• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 2, 2002
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Metascore
98

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    It's better than ever. [David] Simon has always been good, but he seems to have truly matured this year as both a writer ... and executive producer. No one is making richer television drama than he is right now. [18 Sep 2004]
  2. Reviewed by: Sid Smith
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    Dense, richly layered, packed with dozens of colorful characters (enough for four series), "The Wire" unfolds as a sophisticated, sometimes impenetrable and always ultra-gritty documentary. But it pays off after meticulous, devoted viewing, delivering rewards not unlike those won by readers who conquer Joyce, Faulkner or Henry James. [18 Sep 2004]
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    If you do that rare TV thing of actually paying close attention, HBO's complex, richly detailed crime drama will sweep you away like a fine novel. [17 Sep 2004]
  4. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    The best drama on television. [18 Sep 2004]
  5. Reviewed by: Noel Holston
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    If there were an Emmy for most great moments per hour, "The Wire" would deserve it. [17 Sep 2004]
  6. Reviewed by: Tony Norman
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    There hasn't been a television drama as good as "The Wire" since the equally ignored "Homicide: Life on the Street" held down the bottom rungs of the Nielsen ratings a decade ago. [17 Sep 2004]
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    This is a series that goes beyond critical darling. "The Wire" is better than its own hype. If you don't watch the show, it's your fault, your loss.
  8. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    Those along for the ride since the beginning have rightly come to savor this as one of TV's premier hours --- a meticulously written, superbly acted program that demands undivided attention. [16 Sep 2004]
  9. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 18, 2013
    100
    It's TV's richest, most satisfying experience.
  10. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Jul 18, 2013
    90
    'The Wire' has become one of the smartest, most ambitious shows on television. With its attention to detail and its shifting points of view -- we spend equal time inside the heads of cops and criminals -- it is also one of the most novelistic, now more than ever before. [19 Sep 2004]
  11. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 28, 2013
    88
    Gritty and engrossing as ever.
User Score
9.4

Universal acclaim- based on 254 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Aug 20, 2010
    10
    In Season 3, the action returns to the streets of Baltimore. The most interesting dynamic of this season is the relationship between AvonIn Season 3, the action returns to the streets of Baltimore. The most interesting dynamic of this season is the relationship between Avon Barksdale (recently released from prison) & Stringer Bell, his 2nd in command. Avon is still a street thug & wants to battle Marlo Stanfield for the street corners Avon's operation lost when he was in prison. Stinger, however, would rather go legit as both Avon & himself have enough money that they'd never have to go back to the street. Full Review »
  2. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    Extraordinaria tercera temporada, este caso introduce a los politicos locales de Baltimore, una recien creada organizacion criminal StanfieldExtraordinaria tercera temporada, este caso introduce a los politicos locales de Baltimore, una recien creada organizacion criminal Stanfield y su conflicto con la organizacion Barksdale, y el regreso de la investigacion a la propia organizacion Barksdale por parte del departamento de policia de Baltimore. Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2013
    10
    The Wire is often categorized as a "cop show", yet this simply isn't accurate for two reasons one, because it turns TV police cliches onThe Wire is often categorized as a "cop show", yet this simply isn't accurate for two reasons one, because it turns TV police cliches on their head at every turn, mainly because of the real-life experience of its two head writers (David Simon was a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun and Ed Burns was both a homicide detective and a schoolteacher); and two, it portrays not only cops, but multiple worlds of the city the streets, docks, halls of government, schools, media and others to create a vast tapestry of storylines packed with rich social commentary, something far more ambitious than any other crime drama in television history.

    The series is a study of institutions and how they affect and often compromise individuals, with the destruction of the drug war taking center stage. It's a masterclass on crime and sociology (mostly subtle, yet often not-so-subtle), displaying how power and money route themselves through Baltimore's urban decay, while representing its hundreds of characters with honesty and moral ambiguity.

    Each season starts out slowly and carefully, but patient viewers who pay close attention to details both big and small will be rewarded in spades when things come to a head (and trust me, they always do even if it takes a few seasons). Unlike other prominent HBO dramas, there is no fat in this show, no filler every scene is there for a reason, either to make an important point or to build up to some fantastic drama, usually both.

    Season 3 is, in my opinion, The Wire at its most compelling it has near-perfect pacing and too many awe-inspiring moments to count. It's conclusion is epic, and acts as a satisfying end to the stories built up to that point. Thankfully The Wire was renewed twice more, and while its final two seasons aren't quite as well-crafted as the first three in a dramatic sense, they're every bit as powerful and potent in their commentary.
    Full Review »