User Reviews (88)

  • Vikas Raghav10 August 2017
    Give it a go and you will be stuck before you know
    This show is the BEST THRILLER to come out in a long time.

    It's the type of the show where you are always inside the screen. you are paying close attention to every little details, you are trying to connect all the dots, you want to untangle the characters get in their mind, solve the mystery and at last you will be asking "WHY CORA TANNETTI DID THIS??"

    The performances are top notch, you can see inside the character through the actor. Jessica Biel really leads the show in an extraordinary manner.

    The plot is amazing and writing make sure the show is always connected to the original content.

    The mystery deepens with every episode and you will be left crying for the next one. DON'T MISS IT!!!
  • Craig16 October 2017
    There's no Season Two. So enjoy!
    Literally sat down to check out the first episode and binge-watched all 8 episodes in one long day! The chances of that happening are pretty slim in my busy world, so it better be good. This is a smart, tight, psychological thriller with some great imaginative writing. Plenty of twists to keep you going, "next episode, please" and Jessica Biel is perfectly cast and Bill Pullman works as the salty, troubled detective. It took a couple episodes to warm to his portrayal, but he eventually owned the role. You'll have to pay attention watching this one as there are a lot of moving parts and interconnections that come together as the show goes on. It reminded me some of the really good British crime dramas like Broadchurch, The Fall or The Tunnel. There's no season two, so enjoy.
  • atlasmb11 August 2017
    A Promising Why-dunit
    Cora (Jessica Biel) is a normal looking young woman who commits a shocking crime in full view of many witnesses. As viewers, we witness the crime also, so there is no doubt of her guilt.

    Means and opportunity are never in question, but what is the motive? That is the central mystery around which this series revolves. And it is the question that drives police detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) to dig deeper despite Cora's confession of guilt.

    Ambrose is a sad sack character who seems to commune better with nature than with people. Perhaps he understands compulsion and seeks to unravel his own while investigating Cora's.

    In the first episode, Cora says, "I never thought that I would have a normal life." This is a major clue that her behavior may be rooted in her early years. Throughout the show, there are flashbacks to various happenings from all periods of Cora's life--clues that form pieces of the jigsaw puzzle solution.

    As for the acting, most of the heavy hauling involves Biel and Pullman, who are convincing. The tone of the show is moody, suggesting the turmoil that lies just beneath the surface.

    It remains to be seen if the writing can weave a tale that keeps the story interesting over the course of the 8-episode season. This is a good start.

    Update 8/25/17: After four episodes, I am raising my grade to "8". The story is riveting. I would recommend this show to anyone who likes a good police mystery.
  • killer1h4 August 2017
    Very Promising
    This show struck me as intriguing. Now going into this I had no idea what to expect, of course there was the preview where a woman kills a man and that's about it. So where does this show differ from others?

    We'll lets start with the basics, the atmosphere. Even as you start the first episode you can tell something isn't right with the relationship, it feels like it's more forced on one person then the other. Second there's the general mood, it seems like the mother is under lots of pressure to do a bunch of stuff that she doesn't actually have any desire to do. And of course the in-laws who by all accounts are basically just pushing in on her.

    This all adds up to a very interesting scenario where you know something's gonna give, but you're not quite sure what.

    8/10 A very nice start.
  • sierrakhunter14 September 2017
    On the edge of my seat...
    I have never noticed Jessica Biel's acting as anything other than sub-par, but I am blown away at how great she is in this roll! You can tell she's hiding something or has blocked her past out for one reason or another. Every episode ends with a cliffhanger! I am on episode 7 of the 8 and I have no idea what's going to happen next! The unpredictability of this show and the characters. I am just as confused with Bill Pullman's character and the why he feels inclined to help or figure out why Cora did what she did. I can't wait till next Wednesday! I love a good show that I can't figure out the ending!
  • dominiquemirza16 August 2017
    Stuck like glue......
    I've always loved Jessica Biel and now I know why!!! I have been hooked since I saw the trailer. This series is amazing and has me on the edge of my seat for the entire hour each and every time. No matter how exciting a scene gets, you will always be left wondering and in amazement as to what's coming next. I'm so psyched over this!!! Wednesday can't come soon enough!
  • Elf10 August 2017
    Not read the book (yet), really liked the show so far.
    Warning: Spoilers
    I love crime/thriller novels but I hadn't read The Sinner yet. I personally think shows should be seen independently because adapting a book completely to screen is impossible and could easily get boring and vice versa.

