WHAT OTHERS SAY
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Featuring a tour-de-force performance from Damian Lewis, Keane is an intense study of a schizophrenic man who desperately seeks to find out what happened to his daughter, who disappeared when he was distracted at a New York bus terminal. Lewis is extraordinary in a hugely demanding role, and the audience is often in doubt as to whether his view can to be trusted. Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin is also superb as the daughter of a woman whom Lewis befriends.
-- [article author unknown], Movie Mail, early January 2007
Damian Lewis, who plays Keane, really makes the movie and without his exceptional performance, Keane may not produce the effect it does. ... His American accent is indistinguishable from any other American actors I know, and he has a way of captivating the audience by playing the character as a tormented and disturbed man, yet sympathetic at times, as well. ... Keane is unlike any film I have ever seen and I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who wishes to see a powerful psychological thriller.
-- Christopher Ott, Spaces Live, January 13, 2007
[In Much Ado About Nothing, Sarah] Parish, all bouncy hair and forked tongue, is a delight. ... Lewis is equally impressive as the smarmy ladies' man who turns all gooey when fooled into thinking Beatrice loves him rather than loathes him. The pair have a sizzling chemistry and milk the comedy -- and there's plenty of it -- for all it's worth.
-- [article author unknown], Sydney Morning Herald, January 14, 2007
Sarah Parish and Damian Lewis bring subtle flavours to every role, but here [in Much Ado About Nothing] as perfectly drawn two-dimensional TV "personalities" duped into falling for each other, they've thrown in the entire spice rack. They're funny. They romp. ... As Lewis sweats and chats to himself through sit-ups on an enormous blue Swiss ball, it is almost possible to forget his thoroughly grim Soames in The Forsyte Saga.
-- Ruth Ritchie (article author), Sydney Morning Herald, January 20, 2007
[Keane] is a strong character piece that is a precise examination of the nature of guilt and loss. This is very much to Lewis who carries the entire movie on his shoulders with aplomb.
-- Laurence Boyce (article author), Netribution, January 29, 2007
The fifth episode [of Band Of Brothers] is called "Crossroads" and is, in my eyes, the best episode of the series. This excellent episode is directed by Tom Hanks (whose presence behind the camera becomes apparent) and is focused entirely on Capt. Dick Winters, played brilliantly by Damian Lewis, who has always been good as the steadfast officer in previous episodes. Now, given the task of carrying a whole hour by himself, Lewis proves to be more than up to the task with the microscope placed on him.
-- E. Levi (article author), C.L.A.C.P. For Me Only, February 8, 2007
Keane is played by Damian Lewis, and the performance is nothing short of incredible. This is a particularly challenging role, and director Lodge Kerrigan gives Lewis nowhere to hide, fixing the camera on his face for roughly two-thirds of the movie. Lewis' ability to exude anguish makes Keane's suffering palpable to the audience, but when he has his more tender moments with Kira, we can let ourselves believe that he had a daughter, so at ease are his interactions with the young girl. How this performance was not recognised on a wider scale is beyond me. ... The performance from Lewis is as good an acting job as you will see, and Keane is definitely worth seeing. ... Lewis' performance is magnificent.
-- PaddyC (article author), PaddyC's Movie Reviews, February 9, 2007
RR: Good work [in The Situation] from Damian Lewis, who I think is always an interesting actor.
LS: Yes, always great to see him.
-- Richard Roeper (reviewer) and Lisa Schwarzbaum (guest reviewer), Ebert & Roeper, February 10, 2007
I don't think anybody could deny that Damian Lewis' performance is anything less than world class. Playing a troubled loner with serious mental problems is not easy. Making that character sympathetic and conveying the pain and misery of mental illness, in the way the actor does in Keane, is nothing short of astounding.
-- Ian Smith (article author), Ian Smith's UK DVD Review, February 11, 2007
Should have been a contender [for Best Actor in the Academy Awards]: Damian Lewis for Keane. A powerful, painful, deeply exposed performance.
-- Peter Bradshaw (article author), The Guardian, February 22, 2007
The latest to do a [performance as] Tony [Blair] was Damian Lewis in the telly drama Confessions of a Diary Secretary. ... Viewers could be forgiven for thinking the real Blair had taken up acting.
-- Ian Robson (article author), The Sunday Sun, March 4, 2007
[Keane wouldn't] work without a brilliant actor. And oh man -- either Damian Lewis was born for this role or he has the potential to be one of the greatest actors working today. No joke, Lewis previously shined as ... Winters in Band of Brothers but his portrayal of William Keane is relentless and beyond painful. His range here is simply brilliant -- the side glances, mumbling like he's receiving orders from aliens. And of course, his freakouts. The camera is very similar to the Dardenne Bros. (almost no cuts, camera so close it threatens to bore into Keane's skull), so every minutia of his steady boil is caught with unflinching insight. Writer/director Lodge Kerrigan ... has finally made his masterpiece. Every bit as unyielding as his previous portrayals of marginalized street dwellers, but more intimate and ultimately more cathartic.
-- "Eliot" (article author), Cinemania, March 13, 2007
Lewis is awesome [in Life], even in the brief preview clip [shown during the NBC fall-preview presentation], and he gets a rare roll that allows him to be a little less serious than he usually is on-screen.
-- "Kim" (article author), TV Filter, May 15, 2007
I'm declaring my new favorite low-profile series, sight unseen. It's NBC's "Life," about a cop who spent years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, and now he's back on the force. It's an intriguing premise, actually, but that's not why I'm an instant fan. It's because it stars Damian Lewis, the squad leader in HBO's "Band of Brothers," a good guy and a great actor. NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly compared him to Hugh Laurie of Fox's "House" and called him charming, funny and the "kind of guy who can just bring it all together." All that's good. More fun is that, like Laurie, Lewis is British, yet he sounds better speaking Americanized English than most of us do. And he's just always watchable.
-- Rick Kushman (article author), Sacramento Bee, May 18, 2007
Damian portrays the mentally disintegrating Keane with an exactitude of shattering dimensions.
-- Adam Thursby (article author), Cambridge Film Trust, May 2006 (published May 30, 2007)
The charisma of Damian Lewis as Charlie Crews [in Life] is undeniable.
-- Ron Martin (article author), 411 Mania, June 10, 2007
Lewis ... should've become a big star on these shores after playing Maj. Richard D. Winters, the quintessential American hero, in HBO's "Band of Brothers." That performance would've been the highlight of many careers, but he followed it up with a poignant performance as the cold, abusive Soames Forsyte in PBS' "The Forsyte Saga" -- a turn so brilliant that it totally reinterpreted the story. You have to be a very good actor indeed to do that.
-- Georgette Gouveia (article author), Remote Access, August 7, 2007
I just love Damian Lewis, he has such a strong presence when he is on-screen. I really hope Life makes it big.
-- [article author unknown], Daemon's TV, August 30, 2007
It's Lewis's taut, entrancing performance [in Keane] that makes this nearly unmissable.
-- [article author unknown], Radio Times, September 7, 2007
I was really impressed with Lewis' turn in HBO's monumentally terrific series "Band of Brothers" back in 2001.
-- Stuart Levine (article author), Variety, September 7, 2007
I think the best thing out of the show [Life] is Damian Lewis; he is absolutely phenomenal. Talk about great acting. I already knew he was good, but this is just proof of his greatness. He just has every single moment down. In every scene, you can feel all these years of prison weighting on his shoulders, brilliant! I think he is one of the main reasons why I loved the show so much. Apart, from Damian Lewis' great performance, Life benefits from a good concept. I think they can keep people interested by having different cases getting solved each episode, and having the overall arched storyline of Damian Lewis' character, Charlie Crews, trying to find out who framed him, spread out throughout the season. The writing is smart and funny. You get attached to the characters (especially Charlie Crews, did I mention I love Damian Lewis?) and get emotionally involved with what is happening to them. ... I definitely recommend Life as one of the new TV shows to check out this Fall 2007.
-- [article author unknown], Daemon's TV, September 8, 2007
[In Life,] Lewis is aces as an LA cop who was framed for murder and then exonerated and is now back on the force. ... Before the American accent, the facial stubble, and the limp, Hugh Laurie was "that guy from Blackadder" (and, to audiences under age five, Stuart Little's father). Now, Hugh Laurie is House and House is Hugh Laurie, and the networks are hoping lightning strikes twice. The best chance of that lies with Damian Lewis's magnetic turn as the eccentric, damaged -- and very House-like -- cop on Life.
-- Joyce Millman (article author), The Boston Phoenix, September 10, 2007
Not your usual cop show, Life has a toxic tone and an abiding skepticism about police work. Central character Charlie Crews -- brilliantly played by English actor Damian Lewis -- a good cop, was jailed for a crime he didn't commit. Now, exonerated and given a big cash settlement, he's back at work, but with a dissenting attitude. In the pilot, he says to a criminal, "Do you hate cops? Because I hate cops too." Rich enough not to care about his career, he's a cop-philosopher, a one-man crusade against ineptitude. And he wants to find out who framed him. There is nothing by-the-book about Crews or this series.
-- John Doyle (article author), Globe And Mail, September 14, 2007
[Life] was the last pilot I watched, and it was definitely the best. Damian Lewis's Charlie Crews is a wrongly accused cop who spent 12 years in prison before being exonerated and compensated with an undisclosed amount of settlement money. He returns to the force as a detective after he's released because the only thing that kept him going on the inside was that he was "a cop." The cast includes several interesting, complex characters. Lewis does a marvelous job of keeping Charlie's mannerisms and habits seem genuine rather than affected. The way he is no longer normally socialized or his delight in eating fresh fruit could have been annoying and overdone. ... You'll like this show.
-- Dee Stiffler (article author), Gapers Block, September 16, 2007
The characters [in Life] -- especially Crews -- won me over. Crews is played by the great Damian Lewis, and he brings an innocent likeability to the detective.
-- [article author unknown], TV To Me, September 18, 2007
And the fourth [new drama on NBC this fall], well, it has Damian Lewis. 'Nuff said! ... Damian Lewis' Charlie has got a Dr. Gregory House sort of sexiness about him (though Lewis' honorable, clean-living non-House-y character in Band of Brothers was damn sexy, too). He carries the show with ease. ... Bottom Line: Can we get a life sentence with Damian Lewis?
-- Kristin Dos Santos (article author), E! Online, September 21, 2007
[Life] is anchored and brilliantly balanced by the nuanced lead performance of British Band of Brothers break-out Damian Lewis.
-- Rob Salem (article author), Toronto Star, September 22, 2007
The primary reason I watched the pilot for Life was that the show's star is Damian Lewis, who played Dick Winters in HBO's epic Band of Brothers. I've never seen him in anything else (until now), but Band of Brothers was enough to make me watch anything that Lewis is in at least once, no questions asked. ... Damian Lewis does a fantastic job, and his character is fun to get to know.
-- Matthew Rogers (article author), RogersMJ.com, September 22, 2007
[In Life,] Crews [is] played with striking authenticity and a perfect American accent by British actor Damian Lewis.
-- Barry Garron (article author), Reuters/Hollywood Reporter, September 24, 2007
[Life] stars Damian Lewis (he was the magnetic lieutenant in Band Of Brothers) as a cop returning to the force after serving a dozen years in prison for murders he didn't commit. Now he's been cleared, but he's different, part Zen-like, part hardened, and very rich from the settlement. Other cops don't know what to make of him, and he's not sure what to make of his returned life. It's all done with an energetic sense of originality. Lewis is compelling in his mix of earnestness and quirkiness, the writing is muscular and swift, and it adds up to a new twist on the old cop show.
-- Rick Kushman (article author), Houston Chronicle, September 25, 2007
[In Life], the actor [Damian Lewis] has a still, enigmatic center, one he doesn't try to fill up with busy gestures. And his quiet charisma is well-suited to his role as Det. Charlie Crews, who took up the study of Zen Buddhism during his years in the slammer for a crime, it later emerged, he didn't commit.
-- Maureen Ryan (article author), Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2007
As anyone who saw him in Band of Brothers or The Forsyte Saga can testify, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better actor or more engaging performer than Damian Lewis.
