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Reviews & Ratings for
"Alcatraz" More at IMDbPro »

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61 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Great show... no ending...

Author: Richard Stretton from Cannock, England
1 August 2012

This is a show that shows all the same sort of promise and excitement that Prison Break showed a few years back. Sadly, with the network axing it before we even get a sniff of a conclusion, there is little point in watching this.

Over zealous American Network bosses doing what they do worst - judging shows on the dollar bills in their pockets. No wonder the USA doesn't have the same cult shows that the UK produces so regularly. It helps to keep up the poor reputation of American Television though.

If you have nothing better to do, then watch this - but I warn you, you'll be disappointed when the series ends abruptly and leaving you wanting more.

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114 out of 198 people found the following review useful:

you've seen it all before

Author: russmillerwy-957-682439 from Tampa
17 January 2012

This is the second Lost-type show to spin up this year and it's not the best. It borrows heavily from cop/buddy movies ("He killed my partner! I want revenge!"), Prison Break, Quantum Leap, and typical present day Vancouver syfy/horror serials for the pre-teen bunch. The characters, especially the escaped criminals, are more like comic book caricatures than real people. It uses the same techniques as Lost and Once Upon a Time to slowly reveal its mysteries. Unfortunately it doesn't have any profound or compelling theme motivating the story, like redemption or the nature of good and evil in people. The acting in the regular cast is good, partially because most of the actors (Neil and Garcia) have already played characters exactly like the ones they're doing here. The main problem with the show is that, like in Prison Break, each new tidbit of the big mystery they reveal makes it seem just that much more cheesy and far-fetched, instead of inspiring or enlightening. It's just not special.

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64 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing to say the least.

Author: t-rowla from Australia
3 February 2012

Before the pilot episode aired, there was a lot of hype generated by the degree of marketing the producers of the show invested in, towards its success. Naturally I was excited too, the show possessed that spark of intrigue and mystery that I so desperately craved. However, upon watching the first few episodes, I was disappointed upon discovery, that the show was merely your stereotypical and unoriginal crime thriller. Despite the paranormal twist, the show incorporates similar elements from other crime dramas like 'NCIS' and 'Criminal Minds', where the protagonists piece together puzzle pieces to find themselves a killer and save the day. I can only hope that the storyline loses that boring and unoriginal linearity as it progresses, but the ugly truth is, I've already given up.

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70 out of 116 people found the following review useful:

Alca Trash

Author: brandonsullivan91 from United States
18 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to let go of Lost, I know this. I keep getting amped up for the next awesome sci-fi show and I am let down time and time again.

Alcatraz is OK. I don't have time to watch just "ok" TV. I gave up on Alcatraz 17 minutes into the show.

Right from the start the show bothered me. The setting is the 60's, two guards land on the island for some kind of prisoner transport. The old wise guard says "hey sonny boy get your gun out this is bad, no one is here to greet us..." (more or less) and the banter continues about how strange this is and finally when they finish their walk through the prison and see that the whole dang place is empty (GASP!) then they finally decide to radio this factoid in. HMMM, in real life I think the second a police procedure breaks protocol they radio it in and go to high alert.

Flash to present day. One of my favorite gags in the biz is used...a young kid wanders into restricted Alcatraz areas (parents checked out and clueless, zero security in place to stop a child?) and finds a hobo man sleeping. Kid screams and everybody clamors to the kid to see what is going on. Come to find out that this hobo man is really an old fashioned criminal time traveled from the 60's! Cool.

We then get introduced to the emotionally damaged female lead detective. She follows some clues to Hugo Reyes, er, some new cool person in this show who owns a comic book store. Hugo Reyes wrote a book or something about Alcatraz and detective lady thinks he can help.

Their conversation is painful, predictable, and not funny. At this point I sigh, glance at my dinner fork and think about poking myself to feel something. Instead I turn off the tube and read.

I deserve something better, so do you! I would pass on Alcatraz.

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51 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Compared to most other new shows, it seems kinda good--but most other new shows are terrible

Author: bandarmae from United States
18 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alcatraz looks better than it is because its weaknesses are masked by:1) good camera work/cinematography, 2) good production design/costume design, 3) good editing, 4) decent enough music score, 5) many good actors, and 6) Sam Neill. Check him out in The Tudors, My Brilliant Career, and The Piano.

Will Sam Neill turn out to be the big bad antagonist? Well, he certainly can get the job done...if the writers can do a hell of a lot better. Unfortunately, Sarah Jones can't get even half the job done as the protagonist. Sorry, nothing personal, but she's gotta tumble off a rooftop (in the storyline)--or this series is gonna tank. Jorge Garcia is a good actor but just miscast. Same might prove true for Parminder Nagra. Only time will tell, depending on both her and the writers.

Makeup department applies foundation and eye makeup with too heavy a hand, especially on Garcia in brightly lit shots. Conspicuous makeup distracts me, just as glitches in the story do.

The pilot for Alcatraz was mediocre. The pilot for Lost remains one of the best I've seen in recent years. Will tune in for a few more episodes. Thank Sam Neill for that.

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36 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Good show

Author: Sonny Jensen
11 March 2012

Hey all..

