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Person of Interest

TV review by
Matt Springer, Common Sense Media
Person of Interest TV Poster Image
Anemic high-concept procedural with heavy violence.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some mild positive messaging in the portrayal of the lead characters and their dedication to justice. The line between good and evil is clearly drawn.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although the main characters make great personal sacrifices to help others and save lives, they do so using violence as their primary agent of change.


Heavy violence. Conflicts are frequently resolved using hand-to-hand combat, sometimes with blood. Gun violence and other weapons such as automatics and rocket launchers also figure heavily in the plot.


As part of an occasional flashback to a deceased relative, sequences feature the lead character in bed with his dead wife. No nudity, but close-ups of skimpy clothing and suggested sexual contact.


Occasional use of language such as "damn," "hell," and "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A lead character is depicted as drinking heavily before cleaning up his act. Criminals on the series are frequently involved in the drug trade and are depicted smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this high-concept crime procedural has plenty of violence. From hand-to-hand combat that includes blood, heavy weaponry, and references to September 11, this show is definitely not for young kids or sensitive viewers. Also expect some minor sexuality, plus some drinking, smoking, and references to drug dealing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBrian10122 July 1, 2012

Extremely Positive Messages, Perfect Role Models, Great for teens

Although there is a lot of violence in this show, its portrayed in a positive way, and the show is constantly enforcing positive messages. I believe the people... Continue reading
Adult Written bychocolatebat September 21, 2016

Brilliant realistic sci-fi that also tackles philosophical and moral dilemmas.

Person of Interest exists as a work of incredibly grounded science fiction; that is to say, it is tackling issues that we are currently facing or could be facin... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bytitanc_13 May 26, 2016

The front page review is blasphemy.

A great show! Starts off slow in season one, but by the time it becomes serialized in season two, the characters start to get more emotional attachments, the wr... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 23, 2011

What's the story?

As PERSON OF INTEREST begins, Reese (Jim Caviezel) is a washed-up former CIA agent, presumed dead, who's drinking away his sorrow over the death of his wife. Enter enigmatic billionaire Finch (Michael Emerson), who has a simple mission for Reese: Help save lives. Using data from a supercomputer built to hunt terrorists in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Reese and Finch act only with a Social Security number and must determine how innocent people become involved in terrible crimes -- and what can be done to prevent them.

Is it any good?

We live in an age in which it seems that all you need to get a TV show deal is a very high-concept idea. The high concept behind Person of Interest isn't necessarily a bad one -- supercomputer identifies people about to be killed, rich man hires former CIA agent to help these people -- but the execution lacks energy and wit. With an idea so fundamentally silly, you'd expect the plotting and characterization to be a little less dour.


Instead, the show takes itself very seriously, which in turn results in a boring, humorless hour built on a goofy idea. Caviezel is either trying way too hard or not trying hard enough as the perpetually depressed Reese, while Lost's Emerson tries to mine what he can from the material but comes off as almost a parody of an eccentric wealthy person. Both of these actors deserve a better series than this.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence as problem solver on the show. Does every conflict on the show need to be resolved using fists/weapons? Why or why not?

  • What does the show have to do with the attacks on September 11? Is it important for the show to use such an event as a plot point?

TV details

For kids who love drama

Our editors recommend

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