-- Robert Bianco (article author), USA Today, September 25, 2007
Familiar from "Band of Brothers," Lewis is an impressive and nuanced actor (check out the indie "Keane" on DVD). ... Lewis shows Charlie's wide-eyed appreciation at merely being a part of the outside world, but he's as smartly intuitive and hard to double-talk as the eponymous leads in "House" or NBC's somewhat similar and cancelled-too-soon "Raines."
-- Daniel Fienberg (article author), Zap2It, September 25, 2007
Lewis turns Crews into an amusing figure - almost as comic as Tony Shalhoub's Monk, as he pronounces Zen platitudes to no one in particular and constantly munches on fruit. In between bites of an apple, he blithely admits to anyone who'll listen that he hates cops. And he is helpless when it comes to all the technological advances that occurred while he was in jail. But throughout all the silly quips and nonsensical exclamations, Lewis makes it subtly clear that Charlie's daffiness sits on top of a gusher of emotion. The guy spent more than a decade in prison among inmates who don't exactly take kindly to cops; we can tell that his lightheartedness is but a thin veneer. And when he's interrogating suspects, his fury clearly rears its head. Is Charlie about to go off the deep end? Lewis, with his red hair, pale face, and nonchalant expression, is compelling as he toys with Charlie's balance. The actor, who uses a flawless American accent, makes "Life" worth a gander.
-- Matthew Gilbert (article author), Boston Globe, September 26, 2007
[Damian Lewis] came to prominence playing Major Winters on "Band of Brothers," but fans of imported British TV are likely not only to recall, but continue to rave about his starring performances in the "Forsyte Saga" remake and in "Friends and Crocodiles." ... Lewis is commanding, and draws your attention without saying a word. ... Unlike many new shows this season, "Life" doesn't squander the talents of its cast. The mysteries are solid, the characters multilayered, and Crews is given a bigger mystery about which to obsess - finding out who framed him. And in the process, "Life" may even turn eating fruit into a trendy new craze.
-- David Bianculli (article author), New York Daily News, September 26, 2007
I've just always been a huge fan of Damian. And when I was finished writing [Life] I thought of him for the part, and I was lucky enough to get him in the time when he was willing to come over here and do American television. ... Damian has the unique ability, which I'd wanted in this character, to ultimately be a tough guy because of his time in prison -- you know, having really seen serious things, but also not being afraid to be warm and open; and I really want those two sides in the character and in the stories he embraces. It was very difficult to find. It's very difficult to find an actor like Damian, who has that ability to embrace both those parts of his personality.
-- Rand Ravich (Creator, Writer, Executive Producer of Life), Inside Pulse, September 26, 2007
NBC's new drama "Life" is the sort of show that makes a person want to write things that will be picked up for ad copy. Like: "If you only watch one new show this fall, watch 'Life.' " Or: "Terrific cast, terrific writing, and even when simply eating a pear, Damian Lewis sets a whole new standard for the broken hero genre." Not for the ad, but because they're true. And since "Life" has gotten zero buzz, there's a chance it will have a hard time finding an audience. Which would be terrible, since it promises to be such a great show. Playing it long and lugubrious but with a tantalizing twinkle, Lewis (last seen in the States as the hateful husband in "The Forsyte Saga") may well wrest the mantle of sexiest troubled American played by a Brit away from Hugh Laurie. Like House, Crews has been damaged by the profession he serves; like House, he sees things that other people miss. But Crews is working toward transformation. His serenity, however, is obviously self-imposed and at times, barely there, a thin mask of hard-won wisdom veiling the pain and anger within.
-- Mary McNamara (article author), Los Angeles Times, September 26, 2007
Charlie [in Life] is played by the British actor Damian Lewis, an Old Etonian whose television credits include a role in the BBC production of "Much Ado About Nothing." There is nothing patrician about Mr. Lewis's ruddy, almost dockworker look, but he wears an aristocrat's sense of entitlement with an ease that suits his character perfectly.
-- Ginia Bellafante (article author), The New York Times, September 26, 2007
Life is my other Must Watch of the night and is also on of my Top 5 new TV shows this season. I feel there hasn't been enough praise about the show. After watching the pilot I was blown away by how good it was. I was even upset that I didn't have the second episode to watch. Trust me, you don't want to miss the phenomenal performance of Damian Lewis. Read my Life review here.
-- [article author unknown], Daemon's TV, September 26, 2007
The pilot episode [of Life] succeeds with an unusually intriguing antihero, smart writing and an arresting star in Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers). ... Life breathes new life into cop drama.
-- Frazier Moore (article author), Associated Press, September 26, 2007
Another strong new entry on a night with the most new series is "Life" (NBC, 10 p.m.), a police drama starring the always good Damian Lewis ("Band of Brothers") as a detective recently released after being wrongly imprisoned for 12 years, who returns to the force in part to try to find out who framed him. Adam Arkin, Sarah Shai and Robin Weigert are part of the strong support cast.
-- Roger Catlin (article author), Hartford Courant, September 26, 2007
NBC's Life is a multi-layered original in its own right, though, largely because star Damian Lewis plays detective Charlie Crews with such distinctive precision. ... Moods range from whimsical to dark. Crews is both a poignant, compelling figure and an unconventional crackerjack cop. ... NBC has the fall season's most interesting and involving new drama. ... Grade: A.
-- Ed Bark (article author), Uncle Barky, September 26, 2007
If you have not yet seen Damian Lewis lead the 101st Airborne Division's Easy Company from the beaches at Normandy to the Eagle's Nest in Nazi Germany in HBO's 10-part miniseries Band Of Brothers, you must go -- go now. It's quite simply one of the finest stories ever put to film, due in no small part to Damian's performance as Capt. Richard Winters. You must not die without seeing it -- and for all you know, you could be hit by a truck tomorrow morning, so you better get your Band of Brothers viewing in now.
-- Kristin Dos Santos (article author), E! Online, September 26, 2007
Damian Lewis is reason enough to watch NBC's Life. ... Lewis is such a commanding presence. ... Life is good, well worth experiencing.
-- Tom Jicha (article author), Sun-Sentinel, September 26, 2007
"Life", and its male lead Damian Lewis, are goddamn fantastic. ... The pilot works because Damian Lewis as Charlie Crews works. ... Rand Ravich's script pops, and co-stars Lewis and [Sarah] Shahi bounce off each other effortlessly.
-- Nix (article author), Beyond Hollywood, September 27, 2007
Undoubtedly this character [Charlie Crews in Life] is going to go on a roller coaster ride of emotions as the series progresses, but I'm sure Damian Lewis will play that beautifully (you may remember him from his leading role in Band of Brothers). ... Damian Lewis is an amazing actor and a strong (but subtle) lead, and all the supporting actors are great.
-- "Kamikazewaffle" (article author), LiveJournal, September 28, 2007
[In Life,] Crews could've been a collection of quirks rather than a character, but Lewis humanizes him and makes him identifiable as someone trying to get a second chance at life. I liked this character a lot.
-- "Tom the Dog" (article author), Blogspot, September 28, 2007
Damian Lewis, who I loved in Band Of Brothers, is intellectually arousing and throughly eccentric in the delivery of his character, Charlie Crews [in Life].
-- "Bacchus" (article author), Vevmo, October 1, 2007
[Life] is structurally sophisticated ... and surprisingly complex in tone, mixing humour with dark drama. Much of the credit must go to Lewis. He plays Crews with a mix of childlike wonder, bruised melancholy and ruthless determination, helped along by a smart, witty script. ... Combining elements of crime-of-the-week procedural, buddy flick, psychological study and revenge drama, this is an ambitious cop show that deserves to succeed.
-- Greg Hassall (article author), Brisbane Times, October 3, 2007
Life: If you give it a shot, you will likely fall in love ... with Damian Lewis.
-- Korbi (article author), E! Online, October 3, 2007
"I've been a big fan of Damian Lewis for a long time, certainly since Band Of Brothers, and he had never wanted to do television. When we first started the process with NBC we had talked about it but he said he wasn't interested. We came to him later when we got further down the road and he seemed interested and was at a point in his life when he wanted to move to California. It all came together in a Zen-like way. He's perfect for the role. He can be both warm and tough and he's smart, but accessible and obviously very handsome so I could not imagine another Charlie Crews."
-- Rand Ravich (Creator, Writer, Executive Producer of Life), Buddy TV, October 3, 2007
I'm sticking by Damian Lewis as the major selling point of the series [Life]. He's just so damn good.
-- Korbi Ghosh (article author), E! Online, October 4, 2007
At the center of [Life] is extraordinary British actor Damian Lewis of Band of Brothers fame. His American accent is once again flawless, his witty Zen wisdoms are dryly delivered and his goofy smile sums up the person Charlie Crews has become in twelve years in maximum security prison. ... Lewis has the power to blow most other actors (not only in TV) out of the water. The show is sleek, funny and full of dark secrets lurking under the shiny exterior. ... In the midst of all the procedural shows Life brings with it a fresh breath of air in form of Charlie Crews, who is convinced that the universe is making fun of us all because it is insecure. ... All in all it is a fully recommendable show.
-- Phoebe Raven (article author), CC2K, October 4, 2007
Damian Lewis is great in the lead of this drama [Life] about a wrongly convicted cop back on the beat.
-- Richard Huff (article author), New York Daily News, October 17, 2007
[Life is] a really fun show thanks to Lewis' loopy cool performance.
-- Mike Duffy (article author), Detroit Free Press, October 17, 2007
I've enjoyed "Life" so far, mainly because of Lewis, who was so memorable in "Band Of Brothers" and whose performance in "Life" is so cool and detached that one friend of mine recently pegged him as the new Steve McQueen.
-- Adam Buckman (article author), New York Post, October 17, 2007
The dazzlingly brilliant Damian Lewis ... can do absolutely anything, from naughty comedy to definitively nailing Soames Forsyte. On Life, Lewis is highly watchable and entertaining.
-- Ruth Ritchie (article author), Sydney Morning Herald, October 20, 2007
Lewis shoulders the duties of a series leading man as if born to the job. It's no mean feat, but after his performance at the centre of Lodge Kerrigan's Keane I'm prepared to believe that he's capable of anything. See it, he's awesome.
-- Stephen Gallagher (article author), Blogspot, October 22, 2007
English actor Damian Lewis gives an astonishing performance in independent filmaker Lodge Kerrigan's mesmerizing Keane. ... I usually try to avoid hyperbole, but it's no exaggeration to say that Lewis' acting in Keane is among the most brilliant I have seen in a film: a staggeringly detailed portrayal of a complex, confused, sad, angry, fragmented soul.
-- Paul Clarke (article author), Blogspot, November 6, 2007
Life: This is a gem. Damian Lewis and ... Sarah Shahi excel as mismatched cop partners in NBC's best new fall series.
-- Ed Bark (article author), Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 7, 2007
Life. It's a true shame that more people aren't watching this show. Damian Lewis continues to crackle as the wrongly convicted cop who solves crimes and works on finding out who set him up. And Sarah Shahi, as his sidekick, is fantastic. Watch, please.
-- Richard Huff (article author), New York Daily News, November 7, 2007
If you haven't tried Life yet, you have only yourself to blame. Lewis [has a] gift for nuance and knowing when to dial it up by underplaying rather than going big. Life is well worth living.
-- Alex Strachan (article author), CanWest News Service, November 7, 2007
Life works for me because I'm loving Lewis and Crews more and more as the season progresses. Crews is strange, he's suave, and he means business, despite the timidity that his laidback attitude might indicate. Don't be fooled. ... I'm not kidding or committing hyperbole when I say that Life is the best new show on TV that nobody's watching. Please, do it and yourself a big favor: tune in at least once and just give Life a chance. You'll laugh a lot and come away entertained.
-- Chandra L. Williams (article author), TV Jots, November 8, 2007
[In Life,] Damian Lewis delivers the witty eccentric charisma as maverick Los Angeles police detective Charlie Crews in this underrated fall season rookie.
-- Mike Duffy (article author), Detroit Free Press, November 14, 2007
Lewis [is] certainly one of the five best actors on TV at this moment.
