Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. The pacing is occasionally so slow and deliberate that it may test some viewers’ patience, but the series takes its time because the real mystery is Wallander and his uneasy inner life.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Paul
    80
    It’s an atmospheric, pinned-to-your-seat winner.
  3. 80
    It is a joy to see a first-rate, high-quality production featuring a genuine star. And this star is bringing his best game to an intelligent script that deals with challenging, knotty, complicated issues and characters that mirror the real world in which we live.
  4. 75
    The strength of the script and Branagh's finely drawn performance--not to mention the excellent scenes between Branagh and David Warner, who plays Wallander's dad--make up for missteps [by the director].
  5. 75
    The cases he tackles are intriguing, if wildly complicated and too often sustained by that peculiar TV mystery mix of intuitive leaps and bad basic police work....Yet as with all such shows, it's the main character who provides the main reason for watching, as the long-suffering Wallander struggles to solve the crimes and put his life back in order.
  6. I recommend the series, though Sunday's opening film, "Sidetracked," does present a bit of a stumbling block.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    70
    It's a familiar formula, to be sure, but handled with enough panache and conviction to invest the BAFTA-honored pic series with an element of freshness.
  8. Kenneth Branagh is perfect as one of its broken-down men. His face telegraphs defeat even as he relentlessly answers the call to duty, on a cell phone that never stops ringing with news of another crime.
  9. 70
    The pieces don't tend to add up to much; the suspects and victims often slip out of custody too easily; and each episode's crimes dovetail with some predictability. These aren't brain teasers. Still, the series has great hypnotic allure, as the murders and deaths drive Wallander further into himself.
  10. As wonderfully played by Kenneth Branagh, Wallander is a fine addition to the tradition of PBS' "Mystery!"
  11. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    50
    Branagh is pretty good at being mopey and jowly, and the rest of the cast is fine as well. It's just that none of this really adds up to anything very compelling.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Jan 23, 2012
    10
    This is a great series. Wallander is obsessed with work and although he is a great detective, his personal life is often tragic/pathetic. The bleak atmosphere created by the cinematography and soundtrack is truly beautiful and help exhibit how lonely Wallander is. I highly recommend this show. Full Review »
  2. Jun 23, 2014
    9
    A terrific series. Branagh's Wallander is a fine portrayal of a pitiful character which lends itself to the general grey dull atmosphere throughout. However, drawing the observer into Wallander's morass only serves to lead the viewer to an uplifted state at the conclusion of each series. In discovering that he is a brilliant detective and an around good egg, you just can't help feeling for the guy - if the central character doesn't spark your emotion then a story is dead - Branagh and the storyline achieves this in bucket loads. Full Review »
  3. Mar 25, 2014
    10
    This is one of the best TV shows I've ever seen. It has a lot of character and is very well thought out and produced. I know it lacks the sex, action and flash of other shows (hey that's what gets good ratings) but the stories and the delivery of each episode is top-notch. The acting is better than Sherlock, the plot twists are better than... well, any show. Pick one. The writing is some of the best if not THE best to hit the small screen in forever. Yes, it lacks the aesthetics that make a hit show. There are only four reasons to not love the hell out of this show. One, it lacks sex and general appeal. Two, it is actually quite realistic and does not involve aliens, people with super powers or magic. Three, you've never actually seen a full episode. Or four, you've seen it but you are too stupid to understand it. Full Review »