Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Nov 2, 2018
    100
    Each episode of Homecoming is about a half-hour, leaving no room for placeholder sequences or needlessly distracting subplots. Every scene, every character, every development is a key component of a jigsaw puzzle that admittedly takes quite some time to develop into something we can truly see for what it is.
  2. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Nov 1, 2018
    100
    Viscerally penetrating thriller, outstanding in its subtlety, its anxiety-making atmospherics, and not least its heart--the contribution of a sterling cast headed by Julia Roberts in the role of therapist Heidi Bergman--inhabits a world beyond political themes. ... Mr. Whigham’s performance as Carrasco is plain delectable. So is virtually all else about this series whose exceptional powers, including the power to terrify, derive from conversation not action.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Oct 31, 2018
    100
    It’s a strong showcase for Julia Roberts as an actress but a bolder move for her as executive producer. Homecoming is the opposite of a star vehicle (like, say, Amazon Prime’s recent “Jack Ryan”), focusing more on the story than characters. Nothing about it feels self-indulgent.
  4. Reviewed by: Terry Terrones
    Oct 30, 2018
    100
    If you blink, you might miss a nuanced bit of dialogue or the camera focusing on something relevant to the plot. This is one of the most carefully crafted programs I’ve seen, with fantastic performances from Roberts and Stephan James (in a breakout role). Homecoming is addictive, appointment television and yet another feather in the cap for Amazon’s streaming service.
  5. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    Oct 23, 2018
    91
    Whigham delivers one of the year’s best TV performances. ... Esmail has worked with the creators to reconceive their audio adventure as a visual delight, full of smart performances and lingering unease. For all its Hitchcock-y camera angles and Lost-y double-reverse plot twists, Homecoming is an all-too human freakout.
  6. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Sep 7, 2018
    91
    Roberts helps set up Homecoming as a creepy, fun thriller and a gripping, human drama.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Nov 2, 2018
    90
    The whole production is a beautiful machine, with strong supporting performances.
  8. Reviewed by: Karen Han
    Nov 2, 2018
    90
    Its tropes are well-worn, and its narrative doesn’t go anywhere unexpected. And yet all these elements miraculously coalesce into a show that is still tremendously emotionally affecting. Ultimately, Homecoming has too many strengths — and is a story too strikingly told--for its flaws to find real purchase.
  9. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Oct 31, 2018
    90
    Visually and thematically, it plays like a lean, focused distillation of Esmail’s other series. It has the cool tone, the paranoia, the visual flourishes, the mind-bending revelations. But these effects are concentrated on a single, intricate story, laid out in 10 swift and magnetic episodes. In this case, less is very much more.
  10. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Oct 25, 2018
    90
    This brisk and mesmerizing thriller is the best sort of binge. [29 Oct - 11 Nov 2018, p.10]
  11. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Oct 23, 2018
    90
    An irresistible mystery box drama that tells its story with carefully considered details and superb acting that grounds the whole piece in reality.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 7, 2018
    90
    Homecoming is a visually dazzling thriller that plays on memory, the military industrial complex, conspiracy and unchecked government privilege to immediately set the hook as an intriguing, ambitious work of television.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael Haigis
    Oct 31, 2018
    88
    In the tight span of 10 easily digestibly half-hour episodes, Homecoming manages to both thrill and propose a grim hypothetical: that the earnest practice of soldier rehabilitation and the economic rigors of the war business may not be able to coexist.
  14. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Nov 1, 2018
    83
    Roberts and Cannavale also contribute memorable characterizations while newcomer James makes Walter much more than a guinea pig. These performances and a solidly intriguing story make Homecoming worth your down payment. Stay the course and you’ll get a nice payoff as well.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 31, 2018
    83
    Esmail is one of the few directors who takes full advantage of the medium, imbuing ordinary objects with menace--a trio of vending machines, fruit being harvested--and distorts sound to pluck your paranoia. There are tracking shots in the first four episodes that play like homages to Alfred Hitchcock. As for Roberts, I’m not about to sit down for a film marathon--but I am down for the rest of Homecoming.