-- Daniel Fienberg (article author), Blogspot, November 14, 2007
[In Life,] Damian Lewis makes his Zened-out Crews one of the most fascinating and unformulaic detectives we've seen on TV.
-- Kristin Dos Santos (article author), E! Online, November 14, 2007
I love Damian Lewis's slightly amazed deadpan delivery. I think Charlie Crews might just be the least boring man on TV.
-- Joel Shepherd (article author), JoelShepherd.com, November 23, 2007
Rand Ravich, Far Shariat and their team have re-invented the cop show genre with 'Life.' With the pitch-perfect Damian Lewis at the center of a brilliant cast, each week this show has quietly built since its premiere into the little engine that could. We have every confidence that this drama will continue to impress audiences and critics with the quality of the acting and the writing.
-- Katherine Pope (President of Universal Media Studios), NBC, November 26, 2007
It can't be said enough how much I enjoy watching Damian Lewis work. He's so at ease with himself that you understand why [in Life] those runaways might talk to Crews even without the offer of the fruit, or why Reese would agree to give him back the knife and side with Charlie against her father. But then there are those moments when he gets his back up -- either with the kidnapper dad in the apartment, or when he sees Jack Reese enter the station with the manila envelope -- and you understand perfectly what prison did to him. I almost don't care about the plots anymore -- even though they've gotten much better since the first few episodes when I was ready to punt the show -- because I just want to see what Lewis is going to do next.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, November 29, 2007
Now a word about Damian Lewis' performance as Charlie [in Life], which looks all the more remarkable when you have the pleasure of contrasting it -- as I did over Thanksgiving weekend -- with his turn as Soames Forsyte on WNET-Channel 13's marathon airing of "The Forsyte Saga," part II. Soames Forsyte -- the constricted, possessive scion of a wealthy British family at the dawn of the 20th century -- would so hate the free-wheeling Charlie Crews, even though they have more in common than meets the eye. (Watch Charlie interrogate a suspect. Like Soames, he has a killer instinct.) Soames' dark secret -- the thing he can scarcely bring himself to discuss, he's so ashamed -- lies with the cruelty he visited on the wife who betrayed him. Yet such is the genius of Lewis' performance that he makes the sometimes villainous Soames totally intelligible. Indeed, it's worth watching the entire series on DVD to revel in the stiff way Lewis' Soames comports himself -- speech clipped, shoulders hunched, arms close to the body. His Charlie has a whole different verbal and kinetic rhythm -- looser but still edgy. Like an Olivier, Lewis can create a character from the outside in. But like a good Method actor, he can also express the internal, as in that scene with that lost boy, in which he says and does little and yet conveys so much compassion.
-- Georgette Gouveia (article author), Remote Access, November 29, 2007
Damian Lewis' tour-de-force as Keane is stunning.
-- [article author unknown], ExBerliner.net, December 5, 2007
Lewis ("Band of Brothers") has such control of his acting instrument. ... Crews is such a finely-delineated character by this point -- and Lewis such a commanding, quixotic presence in the role -- that I never knew exactly what he would do in any given situation. Lewis is a Brit who does the best American accent this side of Hugh Laurie. And like Laurie, he's so assured, so deft at the comedy and the drama, and at finding ways to make Crews' least appealing qualities seem like his most charming, that he'd be worth the tune-in even if the show around him hadn't improved so much. But improve the rest of "Life" has. ... I AM getting attached to this show. I am getting attached to this show. I am getting attached to this show. ...
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, December 5, 2007
Damian Lewis was so insanely good in this episode [of Life, season 1, episode 11, entitled Fill It Up] that I felt compelled to put some of my thoughts on the show into column form. ... In the moment, watching each scene, I believed Charlie Crews to be capable of anything, both emotionally (I would not have been the least bit shocked had he killed Hollis) and physically (I was not the least bit surprised that he was able to kill two men while trapped upside down in the second of his three cars in this episode). Lewis makes me believe in both the hard and soft parts of Crews' fragile psyche, the guy who can prepare himself for a suicide mission to find Hollis and the man who could lend the girl enough willpower to make it until the paramedics showed up.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, December 6, 2007
[In Brides,] Damian Lewis has never been stronger, a gorgeous leading man who gives his character, Norman, such a natural on screen presence that there appears to be nothing artificial about him.
-- [article author unknown], Brown Country (Blogspot), December 6, 2007
I liked [Life] right off, especially Damian Lewis who plays the lead role of Charlie Crews. His personality and delivery are top notch and highly entertaining. They couldn't have cast someone else for that role and given the show the same feel or flavor. No way. ... The show just has it's own way of doing things. From the way scenes are shot, and the music, and the writing, and the acting from Damian Lewis, this show is one of the better additions this season.
-- Mike (article author), A Mike Life, December 7, 2007
[Michael C.] Hall [in Dexter], [Hugh] Laurie [in House], and [Damian] Lewis [in Life] preside over their shows like conductors directing an orchestra. They don't just set the tone, they provide the moral tensions that drive the entire series forward. ... And the actors have made [their respective] heroes worth following, and quite unimaginable in another actor's hands. ... Hall and Lewis play recessive figures who say more by what they don't say. They both cultivate shy, childlike demeanors, masking the dark cogitations within. ... Lewis, a British actor who has done memorable work in "The Forsyte Saga" and "Band of Brothers," expertly walks the balance beam on this show [Life]. Charlie seems so composed at all times, so Zen, so preternaturally calm; and yet Lewis quietly makes it clear to us that he is deeply rattled. Charlie has been freed from jail, but he has not been liberated from years of righteous anger. Every glance from his watchful blue eyes, every seemingly involuntary tic, speaks of discomfort and paranoia. Lewis even makes Charlie's consumption of fruit - he had no fruit in jail - into a private pep rally, a touchstone of fury. ... Charlie caught the man who committed the murders he was jailed for. How did Charlie get a confession? By forcing the murderer to watch him dig a grave, shovel load by shovel load, still wearing his shirt and tie, with supreme deliberation. And, once Charlie got his confession, he performed a typically Charlie Crews task of eerie serenity; he re-filled the hole before taking his prisoner in. Lewis makes these mad gestures almost comic, although not exactly funny, either. "Life" is a good show getting better with each episode, and NBC has wisely given it a full-season order, once the writers' strike ends. ... As long as the writers can keep Lewis busy with subtext and secrecy, they will continue to distinguish "Life" from the rest of the procedural pack. Give actors such as Lewis, Hall, and Laurie the chance to build psychologically faceted characters, and we will watch.
-- Matthew Gilbert (article author), Boston Globe, December 9, 2007
Lewis and the reliable Scott Thomas are particularly good [in Chromophobia].
-- David Quinlan (article author), Pictures That Talk, December 12, 2007
Damian Lewis was a great casting decision to play the role of Charlie Crews [in Life], and he's the reason I keep watching.
-- Mike (article author), A Mike Life, December 13, 2007
[In Chromophobia], Lewis, an actor who has already proved his mettle playing a schizophrenic in Keane and here doesn't strike a false note. A genuine Everyman, Lewis never overplays the drama. ... Certainly, whenever Lewis is on screen, the film clips along agreeably, and he manages to elicit some genuine feeling when we discover his life is imploding. ... Aided by Damian Lewis's strong turn, it ... manages some unexpectedly poignant moments.
-- James Mottram (article author), Channel 4, December 14, 2007
Every cast member [in Chromophobia] plays it perfectly, most notably the central duo of Lewis and Scott Thomas, each a contradictory bundle of confidence and self-doubt.
-- Rich Cline (article author), Real Movie News, December 14, 2007
Life, NBC's new show about Charlie Crews, a cop sprung after 12 years in the pen for a frame job, is the best new show of the season. Balancing Zen and vengeful rage, Crews (Damian Lewis) is the most interesting quirky cop since Columbo.
-- Mary McNamara (article author), Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2007
Characters [in Chromophobia] are brilliantly observed, aided by some stunning performances. Lewis, Holm and Scott Thomas stand out for me.
-- Rachel Millward (article author), The Guardian, December 18, 2007
Sometimes when life seems the most confusing, I ask myself how Charlie Crews would handle it. The main character in NBC's new police drama "Life," Crews is one of the best characters on television. ... British actor Damian Lewis, who stood out in HBO's "Band of Brothers" as Lt. Winters ---- is the biggest hook in "Life." ... Don't let this "life" pass you by.
-- Ann Zivotsky (article author), North County Times, December 19, 2007
Breakout star: Damian Lewis, "Life." American audiences first got introduced to Lewis in HBO's miniseries "Band of Brothers" and "Life" gives him an opportunity to be suave, strong and a guy who you want to see get his revenge.
-- Stuart Levine (article author), MSNBC, December 19, 2007
I'm drawn to this show because Damian Lewis does a thoroughly convincing job of portraying a peculiar character who (1) genuinely appreciates every little thing in life following his time in prison, and (2) seeks a religio-philosophical path to mitigate a barely visible but driving anger.
-- Colin Foote Burch (article author), LiturgicalCredo.com, December 20, 2007
Life: My second favourite new show of the season, largely because of the strength of its main character and his portrayer, Damian Lewis.
-- Emma (article author), MuchMusic, December 20, 2007
[Life is] a procedural with intricate and unusual cases and a compelling lead character, rivetingly played by Damian Lewis.
-- Joel Keller (article author), TV Squad, December 25, 2007
Best British import (in a season of British imports): Damian Lewis, the offbeat cop who puts the life in "Life."
-- Chuck Barney (article author), Inside Bay Area, December 27, 2007
As the talented Mr. Lewis portrays [Charlie Crews in Life], he's an enigmatic and seductive figure, with interesting shades of sexiness that fall away too quickly to grasp. All of which is to say that Mr. Lewis has succeeded in imparting an improbably powerful allure to this cop story.
-- Dorothy Rabinowitz, The Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2007
Life: The pilot was brilliant, and ... you have to admire the concept, characters, format, dazzling cinematography and Brit Damian Lewis's riveting lead performance as the wrongly incarcerated L.A. cop, Charlie Crews.
-- Rob Salem (article author), Toronto Star, December 29, 2007
Charlie Crews (Life): This one is all about Damian Lewis. I saw him the first time in Band of Brothers and I was tremendously impressed. That increased when I discovered that he wasn't an American but was in fact British. Then I saw him as Charlie Crews and it clicked for me that this guy is a tremendous actor. It's not just the accent although that can be harder than you might think. ... Charlie is a character so full of emotional tics that one might doubt his sanity. It is a masterful job of acting.
-- Brent McKee (article author), Blogspot, January 1, 2008
[In Life,] Damian Lewis plays Charlie Crews as a peculiar guy who is inquisitive yet wise. He's an interesting character who's quirks never overwhelm the character. He's much more a character with quirks, rather than a collection of quirks in the form a character. He's the star and he makes watching mesmerizing.
-- Mathan Erhardt (article author), Prime Time Pulse, January 28, 2008
[In The Escapist,] "Rizza," a violent hood who essentially runs the prison, is played by Damian Lewis with a cold, quiet charisma that may be the closest thing to Steve McQueen since Steve McQueen. (Keep your eyes on this one.)
-- Chris Orr (article author), The New Republic, January 31, 2008
On the back of such television dramas as Band of Brothers, The Forsyte Saga and Stephen Poliakoff's Friends and Crocodiles, Lewis has become one of our most highly sought-after actors, both here and in the US. In person, it's easy to see why -- he has the magnetism of a natural-born star. Intellectually self-confident, he possesses an effortless charisma that works just as well in comedy as it does in drama.
-- James Rampton (article author), The Independent, February 26, 2008
[In Life,] British actor Damian Lewis has Crews' offbeat character perfectly pegged, with an edge of eccentricity that belies the traumatic times he endured while wasting away in prison (for a crime he didn't commit).
-- Lara de Matos (article author), Tonight (Johannesburg, South Africa), March 28, 2008
Acting on the show [Life] has been a lot of fun, primarily because most of the acting I get to do is with Damian, who I have felt a great deal of camaraderie with and I like to think we have similar approaches to the work. We are serious about the work but we don't take it seriously, which translates to being able to relax, have a good time, and get the work done.