    The first episode was good. Of course as you would expect from the first episode of crime shows it was more about giving a first impression about the characters and the crime. I personally didn't think it was slow but if you did, it would be unfair to judge the show by its "cover." You can tell there's more about Cora than just killing seemingly a stranger.


    Someone in reviews has written "If Jessica Biel was anymore subdued in this role I would think that she was dead..." No, dude, it's not bad acting, it's good acting. Biel's character Cora, before she commits the murder, does something in the river that appears to be like she was trying to kill herself. Cora IS depressed and in a mental state that makes her kill someone may or may not be over just a song. Biel's acting to reflect that emotion is pretty damn great, I think.


    The second episode was better than the first. We see the murder and the story behind it are more complex. We see how Cora and her husband Mason met. More information about Cora's abusive mother and family life growing up. And more. Like I said, I'm a fan of crime/thriller novels and this show really feels like one. I would recommend.
  • gabrielle-0827917 August 2017
    Really Good
    I really like this for a lot of reasons. Jessica Biel is great, wish she would do more acting. And the actress that plays her mother is great too, she really makes you despise her. A couple of people mentioned that they could do without knowing Ambrose's sexual proclivities but I think it's important, for two reasons. One, it points out that many of those 'proclivities' are far more mainstream and less taboo than we realize. People get so worked up over anything that doesn't seem like conventional sex but it's just nerve endings people, get a grip. Secondly, Ambrose also points out an all too common dilemma that far more people than you'd imagine find themselves in; having sexual needs that are incompatible with the partner you love. These things are complicated, messy or sad but it doesn't diminish the talents you may have outside of the bedroom. It's real, all of it seems very real and wonderfully acted, can't wait to see what happens next.
  • stankactorman13 August 2017
    We know what, but we don't know why.
    Warning: Spoilers
    THE SINNER: (USA Wed, 10/9c) After two episodes of this 8 parter, I'm hooked on this intriguing story starring Jessica Biel, as Cora, a married mom, who for no reason, one bright sunny day, stabs to death an apparent total stranger on a lake front beach in front of her husband, young son and dozens of witnesses. It's pretty clear cut. Dozens saw it, she confesses to it, refuses to say more and pleads guilty, but the judge orders an evaluation before passing judgment. In steps Bill Pullman who turns in a marvelously subtle performance as the detective assigned to investigate, playing it more like psychiatrist than cop who listens analytically to her confession. Biel is equally outstanding as the tortured soul. Cora's backstory gives us the reason for the title. Her sick bitch religious zealot of a mother tells her that Cora used up so much of her energy during her pregnancy with her, that her body had little left to devote to her sister and the mother piles on the guilt when the sister has a setback by telling Cora she isn't praying hard or long enough and therefor Cora is to blame for her sister's condition because she's not doing her share. No spoiler alert because I don't really know, but I'm going to venture a guess that shades of Primal Fear may come into play. It's taut. It's gripping. It's a fascinating story, beautifully acted and directed. Score: 9. WATCH IT. Let's pray it doesn't poop out at the end like some similarly formatted shows (American Crime) have done.
  • t-unknown-one3 August 2017
    It's early on, but I'm interested
    Warning: Spoilers
    There's no question Jessica Biels character had a disturbing childhood and that this is the root of it all but I think it might be an interesting ride. I like Bill Pullmans somewhat wise, patriarchal demeanor in characters like this. (see Brokedown Palace, Independence Day) I don't mind his fixation on plants and randomly sharing his botanical prowess with people who don't care at non sequitur moments, I have actually known people like that and it lends an eccentric, "quirky" air to his character though I could do without his sexual quirks. It didn't seem to fit and threw me off liking him. Who knows what lurks in the hearts of men? Actually, nobody. It's been a long time since I've watched anything on USA and I was surprised to see the husband character put Biels hand on his aroused crotch. I guess they have to sell it. Also of interest is that Jessica Biel is executive producer of the show. I'll stick around and see how this unravels.
  • AnonymousFilmLover269 September 2017
    Definitely a solid, slow-burn show
    This show, "The Sinner" is certainly a slow-burn show. It won't appeal to everyone; and the episodes do move slowly, but with purpose - to build a greater sense of tension and curiosity in the viewer. It's a little extra-sexual in parts, (and I agree with the comment on Ambrose, I feel like his sexual preferences/habits aren't really central to the plot of the show) but for the most part, this too is purposeful...Cora (Jessica Biel) was obviously abused and extremely oppressed as a kid, so she's had less freedom to find herself than the average (30 -something?) woman.

