The Outsider: Season 1 Reviews

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February 14, 2020
The Outsider pulls off a remarkable high-wire balancing act... It's classic King, this eruption of the otherworldly in the midst of Middle American normality.
January 14, 2020
The details pile up, but intrigue fails to mount... Thank God, then, for the arrival of Cynthia Erivo as Holly Gibney, whose performance is so good that it slaps you awake.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 13, 2020
HBO's choice to air these first two unrelentingly grim episodes back to back is a smart one-and not just because it's the perfect set-up for some clever, tension-easing joke about how director and star Jason Bateman can possibly be in two places at once.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
January 13, 2020
Although this adaptation is too well-heeled for its pulpy material, the show has a terrific plot hook, and once I made peace with its moody rhythms, I found myself hooked, devouring the six hours available for preview in two nights.
January 13, 2020
To have a work of ostensible horror that keeps undermining the ideas and conventions of the genre feels like an odd kind of compromise.
January 13, 2020
Although Erivo stands out, the directors and Price, who writes six of the series' 10 episodes, give an outstanding cast a full palette of mourning tones to work with.
January 13, 2020
The Outsider offers terrific performances, beguiling yet careful storytelling, and no shortage of genuinely terrifying moments.
January 13, 2020
"The Outsider" is a largely downcast affair... But it's a compelling lament, one that has its feet on the ground as it reaches into the beyond.
January 11, 2020
This is a great-looking show with brilliant work in particular from Mendelsohn and Erivo, who should be remembered come next awards season cycle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 11, 2020
"The Outsider" takes an entertaining and propulsive, if routine, read and renders it with style and savvy but not much of a pulse.
January 11, 2020
There are a lot of cracks in The Outsider, and not even the glue provided by great acting and skilled directing can completely fill them.
January 10, 2020
The Outsider works. Like any good King adapter, Price hews close to King's original plot while relying on his own strengths to give the world an evocative visual palette and characters that feel truly alive within it.
Full Review | Original Score: B
January 10, 2020
The stakes here seem to be massive; gradually, it becomes clear that an epidemic of darkness is overtaking many. But getting there, with so little in the way of character or freshness of tone, simply exhausts even an interested viewer.
January 10, 2020
What's most pleasant, if that's the word, about "The Outsider" is its emphasis on classic ordinary-mortal shoe-leather investigation - no supercomputers or genius hackers getting results at warp speed, relatively little action even advanced by telephone.
January 10, 2020
Stephen King adaptations have a spotty track record, one that isn't helped by the sheer abundance of them. HBO's The Outsider bucks those odds, delivering a taut, noir-ish thriller.
January 10, 2020
Incredible cast, dynamite opening, too-leisurely progression, overly familiar execution. Watch with care, but watch.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 9, 2020
Slowness, however, is not the issue; nor does it seem right to peg it all on tone. The characters keep remarking that something just doesn't add up. It's as if they're writing this review themselves.
January 9, 2020
With the help of a great cast (led by Ben Mendelsohn) and eerie, stark direction from Emmy-winner Jason Bateman, "The Outsider" isn't on the level of Price's past work - but it's far better than this story has any right to be.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
January 8, 2020
Lugubrious, also highly watchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 8, 2020
Like so many of King's mammoth tomes, The Outsider could easily have been distilled into a movie. Instead, we get a 10-episode slog through crime-drama cliché so oppressive, it threatens to overshadow Erivo's brilliance.
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