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Law & Order Criminal Intent - The First Year

4.7 out of 5 stars 230 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This popular companion series from the award-winning Law & Order franchise stars Vincent D'Onofrio of the NYPD's Major Case Squad, a detective bent on getting inside the minds of the city's worst criminals in order to bring them to justice. With a celebrated cast that includes Vincent D'Onofrio (Men In Black, Full Metal Jacket), Kathryn Erbe (Stir of Echoes, TV's Oz), Jamey Sheridan (Life as a House, The Ice Storm), Courtney B. Vance (Space Cowboys, Cookie's Fortune), and featuring such notable guest stars as Michael Gross (TV's Family Ties), Griffin Dunne (Quiz Show), Jerry Orbach (Tv's Law & Order), Jesse L. Martin (TV's Law & Order) and S. Epatha Merkerson (TV's Law & Order), Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The First Year is a must-have DVD collection.


Dick Wolf (Law & Order) has claimed that Arthur Conan Doyle inspired him to create Criminal Intent. Indeed, the brilliant--if socially awkward--Robert "Bobby" Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) and cool-headed partner Alexandra "Alex" Eames (Kathryn Erbe) do come across like a modern day Holmes and Watson. Rather than England, however, they're members of New York's major case squad. (Trivia buffs may find it of interest that D'Onofrio played Holmes's arch-nemesis Moriarty in the 2002 made-for-cable movie Case of Evil.) The show, which premiered in 2001, added "criminal" to the successful "law" and "order" equation. Each episode moves back and forth between the efforts of Goren and Eames to track down "the worst criminal offenders" and the efforts of the offenders to evade capture. The detectives report to plainspoken Captain Deakins (Jamey Sheridan) and work closely with urbane ADA Carter (Courtney B. Vance).

Criminal Intent could hardly be mistaken for a comedy, but it can be lighter on its feet than Law & Order and Special Victims Unit--even if the crimes are just as grim. The fun comes from watching Goren and Eames do whatever it takes to catch the perps. As long as it's legal--they'll do it. Highlights of the first season include "Jones" with Griffin Dunne (An American Werewolf in London) as a philandering lawyer, "Badge" with Viola Davis (Solaris) as a corrupt ex-cop, and "Phantom" with Michael Emerson (The Practice) as a desperate family man. The last is based on the same real-life case that inspired the critically acclaimed French film Time Out (in the movie and teleplay, the protagonist pretends to work for the UN; in reality, Jean-Claude Romand pretended to be a doctor). Other cases, also often suggested by actual events, concern burglary, forgery, and money laundering--although murder is always mixed up in there somewhere. Featuring guest appearance from Law & Order detectives Green (Jesse L. Martin) and Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) in "Poison" and Lieutenant Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) in "Badge." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Disc 6:
  • Criminal Intent: The Beginning
  • Law & Order Game Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Vincent D'Onofrio
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
    • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 6
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
    • Run Time: 1043 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0000AVHCD
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,808 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Law & Order Criminal Intent - The First Year" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Adam Dukovich on September 20, 2003
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I would say that Law and Order: CI is, without a doubt, the best Law and Order spinoff and it is always a thrill to watch Det. Robert Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) engage in another intellectual cat-and-mouse game with a brilliant, twisted killer. CI is, quite simply, must see tv.
    The first year had the show proving itself admirably. Goren and his partner, Alexandria Eames (Katherine Erbe) quickly become a modern-day Holmes and Watson duo, with Goren as the seemingly omniscient, stalwart detective and Eames lending a lot of humanity to the proceedings. Jamey Sheridan plays Goren and Eames' CO, a buttoned-down, more traditional cop. Courtney B. Vance plays the 'Order' aspect alone as Assistant District Attourney Carver. The leads have an undeniable chemistry, which adds to the show greatly. As a Law and Order show, however, it is the stories that make the show. The show stays true to the "ripped from the headlines" stories that made the original series so unique, but it broke with tradition by declaring that you would see the crime from the criminal's point of view. Although at first I was a bit skeptical about how this device would turn out, but it actually made the show more complex as seeing the crime would not solve it. Also, the show explored its characters, protagonists and villains alike, in a much more psychological manner than had been consistently done in either of the previous series. Finding out the motive for the crime was often more fascinating than a simple whodunit. This season laid a firm foundation for future seasons but is in itself a worthy buy.
    Quite simply, this is a show for people who like cultured, sophisticated dramas that challenge them to think about society. It is a show for those who appreciate a good character study and multilayered crime dramas. Above all, though, it is a show for anyone who can enjoy a great yarn and expertly crafted plot twists.
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Only an actor as good as Vincent D'Onofrio can take what could have been just another TV cop and turn him into the most intriguing character on TV. I look forward every week to see how Bobby Goren's wiles will be used this time to bring the culprit to justice. Depending on what needs to be done, Goren can be arrogant, vulnerable, sympathetic, cruel, sweet, hilarious, or whip out some esoteric bit of knowledge that makes everything fall into place. I think of Goren as a frustrated actor who uses the interrogation room as his stage.
    D'Onofrio's voice can be hypnotic, going from a soft seductive purr to a clap of thunder in the space of one scene. His voice can be nearly as silkily mesmerizing as that of co-star Courtney B. Vance, and that's saying something!
    While for me D'Onofrio is the main attraction, it's not the only reason I like Criminal Intent. The plots are the best written of all the Law & Orders, using twists, turns, and red herrings worthy of the best mystery writers.
    While Kathryn Erbe as Eames may at first seem to be in Goren's shadow, I think as you watch her over several episodes, it becomes clear that her character is the perfect complement to Goren. She stays strong and grounded and tends to the details while Goren weaves together the big picture.
    This collection of the first year's episodes was a welcome treat for me. From the first episode, both the cast and stories were polished and well-crafted, as if the team had been together for a long time. I highly recommend this DVD collection.
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    Format: DVD
    Criminal Intent.

    The third stream in the Law and Order franchise and the most polished of Dick Wolf's work.

    Where "Law and Order" explores the full process of the justice system from investigation to conviction, "L&O: Special Victims Unit" examines the ethical deliberations that can come with it... Dick Wolf's new spin-off, "L&O: Criminal Intent" seems to focus now on the complexity of the premeditated crime.

    Dick Wolf's style of narrative has been enhanced significantly from his previous two works to encompass the complexity of these mind-twisters. With such a huge amount of information to give the viewer, his new opening sequences can leave many people scratching their heads in confusion. The fast paced litany is always made clear in the end, though, and it is testimony of how far Wolf has come from the first Law and Order stream.

    Like most good super-slueth stories, the main detective of this series, Detective Robert Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio), is eccentric, brilliant and resourceful. His investigations advance beyond simple "smoking gun" deductions and move on to complex circumstantial evidence and criminal psychology... Bith in which Goren excels.

    D'Onofrio is arguably the most skilled actor gracing television today, and Dick Wolf had the insight to let him both mold the character Robert Goren however he wished and to give him, quite simply, the freedom to act. Many of his more memorable quirks have been pure spur of the moment improvisation, causing a great deal of confusion to the camera men and other actors.

    Goren/D'Onofrio's eccentricity and unpredictability makes this series an incredibly enjoyable one to watch, however, and you'll be hard pressed to find someone who does not appreciate it.
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