HBO | Release Date: January 10, 1999
CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
94
METASCORE
Universal acclaim based on 93 Critic Reviews
Positive:
91
Mixed:
2
Negative:
0
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100
Cleveland Plain DealerMark DawidziakJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: HBO made four of the 13 new episodes available for review. Taken as a whole, they stand as compelling proof that the series' creator and executive producer, David Chase, still is in complete control of the brilliantly constructed crime saga. [4 Mar 2001]
100
Philadelphia InquirerJonathan StormJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: The [first episode], along with two other episodes sent to critics, dispels any of last year's feeling that The Sopranos was losing a little steam. They demonstrate a constant ability to surprise. [4 Mar 2001]
100
San Diego Union-TribuneRobert P. LaurenceJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: It's apparent that "The Sopranos" is back in top form. [2 Mar 2001]
100
Washington PostTom ShalesJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: The show is as darkly gleeful as ever, shrewdly and even elegantly put together and, in a way that perhaps no other TV drama series has ever been, troublingly seductive and irresistible. [3 Mar 2001]
100
Kansas City StarAaron BarnhartJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: It is a show driven not so much by story line as by story telling. We may never have seen a TV program so adept at painting brilliant little vignettes that have nothing to do with anything except the sheer pleasure of watching a scene unfold or hearing pitch-perfect dialogue. [3 Mar 2001]
100
Detroit Free PressMike DuffyJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: "The Sopranos," even as series creator David Chase changes pace this season from power struggles to family matters, is still as good as television gets: wonderfully written, superbly acted, always unpredictable. [2 Mar 2001]
100
Houston ChronicleAnn HodgesJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: Forget the sags and disappointments of last year. For season three, creator and producer David Chase gets it right again. [3 Mar 2001]
100
The Hollywood ReporterBarry GarronJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: The series became an instant TV landmark because of its riveting stories, wonderfully drawn characters, superb acting and intelligent direction. If anything, the new season emphasizes these traits even more, as it probes the fascinating and usually emotionally charged relationships inside and outside the Soprano family. [2 Mar 2001]
100
Arizona RepublicBill GoodykoontzJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: TV's greatest show. [4 Mar 2001]
100
Baltimore SunDavid ZurawikJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: In its first season, I thought it was the best cop drama on television. Last year, I thought it was the best drama - period. What's left, the best series in American television? It almost goes without saying. [3 Mar 2001]
100
Boston GlobeMatthew GilbertJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: Extraordinary. [2 Mar 2001]
100
Chicago TribuneSteve JohnsonJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: Continues to test traditional notions of television heroism, upend conventional storytelling rhythms and deliver its thematic points and comic payoffs with a revolutionary subtlety. [4 Mar 2001]
100
New York Daily NewsEric MinkJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: [The first episodes] offer the thrilling combination of provocative drama, bawdy comedy and ingenious production that has become the show's signature feature. [2 Mar 2001]
100
San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa TimesCharlie McCollumJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: "The Sopranos" has renewed and refreshed its ability to surprise. [4 Mar 2001]
100
VarietyPhil GalloJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: "The Sopranos" retains the title of the most involving series on television and James Gandolfini continues to be a powerhouse of a performer. [2 Mar 2001]
100
Cleveland Plain DealerJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: Anyone who doesn't think this is the best drama on television should have his head examined. [16 Jan 2000]
100
NewsweekMark PeyserJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: It's every bit as addictive as the first year (based on the three episodes given to critics). Though the first installment is a bit choppy, the second and third are filled with the kind of surprising stories, nuanced acting and hard-won redemption that make the show feel more like a mini-movie than a mere hour of TV. [17 Jan 2000]
100
San Diego Union-TribuneRobert P. LaurenceJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: Befitting its title, "The Sopranos" plays out like an opera; sweeping, subtle currents change directions gradually but powerfully. [16 Jan 2000]
100
USA TodayRobert BiancoJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: As fine as these opening episodes are, they're not quite as good as last season's final run. [14 Jan 2000]
100
Washington PostTom ShalesJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: The story's a good one, all right, and beautifully related--but there's a lot more going on in "The Sopranos" than good storytelling. This is one of the most unpretentiously profound and troubling dramas in the history of American television. [16 Jan 2000]