-- Adam Arkin (co-star on Life), Comedy Centric, April 25, 2008
Damian Lewis is really terrific in "Life."
-- Ed Bark (television critic and writer), Hollywood Reporter, June 12, 2008
I love "Life." Lewis is great.
-- Matthew Gilbert (article author), Boston Globe, June 12, 2008
I've always thought it was a great shame that the powers-that-be overlooked Damian Lewis (aka The Best Looking Ginger Man On The Big Screen) as a controversial Red Bond when casting the lead in Casino Royale. But The Escapist suggests the Band Of Brothers star's true forte might actually be in the field of the villainous, as opposed to the heroic. Lewis is not the central character in director Rupert Wyatt's fourth feature, but, as Rizza, the prison kingpin who's the bane of Brian Cox's fading existence, he dominates every scene he's in.
-- Tom Cox (article author), Daily Mail, June 19, 2008
Damian Lewis does an amazing job pulling this character [Charlie Crews in Life] together. His ability to make this zen-seeking crime-stopper funny, open-minded and razor sharp is uncanny. It is his constant inner struggle in combination with the exterior conflict in every show that keeps an audience coming back for more.
-- Jenna Bensoussan (article author), Aced Magazine, September 1, 2008
Lewis as an actor has an appeal that is hard to ignore.
-- Mike (article author), Pop Critics, September 2, 2008
There will be comparisons to other quirky leads such as Greg House and [Adrian] Monk ..., but I feel like Damian Lewis (Dreamcatcher, Band of Brothers) has etched out his own niche in the form of Detective Charlie Crews [in Life]. It’s not the idiosyncrasies that make the character of Charlie work, it’s his constant battle with his feelings. He’s a detective, but he’s been treated like a criminal for over a decade. When he sets himself on the path of revenge, you don’t know where it’s all going to fall. It’s that razor’s edge that gives Lewis’s performance, hate to say it ... life.
-- Nico (article author), Collider.com, September 4, 2008
Life -- a terrific vehicle for Damian Lewis, a terrific actor.
-- Dave Walker (article author), The Times-Picayune, September 7, 2008
This show [Life] is all about the charisma of actor Damian Lewis. Falsely imprison me for years and I’d be out with a chip on my shoulders. As Charlie Crews, Lewis channels that into some of the best character acting I’ve seen in a long time.
-- Phil Parr (article author), phillparr.com, September 9, 2008
Lewis is terrific [in Life].
-- Lisa de Moraes (article author), Washington Post, September 12, 2008
Because of Lewis' brilliant portrayal of the eccentric Charlie, the show [Life] is perfectly enjoyable.
-- James Poniewozik (article author), Time, September 18, 2008
Mr. Lewis has plumped out his character [of Charlie Crews in Life] so fully that it hardly matters whether Crews is in one of his Zen moods, eating fruit -- or enjoying the fruit of his $15 million wrongful conviction award from the city of Los Angeles in an obscenely expensive and roaring car. Every flicker of his face, every shift of mood, from dark to almost infantile bliss, keeps us fixated.
-- Nancy DeWolf Smith (article author), The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2008
I am fascinated by Damian Lewis' performance as a cop getting out of jail after being wrongly convicted of murder and trying to do his old job. While never addressed all that directly, Lewis does an amazing job of showing Charlie's Zen philosophy as well as the memories of atrocities that lie beneath.
-- Al Norton (article author), 411 Mania, September 26, 2008
[In Life,] lead actor Lewis impeccably encompasses doe-eyed naiveté, childlike wonder, bemused ambiguity, keen intelligence and steely, tragedy-tinged resolve -- a man as drawn to joy as he is driven by darkness.
-- Rob Salem (article author), Toronto Star, September 29, 2008
Charismatic actor Damian Lewis is certainly a draw [in Life] as he portrays Charlie Crews, a cop who was jailed for a crime he didn’t commit.
-- Jessica Banov (article author), Fayetteville Observer, September 29, 2008
What really makes this show different from other crime dramas on TV is Damian Lewis’ unique performance as Detective Charlie Crews. He is positively delightful -- smug without overdoing it.
-- Amy Amatangelo (article author), Zap2It, September 29, 2008
Life -- created by Rand Ravich and starring the superb Damian Lewis, the wonderful Sara Shahi, and the enchanting Adam Arkin -- is one of the most consistently enjoyable, electrifying, clever, creative, original, and just plain amazing television shows I’ve ever seen. Ever. And I watch a lot of TV. ... Damian Lewis especially is a revelation as Charlie Crews.
-- Cameron Cubbison (article author), Poptimal, October 1, 2008
Damian Lewis plays Charlie Crews with aplomb.
-- Jeff Swindoll (article author), Monsters & Critics, October 3, 2008
Damian Lewis is a terrific lead actor and the stories [in Life] are compelling.
-- Tom Jicha (article author), Sun-Sentinel, October 7, 2008
The key to [Life's] creative success, we are convinced, belongs to its stars. Damian Lewis ("Band of Brothers") stars as Charlie Crews, bringing many twists to what might otherwise have been just a traditional tough-cop role. While Lewis is a handsome guy, he's not one of the rugged-though-bland, cookie-cutter Hunks of the Moment that might otherwise have been placed in a starring role on a cop show (as in, oh, say, the new "Knight Rider"). He's tall and lanky, with radioactive red hair and eyes that can pierce or sparkle, depending on the scene. What makes Charlie Crews most intriguing is that he might just be insane. Lewis understands that, and knows precisely when to evoke that possibility.
-- Michael Alan Harvey (article author), Pfunn, October 10, 2008
Damian Lewis is always terrific.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, October 12, 2008
[Charlie Crews is] the name of the wonderfully complex and entertaining cop played masterfully by Damian Lewis in the wonderfully complex and entertaining Life.
-- Cameron Cubbison (article author), Poptimal, October 12, 2008
What makes Damian Lewis' performance [in Life] so good is the way you never doubt the anger/darkness that rises to the surface on occasion.
-- Al Norton (article author), 411 Mania, October 16, 2008
If he can be tempted back to TV, let's hope it's to guest present Have I Got News for You again. He did it superbly in 2006 (making an impressive off-the-cuff pun about Friesian cows); team captain Ian Hislop says Lewis was one of the panel show's best hosts.
-- Michael Deacon (article author), The Telegraph, October 25, 2008
Damian Lewis is kind of brilliant at the action hero stuff. I may be going overboard in my praise here, but between "Band of Brothers" and this show, he looks as good with a gun in his hands as any actor since Steve McQueen. ... Dammit, Damian Lewis is mesmerizing.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, October 27, 2008
Damian Lewis is one hell of an actor and his portrayal of Detective Charlie Crews is one of the most engaging depictions of a complex human being on television today.
-- Scotty (article author), ComicDorksCast, October 29, 2008
As played by Damian Lewis, Crews is one of the most compelling main characters on any TV drama today. ... Lewis is still mesmerizing as Crews, a cop who spent 12 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit, then won a $50 million lawsuit against the LAPD that included getting his badge back. Whether he's calming strangers in their moment of panic with absolute truths, confusing partner Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi) with his latest philosophical musing, or showing you just how much prison hardened Crews (few actors on the big or small screen are as convincingly dangerous with a gun in their hand as Lewis), he always commands attention. And, in addition to running neck and neck with fellow Brit import Hugh Laurie for doing the best fake American accent in primetime, Crews is closing in on Dr. House as the funniest main character in an otherwise dramatic series. ... So long as Lewis is around, "Life" will be several steps above those cookie-cutter police procedurals.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, November 4, 2008
Lewis gives off such an interesting energy as an actor that he raises the entire show [Life] up.
-- Maureen Ryan (article author), Chicago Tribune, November 5, 2008
Damian Lewis is wonderful, particularly in those moments [in Life] where Crews has to speak the absolute truth to a stranger.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, November 5, 2008
Damian Lewis' Charlie Crews is quickly becoming one of the better "new" TV detectives. ... I love how Lewis can make Crews goofy and serene in one scene, and then in the very next scene scary intense. I think that intensity, if enough people give the show a chance, will keep them coming back week after week.
-- DC Perry (article co-author), 411 Mania, November 7, 2008
[In Life,] Crews [is] superbly played by British actor Damian Lewis.
-- Andrew Murfett (article author), The Age, November 27, 2008
"Life" is terrific. Damian Lewis, so great in "Band of Brothers", makes Charlie Crews the best TV character going.
-- Fred Kerber (article author), New York Post, November 27, 2008
If I was filling out my [Screen Actors Guild Award nominations] ballot I'd have Damian Lewis (Life) over Hugh Laurie.
-- Al Norton (article author), 411 Mania, December 19, 2008
[In Life,] Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) turns out the most underrated performance on television as the fruit loving, falsely imprisoned, Zen master Charlie Crews who simultaneously tracks down weekly criminals and the people who framed him. Stop wasting your time on crap like Heroes. Watch Life.
-- Matt Norris (article author), Cinema Blend, December 28, 2008
A show like [Life] lives or dies on its choice of leading actor and, in lesser hands, all the foibles of a character like Charlie Crews could become annoying very quickly, but, thankfully, Damian Lewis really excels in the role. He has already proven himself to be a more than competent actor (witness his turn in the criminally overlooked film Keane) and in Life he portrays Crews as damaged and dangerous, but also shows a good comedic side (a good ongoing gag involving Crews' reaction to all forms of new technology). You never forget that this is someone who has spent 12 years locked away from his life.
-- Ben Jones (article author), Den of Geek, January 19, 2009
Damian Lewis does an exceptional job of portraying a quirky, complicated problem-solver [in Life].
-- James Surowiecki (article author), The New Yorker, January 20, 2009
Damian Lewis, who was dazzling in imported British dramas before dropping his accent to play Charlie Crews on Life, is a genuine-article TV star here. ... He's one of the best actors on TV right now.
-- Dave Bianculli (article author), TV Worth Watching, February 25, 2009
I also particularly liked Damian Lewis as the chilly Rizza [in The Escapist]. Lewis, so entertaining as Det. Charlie Crews on TV's "Life," here is the picture of calm menace: no hair out of place, prison uniform immaculately pressed -- a man in control until forced to confront the reality of his situation.
-- Marshall Fine (article author), Hollywood And Fine, March 31, 2009
Damian Lewis is brilliant as Rizza [in The Escapist].
-- Darren Bevan (article author), TVNZ, May 27, 2009
The brilliance of Lewis [in Band Of Brothers] in this is that he finds a way to make the ordinary aspects of Dick Winters seem extraordinary, rather than trying to play him as an overtly extraordinary man. He's not a superhero, he doesn't give rah-rah speeches or lose his temper or in other ways act larger-than-life; he's just a regular guy who turned out to be ideally suited to irregular circumstances, and Lewis embraces that aspect of the character. Just watch how quietly and simply Lewis plays the scene where Sobel tries to get Winters to accept his assigned punishment rather than face a court-martial. There's never any doubt that Winters is going to take this all the way if he has to, and yet there aren't any theatrics about it; he's just sure of the rightness of his position, and of his ability to prevail over Sobel, and he's going to see this thing through. I especially love the way Lewis plays the scene at the end [of episode 1, "Currahee"] where Winters helps each of his men to their feet as they get ready to board the plane for their mission over Normandy. This idea that the men were so weighed down by their gear that they had to lie on the tarmac, one on top of the other, and be pulled up -- like a kid being helped off the grass by his father -- is one one of the series' many "truth is more interesting/moving than fiction" moments, and the serene, paternal look on Lewis' face is just beautiful. Sobel's contribution to the success of Easy Company is clearly in question, while Winters' was not, and a moment like that, and the way the men look back at Winters, makes it clear as to why.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, June 1, 2009
The wild card in this deck [of The Escapist] is a King of The Cell Block (Lewis), a sinister man of few words, who has no interest in rotating back to the real world, where he is nothing. Given his appearance, Lewis does not have to say a thing to establish himself as one of the most ominous presences to be seen on screen this year.
-- Bill Iddings (article author), Michigan Live, October 8, 2009
Lewis is absolutely awesome in the lead role [in Life] – not since Hugh Laurie’s House (in House MD) has someone managed to make eccentricity that’s bordering on being obnoxious so adorable.