  16. Reviewed by: Dave Nemetz
    Oct 22, 2018
    83
    It takes a few episodes for Homecoming to start showing its cards, and the focus is on unspooling the mystery rather than building the characters, so emotional depth is sometimes sacrificed in order to keep the narrative freight train chugging along. But it is an awfully good mystery, after all, with each episode lasting just long enough and teasing us just enough to keep us hooked.
  17. Reviewed by: Matthew Passantino
    Nov 7, 2018
    80
    Ostensibly, Homecoming might appear uneventful and slow but it's deliberately and skillfully languid, ratcheting up tension with purpose and ease.
  18. Reviewed by: Sophie Gilbert
    Nov 5, 2018
    80
    The result is a television series that’s frequently breathtaking. Each frame of Homecoming feels meaningful, and most feel at least vaguely familiar. ... As Homecoming unfurls its mystery through 10 half-hour installments, the stylistic choices can seem more like aesthetic overdecoration than vital components of something fully cohesive. ... It has the potential to expand its story in a way that melds the narrative organically with Esmail’s stylistic flourishes, rather than layering one on top of the other.
  19. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Nov 2, 2018
    80
    Season 1 of Homecoming supplies two fine roles to Julia Roberts--or, rather, one superb role, that of the disappointed American hero Heidi Bergman, on two time lines. ... Every episode of Homecoming, each crisp half-hour installment, is a compact exploitation film, spinning an anxious yarn about systematic abuse.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Nov 1, 2018
    80
    The show grows warmer with detail and behavior, even as the style stays chilly. Julia Roberts is a good actress, one remembers, and she’s surrounded by rooted, delicate performances from (among others) James, Spacek, Whigham, Alex Karpovsky as a counselor and Jeremy Allen White as a member of Cruz's old unit who suspects that all at the honeycombed Homecoming Transitional Support Center is not what it seems.
  21. Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    Nov 1, 2018
    80
    The economic presentation of its complexities is among the many reasons that it’s enjoyable. There’s that, and the fact that no episode runs longer than 38 minutes. Yet its plot loses none of its potency due to that devotion to brevity.
  22. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Nov 1, 2018
    80
    The pace is deliberate in “Homecoming,” but the show is rarely boring thanks to the visuals and an investment in the characters. (After episode eight, when a major reveal happens, “Homecoming” gets a little draggy, but by then invested viewers will carry through to the end.)
  23. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Nov 1, 2018
    80
    The series is based on a podcast fictional series created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, who’ve helped Esmail refashion their audio-based narrative (a collage of tense phone conversations and other snippets of recorded evidence) into a terrific, tightly strung tale of deceit and memory.
  24. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Oct 31, 2018
    80
    The first four episodes do an eerily good job of making us wonder why Heidi can’t seem to recall her time at Homecoming, and just what the heck happened there. The sound design of Homecoming is intriguing, as you’d expect from a series based on a podcast. ... The cast also keeps "Homecoming" watchable, with skillful performances that keep a fine balance between drama and thriller, spiked with moments of weird humor.
  25. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Oct 31, 2018
    80
    Homecoming doesn’t feel all that bleak. With its lean storytelling, contained plot, and focus on characters as opposed to power structures, it makes chaos feel manageable.
  26. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Oct 30, 2018
    80
    Roberts and James have abundant chemistry, which is crucial for a thriller built so much on two people just talking. The plot is intentionally slow to start, so the early episodes lean heavily on atmosphere and on how likable Heidi and Walter are together. Roberts and James more than deliver the latter, while Esmail is all over the former.
  27. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 21, 2018
    80
    Just when you might become frustrated with all the vagueness of the mystery and the hints of conspiracy, the writers deliver a solid step forward. It helps enormously that the episodes are a half-hour long, undoing any potential for ponderousness. It’s a pleasure to see Roberts stretch her legs on TV, particularly in her scenes opposite James, where her heart is most evident. The two clearly have a strong chemistry, one that is not necessarily romantic, and they are surrounded by a fine supporting cast.
