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

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

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 998 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
    The drama is quite riveting.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 10, 2014
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 164
  1. Jan 13, 2014
    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! Collapse
  2. Jan 30, 2014
    True Detective features a murder investigation, but the show's central inquiry settles on its two leads. McConaughey portrays a philosophical, nihilistic skeptic and Harrelson a run-of-the-mill by-the-book cop, husband, and father. However, the two characters surpass their archetypes, guided by strong (if a bit on-the-nose) dialogue and outstanding performances. Furthermore, the setting and environment are hauntingly beautiful. The plot is slow-burning much like Sundance's Rectify, and its steady pace of development has benefited it three episodes in. Expand
  3. Mar 24, 2014
    Quite simply, magnificent. HBO's latest phenomenon, True Detective, is the best new tv show around. It's debut season is sensational from the start to it's excellent end. It's a package that offers everything in it's entirety. It's dark, intelligent, intense, riveting, powerful, smart, suspenseful and unique. A truly tremendous piece of television. The premise immediately captures the imagination and lures you in, grips you and never lets go throughout. The series follows two Louisiana State Police homicide detectives (Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson) and their hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across the span of 17 years. McConaughey's recent renaissance hits almighty new heights here. His performance as Rustin 'Rust' Cole is masterful! An actor at the top of his game and it's evident in abundance. Harrelson is also in terrific form as Martin 'Marty' Hart. Infact, the pairs relationship is the heart of the first series and the chemistry the two have on screen in there for all to see. It's two stellar performances. Michelle Monaghan and Kevin Dunn also add to an already awesome series. True Detective is unmissable. It will have you hooked from the start! And whilst at times it can be slow burning, it all pays off and comes together in an unexpected climax. And to round it off, the shows theme tune is instantaneously a hit and you will be replaying it over again. I'll be astonished if you see a better series of television this year, the only shame is that McConaughey and co won't return for the much anticipated second season! Expand
  4. Mar 2, 2014
    The first two episodes have been simply sublime - the writing is so good it sometimes takes your breath away. The acting from Woody Hartelson & Matthew McConaughey is rich, subtle and suggesting so much more beneath the surface. It moves at a slower pace than many other noir series, giving it time for the themes to be explored and developed, and it stays in your head long after you've stopped watching it. The wonderful music and photography are integral in building up the atmosphere which is both disturbing and hopeful at the same time. Expand
  5. Jan 16, 2014
    From what I'm seeing now, this may very well be one of the best shows on the telly in 2013. You've got recent Golden Globe winner (and now Oscar nominee) Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in the lead roles, and they both do superbly. The supporting cast is brilliant, and it's got a great premise and story so far. And, even though aforementioned story and premise is slightly cliche', they get around that by having a new take on the idea. The show has atmosphere, great writing, great performances, great everything. Let's hope they keep it up, ay? Expand
  6. Mar 15, 2014
    One of the better shows this year. Really good acting and good story line. Perhaps a bit slow during the first three episodes, but after that it picks up great! Expand
  7. Aug 18, 2014
    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 164 User Reviews

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