    Out of "Somewhere Between", this show, and "Midnight, TX", this is the one I find myself coming back to. It's dark, moody, you KNOW something's just not right but what is it???

    Start watching, and keep watching, to find out.
  • benrobo9 August 2017
    Good Start
    I agree with some of the other reviews here.

    There's obviously something wrong here but it's only ever suggested. The music and some of the camera work add to general uneasy feeling that something is not right with Jessica Biel's character, but as you'd expect for a first episode, there are a lot of questions raised and very little answered.

    The acting here is solid from all parties.

    Looks promising for the series ahead.
  • pobrien-68-1590766 September 2017
    Love this TV Series
    This Mini TV Series had me from the first episode, I recommend to anyone who loves a great Drama, Murder, Mystery. Cast is great and I applaud all of the cast, especially Jessica. I will be watching all of the upcoming episodes and hope the writers will continue to produce great TV Shows as they have so far with "The Sinner".
  • Danny Blankenship2 September 2017
    Interesting and compelling drama of pain and secrets, that connects with morals that involve sex and religion.
    This new limited "USA Network" series "The Sinner" is one to watch as it shows how the secrets and problems of the past of one's upbringing can cause them to change and commit violent crazy acts. And the themes mostly involve around moral choices, dark secrets, sex, and religion. Set in upstate New York Cora(Jessica Biel in a dark and crazy role)a young mom who seems to have it all with husband Mason(Chris Abbott)all of a sudden one day her life and others around her take a spin for the worst. At the beach one day Cora does a violent act, soon each episode is revealing as to what lead up to the blood and surprise killing as secrets from childhood and other people involved are revealed. No one is who they seem, even Harry(Bill Pullman)the detective who investigates the case also has his own dark demons. One by one everything seems to involve a connection of dark pasts and moral choices brushing up against religion, sin, sex, and the unexpected twist of what you don't think. Overall good limited drama series that spotlights the bad and dark nature of many.
  • wildsparrow1619 August 2017
    A very good psychological thriller...
    Warning: Spoilers
    "I once ate an entire chocolate bar hoping it would kill you."

    Ms. Biel shines in this, playing victim and killer at the same time. She comes from unimaginable childhood abuse, has a deeply rooted and troubled history with her now dead sibling (which we learn pretty early on), and a murky history that added to her trauma - and she snaps. But was it random or was there more to it? Bill Pullman is excellent and plays his part with compassion and intensity. Abbott will be the next big name in Hollywood (see James White, which I have also reviewed). I also recommend The Truth About Emmanuelle for Biel fans. I look forward to the next episode of The Sinner.
  • TwentyWasHere10 December 2017
    Sex, Tension and Lack of Credibility
    In the same way as in the book mysteries are "seeded" that keep you reading in a classic cliffhanger kind of writing. In between there are long parts obsessed with detail and a lot of graphic sex to wake you up again, the later is way toned down in the show naturally.

    The show follows the same structure as the book basically (with some creative license of course), which makes it an extreme slow burner. The dialogue is usually flat and boring but the actors do a good job to get the emotion on screen the book is so obsessed with.

    However, the show totally misses the feeling of depression and the emotional empty graphic sex that build the overall narrative of the story and are the key ingredients to create tension. That tension is then "seeded" in between with clues why the protagonist did what she did and you keep reading. The strongest aspects of the book are rendered mute in the TV show.

