• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2008
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 20
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 80
    Stunning opening suggests the potential. It's Baker's show, and he excels. But guest stars impress, too.
  2. 80
    In its solidly crafted premiere, the CBS drama demonstrates admirable restraint while still telling a reasonably interesting story.
  3. Psychological sleight of hand can't fill an hour every week. For that you need complicated, interesting crimes and complicated, interesting characters solving them. The Mentalist seems prepared to deliver just that.
  4. This role is tailor-made for Baker, who has a flair for playing irreverent characters who are crucial to the success of the system even as they tweak its authority figures.
  5. The Mentalist is safe, predictable, manufactured crime drama … and it works.
  6. The tricks he performs are overshadowed by the glee with which Baker performs them. Like any good grifter, he gets a genuine thrill out of entertaining, manipulating, or confusing people.
  7. 75
    The Mentalist may be a copy, but it's a well-done copy sparked by an actor who has come into his own as a TV star.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    75
    The formula--must find murderer of beautiful woman before last commercial break--predates the dinosaurs, but also incorporates some satisfying twists.
  9. 70
    Because as much as Baker's suavely sly version of a gotcha artist is a welcome addition, thanks to a few not-so-hidden laws of character-actor placement, you'll guess the pilot scenario's killer before anybody else.
  10. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
  11. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    70
    Its detective plots are cozily formulaic, its defining twist cheerfully preposterous. As cop-show comfort food, it's a kind of California fusion cooked up to appeal to people fed up with techno-beat lab scenes.
  12. Its semi-psychic hero is intriguing enough and confident enough--not everybody can sneak a hypnosis-inducing trance into an exchange with a reluctant witness as deftly as he can--to bring viewers under his spell.
  13. 70
    Baker and his wily line readings and intimidatingly sly stares can snap the show out of occasional stupors.
  14. 70
    The CBS show has very little dramatic heft or distinction, but it's wily and brisk enough to engage you for an hour.
  15. The Mentalist is anything but irksome, proving once again that watchable television isn't so much about originality--if something hasn't been done before, there might be a reason--as it is about execution.
  16. It's not groundbreaking TV, but the pilot does a good job of introducing the characters, their relationships, their potential relationships.
  17. 60
    The results are satisfying, and suspenseful, yes, but also a little bit stupid and predictable, too.
  18. Baker has an unforced masculinity that allows him to play likable bastards like this, and with the other regular characters (played by Robin Tunney, Owain Yeoman, Tim Kang and Amanda Righetti) so far ciphers at best, he's able to carry the show by his lonesome.
  19. 50
    Too many serial killers threaten to overwhelm The Mentalist, whose charismatic lead character can stand on his own, if the show's producers would only realize that murders committed singly can be just as interesting as serial murders, and just as difficult to solve, too
  20. There's an old-school feel to the storytelling (shades of "Columbo") that makes it feel comfortable--perhaps too comfortable, or at least too easy.
  21. 50
    Patrick dramatizes his sense of superiority, intimidating and irritating just about anyone who comes in contact with him....The Mentalist does offer its own charms, chief among them Baker’s low-key, apparently complicated sarcasm.
  22. Smart guys from the outskirts of society have been solving tough cases entertainingly at least as long as Sherlock Holmes. The Mentalist simply presents another, along with no compelling reason either to tune in or turn off.
  23. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Baker does possess a certain roguish charm, and writer Bruno Heller ("Rome") and pilot-directing guru David Nutter mine that--as well as the central character's slightly menacing backstory--to try and invest the series with a bit of depth, mostly to little avail.
  24. 50
    As the lead, Simon Baker is too one-note smirky for me.
  25. 40
    The smirky cynicism, savage mockery of New Age verities and prickly atheism of its lead character could have made The Mentalist fascinating (if not altogether pleasant) viewing. Instead, it turns down the same formulaic path as CBS' other police procedurals, a sort of CSI-with-a-fake-crystal-ball.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 183 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 45
  2. Negative: 5 out of 45
  1. Jul 15, 2012
    0
    The lead guy sucks so right off the bat thats a recipe for sestruction! Not to mention IT'S A COMPLETE KNOCKOFF OF PSYCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2014
    10
    absolutely love this show. if you think its a ripoff of psych then im glad they ripped it off because psych was only an ok show. Some of the acting can be improved but Simon Baker makes the show. Full Review »
  3. Sep 24, 2013
    10
    Intelligent, brilliantly made show. Season 6 will arrive soon which in my opinion will definitely be a game changer. For now at least, from season 1 all the way to the end of season 5, the story has really caught on, and finding the killer Red John, while watching the charismatic Patrick Jane solve crimes really make things tick. I think for the average viewer who takes a glance over the whole show watching an episode here, another here, etc etc and admittedly 5 seasons isn't short considering we are only just getting to the significant breakthrough to finding the antagonist) these viewers will find the story to be scarce in depth and development. Because to understand the incredible emotional trauma that you get by experiencing things inside the mind of Patrick Jane from watching things start to current finish, you understand how in depth and sophisticated the plot is. For this reason, I honestly doubt there is consistency and cogency within the reviews found on here. Although I have no idea how much people have delved into the story, or analysed plots or even managed the long haul to the end of the current season 5, because it feels some of the reviews aren't true and concise. Anyway, back to the original insight; season 6 will be a game changer for this show. If Bruno Heller can pull it off and smack down the greatest season yet, which is perhaps the final chapter, and really perfect the ending of a fantastic narrative, the Mentalist could become the best TV crime show. That's how good it is.

    So far its a generous 10, but the story ain't finished yet, how they say it down south. And its like starting a book and getting to the final 100 pages, you can't judge something that hasn't concluded or wrapped up. We'll have to wait and see.
    Full Review »