The Prisoner

  • Network: AMC
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 15, 2009
User Score
3.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 81
  2. Negative: 48 out of 81

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 27, 2013
    4
    This six hour mini-series is said to be a 'reinterpretation' of the cult British show. Having not seen more than a few clips of the original I can't really make comparisons but there is very little to recommend here as the slow pace and overly complicated plot make for rather dull television.
  2. Dec 10, 2012
    0
    This is so bad it is hard to even bother write this, but the people who were thinking they were doing something better than the original really lost the plot, in more ways than one!

    I'm not going to waste time on detailed commentary except to say that they turned what is a paranoid exploration of the cold war period into some ersatz fantasy world for people just hate ambiguity. Not
    This is so bad it is hard to even bother write this, but the people who were thinking they were doing something better than the original really lost the plot, in more ways than one!

    I'm not going to waste time on detailed commentary except to say that they turned what is a paranoid exploration of the cold war period into some ersatz fantasy world for people just hate ambiguity.

    Not even 1 for trying.
    Expand
  3. Nov 20, 2011
    6
    it was strange for the sake of being strange, and mostly successful in drawing me in. sir ian made a great character and a great villian, but the show had no hope of being greenlighted for a second season due to the writing. it is unfortunate because it had a great cast and a strange affinity for making me feel empathetic for the ridiculous plights the main character found himself in. ifit was strange for the sake of being strange, and mostly successful in drawing me in. sir ian made a great character and a great villian, but the show had no hope of being greenlighted for a second season due to the writing. it is unfortunate because it had a great cast and a strange affinity for making me feel empathetic for the ridiculous plights the main character found himself in. if you liked the movie pleasantville you should give this show a try Collapse
  4. Aug 25, 2010
    0
    Absolute crap. Number 6 is rolling over in his grave.
    This has nothing to do with the original groundbreaking series. Please burn this film forever!

