The Punisher Review Roundup: Should You Watch Marvel's Latest Netflix Show?

Reviews of The Punisher are mixed. Is this the show that will redefine Marvel on Netflix?


The latest entry in Netflix's Marvel universe has been released. The Punisher follows Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) as he seeks out vigilante justice, after being introduced in the second season of Daredevil.

What to critics think of the new series, though? GameSpot has rounded up a variety of reviews from critics, some who loved it and some who definitely didn't. The show currently sits with a score of 54 on GameSpot's sister site Metacritic, where you can see even more reviews.

  • Show: Marvel's The Punisher
  • Release Date: November 14 on Netflix
  • Starring: Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, and Deborah Ann Woll
  • Length: 13 episodes


"The Punisher is grounded in the way that Jessica Jones and Daredevil's first season were; these aren't superhumans or gods, and there's no magic or alternate dimensions. There's not even a shadowy organization pulling the strings behind the scenes, waiting to be unmasked and defeated in an epic team-up (at least, not in the first six episodes). There's only Frank, and the military, CIA, and other government operatives who screwed him over and murdered his family." -- Mike Rougeau [Full review]

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"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." -- Sonia Saraiya [Full Review]

New York Times

"The action picks up as the season progresses, but The Punisher never quite gets in touch with the visceral roots of its material, something that all of the other Netflix-Marvel series do, no matter how much they distance themselves from their comic-book sources." -- Mike Hale [Full review]

LA Times

"The show's greatest hurdle may be the worn nerves of TV audiences who have learned how and when to shield themselves from the on-screen violence--fictional or real. Preserving one's sanity requires strategic bouts of dulling the senses. For The Punisher to make any sort of lasting impact after its association with one of the worst mass shootings in American history, it would have to be a masterpiece. And it's not." -- Lorraine Ali [Full review]

AV Club

"Although The Punisher could be the most ambitious of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows, with its unflinching exploration of grief, anger, and trauma, the series still feels awfully up in the air at the midseason mark." -- Danette Chavez [Full review]


"A love for skull-pounding action flicks should be a prerequisite for enjoying The Punisher, but even those who count ourselves in that group may find it tests our limits in the same way any hero who solves problems strictly by punching through them eventually does." -- Melanie McFarland [Full review]

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The Hollywood Reporter

"With the exception of The Defenders, which was always announced as a miniseries, each and every one of the Marvel/Netflix shows has been 13 episodes and they've all had comparable lags in pacing and stumbles in storytelling to reach that number. But Marvel's The Punisher is the first one that feels at least twice the length it should be." -- Daniel Fienberg [Full review]


"At times it almost seems as if the creative team's heart isn't in the grim-n-gritty of it all, and we’ll get stretches of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang-style buddy comedy where Micro's chatty, neurotic ways get on Frank's nerves, while Micro is stunned by how casually Frank kills people." -- Alan Sepinwall [Full review]

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