The Shield Poster

The Shield (2002)

Crime | Thriller 
Rayting:   8.7/10 76K votes
Country: USA
Language: English

Follows the lives and cases of a dirty Los Angeles Police Department cop and the unit under his command.

Episode Guide

Season 7

November 25, 2008Episode 13 Family Meeting
November 11, 2008Episode 11 Petty Cash
November 4, 2008Episode 10 Party Line
October 28, 2008Episode 9 Moving Day
October 21, 2008Episode 8 Parricide
October 14, 2008Episode 7 Bitches Brew
October 7, 2008Episode 6 Animal Control
September 30, 2008Episode 5 Game Face
September 23, 2008Episode 4 Genocide
September 16, 2008Episode 3 Money Shot
September 9, 2008Episode 2 Snitch

Season 6

Season 5

Season 4

Season 3

Season 2

Season 1

Best The Shield Episodes

Top 20 (Ranked)

November 25, 2008star9.6 2935 votesS7E13 Family Meeting
November 18, 2008star9.3 2042 votesS7E12 Possible Kill Screen
March 21, 2006star9.1 2304 votesS5E11 Post Partum
June 15, 2004star9.1 2029 votesS3E15 On Tilt
October 21, 2008star9.0 1835 votesS7E8 Parricide
June 8, 2004star8.9 1948 votesS3E14 All In
June 4, 2002star8.8 2089 votesS1E13 Circles (2)
October 7, 2008star8.8 1775 votesS7E6 Animal Control
May 14, 2002star8.7 2168 votesS1E10 Dragonchasers
April 1, 2003star8.7 1984 votesS2E13 Dominoes Falling
February 28, 2006star8.7 1948 votesS5E8 Kavanaugh
June 5, 2007star8.7 1819 votesS6E10 Spanish Practices
January 14, 2003star8.6 2015 votesS2E2 Dead Soldiers
February 7, 2006star8.6 1949 votesS5E5 Trophy
May 8, 2007star8.6 1806 votesS6E6 Chasing Ghosts
September 2, 2008star8.6 1792 votesS7E1 Coefficient of Drag
March 12, 2002star8.5 2802 votesS1E1 Pilot
April 9, 2002star8.5 2182 votesS1E5 Blowback
March 14, 2006star8.5 1982 votesS5E10 Of Mice and Lem
April 6, 2004star8.5 1935 votesS3E5 Mum

The Shield Trailer

User Reviews

mjk280 6 October 2010

I hate giving 10's because nothing is perfect, but a 9 doesn't do it justice. There have been a lot of 9's over the years but this show is even better than those.

Over 7 seasons The Shield consistently provides an incredibly diverse group of characters and more intrigue than most TV has ever provided. The web Vic and his team weaves is always winding in all sorts of directions and is often on the verge of breaking. Vic and the rest of the strike team use their authority and cunning to untangle it as best they can, almost always using tactics that are ethically questionable at best.

The whole thing really gets you sucked in and you're always torn because rooting for Vic is easy, facing what he really is is not. What's right and what's wrong? When do the lines begin to blur? It's not always clear, but it's incredibly entertaining to watch.

The other thing I really love about the show is how there's always another separate case being pursued by Dutch Waggenbach and company. It keeps each episode going in different directions and the case is always interesting or has an unexpected twist when it's resolved. I think another thing that separates this show from all the others is that you get your murder/rape case that you get everywhere else, but that only compiles about 30% of each episode and the rest is even better than that. Shows like CSI and Law & Order can't even touch the content this show brings, and I haven't even mentioned the gritty, realistic style it's shot and written in. Absolutely unique and done believably and well. The finale? It's as good as you're ever going to get.

It really is a stellar show. I would say there was perhaps one season I thought was only above average (not exactly a strike against it) but the rest was a thrill ride that was so gripping I don't know if there's more than a handful of other shows that have ever matched it in that capacity. You're always in for a surprise when you watch it and the characters grow on you, some of them whether you want them to or not. Recommended as highly as possible.

SkyFox1 17 November 2009

The Shield is not for everyone. My wife, for instance does not like violent TV shows. The Shield is raw, violent and full of incredible suspense and intrigue. A good friend of mine recently turned me on to the Shield and I will forever be grateful. I travel quite a lot and watched all 100+ hours of the Shield while on the road. I could not wait to get to the next episode. During a recent 2 week trip to India, I did not turn on the TV one time. I watched a episode or two of The Shield every night and a whole season each way on the plane. There is a lot of debate about the ending, which I thought was perfect. It's difficult to end such an epic saga but these guys did it about as good as you can. The Shield is life changing. Not all for the good.You should be prepared to be affected by this thing. It's gritty but in the same way that A Clockwork Orange is gritty. The difference is that this lasts for a long, delicious time.

uncatw6 17 March 2010

The shield is one of the best cop shows of all time, only behind "The Wire." The story line is rich and the cast is just brilliant. Michael Chiklis had a career defining role as the brutal Vic Mackey. Chiklis is so good that somehow you continue to root for the guy after all of the brutal crimes he has committed. He truly played that role to perfection. The show continues to get better as the seasons progress. They build on each other perfectly which sets up the epic and heart-wrenching series finale.