100
Dallas Morning NewsEd BarkJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: [It] could be the best TV series of our times. Not for everyone, no. But for what it is, The Sopranos is near magical. [16 Jan 2000]
100
Houston ChronicleMike McDanielJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: As unpredictably thrilling as ever. [15 Jan 2000]
100
NewsdayMarvin KitmanJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: Watching the first couple of episodes once again I am marveling at how good the show really is. [16 Jan 2000]
100
New York Daily NewsEric MinkJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: "The Sopranos" remains a showcase for ferociously distinctive writing, inventive direction and brilliant portrayals of surprisingly, even disturbingly, sympathetic multilayered characters by a perfectly cast group of actors who hold back nothing. [14 Jan 2000]
100
San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa TimesCharlie McCollumJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: Jammed with characters and story lines, it has a Dickensian quality in its ability to capture time and place with precision. It is almost never predictable, avoiding the cliches of the Mafia genre even while it revels in them. Just when you think a story line is going in a particular direction, the show will suddenly shift gears and veer off into unfamiliar terrain without stretching plausibility to the breaking point. [16 Jan 2000]
100
VarietyPhil GalloJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: It's difficult to single out any particular aspect of the show: It's just plain brilliant. [13 Jan 2000]
100
Arizona RepublicBill GoodykoontzJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: Can the second season possibly be as good as the first? Judging from the first three new episodes, the answer isn't just "yes." The answer is that it might be even better. [16 Jan 2000]
100
Boston GlobeMatthew GilbertJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: Chase has kept his vision unspoiled despite the torrents of praise, hyperbole, and Emmy nomination that have rained down on his show. Yes, the exhilarating sense of discovery that electrified the first season of "The Sopranos" is gone; the first cut is always the deepest. But last season's revelatory buzz is replaced by a certainty that this show has got legs, that the writing is as comic and edgy as ever, and that Chase has a few new monsters up his sleeve. [14 Jan 2000]
100
Boston HeraldMonica CollinsJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: The new episodes are brilliant, proving the first season wasn't a fantastic fluke. [14 Jan 2000]
100
Chicago Sun-TimesPhil RosenthalJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: "The Sopranos" ... continues to shock, stun and amaze. It is why you get HBO, why you get cable, why you get a television. [12 Jan 2000]
100
Chicago TribuneSteve JohnsonJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: "The Sopranos," with 13 hours a year to work with instead of a feature film's 2 1/2, tops, has the time to show the way human communication really works: Matters of the greatest consequence stem from misunderstandings and misinterpretations. It insinuates viewers so thoroughly and convincingly into the soul of a man like Tony Soprano that the result becomes universal. [14 Jan 2000]
100
Philadelphia InquirerLee WinfreyApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: Home Box Office has telecast several of the most scintillating series of this decade, notably The Larry Sanders Show, Oz, Arli$$, and Sex and the City. You can safely add The Sopranos to that glittering gallery. [10 Jan 1999, p.F01]
100
NewsdayMarvin KitmanApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: It's a great show, the best new series of the year. It's so - dare I say it? - original. It catches you off guard. Basically, it's everything I'm always looking for in drama. It's beautifully written, authentic, without the plastic Los Angeles look. The acting is marvelous. It's funny in a darkly comedic way, involving as a soap opera, and quirky. I never quite know what's going to happen, even though the subject matter is by no means unprecedented for television. [10 Jan 1999, p.D35]
100
Deseret NewsDrew JuberaApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: By getting the details so right on something so peculiar and particular as this, The Sopranos actually opens a clear window onto modern incarnations of family and mortality and ambition. [9 Jan 1999, p.E05]
100
Detroit Free PressMike DuffyApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: This is sophisticated television that assumes there is an intelligent audience for well-written, off-center, ambitious entertainment. David Chase has created a contemporary mob masterpiece. The Sopranos, make no mistake, is the first truly great TV show of 1999. [8 Jan 1999, p.1D]
100
Los Angeles TimesHoward RosenbergApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: Gandolfini and Falco are excellent, as is the supporting work of Imperioli and others. And that grande dame of troupers, Marchand, is so coldbloodedly plausible as Livia that her eyes are ice and you can almost hear her heart freezing over. [8 Jan 1999, p.F1]
100
Season 6 Review: Was it worth the wait? Was it ever!