    And that is the problem with the show, it never flames up, it just a fire that is slowly fading, then someone pours oil into the fire at the end of each episode, but the flames are immediately extinguished at the start of the next episode. A similar structural weakness as in the source material, though the the show is not able to hide these from the viewer.

    Naturally in the same way as the book all the clues and tension do not really add up in the end and you get pretty much a standard rushed "twist" resolution, most people should be able to see miles away. Anyone who is used to European crime stories has seen this a million times. The ending is rushed, there is no real closure, a problem the source material once more shares.

    In addition the overall story and the behavior of the characters lacks credibility. When reading the book you can easily overlook this as you are drawn into an emotional and depressing down spiral. The show is not able to pull the same trick.

    The acting and production value overall is good, the acting is especially strong, no overacting, but misses the feeling of portraying depression on screen and instead of goes for hopelessness/desperation. Here the director is to blame not the actors. The director did not really understood what made the book popular in the first place with the target audience.

    The music is somewhat lacking and does not really help the emotional aspects of a scene, instead it was selected to give viewers a note of "be aware clue to the WhySheDidIt is coming", even if it's not happening.

    Ultimately the show cannot overcome the weaknesses of the actually story as it stays too close to the source, minus the graphic sex and missing the mark on the overall depressive aspect. It's a truthful adaption for TV and therefore exposes the problems that are innate to the source material.

    If you never watched much European crime stories, which usually deal more with the psychological aspects of victim and perpetrator - sometime blur the lines - then you might find this very appealing. The show clearly targets a North American audience as such story telling is especially rare in US produced show.

    Still if you were never exposed much to to European crime stories, you might find this fresh and intriguing. But be aware this show is so slow that you can walk away for ten minutes and not missed anything. Overall the show doesn't require you to pay much attention anyway.

    In the end give the show 6 out of 10 for very good acting, especially on Biel's part. But in the end the story has not enough to offer for the total run time of this limited series, a two part TV movie would have been a way better choice. If you do not like slow burners stay away from this one.
  • jasha8926 November 2017
    What a pleasant surprise
    The Sinner is an American TV series based on the popular novel of the same name written by Petra Hammesfahr.

    Here we are following Jessica Biel as a leading actress (and executive producer of the series as well) in her, without a doubt, best performance to date. I have to emphasize that her portrayal of a troubled young mother with unclear past (to her and to others) is almost without any flaws. You can easily see that she was passionate about this project (even though we all know she can act - The Illusionist, London) and she is able to produce genuine and very complex feelings and emotions to the screen. But I also must say that the supporting cast is amazing as well - Jacob Pitts, Christopher Abbott, and a smaller but fantastic role played by Nadia Alexander.

    Overall tone of the series is moody and ominous from the get go which I think puts us emotionally in the right spot, with audience knowing that its not going to be an easy ride. It is a mystery thriller that lets you in on the plot little by little, keeping you engaged throughout the whole 8 episode runtime.

    I believe that it is worth noting that the whole series conclude with its final 8th episode providing you with a rewarding ending. There wont be a second season.

    By the way, the song you are looking for is Big Black Delta - Huggin & Kissin.

    9 out of 10 from me.
  • behzad-elahi4 September 2017
    Excellent Thriller
    One of the finest series of genre puzzles in recent years.

    everything is perfect.Very compelling story . Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman are great.

    can't wait to see what happens next. Be sure to enjoy this show. DO NOT MISS IT !!!
  • androdeas24 August 2017
    On the edge of my seat!
    Warning: Spoilers
    I can't get enough of this series! I am completely hooked and can't wait to see where the story goes!

    Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) is a mother with a caring husband and overbearing but kind in laws living a seemingly mundane life. But it is clear from the very beginning that something is wrong. When Cora, her son and husband go to the beach whatever has been lurking under the surface comes leaping out when Cora murders a man without explanation. As the series continues Cora, her husband and the detective on the case are all on separate journeys to discover the truth about Cora's dark past.