-- S. Indramalar (article author), The Star (Malaysia) - October 14, 2009
Lewis' stoical, ineffably melancholy portrait of courage under fire was nothing less than a tour de force, and brought home to a younger generation the valour of those who fought and died to liberate France in 1944 (in this case, the men of E Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment). And while he made further strong impressions in Britain with another mini-series, ITV's remade Forsyte Saga, in which he starred as the rich, reptilian Soames, America wanted to see more of him. Hence, a much marvelled-over performance as the damaged-deranged father of a missing girl in the art-house film Keane - and the lead-role of Charlie Crews in the cult NBC police drama series Life, about a detective released from prison after a miscarriage of justice who seethes with insightful, vengeful and perturbed energies.
-- Dominic Cavendish (article author), The Telegraph, November 24, 2009
Damian Lewis’s splendid Alceste [in The Misanthrope] is so obsessed with the movie star, even though she represents everything he despises. ... Lewis delivers his rants with precision and wit, but also suggests a genuinely pitiable character getting ever closer to the end of his rope, his misanthropy in part a mask for his own corrosive sense of fear and failure.
-- Charles Spencer (article author), The Telegraph, December 17, 2009
[In The Misanthrope, Alceste is] played by a brilliantly tetchy and (to just the right degree) faintly ridiculous Damian Lewis (think fashionable Etonian hunk rendered all the more dogmatic by a tiny worm of self-doubt).
-- Paul Taylor (article author), The Independent, December 18, 2009
Damian Lewis has the right mix of righteous anger and comic absurdity as Alceste [in The Misanthrope]. There's a tell-tale moment when, having inveighed against the human race, he is asked about his paradoxical passion for Jennifer. "She's young and vulnerable," says Lewis in the gooey, forgiving tones of the besotted intellectual. And, although he finally sees through Jennifer's fickleness, he never lets us forget that sex is often the idealist's achilles heel.
-- Michael Billington (article author), The Guardian, December 18, 2009
Damian Lewis, as Alceste [in The Misanthrope], roars with anger at what he sees as the intellectual poverty of modern life. With articulate rage he yells, bellows and generally beats his fists at society. It is an intriguing and impressive performance and he shows, even proves, that he is more than merely an actor whose abilities are confined to television. He has considerable stage presence and his anger is quite believable. He also displays impressive verbal agility delivering the complex lines.
-- Paul Callan (article author), The Express, December 18, 2009
The real star in Thea Sharrock's handsome production [of The Misanthrope] is Damian Lewis's explosively irascible Alceste, who rides Crimp's verse like a bucking bronco. Awesome.
-- Georgina Brown (article author), The Mail On Sunday, December 20, 2009
[As Alceste in The Misanthrope,] Lewis relishes his role as self-appointed ranting outcast, delivering Crimp’s clever, fluid verse with elan and delightedly toying with the post-modernism of the whole occasion.
-- Siobhan Murphy (article author), Metro, December 22, 2009
Damian Lewis is nicely spiky as the pathologically plain-speaking Alceste [in The Misanthrope].
-- Ian Shuttleworth (article author), Financial Times, December 22, 2009
Damian Lewis is amazing [in The Misanthrope]. The entire cast is brilliant, really, but Damian as Alceste absolutely shines. There’s something about the cynical, hyperbolic way in which he delivers his lines that gives him a somewhat comedic yet powerful presence on-stage. ... His stubborn disregard for social politesse is just as endearing as it is excessive, and you’ll find yourself rooting for the misunderstood hero of the drama until the very end.
-- Parimal Satyal (article author, Reality Equation, December 22, 2009
[Alceste in The Misanthrope] is brilliantly presented by Lewis, who really spits out the many cleverly crafted insults placed in his mouth by Martin Crimp in his neatly rhyming version in English.
-- Christopher Gray (article author), The Oxford Times, December 30, 2009
Damian Lewis is well cast [in The Misanthrope] as the relentlessly misanthropic author and holds our attention while not making us actually like him, although we may agree with much of what he says.
-- Lizzie Loveridge (article author), CurtainUp, December 2009
In Thea Sharrock's production [of The Misanthrope], with Hildegard Bechtler's detail-perfect set of a suite in an expensive London hotel, Ms. Knightley is luxuriously supported by a wonderful cast, especially by the top-billed actor Damian Lewis in the title role of Alceste -- whippet-thin, angry and with a voice capable of the kind of modulations Ms. Knightley can only dream about.
-- Paul Levy (article author), The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2010
Lewis plays the part [of Major Richard Winters in Band Of Brothers] extraordinarily well, deserving a knighthood for services to the much-maligned ginger community. A lesser actor could have strayed into corn, with such a strong, silent cliche part, but with his deadpan, unconventional looks, Lewis plays the part with a realistic economy of emotion.
-- Jane Clifton (article author), The Dominion Post, January 20, 2010
[In The Escapist] Damian Lewis plays a sophisticated and reservedly cold villain as the leader of "The Cons." Frank and his friends end up in the rival half, "The Screws", but Lewis' Rizza is the guy no one defies. Lewis has an undeniably intimidating stare that serves him well as Rizza, the clean cut King of the prison. It's a fantastic portrayal that has just a twinge of exaggeration.
-- Chad Webb (article author), 411 Mania, January 26, 2010
Damian Lewis was so nice and so lovely to work with. When I did my first red carpet event, he was there and he was so sweet. He didn't have to but he took my hand, walked me on the red carpet, took pictures with me, and told everyone to watch out for me. He didn't have to do that, it was such a lovely gesture. I'd love to work with him again and say thank you for that and learn more from him.
-- Natalie Dreyfuss (guest star on Life), Hollywood The Write Way, February 8, 2010
Damian Lewis [in The Misanthrope] is superb throughout. He is the best speaker in the cast of Crimp's very loose version of Molière's couplets, understanding exactly how to deliver the mixture of rhyme and free verse that Crimp has cleverly employed. ... Lewis is also a vivid physical presence, impatiently bestriding the cluttered stage. He seems to be perpetually on the brink of violence, and when it eventually erupts at the end of the play as he overturns a table, on the night I went he did so with such abandon that some of the stage properties ended up in the front row of the stalls. It was a particularly nice touch to see him, as he took his bow, glance inquiringly and mouth an apology towards the woman whose evening had suddenly taken an unexpected turn with the arrival of several plates and cups in her lap.
-- David Womersley (article author), Social Affairs Unit, February 9, 2010
In Thea Sharrock's beautifully directed production of Moliere's The Misanthrope, being given a smart contemporary spin by Martin Crimp, Damian Lewis gives a masterfully sardonic interpretation of Alcesten, ow depicted as a famous British playwright who is having an affair with American movie star Jennifer (Keira Knightley).
-- David Finkle (article author), TheaterMania, February 12, 2010
Keane is an acting masterclass with a brilliant performance by Abigail Breslin, and a staggering one from Damian Lewis. Even as our doubts about Keane begin to become more significant, in Lewis' hands he remains a believable and sympathetic character. It's, simply, a brilliant performance, one of the decade's very best, from an actor whose career hasn't quite taken off in the manner in which he deserves.
-- [article author unknown], The Cine-Files, February 15, 2010
Keira Knightley grabbed the headlines for making her West End debut in this updated version of Moliere’s 17th Century comedy The Misanthrope -- but it’s Damian Lewis who steals the show. Knightley is good, but Lewis is great -- and both contribute to a fun, if frivolous, night at the theatre. ... While Alceste’s dejected playwright is often spot on with his scathing observations on humanity, even though he’s derided for daring to speak out against the hypocrisy and tacky culture that surrounds him. With Lewis portraying him, however, he’s far from a mere grouch; but rather a fiercely intelligent, quick-witted and hopelessly charismatic man who finds his passion for Jennifer hopelessly at odds with his own standards.
-- Jack Foley (article author), IndieLondon, February 20, 2010
[In The Escapist,] Lewis, who usually plays good-guy roles on "Band of Brothers" and NBC's "Life," is fantastic as the effete, terrifying gangster who comes close to learning about the escape plan.
-- Rob Thomas (article author), 77 Square, March 9, 2010
There’s no performance (in The Pacific) quite on par with Damian Lewis’s star turn as the quiet, decent company leader in Band [Of Brothers].
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), New Jersey Star-Ledger, March 11, 2010
Two things The Pacific lacks that Band Of Brothers had: a strong lead character (Damian Lewis was fabulous in Brothers as Maj. Richard Winters) and a sardonic observer (Ron Livingston did some of his best work as Capt. Lewis Nixon).
-- Robert Philpot (article author), Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 11, 2010
It's a darn shame [Keane] didn't get a bigger audience, because Lewis' performance is Oscar-nomination worthy, if you ask me.
-- Trevor Snyder (article author), 411 Mania, December 3, 2010
We have Damian Lewis from 'Band Of Brothers' and 'Life' -- the guy is unbelievable. He's really, really one of the best actors I've ever worked with.
-- Howard Gordon (Homeland co-writer/creator), Futon Critic, February 24, 2011
I knew [Damian] was one of our best actors but I didn't know just how great he was until I saw him work.
-- Howard Gordon (Homeland co-writer/creator), 411 Mania, March 14, 2011
Lewis is particularly funny as Franco's jilted best-pal, with more than a bit of a man-crush on his comrade.
-- Chris Bumbray (article author), JoBlo, April 8, 2011
The cast strikes a consistent tone, with nice supporting turns from guys like Toby Jones and Damian Lewis, and I would argue that Natalie Portman has never been consistently more attractive than she is in this role.
-- Drew McWeeny (article author), HitFix, April 5, 2011
I always admired [Damian Lewis] tremendously. And the first time you think about a returning American hero [the role he portrays in Homeland], you don't think about British actors at first blush. But Damian is someone who does an impeccable American accent and has ... an American face too. And what really sold it for us [when casting him in Homeland] was, believe it or not, not Life or Band Of Brothers, but this amazing movie he did called Keane.
-- Howard Gordon (Homeland co-writer/creator), CLT Blog, April 14, 2011
Damian Lewis is Homeland’s standout.
-- Bryan Curtis (article author), Newsweek, August 28, 2011
I really wanted an American actor to play the part [of Winters in Band Of Brothers], but Damian came in and blew us away.
-- Meg Liberman, (Band Of Brothers casting director), Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2011
The character [of Brody in Homeland] is played by an actor who is always welcome on my TV screen after having won me over with his roles in Band of Brothers and Life. Although it is a while before we hear more than a single sentence out of his character, Damian Lewis does an incredible job portraying a man who, after eight years in captivity, can barely recognize himself in the mirror. The reunion with his wife and two children was probably the highlight of his performance in the pilot, if only for the silent moment he takes to steel himself before he is able to make eye contact with his long-unseen loved ones.
-- Nicholas Hall (artilcle author), Player Affinity, September 15, 2011
I am very high on Homeland, which is hands-down the best new drama on TV this fall. Damian Lewis is electrifying as a Marine returning home from eight years in Al-Qaeda captivity, and Claire Danes is his match as an unstable CIA analyst who suspects he may be a sleeper-agent terrorist in war-hero disguise. He's a wreck, she's a mess, and Homeland is riveting. There's also some good work here from Morena Baccarin as Lewis's conflicted wife and Mandy Patinkin as Danes' understandably concerned mentor. Can't wait for people to see this one.
-- Matt Roush (article author), TV Guide, September 19, 2011
Both Lewis and Danes are excellent in Homeland. His coiled intensity -- and mystery -- contrast nicely with her manic need to be right.
-- Tim Goodman (article author), Hollywood Reporter, September 27, 2011
The acting in [Homeland] is of the highest caliber. All of the roles both lead and supporting are played by actors who know their craft. ... Damian Lewis is mysterious and moody as Nick. He is stretched taut and each movement is a reaction to his past. Nick is the cipher of the show and Lewis keeps the secrets locked up inside Nick's brain.