  28. Reviewed by: Caroline Framke
    Sep 7, 2018
    80
    Sharp slices of truly eerie drama. Even when it gets a little too mesmerized by its own stylistic trickery, it’s hard not to get sucked in by Homecoming’s haunting mission creep.
  29. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Nov 1, 2018
    75
    Slow at first, the 10-episode Amazon series finds its groove in later episodes, which explore the kind of provocative themes that make this feel like a "Black Mirror" installment stretched into miniseries form.
  30. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 1, 2018
    75
    You dive into the deep end of this pool and struggle to make it back to the surface, not because you have to (although in my case I did) but because you can't. That's obviously good, also occasionally frustrating because Homecoming can be parsimonious with information. ... Then, there's Roberts, who is superb (and always is).
  31. Reviewed by: Kelly Lawler
    Nov 1, 2018
    75
    Homecoming can be annoying, slow or confusing at times, but its final few episodes are so gripping, well-acted and well-written that you may get swept away and forget what annoyed you in the first place. Roberts starts to show her incredible range as a performer, turning her emotions on a dime and filling up the small screen with as much magnetism as she ever did on the big one.
  32. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Oct 27, 2018
    75
    An elegant suspense tale in which memory and identity are both the heroes and the villains.
  33. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Oct 31, 2018
    70
    With great ideas, an interesting mystery, and a phenomenal ensemble, the only thing holding Homecoming back from the top tier of current television is a common issue with streaming service shows--pacing. Even at ten half-hour episodes, Homecoming drags its feet a few too many times, sinking back into valleys after notable peaks in episodes four and eight. It could have been a masterpiece at five or six episodes.
  34. Reviewed by: Liam Mathews
    Oct 22, 2018
    70
    Sam Esmail does what he can to make the show visually compelling -- and he does a lot -- but it still feels like something is getting lost in translation.
  35. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Oct 22, 2018
    40
    Though the episodes only run a half-hour each, Homecoming moves at a glacial pace. It finds its groove about four episodes in, and then loses it again.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 93
  2. Negative: 12 out of 93
  1. Nov 3, 2018
    2
    This show is total garbage. Once again do not listen to the critics. Wierd does not equal good. The first 2 episodes are total nonsense.This show is total garbage. Once again do not listen to the critics. Wierd does not equal good. The first 2 episodes are total nonsense. Julia Roberts is way too good to be in this nothing show. I guess cropping the screen is now supposed to be compelling TV. I’m sick of TV shows like this where the viewer is supposed to be dazzled by the weirdness. If you are a normal person, you will not like this show. Full Review »
  2. Nov 5, 2018
    8
    This is actually a pretty good show. It has all the mystery, mood, and intrigue of a Hitchcock flick as its one of the few, truly intelligentThis is actually a pretty good show. It has all the mystery, mood, and intrigue of a Hitchcock flick as its one of the few, truly intelligent mysteries left out there. It's also good and interesting to see Julia Roberts move away from the popcorn movies and Oscar bait that she's used to and take on a small screen, art-house mystery like this, which she does a fairly good job at doing so, although that huge fake smile she's famous for gets old after a while. Stephan James, as well as the always reliable Bobby Carnivale is fantastic.

    It is a slow potboiler, though, and if these sort of slow-moving, hard thinking, aren't your thing like it seems to be for many of the fanboy and trolls that inhabit Metacritic, then comic book fare and zombie shows are more your speed. This is a terrific, tightly strung tale of deceit and memory and something new, novel, and different for a change.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 4, 2018
    0
    Out of your tiny minds!
    This seemed intetesting however nothing happens.
    It starts slowly and never gains any momentum. Give this a miss
    Out of your tiny minds!
    This seemed intetesting however nothing happens.
    It starts slowly and never gains any momentum.
    Give this a miss you have better things to do with your life.

    The critics get it wrong again, stop paying the critics to promote garbage. Critics text book quotes on the style of filming do nothing to keep the viewer engaged.

    Julia Roberts deserved better than this rubbish.
    Full Review »