    This series presents some disturbing issues. Twisted ideas of faith, sexual desires that work outside of societal ideals, the traps of a mind that has undergone severe trauma. It brings to light some serious questions that I think many people may not understand regarding mental illness, human nature and the desire to find the truth in all of its ugly glory.
  • heatherschulle28 August 2017
    Cora has a seemingly normal life until she kills somebody in cold murder.
    Warning: Spoilers
    I love this show. It was brought to my attention when someone's blog was sponsored on Facebook, and mentioned that "a lot of viewers are turning away from this show because the murder scene in the first episode was too graphic and violent for most viewers to handle." The article went on to say that it was one of the most horrific scenes on TV today.

    This is a gross misrepresentation of the show. While it was graphic and of course disturbing, it was NOT one of the most horrific scenes on TV. I have seen much, MUCH MUCH worse on Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Criminal Minds, Bates Motel, and so much more. The scene they are referring to is incredibly tame compared to a lot of other things on TV today.

    This show is mainly a psychological thriller with a little gore in the beginning. As the series continues, we uncover why Cora acted the way she did. So, if you are leaning toward not watching it because some stupid blog says it's too violent, I wouldn't worry too much. It's really not that bad. While there are some violent moments, it's primarily a look into the mind of someone raised in a unique way, who has been through some serious trauma and abuse.

    I would highly recommend it if you're into thrillers, and psychological thrillers. Even if you're a little squeamish, you can look away for the thirty seconds it takes her to kill someone.
  • SnoopyStyle10 October 2017
    creepy sister
    Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) is a seemingly normal religious mother in upstate NY. She's at the beach with her family when she starts fixating on a young flirtatious couple nearby. She picks up a knife and mindlessly walks over to stab the guy to death. She is arrested. Her husband Mason is confused. She refuses to have a lawyer and tries to plead guilty. The judge orders an evaluation to determine her state of mind and the cause of the murder. Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) investigates the case as her past is revealed.

    This is an interesting little limited series mystery. Biel does solid work and so does Pullman. It does feel like a show which drives down several dead ends like the husband. It's all good due to a truly creepy character in the sister played by Nadia Alexander. I sit at attention whenever the sisters are together in the flashbacks. It is wonderfully uncomfortable. Their dysfunctional relationship is what excels and what makes this show fresh.
  • Crystal_Dive28 August 2017
    a generic cop procedural drawn out
    It is not a page-turner as touted to be. Nothing special in the plot at all, and the circumstances doesn't elicit any spectacular acting performances. No redeeming environment or set-piece. This is some generic cop procedural, case-of-the week drawn out over 8 episodes by completely unnecessary and meaningless padding. How this series managed to get such high ratings is suspicious.
  • ugliman15 March 2018
    One of the best mini series of all times. Straight forward script, excellent cast. Made just right. HIGHLY recommended!!
  • shilkmake-1115310 November 2017
    The illusion of memory.
    The Sinner is a well crafted and credibly acted tale. Knowing the crime and perpetrator from the beginning sets the scene for a tale of grim discovery; a man is randomly stabbed to death on a popular beach, witnessed by dozens. The only question is why Cora, a young mother, husband and son by her side, would suddenly snap and commit the terrible crime?

    From there we embark on a disturbing, twisted journey that gave me nervous butterflies for several straight episodes. As I hate spoilers I'll keep it very simple.

    Aided by one of the investigating detectives, Cora (and the viewer) explore the black hole in her memory that leaves several terrifying months missing from her mind. It is this void, the detective believes, that holds the key to unraveling the mystery. Simultaneously, we are invited to witness her troubled childhood which may or may not have contributed to her current predicament. As the layers are peeled back, your assumptions and theories are repeatedly rendered inaccurate. In fact, although flirting with the truth on occasion, it took the last 30 minutes of the final episode to truly reveal all.

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Sinner and give credit to both the writers and the cast. It's a mere 8 episodes which I devoured in short time. If you've got a lazy weekend to fill, I'd seriously recommend you give it a go.
  • pietclausen7 September 2017
    A show meant for tortoises
    I've seen 6 episodes thus far and am getting frustrated because the show is so slow. Whereas the first episode gave a promise of a good thriller with mystery developing, it turns out to be mostly talking heads with lots of flashbacks, but not getting anywhere.

    There are only 2 episodes left, so I'll stick it out and hopefully we will get a conclusion and not leave us hanging for another (unwanted) season.

    A disappointing series which I would not recommend anyone wanting a fast and furious result.
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