90
Pittsburgh Post-GazetteRob OwenJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: "The Sopranos" returns in better form this year than it did at the start of its second season. New territory is explored and Chase seems more willing to push the Soprano story forward. [2 Mar 2001]
90
Dallas Morning NewsEd BarkJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: Some of the edge is off and the buzz isn't quite what it was. [4 Mar 2001]
90
Denver PostJoanne OstrowJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: The series remains smarter and funnier than most anything on television. ... But be forewarned: the 'Sopranos' season starts slowly and a bit unevenly. [4 Mar 2001]
90
Denver PostJoanne OstrowJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: Viewers should expect a bit of exposition before the series shifts into high gear. By the third episode, bada bing, it's off and running. [13 Jan 2000]
90
Miami HeraldTerry JacksonJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: As outstanding as The Sopranos has been, and as terrific as it could be in the long run, it will never have the reach or pop-culture impact of Seinfeld or ER, much less M*A*S*H or even Saturday Night Live - all true TV icons of the last quarter century. [22 Jan 2000]
90
Pittsburgh Post-GazetteRob OwenApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: I'm not a huge fan of Mafia stories, but after watching several episodes of The Sopranos, I'm hooked. This is not the same old drama foisted on viewers by the networks. The Sopranos, created by David Chase ("I'll Fly Away"), has depth, dark humor and even a latent charm. The characters, unavoidably stereotypical at times, are believable and honest. [10 Jan 1999, p.G-5]
90
Dallas Morning NewsManuel MendozaApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: Along with the material, Mr. Gandolfini is so good that viewers will sympathize even as they shudder. [9 Jan 1999, p.1C]
90
Boston GlobeMatthew GilbertApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: No, The Sopranos is not the equal of Scorsese's masterpiece ["Goodfellas"], but it manages to bring a new spin to the words "dysfunctional" and "family," and it deserves its place alongside other HBO gems like "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Sex and the City." [9 Jan 1999, p.C1]
90
The New York TimesCaryn JamesApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: Combining dark comedy and psychological drama, the show achieves a fresh tone to match its irresistibly winning concept. [8 Jan 1999, p.E1]
90
VarietyPhil GalloApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: From these visits spin every Soprano tale --- some morose, some wickedly funny, all uncommonly personal --- and its distinctive tone will capture a patient audience looking for an intelligent episodic that isn't sex and shoot-'em-ups. [4 Jan 1999, p.67]
88
Chicago Sun-TimesPhil RosenthalJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: It is nearly impossible for [The Sopranos] to match expectations, which may be why it doesn't. ... The series has grown coarser, more base. [28 Feb 2001]
88
New York PostLinda StasiJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: The second season is as good as the first -- just different. [13 Jan 2000]
88
Season 1 Review: In the self-doubting Tony, his sullen kids, not-so-patient wife, querulous mother and incompetent business associates, Chase may have accomplished what seemed impossible -- he's created something new in the Mafia-movie genre. [10 Jan 1999, p.TV6]
80
Orlando SentinelHal BoedekerJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: The show steadfastly avoids romanticizing characters who are repellent, violent and selfish, and it offers a dark, unsparing vision of family life. [4 Mar 2001]
80
Arizona RepublicDavid WalkerApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: The Sopranos, which lovingly embraces its debt to The Godfather movies,offers TV viewers an option they should not refuse. [10 Jan 1999, p.7E]
80
Season 1 Review: It's an absurdist comedy about criminal behavior and suburban life that gently mocks its targets while taking its characters and their emotions seriously. [9 Jan 1999, p.23]
80
Baltimore SunDavid ZurawikApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: It is every bit as smart as you would expect something from Chase to be. It's built more on the limited-run model of British television than standard network fare. [9 Jan 1999, p.1E]
80
New York Daily NewsDavid BianculliApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: It's a bumpy, wild ride that has all the dark humor, surprising twists and sudden outbursts of violence of a "GoodFellas" or a "Casino" high praise and tough comparisons, but The Sopranos lives up to them. [8 Jan 1999, p.116]
75
USA TodayRobert BiancoJul 19, 2013
Season 3 Review: While Sopranos remains one of TV's high-water marks, the first hour hits that mark so slowly you may find yourself wishing Chase were operating under just a tiny bit of network time pressure. [2 Mar 2001]
75
USA TodayRobert BiancoApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: The Sopranos would have benefited from the editing required by network time and content restraints, which would have made the rambling episodes tighter and cleared them of their worst blood and exposed-breast excesses. [8 Jan 1999, p.8E]
60
Orlando SentinelHal BoedekerJul 19, 2013
Season 2 Review: I'll grant you the Soprano family story is vividly told and colorfully acted, but the mob intrigue can be grim, disturbing and tiresome. [16 Jan 2000]
50
Orlando SentinelHal BoedekerApr 1, 2013
Season 1 Review: The series has some potent black humor and good acting, especially from Nancy Marchand as the mobster's mom and Edie Falco as his wife...But a gangster's midlife crisis is a weak, unpalatable premise for a series. The Sopranos makes an offer you can refuse. [10 Jan 1999, p.F1]