‘The Punisher’ Review Round-Up: Here’s What Critics Are Saying

Written By: Nick Poulimenakos

After months of speculating when it will be released, fans will finally witness the debut of Marvel’s most brutal hero, The Punisher, in his own solo series set to premiere this Friday on Netflix. But as always, before that, the review embargo for the highly anticipated series has been lifted. So, what are critics saying about Marvel’s newest Netflix show? To keep it short and sweet, it’s a mostly positive response!

Critics were given the first six episodes of the series and have praised the performances, action sequences, and character dynamics while criticism is thrown at the plot for being stretched too thin. Check out what critics are saying below!

Sonia Saraiya from Variety:

But ‘The Punisher’ transcends what it appears to be. Not completely, and not always; this is still a very violent show, saturated in tortured masculinity. (In just the opening credits, an array of semiautomatic weapons float in the air to arrange themselves in the skull-shaped logo of the Punisher.) But thanks to Jon Berthal’s seamless performance as the non-superpowered vigilante Frank Castle and showrunner Steve Lightfoot’s sharp, conscious storytelling, ‘The Punisher’ approaches the high points of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” by introducing a damaged, deadly character and telling his story as one piece of an unjust whole. Despite first impressions, Frank Castle is in fact a marginalized figure — because he is a veteran

Kofi Outlaw from Comicbook:

The Punisher may seem like the latest in the assembly line of Marvel Netflix series, but it definitely breaks the usual mold to offer fans a surprisingly deep and nuanced tale of violence and the trauma it leaves in its wake. It’s unlike anything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ranks up there with the best of the Marvel Netflix brand (Daredevil season 1, Jessica Jones).

Susan Polo from Polygon:

And how The Punisher approaches its nuances in the last half its season will have a big impact on its overall quality. If Frank’s unit was part of a military conspiracy without his knowledge, is the show trying to absolve him of or implicate him in its misdeeds? This other veteran character, struggling to connect, violently lashing out and looking for another fight to join — will he eventually represent a “realistic” version of Frank Castle’s story? Or does he represent the kind of uncontrolled violence that Frank channels so carefully and deliberately at criminals?

David Griffin from IGN:

Marvel’s The Punisher did an excellent job reintroducing us to an iconic character, with the help of a brilliant performance from Jon Bernthal. While some of the supporting cast members are less memorable, there is still plenty of time for more character development down the road.

Merrill Barr from Forbes:

When Guardians of Galaxy hit theaters in 2014, many praised it as the best MCU film to date, not for the least of which being because it chose to not tie itself to existing mythology. It is within this prism we can praise the television side’s latest Netflix series: The Punisher.

The Punisher is the best Marvel series to date set within the fictional MCU. Why? Because it does its own thing.

Alan Speinwall from Uproxx:

It’s a conundrum: The Punisher is most effective when its title character is indiscriminately slaughtering his foes, but that’s also when it most consistently evokes the kinds of real-life horrors that pushed the premiere back once, and could have kept pushing it back indefinitely. There may hopefully be a time when Frank’s actions don’t instantly recall horrors from our world, but that version of his story will still need to be told much more compellingly than this.

Daniel Feinberg from The Hollywood Reporter:

Far better than ‘Iron Fist,’ Marvel’s latest Netflix standalone is a tight, brutal six-episode story of revenge stretched exhaustively and inexcusably over 13 hours.

So, what do you think? Are you watching The Punisher this weekend? Let us know in the comments down below!

Marvel’s The Punisher begins streaming on Netflix on November 17, 2017.


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