses the same red herring device of a murder investigation to invesigate the community its set in. a lot of great moments and incredibly well realised tone and world, but increasingly hampered by its need to use the plot to investigate the characters.

    the idea is in line with the wire, but the device and adaptive duty, holds the whole thing back a
    solid adaptation of a danish show. it uses the same red herring device of a murder investigation to invesigate the community its set in. a lot of great moments and incredibly well realised tone and world, but increasingly hampered by its need to use the plot to investigate the characters.

    the idea is in line with the wire, but the device and adaptive duty, holds the whole thing back a touch.

    even at its worst, its stll easily one of the best things on tv though.
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  20. Jan 10, 2014
    9
    I didn't know about this series until season 3 was about to air and the show had already been cancelled once. My wife and I decided to binge watch the first season, which turned into the first two seasons because of the way the plot spread out over the two seasons.

    Without a doubt, these two seasons were some of the best TV I've watched in a long time. They were emotionally touchy and
    I didn't know about this series until season 3 was about to air and the show had already been cancelled once. My wife and I decided to binge watch the first season, which turned into the first two seasons because of the way the plot spread out over the two seasons.

    Without a doubt, these two seasons were some of the best TV I've watched in a long time. They were emotionally touchy and somewhat emotionally draining because we were able to connect with the characters. I would highly recommend these seasons to anybody.

    The third season was not as good, but was still good TV. I'm saddened that it got cancelled again.
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  21. Jul 15, 2013
    10
    I love this show. Everything about it. It keeps my interest, it's suspenseful, the cast is great! I'm sad to see some of my peers are unhappy about this season. I hope they come back for another season!
  22. Jul 26, 2013
    10
    Great show! Atmospheric, intense, keeps you guessing, love the gloomy cinematography, reminiscent of seven/hannibal...the finale of the first storyline is heartbreaking, still shaking and i finished 3 days ago. 1/2way through season 3, just as good...missing billy campbell though!
  23. 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.
  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, heroThis 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. May 30, 2011
    10
    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.
  26. Jun 9, 2011
    10
    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.
  27. May 27, 2011
    8
    Not a fast pace, action packed show with special effects and life changing revelations -- BUT instead it touch the viewer at a much deeper level, as a parent I felt the pain, the suffering -- helplessness and anger .... even the previous user rating said, and i quote " ... absolutely no interest in suffering through the grief of Rosie's family" .. it just proofs that even if this is notNot a fast pace, action packed show with special effects and life changing revelations -- BUT instead it touch the viewer at a much deeper level, as a parent I felt the pain, the suffering -- helplessness and anger .... even the previous user rating said, and i quote " ... absolutely no interest in suffering through the grief of Rosie's family" .. it just proofs that even if this is not the kind of show for you -- that the director portray this deeply sad piece with excellence ... a detective story with a difference - a masterpiece :) Expand
  28. Jan 13, 2012
    8
    This show can be frustrating. Besides that, a very well crafted series.
  29. Jul 27, 2011
    1
    "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"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
  30. 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!
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.