• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 1, 2002
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5

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  1. Apr 2, 2013
    6
    Trying to list all the procedural crime dramas that have graced our screens over the last twenty year would be a difficult task indeed with every angle from forensics to cold cases being covered somewhere along the line.

    Without a Trace focuses on an FBI team whose primary focus is missing persons' cases. With a strong cast and well written scripts it is certainly amongst the best of
    Trying to list all the procedural crime dramas that have graced our screens over the last twenty year would be a difficult task indeed with every angle from forensics to cold cases being covered somewhere along the line.

    Without a Trace focuses on an FBI team whose primary focus is missing persons' cases. With a strong cast and well written scripts it is certainly amongst the best of its genre, unfortunately it still suffers from many of the same issues as other procedurals. With cases having to be introduced and solved within the 45 minute time period each week we are never able to get the sort of in-depth look at the subject matter that shows such as The Wire and The Shield provide. This problem also applies to the characters themselves with the writers only ever making half-hearted attempts to delve into the personal lives and motivations of the law enforcement officers involved, why must two of the characters always have to had some sort of romantic past in this type of show?

    Too many cases also seem to involve a 'leap in logic' whereby someone will make a link they could not possible make based on a seemingly innocuous piece evidence or an irrelevant conversation in order to wrap everything up before the episode ends. Anyone that enjoys procedural crime dramas like CSI or Law and Order will certainly enjoy Without a Trace but with no ongoing plot to draw me back I have found there are far more interesting dramas, crime based or otherwise, available on DVD.
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Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jul 9, 2013
    60
    A slickly shot, competent series with a talented ensemble cast. It's not revolutionary or groundbreaking by any means, but it is a decent crime drama.
  2. Reviewed by: Carina Chocano
    Jul 9, 2013
    70
    'Without a Trace' adopts the requisite cop-show clipped pace and poker-faced acting, but the procedural approach is catchy. There’s something irresistible about a forensic drama that hooks you with hints at the ending and works backward from there.
  3. 75
    The clipped dialogue, the scientific detecting, the camera tricks, the computer gamesmanship, the back-and-forth progression of the stories -- the bricks that really matter in the construction of a TV show -- are all quite the same [as CSI]. [26 Sep 2002]