The TV series adaptation of the Coen brothers Oscar-winning movie Fargo has received strong reviews ahead of its premiere on FX tonight. The show stars Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Larvo, who arrives in a Minnesota and immetely brings major changes to the lives of insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman), Officer Molly Solverson (Alison Tolman), the daughter of the former Chief (Keith Carradine) and singer father Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks).

Martin Freeman FargoMartin Freeman as Lester in 'Fargo'

"A perfectly mixed cocktail equally parts menacing and suspenseful, washed down with surprising notes of hilarious satire and pulpy violence, FX's version of Fargo is most certainly not a pale imitation of the gruesome dark comedy," said the Daily Beast's Kevin Fallon.

"Directed by Adam Bernstein, the 90-minute premiere is particularly taut and effective, with three subsequent episodes slightly less so; nevertheless, there's enough going on (indeed, almost too much) and such a weird string of dominos that it's hard not to imagine those sampling the opener won't want to see things through to the finish," wrote Brian Lowry of Variety.

"The dark absurdist tone doesn't land quite as cleanly as in the film, and there's the enormous absence of goddess Frances McDormand, who brought such great plainspoken heart to the movie's otherwise bleak landscape.... But do keep watching, because the show boasts unique and satisfying hooks," said Kevin Valby of Entertainment Weekly. 

Billy Bob Thornton FargoBilly Bob Thornton in FX's 'Fargo'

"The casting on Fargo is superb, but none more so than Thornton, who is absolutely magnetic as the calm killer with a penchant for wry observation.... The four episodes that FX sent are a testament to Hawley's bold belief that he could tackle such an original piece of cinema and make it work on the small screen," said The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman.

"The show's pace is slow in spots, but the dark humor and twisted tone make it oddly compelling," said the Chicago Times' Lori Racki.

Fargo premieres tonight (April 15, 2014) on FX. It runs for five episodes, concluding on May 13, 2014.

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Watch Martin Freeman at the 'Fargo' premiere: