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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

This Friday, the entirety of The Punisher is set to hit Netflix. After nearly two years of waiting after Jon Bernthal brought the character to life in Daredevil Season 2, audiences are finally being treated to a full series following the unflinchingly violent vigilante.

But is he a character that will actually hold up in his standalone series? Part of the big appeal of his portrayal in Daredevil was that the entire show didn’t rest on his shoulders. So with that in mind, how does The Punisher hold up? Some outlets have had a chance to review various episodes of the series (some the first three, some the first half, and one seems to have seen the entire show), and have shared their thoughts online.

Check them out below!


Forbes – Merrill Barr

“In addition to being the best, The Punisher is also the most violent, unhinged series ever produced by the house Feige (or in this case Jeph Loeb) built.

Punisher fans are going to be truly pleased by the series’ take on the character. However, unlike the lackluster two (three if you count that 1989 one) feature films, The Punisher finds a way to make Frank a sympathetic character.

Yes, he’s still a psychopath. But he’s one you really care for.”

Variety – Sonia Saraiya

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.”

The Washington Post – David Betancourt

“What makes Netflix’s The Punisher series stand out is that lead actor and Washington native Jon Bernthal doesn’t need to wear a white skull or even have a gun in his hand for you to know that he is the Punisher.”

THR – Daniel Feinberg

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

Polygon – Susana Polo

The Punisher has a small array of subplots, some of which are wrestling with incredibly weighty issues, like the grooming of young, dissatisfied men into political tools and the care (or lack thereof) the system gives to the mental health of veterans. With some of these elements, it’s unclear how they are going to (presumably) connect back to the show’s main plot.

How well the Punisher writers’ room has crafted those eventual connections and conclusions will make or break a lot of the show. So consider this our Punisher pre-review. And, so far, The Punisher might not be exactly what you’re expecting.”


What do you think of these initial reviews? Are you any less or more excited for the film? Let us know down below!

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SOURCE: Various

  • Pretty solid and fair reviews of The Punisher. The whole thing hinges on Bernthal’s performance, and I always expected that he would bring intensity and respect to the role. Bring it on!

    • donzai

      to me its the script. most film makers are professional who are trying to do a good job. that means if the script is good, good movie. bad script, crap film. bad script might still be a fun film (like an action flick.) but great scripts will make a film great on any level of budget, including self made indie projects. film making is so damn expensive and difficult and tedius, i think everyone tries to a degree. but a film is only as good as the script.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      M’ask you sumthing…

  • Smerdyakov

    What happened to the mob as villains? Are they just too easy to wipe out? Tony Soprano’s crew seemed to be composed of about ten guys. And with RICO laws, is the mob even a threat anymore? Better to go after the US Military I guess, who we all know are evil.

  • TheOct8pus

    Psyched to see it…I hope it doesn’t have the episodes 7-10 slump that all the Netflix Marvel shows have

  • 2 Left Thumbs

    Why the hell do they keep insisting on these long, drawn out seasons!? Daredevil season 1, and maaaybe Jessica Jones season 1 are the only ones that have warranted it so far.

    Is it necessary to pad a season when it’s all released at once anyways? How is it beneficial to spend more money, and water down your story when you don’t have to bait people into coming back and watching each week??

    • Neil Pye

      probably backlash over a very short defenders series that was over before it felt like it even began.

      • 2 Left Thumbs

        That doesn’t explain pretty well every series that came before Defenders being super bloated

  • Smerdyakov

    Critics like Jessica Jones because it was the least super-heroish. It moved slow, but critics like that. Also it was politically correct because it showed a strong woman taking on a manipulative man.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.