• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 12, 2014
  • Season #: 1
True Detective Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 982 Ratings

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  • Summary: A 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana begins with Detectives Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) joining the search in this eight-episode anthology series.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Mar 27, 2014
    100
    The drama is quite riveting.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 10, 2014
    100
    True Detective runs slow and steady without ever seeming to drag. Even minor characters get room to breathe, and seem independently alive; the briefest scenes seem to imply life beyond the frame.... The dance [Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson] do together here is work of a very high order, and all the reason you need to watch.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 2, 2014
    100
    The acting--by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson--is off the charts. The writing and the concept, by series creator and novelist Nic Pizzolatto, undulates from effectively brash soliloquies to penetratingly nuanced moments carried by sparse prose. Lastly, director Cary Joji Fukunaga has created a beautiful, sprawling sense of place (the series is shot and set in Louisiana).
  4. Reviewed by: Terri Schwartz
    Jan 13, 2014
    100
    True Detective proves to be everything the HBO marketing has promised it to be: a gorgeous, stylized and dark exploration into the worst parts of the human psyche.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 10, 2014
    90
    The crime they're investigating often takes such a back seat to the show's tricky structure and the all-pervasive angst you may once again wonder what exactly HBO has against the notion of narrative urgency. But be patient with this slow-burner of a disturbing, demanding drama. These detectives are truly fascinating.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 10, 2014
    80
    Happily, Harrelson and McConaughey play the characters well enough, and the script is crafted ingeniously enough, that we want to know where it all goes next--and don't focus on the likelihood it will be no place good.
  7. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Mar 27, 2014
    30
    Whatever the length of the show’s much admired tracking shot (six minutes, uncut!), it feels less hardboiled than softheaded. Which might be O.K. if True Detective were dumb fun, but, good God, it’s not: it’s got so much gravitas it could run for President.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 162
  1. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Just another lover of "True Detective". Yes, it does remind me of several other detective/procedural series on TV but it is so much more subtle, so much better acted. Harrelson and McConneghy are far from being among my favorite actors but on "True Detective", they simply show how it is done. Excellent! Expand
  2. Feb 3, 2014
    10
    Great writing juxtaposing the arrogance of atheism with parochial attitudes. From the show runners of the killing and they took the idea of the killing upped the reading level and turned the time line upsidown. Or at least that's what it seems to be. It would be kinda cool if they turned it into a Friday the 13th kinda deal. Expand
  3. Mar 29, 2014
    10
    in my opinion was a fantastic tv-show! wait eagerly for next seaaon , actually.
    hope the new season do the same as last season in story ,
    puzzles , acting i mean new actors and every thing . Expand
  4. Mar 4, 2014
    10
    A beautifully shot, suspenseful and above all dark detective show. The setting is used to every advantage in the cinematography and contributes to the feeling of dread the show evokes. Both Harrelson and McConaughey give a lot to their roles, and especially McCaunaughey's characters at times bears more than a passing resemblance to Apocalypse Now's Captain Willard, a man spiraling deeper and deeper into the darkness he's supposed to hunt. Add to that a semi-mythological background, the bleakness around these characters and in their own lives, and you arrive at this well-crafted show. Expand
  5. Jan 25, 2014
    9
    This is what happens when writers are allowed to fulfill their vision. Finally, we get to watch a drama that hasn't been written to be stretched out to 5 ridiculous seasons or to fill auditoriums with 13-year-olds. So far, it stands up there with the best dramas in any medium. Superb writing and Oscar level acting.

    Mike Hale of the New York Times called the dialogue "writerly." Read some of Mr. Hale's other tv reviews and you'll understand how ironic and cheap that shot is. Hale would have whined about Flannery O'Connor being "too obvious" because he's the kind of critic who won't let anyone forget he writes for the New York F***ing Times. He should write for Pitchfork. If average folk have already found it, it can't be good. He panned Breaking Bad, so that should tell you something.
    Expand
  6. Jun 9, 2014
    8
    Great acting from the two leads, better than in any other TV show I can think of, including Mad Men, including Homeland, including anything on the BBC. Great cinematography, great style. Intriguing, if somewhat familiar, story. Until episode 8, the finale of season 1. The entire plot completely unravels in the last hour leaving ten thousand hanging threads. So what you have here is a fine season of TV with a badly rushed last hour. I think they needed a good 14 episodes, maybe 20. But for whatever reason they shortchanged us all at the end. Expand
  7. Aug 18, 2014
    0
    While McConaughey and Harrelson do the best they can with this awful script, they can't save this show all by themselves. I found this show so boring and pointless that I couldn't finish the series. The characters are are unlikable and not terribly interesting (Harrelson is basically an **** and McConaughey is just ridiculous), and the supporting characters are pretty much cardboard cutouts of supposedly real people. The women exist merely as props or bouncing **** and ass, and after a few episodes it was really hard to care what was going on. Don't bother with a second season, because I can't imagine anyone could possibly still be awake after watching the first season. Expand

See all 162 User Reviews

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