Marvel's The Punisher: Season 1 Reviews

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November 20, 2017
... where John Wick invented a superhero, crafted his universe, and detailed the entirety of his mission in a tightly paced 90 minutes, The Punisher has upwards of 11 hours to do the same thing, and all too often it's a plodding slog.
November 20, 2017
The wrong show at the wrong time. That's a dilemma even the toughest of heroes can't fight their way out of.
November 17, 2017
It's much better than Iron Fist, thank goodness, but it doesn't achieve the marrow-deep resonance in its messaging in a way that Jessica Jones does.
November 17, 2017
It seems to want to be both The Best Years of Our Lives and Death Wish IV: The Crackdown, an ambition that's not honest.
Top Critic
November 16, 2017
As usual, the production is immaculate, and Bernthal -- who never disappoints -- is his usual self. You may, however, wish (I did) that his Punisher wasn't such a humorless, unmitigated jerk.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 16, 2017
It's handsomely shot and smoothly assembled, and its naturalistic, psychological, more moody than pulpy approach may work for non-comics fans who don't mind some gore with their procedural thrillers.
February 28, 2019
If you're going to glorify violence and tell your audience that what Frank is doing is right, you must make sure there's a line drawn in the sand.
February 3, 2019
The Punisher is an unforgiving tour-de-force of brutal scenes and a great central plot that keeps weaving the characters around until it all boils over in a satisfying way.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
January 15, 2019
Sometimes the show has something very poignant to say, and other times, The Punisher needs to shoot people up with a flare of badassery. At the end of the day, this could have been a straight shoot-em-up, but instead aims to be something more.
January 14, 2019
The Punisher takes on notes of revenge films and explorations of veteran trauma. These genres add a bleakness to the story of Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) that, at times, is hard to watch because it's so emotionally wrought.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
November 16, 2018
Like all good TV, The Punisher takes risks to try and push on into new territory - it doesn't really belong in the superhero genre.
October 30, 2018
While not as dreadful as Iron Fist, The Punisher is a punishing experience that makes me wonder if the creative team in Marvel's television division are even trying anymore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 28, 2018
The Punisher is far from a publicity grab on the growing popularity of Marvel superheroes, and pushes the notion of what we've come to expect from the Netflix vigilante dramas.
August 25, 2018
Each episode was not only action-packed, it was full of raw emotion.
August 24, 2018
The final climax makes everything all worth it. It was satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 6, 2018
This is the smartest thing Punisher does: it sidesteps the controversial parts of Frank Castle's lethal brand of vigilantism entirely.
July 12, 2018
This heavier, dramatic weight is carried by Jon Bernthal's exquisite performance as Frank, who is both captivating when he's using toasters to pound faces or being tormented by his past.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 12, 2018
Bernthal remains the sole reason to push on. He's an endlessly watchable actor, and very few wear tortured quite as gnarly as him. I never truly want to root for The Punisher, and if the show's smart then they'll subvert our attraction to his vengeance.
July 12, 2018
It's been the mode of almost all of the streaming giant's Marvel shows: dull, often pointlessly nasty brutality with some languid speechifying between crunching bones. In the Punisher's case, though, it's not even artful fist-fighting.
July 12, 2018
Despite the muddled messaging and the requisite two or three filler episodes which plague every show in this wheelhouse, The Punisher is one of Marvel and Netflix's most cohesive and impressive productions yet.
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