-- Jackie K. Cooper (article author), Huffington Post, September 28, 2011
[Homeland is] an engrossing serialized drama with one of the best casts on TV. ... Mr. Lewis brings his inscrutable, placid performance to Brody. Although audience sympathies over the first few episodes are squarely allied with Carrie's investigation, Mr. Lewis' performance offers enough room for viewers to question if Brody is really a terrorist.
-- Rob Owen (article author), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 29, 2011
[In Homeland], Ms. Danes herself has no problems filling the role of this character. Her portrayal of a woman regularly on the edge of desperation is impressive in its assurance. So is the performance of Mr. Lewis, perfect for the part of the stone-eyed Sgt. Brody, a man who looks as though he's harboring secrets. All this, of course, we can attribute to his years of torture and isolation while a prisoner. He's also given to flashbacks, a kind that raises our suspicions.
-- Dorothy Rabinowitz (article author), Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2011
Homeland stars Claire Danes in a scintillating performance as CIA agent Carrie Mathison. Hunting in Baghdad for an elusive al-Qaeda agent she's sure is plotting an imminent attack on U.S. soil, Carrie comes across a startling revelation from an about-to-be-executed prisoner: An American POW has been turned. She's convinced that POW is Nicholas Brody, [played by] an equally excellent Damian Lewis, a Marine held prisoner since 2003 who has just come home to a hero's welcome. ... You can't carry off that deep a story without terrific actors. ... Danes and Lewis are near-flawless, keeping you off-balance and absorbed. Danes and Lewis are near-flawless, keeping you off-balance and absorbed.
-- Robert Bianco (article author), USA Today, September 29, 2011
'Homeland' ... would be worth watching if all it had going for it were the tremendous work being done by Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. But 'Homeland' also manages to be both an addictive espionage thriller and a compelling character study, as well as a well-constructed exploration of the difficulties and ambiguities of fighting terrorism a decade after Sept. 11. Without a doubt, it is one of the finest new shows of the year. ... Lewis brilliantly portrays a man consumed by a monumental internal struggle. ... Hailed as a hero, Brody feels like a stranger in his own home, and Lewis succeeds in conveying the Marine's internal disquiet and his surprising adaptability. ... Given that he's playing a career military man who plays his cards close to his medal-covered chest, Lewis has less scope to work with, but he does deft and even heartbreaking work as he takes us through Brody's difficult return to a very changed family. Lewis has to depict a man of few words who may be plotting to bring down the country he had sworn to defend, and it's to the actor's credit that he makes both scenarios -- Brody as terrorist and Brody as loyal but troubled American -- equally plausible.
-- Maureen Ryan (article author), AOL, September 29, 2011
While Danes [in Homeland] delivers a convincing portrait of an intense but unhinged CIA case officer, it is Lewis who stretches the most in his role. He is calculating and enigmatic as the returning hero, but in flashbacks to his hellish captivity, he reveals a disintegrating character to chilling effect.
-- Mark Washburn (article author), Charlotte Observer, September 29, 2011
Brody [in Homeland] is played by Damian Lewis, an electrifying actor that's long earned raves from me, for NBC's Life, HBO's Band of Brothers, and the imported dramas The Forsyte Saga and Friends & Crocodiles. Here, he embodies, and amplifies, what may be his most multi-layered and challenging character yet. ... Both Danes and Lewis are singularly compelling and charismatic performers, so we want to root for them both. But for now, at least, our loyalties are torn, and uncertain.
-- David Bianculli (article author), TV Worth Watching, September 29, 2011
All eyes are on "Homeland's" leads, whose performances are so good it's almost unearthly, like a sky with two suns. ... As Brody, Lewis, last seen here on the tragically short-lived police drama "Life," uses his extraordinary gift for radiant stillness to create a man who may be Carrie's perfect contrast but is equally riveting to watch. That Brody has been broken by his experience is clear; what version of himself he has managed to rebuild is not. Vacillating between disgust at the Army's intention to use him as a poster boy and a willingness to play that very game, Brody could indeed be a conduit to a sleeper cell or he could just be a man undone by the events of his life. He could even wind up being the hero of the story, feinting left, then heading right to wreak havoc upon those who imprisoned him. The only thing early episodes of "Homeland" make clear is that in post-9/11 America, the traditional definitions of good and bad, hero and villain, even protagonist and antagonist, are also victims of war. Fortunately, as it turns out, great acting and good storytelling are not.
-- Mary McNamara (article author), Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2011
Who is the hero [in Homeland]? The sustained ambiguity is awesome. And the actors make it fly. I can't think of many other actors who could play Brody as convincingly as Lewis, who hides his British accent as thoroughly as Hugh Laurie in "House." The red-headed Lewis knows how to bring so many layers to the same inscrutability he used to a more comic effect in the two-season series "Life." You really can't ever quite nail down Brody's true intentions with his fellow Marines, with his kids, or with Jessica, who had begun another relationship when she thought Brody was dead. You just keep watching him for clues.
-- Matthew Gilbert (article author), Boston Globe, September 30, 2011
All the acting [in Homeland] is superb, but Lewis is mesmerizing in a tricky role.
-- Hal Boedeker (article author), Orlando Sentinel, September 30, 2011
Damian Lewis and Claire Danes are brilliant in [Homeland, a] psychological cat-and-mouse game with a terrorism backdrop.
-- Matt Roush (article author), TV Guide, September 30, 2011
I'll confess that I mainly came to this series looking forward to watching Lewis, who's been one of my favorite actors since his leading man turn as the decent but never dull hero of HBO's "Band of Brothers." His work on NBC's short-lived "Life" -- another role where he played a man of action struggling to return to society after a long captivity -- is my current gold standard for the kind of performance you can do on a crime procedural if allowed. And Lewis is, unsurprisingly, terrific, conveying so much through stillness and silence (and, as always, disappearing seamlessly into the American accent) and letting so many moments seem ambiguous but not annoyingly so.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), Hit Fix, September 30, 2011
As Brody, Damian Lewis could not be more perfectly mysterious, alternating between scary and scarred. Three episodes in, when it seems Carrie is correct that he's part of a terrorist plot, a mesmerized viewer will feel certain that there are bigger surprises ahead.
-- Hank Stuever (article author), Washington Post, September 30, 2011
Damian Lewis, a British actor best known in America as the star of NBC's "Life," is fascinating [in Homeland] because he is expressionless for much of the time. Viewers will read volumes in his blank stares. Like Lewis' performance, each episode leaves us eager to see more. "Homeland" is the rare drama that pulls us along without jerking us around.
-- Tom Conroy (article author), Media Life Magazine, September 30, 2011
While the writing [in Homeland] is fantastic, a huge portion of the credit for Homeland working as well as it does goes to the cast. ... Damian Lewis plays Brody in such a way that most, if not all of his behavior could be interpreted in more than one way. It’s a tricky thing that, added to the flashbacks of his captivity, gives us plenty to theorize over. Is he one of the terrorists now, or is he just a man trying to reclaim his life? Lewis plays it both ways, keeping his character a mystery. We should either feel really bad for him, or be afraid of him. Possibly both. Not knowing is one of the best things about the show.
-- Kelly West (article author), Cinema Blend, October 1, 2011
[Damian] is a rare combination of playful and professional. He has an ease and charm about him that is infectious. Working with him for two years [on Life] was nothing less than a joy.
-- Sarah Shahi (costar in Life), Philadelphia Inquirer, October 2, 2011
Damian Lewis is the early Emmy leader for his mesmerizing portrayal of Nick Brody [in Homeland], an American soldier held in sadistic captivitiy by Al Qaeda for eight years.
-- Tom Jicha (article author), Sun-Sentinel, October 2, 2011
Lewis is superb [in Homeland] as a wounded soldier fighting to keep the past at bay. Expect him at next year’s Emmy Awards.
-- Mark A. Perigard (article author), Boston Herald, October 2, 2011
Lewis ... is a godsend. The veteran of "Band of Brothers" arrives back home front-loaded with so much skill and nuance that it's little wonder that he's able to project so much of Nick's personality with a bare minimum of dialogue. As I mentioned, he's sympathetic. But he's also calmly and quietly terrifying, as you debate whether he's undergone a "Manchurian Candidate" brainwash or if his obvious disconnect from society is simply the result of seeing and being a part of so much violence and death. To the show's credit, it always keeps you guessing, even when we see Nick reciting Arabic chants alone at night inside the family garage.
-- Al Alexander, Morton (article author) Times-News, October 2, 2011
We also observe chilling signs that Brody is hiding secrets of his own, and it's a tribute to Lewis' nuanced performance [in Homeland] that we deeply care about this character even as we may fear him.
-- Jeanne Jakle (article author), San Antonio Express News, October 2, 2011
As Brody [in Homeland], Lewis wisely plays it right down the middle, neither giving us a chest-thumping, publicity grabbing poster boy for the War on Terror nor telegraphing any of the character's more questionable moments. He is given some very hard scenes to play -- both in flashback as a tortured POW and in the present day as a man profoundly scarred by his experiences -- and there's not a false moment to be found.
-- Matt Webb Mitovich (article author), TV Line, October 2, 2011
Lewis, meanwhile, gives the [Homeland pilot] episode's standout performance -- and does so while saying very little. He's wildly unsettling in the role of Brody, a shellshocked warrior whose troubles readjusting to life at home are ambiguously broadcast through pensive silence and a general unease, as if he's uncomfortable in his own skin. Even if it weren't for Carrie's suspicions, he'd have cause to chafe -- he returns to the United States a stranger in a strange land, living with a family that gave him up for dead and shaking hands with a vice president whose name he doesn't even know. Lewis makes it incredibly easy to empathize with Brody, even as the pilot brings the circumstances of his captivity to light.
-- Erik Adams (article author), AV Club, October 2, 2011
[In Homeland,] Lewis is equally good [in comparison to Claire Danes], rendering Brody guarded and shut-down in a manner that nonetheless is exciting to witness.
-- Ken Tucker (article author), Entertainment Weekly, October 2, 2011
Aside from being this phenomenal actor, [Damian] has an everyman quality, but he really is also immensely likable. What was important about this character [in Homeland] was that he had to be someone who the political powers that be grabbed onto, not just because of his circumstances, but because this guy is a hero and they want to promote him as that to the public. Rather than just having this obviously model-handsome guy, there's a ruggedness, an everyman-ness and a manliness to Damian that really hit us, in terms of our casting process. And, in everything I've ever seen him in, he has been spectacular. With one movie in particular, Keane, which is an independent movie he did, the camera is on him, almost silently, for 30 minutes and you can't stop watching him. We knew that this had to be a guy who could grab a camera and is simply compelling to watch, even when he was doing nothing.
-- Howard Gordon (Homeland co-writer/creator), Collider, October 2, 2011
Playing Sgt. Brody [in Homeland], Damian Lewis -- best known to American audiences for his role as a heroic GI in Band Of Brothers -- makes it tremendously difficult to not sympathize with his character, a physically and mentally shattered man so terrified of returning to a family that barely remembers him that he vomits before meeting them.
-- Glenn Garvin (article author), Miami Herald, October 2, 2011
Nobody puts on a brave face like Damian Lewis. In the twisty thriller Homeland, Lewis portrays a Marine rescued after eight years as an al-Qaida POW. He returns a national hero, masterfully masking any lingering effects -- except from a CIA agent (Claire Danes) convinced he's been turned. The genius of fall's best new drama is that, between his increasingly suspicious behavior and her secret stash of antipsychotics, you're never entirely sure whom to believe. Nothing's cheap, obvious or easy. Especially from Lewis, who creates more layers than those yummy Mexican dips.
-- Christopher Lawrence (article author), Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 6, 2011
[Damian Lewis] is absolutely ideal in this role [in Homeland]. His sparse, enigmatic acting allows viewers to project any number of motivations and realities onto him, which is key for the character. Brody walks a balancing line as someone read by a desperate public as a hero, a role model, a figure to admire, who also carries dark and unpleasant secrets that run far deeper than the savage scars on his torso.
-- S.E. Smith (article author), Global Comment, October 6, 2011
[In Homeland,] Lewis compliments Danes’ excellence with his own stellar performance. Though pre-war Brody is not seen by the viewer, it is heavily implied how much he has changed and how war extremely affected him. Lewis portrays him as almost evil, yet adds a tragically remorseful feeling to the character, successfully gaining sympathy from the audiences.
-- Ari Howorth (article author), La Vista (Mira Costa High School, CA), October 16, 2011
In Showtime's Homeland, British actor Damian Lewis gives an impressive performance as US Marine Nicholas Brody.
-- Rachel Ray (article author), Telegraph, October 24, 2011
An interesting point [suggested by a viewer that when we watch Damian Lewis portraying Brody in Homeland, we subliminally see Dick Winters from Band Of Brothers, who we already accept as a hero and can't imagine becoming a traitor], although I'd hate to think an actor as gifted as Damian Lewis is being typecast. Still, any successful actor brings the baggage of their most successful roles, and Band of Brothers is iconic. So if it adds to the tension that we don't want to believe Lewis-as-Brody could be a sleeper terrorist in hero's clothing, so much the better. He's so wonderfully inscrutable and unpredictable in this role, I'm loving the not knowing for now.
-- Matt Roush (article author), TV Guide, October 24, 2011
English actor Damian Lewis was perhaps a surprising choice for the role of all-American hero Winters [in Band Of Brothers], but he's absolutely superb throughout.
-- Morgan Jeffery (article author), Digital Spy, October 29, 2011
Danes would steal this series [Homeland] outright from almost any other actor, but Lewis matches her stroke for stroke and stride for stride. Phenomenal acting. Phenomenal writing. Phenomenal television.
-- David Bianculli (article author), TV Worth Watching, November 23, 2011
For me, the real acting hero in this episode [Homeland, season 1, episode 11, "The Vest"] is Damian Lewis. He plays a man who knows he’s about to die, ... and he plays all of the angles very well. He tries to explain to his kids why he’s going to do what he’s about to do, even though they don’t realize what he’s doing. He’s finally able to make love to his wife. He takes a family trip to Gettysburg and just stands in the middle of the observation area, looking out at the hill that the schoolteacher from Maine held via unconventional strategy. Lewis has done a fantastic job of making an opaque person, someone we can’t really know by the show’s very design, warm and believable. He may be plotting to blow up the vice president -- and who knows how many bystanders -- but he’s also all-American dad. Lewis plays both halves so well that he makes you feel as if they belong in the same person, even when logic would suggest they shouldn’t. In some ways, I suspect this storyline has gotten away with some stuff that just shouldn’t make any sense, solely because Lewis is so good, and this episode is no exception. He’s a man tortured by what he’s about to do, but sure that he -- like that Maine schoolteacher -- is doing what’s right.
-- Todd Van Der Werff (article author), AV Club, December 11, 2011
No shortage of admiration goes to Damian Lewis, the MVP of dramatic TV this fall [in Homeland]. He has seduced me like a tender lover with his ability to balance his all-American Marine/Dad persona with his jihadist sympathies so effortlessly. ... Never have I rooted for someone, and despised them so equally.
-- Christopher Peck (article author), Blast Magazine - December 12, 2011
When "Homeland" debuted, we knew that Claire Danes and Damian Lewis were both giving riveting lead performances (and that the supporting players weren't too shabby, either). ... Last week's episode, with Carrie's manic outburst, will likely be Danes' Emmy submission episode, and the finale should certainly be Lewis'. He starts off doing Brody's confession looking so clear-eyed and confident (and in what I think was a single take), but as the episode moves along and Brody starts experiencing various lasts (last hug of his son, an aborted last conversation with his wife, etc.), you can see the pressure getting to him, until by the time he's in that secured bunker, he's just a wreck: sweaty and shaking and confused -- and, by the time Dana calls him, trembling so fiercely that he looks like he could vibrate apart at any moment. Raw, magnetic, unflinching, mesmerizing acting, that was.
-- Alan Sepinwall (article author), Hit Fix, December 18, 2011
Damian Lewis has been brilliant as Brody throughout the season, but he blew me away in the finale. I was on the edge of my seat and physically in pain watching him. It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on any show. The lead up to Brody flipping the switch on the bomb was heart-wrenching to watch and at that moment, I’m not sure I could imagine anything worse happening. But, it got worse … much worse. From fixing the bomb in the bathroom, to reentering the holding area, and then to the most heart-wrenching scene imaginable — Brody on the phone with Dana while ready to die. Intense. Crazy. Relief. The emotions while watching Brody come to the realization that he couldn’t leave his daughter and family behind to get vengeance for Issa. The big picture was gone in that moment, instead it was about him, his daughter and his family. His hatred of the Vice President was evident, but Brody was going to have to find another way to make him pay.
-- Carla Day (article author), CliqueClack TV, December 18, 2011
The acting was remarkable [in the season-one finale of Homeland]. ... The two leads were in perfect sync, which is one reason to keep Brody around for a second season. Mr. Lewis is as compelling in the role of a damaged P.O.W. with a covert agenda of revenge as Ms. Danes is as a fiercely dedicated officer hiding a bipolar condition.
-- Alessandra Stanley (article author), New York Times, December 19, 2011
For me, if Carrie's meltdown last week ensured Danes is an Emmy front-runner, then the scenes of Brody in the bunker [in the season-one finale of Homeland] have done the same for Lewis. The intensity and suspense are unbearable as Brody is rushed into an underground holding area with the vice president, the secretary of defense, and other government/military VIP's. ... Brody is shown in jittery extreme close-up throughout his ordeal in the bunker: sweat beading on his brow ... eyes gleaming with purpose. Lewis is incredible here.
-- Matt Roush (article author), TV Guide, December 19, 2011
Damian Lewis has a real serious chance of upending reigning champ Bryan Cranston at the Emmys, and this episode [the season-one finale of Homeland] should without a doubt be his submission tape. The scene where his daughter calls him was so perfectly played, the directing -- having the camera right up there on his face -- was brilliant, allowing Brody to have the big meltdown that he had without alerting anyone in a room filled with State and Defence Secretaries and Secret Service agents that he was indeed having a meltdown.
-- Ciara (article author), Daemon's TV, December 19, 2011
Acting moment of the episode: Brody’s daughter talks him out of blowing everybody up, even without knowing she’s doing it. Damian Lewis beautifully played the man coming apart at the seams, then making a decision. (I also liked how the show portrayed the aftermath, with him seeming really pissed at himself for not having the guts.)
-- Todd Van Der Werff (article author), AV Club, December 19, 2011
Day 1 [of the season-one finale of Homeland] begins with Brody recording his suicide(-bomber) note and, all shot in a single take, it's another display of Lewis' acting prowess. Brody reasons with us -- the camera -- explaining his actions and while the tape will play a significant role later, for now it's just a powerful few minutes. He truly believes this is the right thing to do, despite the love he bears for his family and the glaring contradictions in his words.
-- Jesse Carp (article author), Cinema Blend, December 19, 2011
Sterling acting work from Damian Lewis during the bunker scene [in the season-one finale of Homeland]. The Emmy nomination must be a mere formality now.
-- Sophie Gilbert (article author), Washingtonian, December 19, 2011
Both before and after Brody went into the bathroom to fix his vest [in the season-one finale of Homeland], the scenes in which he was ready to ignite the bomb to kill himself and everyone else, were truly breathtaking. ... Damian Lewis's performance had me afraid for my life, let alone Brody's as the good sergeant struggled with his decision to flip the switch. ... Listening to that phone conversation between a father and daughter filled me with every emotion possible. Brody's quick "Yeah I'm coming home," as his eyes turned beat red and he shook like crazy, almost had me near tears. When Dana finally convinced him, he composed himself, and responded with a strong "I'm coming home Dana, I promise," the love in the air also had me near tears. ... As good as the twists and turns [throughout the first season of Homeland] were, and as interesting as the surprises and new developments were, the story telling still might have taken a back seat to just how fantastic Claire Danes and Lewis were at portraying these unbelievably complex characters. That was never more evident than in "Marine One." Brody's struggle to make the biggest decision of his life, choosing the love of his family over what he thought he needed to do for the good of the country, and then continuing to go along with Nazir's plan after killing Walker, proved just how great of a character Sergeant Brody really is. Whether this guy is willing to make moves up the political ladder for Nazir with a purpose of helping the man, or simply because he thinks he needs to in order to stay alive at this point, it will be interesting to watch. Lewis and this writing staff have proved that.
-- Dan Forcella (article author), TV Fanatic, December 19, 2011
[The season-one finale of Homeland] should clearly be Damian Lewis’ submission tape, if last week’s was Claire Danes’, for the Emmy. Finally alone with the VP, Brody becomes drenched in his reluctance. He breathes deeply, staggering, recalling Nazir’s words of encouragement. His face is both determined, and noncommittal. His fingers on the trigger are shaky and yet firm. He then grits his teeth and flicks the switch. And nothing happens. ... For me it was the perfect illustration of tragic inevitability. Brody is committed to the idea, but ultimately this was not ever what he was meant to do. Brody has been a man without a country all season and even with Nazir in his ear reminding him of Issa’s cruel murder at the hands of VP Walden’s drone strike, fate would not allow him the chance to wipe that painful memory away so easily. So Brody ducks into the bathroom to try and reconfigure the vest while Carrie arrives at his abode. ... Dana ends up calling the secret service number and getting through to her Dad, just as he’s about to flick the switch of the newly reconfigured vest. ... The ensuing conversation where his daughter sweetly strong-arms him into promising he will return home safe is both pulse-pounding, and earnestly tear-jerking. She’s the obvious reminder that no matter what justice he tries to accomplish the family he loves will be left alone, without his love and compassion, the quality that has fueled his entire justifications to follow Nazir, their mutual sympathies for the innocent as victims of war.
-- Christopher Peck (article author), Blast, December 19, 2011
Howard Gordon, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are undoubtedly going to be recognized for what was a superlative first season. Any such accolades are certainly deserved and bring high hopes for the second season of Homeland.
-- Kevin Yeoman (article author), Screen Rant, December 19, 2011
If you don’t have Showtime, you’ll want to get the DVD when it becomes available simply to savor some of the best acting on television. Claire Danes gives a shattering performance as CIA officer Carrie Mathison, who is driven and bipolar. Carrie suspects that Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) has turned traitor after years of imprisonment by terrorists. Lewis is brilliant and enigmatic in a tricky role, keeping viewers guessing for weeks.
-- Hal Boedeker (article author), Orlando Sentinel, December 19, 2011
The [season-one] finale [of Homeland], as the title suggests, in many ways belonged to Brody, and Lewis was simply fan-damn-tastic in the climactic near-terror-attack sequence; he made the decision to end his life in a suicide attack–but for a faulty trigger switch–seem like equal parts military discipline and spiritual ecstasy. To bring himself to the point where he could flip the switch, Brody needed to bring himself to a place where he could let go of his life and see himself as a vessel of a larger purpose. But he also, as he has for some time, had to compartmentalize–to separate the avenging soldier from the loving dad, returned from the war and finally able to raise his kids. And when Dana—prompted, if indirectly, by Carrie—calls her sequestered father, the compartment walls dramatically broke down. Lewis’ performance was obviously great here; he makes palpable how Brody is quavering under the strain of his contradictions, as if that tension himself will make him explode. But the Brody kids are remarkably well-cast too, and I like how the script and Morgan Saylor’s performance left it open to interpretation js how much she really did or didn’t believe Carrie. She tells Carrie she’s a liar, and yet—as Brody said and Carrie repeats here—she knows her father better than anyone, and she knows something is off. Yet she doesn’t simply accuse him; she can’t quite let herself go there. She needs to believe in him, and so instead she pushes her dad, demanding that he promise to come home. At which point you can almost see something switch off in Brody. The bomb has been defused.
-- James Poniewozik (article author), Time, December 19, 2011
In any event, the [bunker] scene [in the season-one finale of Homeland] itself is amazing and tense, and if Damian Lewis hadn't already proven that he was going to at least get nominated for all the acting awards God ever created, this alone would've stitched that up for him. Lewis brings a range of terror, resignation and sadness to Brody's would-be suicide that belies the character's typical stoicism.
-- Scott Collura (article author), IGN, December 19, 2011
The performance by Damian Lewis in this episode [the season-one finale of Homeland] is why the Emmys were invented. The subtle ways that he makes it clear he is conflicted about what he's doing are really impressive, especially when shown in contrast to Walker's (Chris Chalk) silent and determined persona. Despite outward appearances, there is nothing black and white about this situation.
-- Paul Goebel (article author), TV Geek Army, December 19, 2011
I don't think I need to mention it because it's so damned obvious, but I'd be remiss if I didn't: the acting from Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, and Mandy Patinkin is about as close to flawless as you can get.
-- Tim Surette (article author), TV.com, December 19, 2011
Once again, the show's leads gave breathtaking performances that fully captured the intensity of the characters' experiences without ever going over the top. ... But the lingering image that I may take away from the "Homeland" finale was of Brody's pale, sweaty face in that claustrophobic bunker. Director Michael Cuesta made us feel every second of Brody's internal combat, and the queasy doubts the character felt both before and after he'd finally fixed the broken vest were perfectly captured by Lewis.
-- Maureen Ryan (article author), Huffington Post, December 19, 2011
Damian Lewis also owned the episode as Brody, particularly during his panicked attempts to get his suicide vest working again. However, it was the smaller moments that were more telling. For the last two episodes, Brody has been trying to get his family ready for life without him as he subtly said goodbye. And yet when Jessica practically runs out the door to get Chris to his karate match, it almost destroys Brody that he couldn't kiss his wife one more time. He even pushes Dana away from hugging him out of fear that she'll feel his suicide vest. Brody may have dismissed the notion that he was brainwashed by Abu Nazir, but he places more value on exacting revenge for Issa than he does on spending his life with his family. The scene between Dana and Brody as she tearfully gets him to come home was beautifully executed in that we see Brody come around just through his facial expressions.
-- Blair Marnell (article author), Crave Online, December 19, 2011
From start to finish, the cast of Homeland made me believe what I was inclined to doubt, which is ultimately the highest complement that one can pay to actors. Damian Lewis, Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Monica Baccarin, and stealth-best-in-show candidate Morgan Saylor deserve the armloads of awards they’re sure to get for their performances.
-- Matt Zoller Seitz (article author), Salon.com, December 19, 2011
Damian Lewis has done a marvelous job capturing the tension of each scene, and his work here was again brilliant. ... I liked seeing Lewis sell the emotion and panic associated with the build to his pressing the trigger. ... Clarie Danes and Damian Lewis once again gave Emmy-caliber performances.
-- Brian Cantor (article author), Headline Planet, December 19, 2011
We can't think of anybody else who could embody the ambiguity of Brody [like Damian does]. He's like a Norman Rockwell American and he's tough all at once.
-- Alex Gansa (Homeland co-creator), E! Online, December 19, 2011
Danes and Lewis have been riveting all season long [in Homeland], caught in a dance that tested viewer allegiance.
-- Mark Perigard (article author), Boston Herald, December 19, 2011
[In the season-one finale of Homeland] Lewis [exhibits an] almost supernatural ability to silently project the 715 types of emotion that might rise within a man who, ecstatically prepared to blow himself up, discovers he has been undone by faulty wiring. ... Homeland [has] a remarkable sense of balance, beginning with its main characters. Both are damaged and focused, regretful and resolute, but where Lewis petrifies Brody, turning him into a man of roiling stillness, Danes take Claire to the other end of the emotional universe, rolling her eyes and champing her teeth like a fire-maddened horse. ... The two together are riveting.
-- Mary McNamara (article author), Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2011
I expect a best actress/drama Golden Globe for Danes, and Emmy nods for Lewis, Danes, and probably Mandy Patinkin too. ... The question of whether Brody is a good man who has been brainwashed into doing a terrible thing, or a terrible man who had been brainwashed into doing something he was convinced was good - the polarity of Nicholas Brody all season long - melted away in that one moment with his daughter's voice on the end of the line. Suddenly, he was only a father, and nothing more. His agony was exquisite, magnificent - the best moment of the entire series, and one of the most memorable of the season. Something visibly snapped in him in that instance: A Marine 8 years in captivity which had been just enough time to learn Arabic and otherwise become a viable Stockholm syndrome candidate, but not quite enough time to erase the memory of his firstborn daughter. In that one supercharged instant, thanks in part to the brilliance of Lewis, that became one of those plausible moments that in lesser hands would have been reduced to sheer silliness.
-- Verne Gay (article author), Newsday, December 19, 2011
When Brody was about to flip the switch on his bomb, I was freaking out. Damian Lewis was fantastic as he shook like a crazy person, had the red eyes going and then Brody actually did it! I'm just glad it didn't work. I'm not ready to say goodbye to him yet.
-- Dan Forcella (article author), TV Fanatic, December 20, 2011
The most captivating scene and one that ultimately paved the way for the rest of the show was when Brody was going to flip the switch the second time, but getting the phone call from Dana. Lewis was amazing in that scene. You could see the decision making process in his head from his facial expressions. In that moment, he decided that he was not bound by Nazir and vengeance for Issa. He realized he had a family now and he couldn't leave them.
-- Carla Day (article author), TV Fanatic, December 20, 2011
Homeland delivered such incredible character portrayals, and Lewis sold the scenes in that bunker [in the season-one finale] so well.
-- Matt Richenthal (article author), TV Fanatic, December 20, 2011
[My pick for] Actor of the Year, Drama, Male: Damian Lewis for Homeland. Did any actor have a tougher job than Lewis, or do it any better? He not only had to keep us guessing as to whether his character, ex-POW Nicholas Brody, was a terrorist -- he had to make us care, which is much harder. And he did it all so well, he pretty much forced the show to bring him back. It wouldn't be Homeland without him.
-- Robert Bianco (article author), USA Today, December 21, 2011
[The season-one finale of Homeland] contained the most deadly effective small-screen performance in a decade. The mix of fear, guilt, and resolve that Damian Lewis evokes as his character, former Iraq war POW Nicholas Brody, approaches a catastrophic terrorist act is stunning work.
-- Artur Davis (article author and former Congressman (D-Ala.)), Arena, December 23, 2011
Damian Lewis's portrayal of [Homeland's] Nicholas Brody, the marine who has returned to an almost unrecognizable America, is breathtaking.
-- Holly Cara Price (article author), Huffington Post, December 30, 2011
[In Homeland] Lewis does a marvelous job at portraying a man who is trying to put his life back together while being at the forefront of a recruitment campaign -- and a man who may or may not be a traitor to America.
-- Eric Blattberg (article author), Hollywood.com, December 30, 2011
Damian's intricate and convincing portrayal of a war hero (who might be a terrorist, no big whoop) is the biggest reason Homeland is arguably the best new drama to premiere in a long time.
-- Kristin Dos Santos (article author), E! Online, January 12, 2012
I've seen Damian on the West End in a couple of plays, ... and I knew of him also from Band Of Brothers and I knew of him from that short-lived show on NBC, Life. Once you have a failed series on the air, like Life, it was hard to get Damian approved [for Homeland]. There were some ultimatums that were laid down whether or not we could cast him. Somebody said at some point, "Over my dead body, Damian Lewis." We found this little independent movie by Lodge Kerrigan called Keane. I remember it was like 6:30 or 7:00 one night in my office, and I had just heard this "Over my dead body" comment. So I was about ready to move on. We were just not going to push for Damian. I was on Netflix, and I said, "People have been mentioning this move Keane over and over to me. I'm going to see if I can instantly stream it." So, luckily, it was stream-able. I watched the first 45 minutes of the film. Damian just holds the frame pretty much himself for the first 45 minutes of the film. He is so compelling to watch and so ambiguous in his performance. He plays, I guess, a paranoid-schizophrenic father who lost his daughter. ... It's really just an amazingly powerful performance. So I called the network and the studio and said, "You know, you guys have to watch this." To their credit, they watched the film, and the next morning, we were making an offer to Damian Lewis. Now that role, in a way, is the toughest role in the show. Claire's role is obviously difficult too, but Damian, certainly through the course of the first number of episodes, has to play this strange combination of a Norman Rockwell-like soldier returning from war, but at the same time somebody that is hiding something and that may either be suffering from this PTSD thing or damaged somehow by his captivity, or, you know, with a big secret. That was really hard. It was very difficult to find somebody that we were confidant could play that complexity.
-- Alex Gansa (Homeland co-creator), AV Club, January 24, 2012
It's a testament to Damian Lewis's sympathetic but spiky performance [in Homeland] that not only is the audience as unsure as the increasingly paranoid Carrie about the returning hero's motives, we also desperately hope he is who, and what, he claims to be.
-- Sarah Hughes (article author), Independent, January 31, 2012
We looked long and hard at many actors before casting Brody [in Homeland]. Damian stood out not just because of Band Of Brothers but because we'd seen Keane where he played a paranoid schizophrenic looking for his lost child. For the first 35 minutes of that film, he was pretty much the only person on screen and he was so compelling that we began to really consider him.
-- Alex Gansa (Homeland co-creator), Independent, January 31, 2012
When [Damian] walks on stage he has a kind of energy inside him. People give it fancy names like presence and charisma, but they're posh names for energy. Damian walks on and you know something is going to happen. There's something inside him that's combustible and energized.
-- Michael Attenborough (director of Five Gold Rings), Telegraph, February 4, 2012
Damian approaches a role from all sorts of different angles. He's like a sponge, he takes everything in. He has a very good insight into both his character and his place within the story. And nine times out of 10 an actor like that normally turns out to be a very good director.
-- Rupert Wyatt (director of The Escapist), Telegraph, February 4, 2012
Partly down to the stunning performances [in Homeland] of Lewis (the guy can create more with a silent stare than many actors can in a whole episode) and Danes, but more importantly because of the complexities and uncertainties of their characters, the face-off between the pair is captivating TV.
-- Alex Fletcher, Digital Spy, February 19, 2012
The star of the first episode [of Homeland] was certainly Damian Lewis. Having established that he can do quirky, unconventionally attractive leads in Life, Lewis has got himself a monster role here. The show didn't want, at least at this stage, to spell out what his character was feeling, so it was left to Lewis to hint at it with jumpy, haunted looks and, in the brief flashbacks to Brody's incarceration, visceral portrayals of extreme psychological trauma. Lewis handled both superbly. ... Brody's decompression is full of challenging dramatic potential and Lewis seemed equal to it.
-- Jack Seale (article author), Radio Times, February 20, 2012
We wanted to create a "villain" [in Homeland] whose motivation you could completely understand and possibly even root for against your own interests. If we could have pushed it that far, we knew we were in some nice complex gray areas, which is where we tried to live as much as we could in the series. A lot of the credit has to go to Damian Lewis as well, because there’s something so winning about him and to portray a character that actually has some evil intent, but maintain that essential [human quality] -- you kind of root for him in a strange way. He was able to walk that very fine line.
-- Alex Gansa (Homeland co-creator), World Screen, February 21, 2012
It's a testament to Lewis's persuasive skills as an actor that [while watching him in Homeland] we wonder whether he's an uptight national hero or cunning jihadist spy without for a moment considering his real identity as an old-Etonian British thespian.
-- Andrew Anthony (article author), Observer, February 25, 2012
Lewis's performance in the bunker [in Homeland] was gob-smackingly brilliant, glueing your eyes to the screen with its magnificent power and emotional clout. If he doesn't sweep the board at future awards shows, something has gone wrong. Very few actors could have played a character so nuanced, complex and fraught with internal contradictions, so sublimely. Give that man an Emmy.
-- Alex Fletcher (article author), Digital Spy, May 6, 2012
Lewis is a respected actor who has given Emmy-worthy performances in projects like 'Life,' 'Band Of Brothers' and 'The Forsyte Saga.' As good as he's been before, he's giving what's close to the performance of his career in 'Homeland' [definitely his career highlight if you haven't seen 'Keane,' but I've seen 'Keane'] a performance which, thanks to its 'Manchurian Candidate' shadings, is tailor-made for award consideration. 'Homeland' is sure to be a major Emmy player and Lewis' scenes with presumptive Emmy winner Claire Danes are pure dramatic dynamite.
-- Daniel Fienberg (article author), Hit Fix, June 27, 2012
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