As the seasons build, life truly seems to be on the line for every member of the strike team. Walton Goggins, who plays Detective Shane Vendrell, continually got better as the show progressed and gave mind blowing performance in the last two seasons.

What also makes The Shield so rich are the other characters on the show other than the Strike Team. CCH Pounder was brilliant throughout the series and Detective Dutch Waggenbach and Steve Billings both helped balance out the show.

Season long guest stints from stars Forrest Whitaker and Glenn Close helped make this show a top 10 drama of the decade.

If you like "The Wire" or "The Sopranos" then you need to check this show out...It will be worth your time

lokutus-1 19 June 2009

I never wrote a review on IMDb, but after reading that many bad reviews about The Shield i felt i had to do this. In fact all that reviews kept me from seeing The Shield for a long time.

But now that i am through with all Lost and 24 Seasons, seen The Wire twice, had a good time with Oz it was time for something new, so i finally gave The Shield a chance.

And i can tell you it's one hell of a ride, i was hooked after seeing the first episode. I would even compare the series to The Wire, it is different of course and doesn't focus so much on the social aspects, it goes more for the action.

It's got all you need, corrupt cops, drugs, violence, betrayal, good detective work (homicide team) and even some hot chicks occasionally ;) So my conclusion is that if you like quality series with a persistent plot and cliffhangers like The Wire, Lost, Sopranos or Oz go for this one you won't regret it! It will keep you on the edge of your seat for a long time.

And i really can't understand where all those bad reviews are coming from... go check The Shield out for yourself!

danielcereto 31 July 2020

I just finished this series today on July 2020 and all I have to say is that it does not look cheap, old or non interesting, just keeping in mind this was filmed between 2002-2008. First, most of the main cast are extremely good actors. Vic, Aceveda and Shane were the most powerful. Second, the storyline and the length of the chapters are quite good too. Probably the story could have been told with 4-5 seasons easily. But it is what it is. Last, camera work, make up and sound are pretty cool. I can't believe this show started on 2002. On the other hand, seems some characters were not fully developed or look like the writers didn't want to give them credit. But not a big thing. So, overall if you're looking for an excellent cops show, brutal, raw and almost perfect, this one is for you. Now, I'm going to watch The Wire. I want to compare both shows and see which one is better.

axelpuri-1 25 July 2020

I know im late to the party but i just wanted to add my two cents. I have seen a lot of shows in my life from the Wire , breaking bad , sons of anarchy , downtown abbey to GOT and everything in between ( of-course not but definitely all the ones worth watching ) but The Shield has a special place in my heart. First it saw me through the corona virus lockdown and had me baited hook line and sinker like i have never been . I almost cried when it ended because i didn't want it to but also had me enthralled to the point that i couldn't wait to see what the next episode would bring .

I think i cannot offer any compliments and praises that haven't been offered already . All i will say is it is like The Wire in treatment but with its own unique flavour. The writing is crisp , the hand held shooting gritty with each character addng a different dimension to the storyline. Each season brought with it a different commentary on all kinds of issues be it politics , family life, friendship, duty in the line of fire etc

Give it a go and be prepared for one heck of a ride

da_gopsta 11 April 2012

I only heard of The Shield a few weeks ago. I had only just finished watching a previous TV show from start to finish, and was after a new one to pass the time. I typed in "The Best TV Shows Ever", or something similar, on Google, and I noticed that this was on a few lists. I'd never heard of it, but after checking to see that it was given a very respectable 8.7 rating on IMDb, I decided to check it out.

When I started, I was not unimpressed, but at the same time, I didn't really get the immediately-hooked feeling like I did at the start of other TV shows like Prison Break, Dexter and Breaking Bad, amongst others.

However, unlike most TV dramas, The Shield got progressively better throughout its series. The characters were very complex and I can't think of a single main character who I had both rooted for at times, yet wanted to see their downfall in others.

As I said, the series got progressively better, but in no way was I expecting the finale to be as good as it was. I've seen a fair few TV series in my time, but no series finale that I've seen has even come close to matching this one. An absolutely incredible finale of a quality that any series would have been proud of.

