Law & Order: Criminal Intent

TV review by
Liz Perle, Common Sense Media
Law & Order: Criminal Intent TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Inside the mind of killers; not for kids.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It's about catching criminals, but the stories are told from the point of view of the criminal mind of the alleged perpetrator as well as the detectives trying to solve the crime.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The detectives are generally intelligent, upstanding, and driven to protect the community from criminals. Sometimes detectives express a quiet but emotional desire to pursue justice for crime victims.


Post-mortems are often quite grisly, and there are lots of dead bodies. Guns go off frequently.


Some crimes are sexually based.


Of the three Law & Orders, this show has the mildest language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasionally a cigarette is smoked or a drink or drug consumed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this crime drama digs deeply into the motives behind violent acts. Younger kids will find the pacing slow but the content very disturbing. From a role model point of view, this isn't an age-appropriate show for kids, since each episode dwells on aberrant behaviors.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIlovekrill February 23, 2012

Often Dark, But Worth Watching For Robert Goren Alone.

This is one of the finest detective dramas on TV; it focuses on the crimes and motivations of the killers behind each episode's murders. The opening scene... Continue reading
Adult Written byAntoniaChigas402 December 13, 2020

This is OK for 10 years old and up

Yes Grandma Think this Show is for Ages 10 and Up.
Teen, 13 years old Written byMRIANLAND July 1, 2019

Great instalment, but not as good as SVU.

This one is just like my all time favorite movie, "The Silence of the Lambs" going into the minds of killers, not for 10 and under
Kid, 12 years old December 12, 2012

Why so overprotective?

Yes, there's drugs, sex, drinking and most importantly murder, but hey, I started watching this when I was 11 and it was nothing too harsh and I loved Gore... Continue reading

What's the story?

LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT is the second spin-off of the popular Law & Order. It features detectives from the NYPD's Major Case Squad. This show is more of a police procedural drama than a courtroom drama: It takes viewers into the minds of the criminals who perform a range of dastardly and often gruesome crimes. Playing the lead detectives are Vincent D'Onofrio (who plays the eerily intelligent Detective Robert Goren) and Kathryn Erbe (who is Goren's partner, Detective Alexandra Eames).

Is it any good?

Criminal Intent is the most cerebral of the Law & Order shows. It purports to take viewers into the minds of the criminals who perform a range of dastardly and often gruesome crimes and, while intriguing for adults, is a pretty iffy choice for younger viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the detectives follow the clues. Ask your teens how realistic they think the show is. Parents can also reassure their kids that these crimes aren't likely to occur to them.

TV details

Our editors recommend

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