Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 344 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on the Danish series, The Killing follows the investigation of the murder of a young girl named Rosie Larsen day by day.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Apr 1, 2011
    80
    There's considerable strength in the performances (Forbes and Sexton are especially good), while delivering a reminder how TV can tease out such a narrative in a way almost no other medium can.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Apr 4, 2011
    80
    If the premise is standard--an excellent cop is dragged back in, just when she's headed out, in this case, from the Northwest's renowned rain to California's sunshine--the details are insistently odd and creepy.
  7. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 1, 2011
    70
    So the atmosphere and central performances feel worthy of telling one story over 13 hours. My concern is whether the story can say the same.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 87
  2. Negative: 11 out of 87
  1. Jun 3, 2011
    10
    I love this show and can't get enough of it. I can't remember the last time I would watch a show and 45 minutes would literally fly by... II love this show and can't get enough of it. I can't remember the last time I would watch a show and 45 minutes would literally fly by... I get so sad when it comes to an end every week because I have to wait until the next Sunday. Beautifully written and shot, there better be a second season! Expand
  2. 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, MireilleIt'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! 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 seriesThe 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 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!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
  5. Apr 12, 2015
    8
    Definitely not a show for anyone who has been raised on quick fix murder mysteries.
    Not all TV has to be wham bang thank you, rinse and redo.
    Definitely not a show for anyone who has been raised on quick fix murder mysteries.
    Not all TV has to be wham bang thank you, rinse and redo.
    This is not pop-corn and cabbage-out viewing (which I do myself from time to time, just not all the time)

    This is not about solving the case but examining the personalities around it. It is less a crime drama more a psychological mystery; to a lesser extent a look at moral and political ambiguity and deceit.

    I understand why they cancelled as the format of the first two seasons would not work without the backdrop of the Mayoral elections allowing for the time frame and pressure.
    I did find the ending episodes disappointing and fudged in season 2.

    It is moody and intense, it seems Seattle (Vancouver filmed) is in a state of almost perpetual downpour. At times it can seem a bit overwhelming. It is not meant to be a procedural piece of work but an emotional one, so the techniques used by the detectives are inaccurate for today, but they do nothing that wasnt standard practice in some forces within living memory. The writers do indicate they are not ignorant of procedure but bypassing for effect, when villains ask for lawyers the detectives approach changes and interview room brutality stops.

    Overall I liked the series, but they should have dropped the format to 8/10 episodes per season. I had the feeling the producers had trouble striking through script writers ideas and tightening the flow of the story.
    Expand
  6. 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. TheThis 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
  7. 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
    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
    Expand

See all 87 User Reviews

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