I have read some reviews here on the site for this show. And people are giving this 5 stars and has only seen 17 min or the first 2 episodes. Come on guys make and review when you at least have seen 5 or more episodes. Its a slow start but this show is getting more interesting further it goes! Maybe they could have found a better Female cop for this show but overall the acting is good and the story is getting better and better. I will look forward to see where this series is going!

Sry for the bad grammar but i am from Denmark :-)

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27 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

A quite interesting idea which adds more to the expectations

Author: mpouraklas from Greece
10 February 2012

I can't understand why all this hate, this is a great show. Abrahams (as i think it is spelled) gives exactly what he promises, a show with an interesting plot to follow, some good characters and a mysterious conspiracy for which the more you learn the most you want to stick with it until the end I loved lost, I loved its style and that is exactly why i will continue to watch this series, hoping not to stop before it is supposed to. Watch it, give it some time, lost wasn't all that great from the start. I am sure that after 2 or 3 episodes you will be captivated. J.J did it again and i am sure that this sci-fi genius has many aces up to his sleeve. All of you who don't believe, think of lost and fringe, and if you haven't checked them yet, don't waste any time. Stop hating,start watching and i am sure you will be pleased

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21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Never becomes interesting

Author: Jens Wegar
22 April 2012

I got into the show more or less by accident, and because my nature of not wanting to give up on something right away once I've start it, I ended up watching the entire 1st season.

I know plenty have done so already, but I have to compare it to Lost because of one reason, and it's not the time jumping aspect of it: Lost had me hooked from the opening scene all the way through the first 3 seasons. Right away, from that first stare of Jack's eye, his run through the jungle, the mayhem on the beach, I knew it would be an interesting show to watch. With Alcatraz I never got to a point of really caring what will happen. I never got invested in any of the characters. Another review here said that the show would have been much better had it stayed in the 60's all the time, and I have to agree. The scenes from that era are all great. You're immediately questioning the wardens motives along with his lackeys, and the back stories of the criminals promised much more potential than any of the stories for the present day people. And did I mention the warden? Must say, I think Jonny Coyne does an awesome job with his character.

In the present day parts of the show, everything is much more cliché. You have the tough female lead, the not so tough but brilliant side kick, a shady boss, the good mentor with a gray story of his own... And then you have the crime of the week which you can be 100% certain will get solved, already simply because the episode names suggest who's turn it is to be processed. Basically, it all plays out like any other crime drama on TV at that point, except you already know who the bad guy is. I don't think it's the fault of the actors really that the show doesn't take off. They're just not given an interesting back story to develop from. Let's be honest, the good cop trying to understand her past and having to chase the black sheep of the family in order to do so is not exactly ground breaking story telling.

Also, like another review stated, it is somewhat weird how little interest the task force shows in trying to figure out "how and why" the bad guys keep popping up from the past, instead they're always focusing just on catching them and putting them back in their cage. That doesn't feel like a good game plan. It's like always just putting a bucket on the floor when it rains instead of trying to fix the leak in the roof.

The somewhat strong rating of the show here on IMDb would suggest that it could get a second season, and the last episode does leave enough of the plot unsolved for it to be possible. But I doubt I'll be tuning in for another go at this one.

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36 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Marking Time.

Author: sagei
22 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

That's what watching it felt like.

Lame cop show dolled up with spatiotemporal hocus pocus.

Problem with hocus pocus is that Lost went and poisoned that well.

If you could delude yourself with talk of "purgatory" last time, then you should be okay. Otherwise you will cast a decidedly jaundiced eye on this one.

No, you won't like what you see.

Sam is suitably sombre.

'Hugo' is competent straight man.

Elfin cop is cute but her pants and shoes make her look like an urchin escaped from some Dickens adaptation.

Music tries desperately to convince that things are oh so mysterious and exciting.


Villains were laughable.

As was the plot.

Guess they are hoping you will swallow the "unexplained" as easily as the leads.

Elf blindly dives in headfirst because "my grandfather killed my partner".

This from the alleged hard-boiled cop.

FBI guy devoted decades to waiting for these guys to reappear but apparently never bothered to examine the files and effects in storage. He had to wait for these two to show up and solve the cases using that information.

Instead he built a spanking new replica of the prison.

Not to mention a command centre that looks remarkably fake coming as it did on the heels of shots of the real prison.

The 'missing' number in the hundreds and include guards and prisoners. Theoretically sews up a lot of episodes. However on current evidence such a life expectancy seems wildly optimistic.

Abrams needs a makeover. Should distance himself from stuff like this until he finds something that is genuinely compelling and coherent.

Wish them well.

Thank you.


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29 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

promising but not grabbing

Author: gimmo bully from United Kingdom
21 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Brought to us from most of the team responsible for the greatest TV show ever...Lost ! Music by giacchino,direction by jack bender and produced by JJ Abrams, throw in some familiar faces Neil and garcia and sure to be a winner right? ...... Wrong! I was so looking forward to seeing this for some time but after 2 episodes I gotta say i'm left disappointed. The plot is yet another time travel thread but woven this time around weak characters which I find as a viewer uninteresting or attached to. There is very little character build up so the show is fairly fast paced but at the same time quite predictable. Unlike Lost, which grabbed and sucked me right in on the first episode Alcatraz did not, but as a big abrams fan I will mush on and continue to watch at least till the end of the first season. Thank the lord we still got Hurley!

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