    Sorry Patrick!!
  5. JoeP
    Dec 30, 2009
    2
    When you sit down for 6 hours of something like this, you obviously do so knowing you're going to get something different. But with ENDLESS slow-motion shooting by the director used to AMPLIFY profound moments --- you would think he first read the script to see if THERE WERE ANY profound moments! Compelling portrait of command and control vs privacy and individuality?... no. When you sit down for 6 hours of something like this, you obviously do so knowing you're going to get something different. But with ENDLESS slow-motion shooting by the director used to AMPLIFY profound moments --- you would think he first read the script to see if THERE WERE ANY profound moments! Compelling portrait of command and control vs privacy and individuality?... no. Juxtaposition of simple life vs. complex noise and technology?.. no. Love story?.. no. Good vs evil?.. no. Boring, British crap. Expand
  6. TariJ
    Dec 30, 2009
    9
    I thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 and the last 2 episodes. The middle episodes were a little confusing and pointless but I was hooked and had to see it through till the end. I'm glad I did.
  7. AdamS
    Dec 9, 2009
    9
    I got hypnotized while watching it. Incredible atmosphere and very good acting makes it really worth watching.
  8. AlvinP
    Dec 6, 2009
    0
    I tried to watch this. I really did! But after the 1st show and part of the 2nd, I couldn't take it any more. There just wa not enough there to keep me interested. Might have worked out as a 2 hr movie maybe. And thats a rea BIG maybe. I love movies like this but this one was awfull.
  9. BobG
    Nov 24, 2009
    3
    Brilliant acting by Ian can not make up for absolutely awful camera work and a confusing, pointless plot. What, did that guy just get sucked in by a balloon?
  10. KevinH
    Nov 24, 2009
    4
    It could have been great. They had the actors to do it. Unfortunately it seemed this one was held back by a combination of the writing and directing. The first 2 episodes made you think it was something new, the next 3 made you want it to get over faster. The last ones explanation wasn't satisfying enough to make the last 3 episodes worth it. Oh well, maybe in another 40 years It could have been great. They had the actors to do it. Unfortunately it seemed this one was held back by a combination of the writing and directing. The first 2 episodes made you think it was something new, the next 3 made you want it to get over faster. The last ones explanation wasn't satisfying enough to make the last 3 episodes worth it. Oh well, maybe in another 40 years someone will do it right. Expand
  11. BrendaB
    Nov 22, 2009
    0
    Really a major, major disappointment. This could and should have been good. Instead it was stupid and incredibly confusing. Quite unnecessarily.
  12. viewerviewing
    Nov 22, 2009
    2
    The commercials were nice. The PalmPre girl. The Geico gecko. I don't know what all of that other stuff was. Something about a man running round aimlessly.
  13. MelindaS
    Nov 21, 2009
    4
    So disappointing. Even McKellen's performance failed to hold my interest.
  14. JaneWillDoIt
    Nov 21, 2009
    0
    Quite possibly the worst remake ever made. None of the intelligence, wit, or sparkle from the 1968 one were present in this trite remake. Everything is slip-shod : the writing is a pretentious joke ; the directing is amateurish ; the pacing is as slow as molasses. I fell asleep during the third hour ( but dragged myself through the rest ). Patrick McGoohan would never demean himself by Quite possibly the worst remake ever made. None of the intelligence, wit, or sparkle from the 1968 one were present in this trite remake. Everything is slip-shod : the writing is a pretentious joke ; the directing is amateurish ; the pacing is as slow as molasses. I fell asleep during the third hour ( but dragged myself through the rest ). Patrick McGoohan would never demean himself by presenting such tripe as this. Expand
  15. DanielV
    Nov 20, 2009
    2
    Dreadfully boring. Unlike the original, in the sense that all intrigue and charm has been removed.
  16. HennehnR
    Nov 20, 2009
    4
    Switching between time periods or reality and virtual reality was choppy and disorienting. The acting was good but the execution of the storytelling was a miserable disaster. By the third episode I began watching the show on Comcast On Demand. I fell asleep constantly by the 4th episode on through.
  17. AustinB
    Nov 20, 2009
    10
    Well-executed balance of complexity and drama. It's captivating and an excellent reference and re-imagining to the original.
  18. CraigW.
    Nov 19, 2009
    3
    Watching this was going to the dentist .
  19. ChrisJ.
    Nov 19, 2009
    2
    Pseudo-intellectual garbage with no meaning whatsoever. I only gave it a 2 because they had to build the village
  20. JasperP.
    Nov 18, 2009
    4
    A total insult to the original. The original was maddeningly surreal, with the village seeming almost to be a true city, whereas this remake just seems to scream "THIS IS A PRISON. YOU CANNOT ESCAPE. MWAHAHAHA!"
  21. Flytrap901
    Nov 18, 2009
    6
    Has no one here ever done too many very good mushrooms; coming away from the experience feeling profoundly enlightened from seeing themselves inside out yet strangely relieved when the experience was over. It is an experience that changes the way you think about many things afterward.
  22. BillyS
    Nov 18, 2009
    8
    Thought provoking in an oddly desolate way.
  23. JimC
    Nov 18, 2009
    2
    Should even have been called by the same title. A very poor story.
  24. AaronR
    Nov 18, 2009
    2
    Ian McKellan can be thanked for my not rating this lower. The plot was complete disjointed and, in the end, didn't make any sense. I think they could have gone in a great direction, but the editing really hurt the show. In addition, this did not need to be six hours long. I think three would have been good, and extra characters could have been cut (the brother story line? I Ian McKellan can be thanked for my not rating this lower. The plot was complete disjointed and, in the end, didn't make any sense. I think they could have gone in a great direction, but the editing really hurt the show. In addition, this did not need to be six hours long. I think three would have been good, and extra characters could have been cut (the brother story line? I don't know what that was about). In the end, it just helped reaffirm that James Caviezel doesn't need to act, ever, as his shifts from stone acting to watery blubbering to soap opera seriousness just left me with a migraine. Expand
  25. LaurenceH
    Nov 18, 2009
    2
    An opportunity to produce a modern-day classic out of the fertile ground of the original series has been completel wasted by the writers and editors of this series.
  26. MarleneM
    Nov 18, 2009
    3
    Ian McKellen is always watchable but that's just about the only good I can say about this remake. The original series still has its crown and I will have forgotten this remake as soon as I switch it off.
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. 40
    For the characters and for the viewers, the miniseries is a plodding excursion on the road to nowhere.
  2. 30
    This Prisoner remake contains some striking visuals and intermittently effective performances, especially from the typically magnetic McKellan, but it’s also frequently too choppy and elliptical to build up much suspense or dramatic impact.
  3. It's self-absorbed to the point of incoherence.