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  • 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 1029 Ratings

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  • Starring: Michael Potts, Michelle Monaghan, Woody Harrelson
  • 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
  • Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
  • Show Type: Between Seasons
  • Season 1 premiere date: Jan 12, 2014
  • Episode Length: 60
  • Air Time: 09:00 PM
  • More Details and Credits »
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 168
  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. Jan 30, 2014
    10
    Words I thought I would never say - Matthew McConneghy is a great actor. This is easily my favorite show on Television right now. So much subtlety going on Ive had to watch every show at least twice, there are always little secrets to be figured out. Bravo HBO, another winner. Expand
  3. Apr 16, 2014
    10
    acekwong ; men you don´t know nothing about tv shows, sorry about this, but i have the sensation that you only watch things like walking dead, the following, with gun fire all the episode. Probably you should deleted your account (Im from chile, thats is why my english its so bad)

    The show is amazing, the different timeline, and flashbacks have a very good sensation, i like the story and the characters, they are amazing too. A shame that there is only 8 episodes, and the characters wont be repeting next season.
    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 27, 2014
    9
    Not a huge fan of the so called "procedural" but everything about this show is top notch. The acting is superb, the setting is perfectly dark but not overwhelmingly so. There's some humor to be found in this project, showcased best during the banter between Rust and Marty. T-Bone Burnett delivers a memorable and appropriately spooky soundtrack. The story is slow-burning and the writers take off the little kid gloves when it comes to plot and pacing. This show wouldn't work if it were on any other network. Keep it coming HBO! We love it. Expand
  6. Apr 7, 2014
    8
    To me, it's more style than substance. It has an awful lot of style though. The eight episodes flow seamlessly as a visual novel. The direction captures an arresting portrait of the unique rural locale. Matthew McConaghey reminds us that he is not merely the guy who's always being photographed on a beach somewhere, he can act. And the masterstroke, perhaps, is the music by T-Bone Burnett, which will surely make a killer soundtrack album.

    The plot itself, though, is a somewhat meandering journey of the two detectives through a murder case, and their return to the case years later. The case involves some pulp horror elements (unlike most viewers, I had heard of the King in Yellow before watching the show), but ultimately, the show isn't really about the case, it's more about watching the two detectives' personal lives dragged through the muck. The show started slowly, and honestly it took me to the fifth episode before I really started looking forward to watching (i.e. halfway through). The show's occasional graphic elements can be quite strong, and sensitive viewers will want to steer clear.

    In the end, it's an entertaining piece and superb technical filmmaking, and given that it's supposed to be an anthology series, it'll be interesting to see where it goes next. It's not the best thing HBO has put out though, not by a long shot.
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  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 168 User Reviews

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