I'd definitely recommend this show. For me personally, it was a steady 7/10 for the first couple seasons, 8//10 and 9/10 for the next few, but 10/10 for its final season. To give the actual finale a rating out of ten would do it injustice as I'm sceptical that I'll ever see one as good as that.

philipngratton 11 August 2020

There seems to be a glut of quite extreme 1-star reviews on here, all echoing a couple of very specific points which make me think they're not genuine. They focus on 1) the camera being shaky, and 2) the 'reaction shots' being cut away from too quickly. Very strange. So in response:

1) Yes, this is deliberate. It gives a subtle sense of realism and makes you feel like you're an observer of a real life situation rather than a glossy film or by the numbers drama. I noticed it for about half an episode and then didn't think about it for the next 7 seasons, given the overall quality of the shield. 2) I didn't notice this for one second. There are reaction shots, and they serve their purpose. Who watches a series thinking about the fact that the reaction shots are not quite long enough? Very strange, and it makes me think someone out there has a real agenda.

Anyway, The Shield was in my opinion one of the best shows I've watched. I got absolutely lost in it for 7 seasons. There wasn't a slack episode, or a slow moment.

There are no weak or cardboard cutout characters in this show - each one has depth and humanity, and the performances are superb. It manages to take you from the gritty street level crime of urban LA through the overarching political manoeuvring of the key players, and brilliantly blurs the lines between the criminal leaders and the leaders on the supposed 'right side' of the law, in the same way that the Wire did so well, all of them power hungry, and ruthless.

Some shows struggle to make individual episodes gripping while keeping hold of the long-term storylines - others can make a relatively good but incongruous individual episode, while having no idea where the show is going overall (Lost, The Walking Dead, take a bow). The shield achieves that rare thing of making each episode individually great, while never losing sight of the long-term view. I would say only a handful of other shows have achieved this. The finale, when it comes, brings in threads of storyline from the very first episode, and does it with brilliance and humanity. I'm still thinking about it a week later, such is the complex web weaved by the writers and performances of this fantastic show.

alanmartin-551-924173 17 July 2020

There is not - IS NOT- one dull episode. Every week it delivers BIG. Last season didn't fizzle. 9.6 rating for the finally, so you will not be disappointed with the ending. Chikliss, Goggins, Pounder Know their craft. It's 3rd best cop series behind 1) BANSHEE 2) The Wire.

tudordanandrei 15 May 2020

The Shield is revolutionary. It completely redefined the TV genre by having bad cops the main characters for a whopping total of 89 episodes. It is the reason why many shows look like they look today. It took huge responsibilities and they definitely proved to be the right ones. I love this show. It is my favourite drama ever, if not my favourite TV show hands down! It immediately grabs you in and with every step the Strike Team takes into oblivion you go with them. You just can't look away. From start to finish it told a story so gripping, so outstanding that you have no other choice but to stay and look. Wonderful.

jfcthejock 20 May 2010

The Shield in my opinion as it is in most people's view, is probably regarded as second to The Wire as one of the greatest shows on television. The Shield is not just a cop show either, just like The Wire. With The Shield, you see politics, family issues, sexuality, and many other hard hitting topics that The Wire covers also but in two separate environments; Baltimore and Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to have bought the entire season 1 - 7 of The Shield on DVD at a good price, and slowly made my way through the vice and darkness that surrounds the show and its characters.

All I can really say is The Wire has only barely just topped The Shield in my opinion as a hard hitting gritty show. Both are almost fully fair in greatness, if not for The Wire beating the other by an inch. Through The Shield, you are tagging along on a journey with Vic Mackey and his Strike Team, through some harrowing and disturbing stories to the finale of this amazing show. Just as the The Wire is considered to be an analysis of society, I believe The Shield is too more so through the police but you still see both sides of the same argument from the political and criminal side too.

No one is innocent, and no one can pretend to be either as they all hide secrets. Through The shield you will see some harrowing scenes, some gritty cliffhangers to the seasons and some life-changing decisions being made in the show by its cast. Its harrowing, disturbing, gritty, hard hitting, and so down in the dirt realistic you know this happens almost everywhere. If not to watch for the crime side to it, watch The Shield to see an analysis of family life, ones own battle with their sexuality, the ever-running struggle against the corrupt institutions. Its a study of policing in an urban environment torn by strife, violence, racism and definitely the class system.

As each season passes and new ones open, we are left with many questions, awaiting answers. We await retribution, vengeance, and just deserves but we keep watching as it it so addictive. The Shield barely scrapes the top of the world of policing, especially in a city like Los Angeles, but it does a good job and comes close to the scale The Wire takes on. Tear jerking acting, top-notch plots and directing. The Shield to me and many others is right up there next to The Wire.

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