• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 15, 2019
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Feb 1, 2019
    100
    It’s frankly difficult to think back to how everything began in this crazy show after having buzzed through its 10 episodes, because it’s so full of layered narratives. ... The Umbrella Academy is incredibly interesting, enjoyable, quirky, and well worth your time.
  2. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Feb 15, 2019
    80
    The story here unfurls slowly, so the steady pace of “The Umbrella Academy” may challenge viewers who are looking for immediate villain-avenging action. But for those who don’t already know the story, there are gratifying payoffs down the line.
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Feb 14, 2019
    80
    It has flaws and excesses, but the series, whose first season is available on Friday, nonetheless lands in the sweet spot between comedy and drama, and between a plot-and-action-driven narrative and character exploration. ... By the time Mary J. Blige and Cameron Britton (he was serial killer Edmund Kemper on “Mindhunter”) show up as time-traveling assassins named Cha-Cha and Hazel, respectively, I was fully onboard, at least for this one season.
  4. Reviewed by: Alex Abad-Santos
    Feb 1, 2019
    80
    The show is every bit as good, as delightfully odd, and as touching as the comic.
  5. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Feb 15, 2019
    75
    Umbrella looks, feels and sounds different [from other comic book TV adaptations]--music does much of the heavy lifting, and effectively so. It's a gorgeous-looking production that evokes another world, with both feet still firmly planted in this one.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Feb 14, 2019
    75
    The Umbrella Academy isn’t so much a puzzle that needs to be solved as a long wait for a series of explanations. At least it’s an entertaining wait. Blackman’s approach is less surreal than Way’s writing, but the density of the world-building isn’t lost. The isolated moments are often brilliant.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Feb 13, 2019
    75
    The story is a little too Dark Phoenix, and the series’ pacing can be maddening. But you have to love an action-packed finale that rips from a kid’s birthday party at a bowling alley (little Kenny is never getting over that one) to a concert hall on the cusp of the apocalypse. The climax is an ending and a beginning. Umbrella Academy is just getting started.
  8. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 14, 2019
    70
    While the title might evoke images of dark clouds, the forecast for Umbrella Academy actually looks pretty bright. Assuming, you know, that the world doesn't end.
  9. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Feb 14, 2019
    60
    Its attempts to capture the visual and narrative virtuosity of the comics are halfhearted, though, and we’re left with a polished but increasingly dull version of the same old story: saving the world as a byproduct of overcoming adolescent resentments and family dysfunction; teenage alienation as an apocalyptic force that has to be brought under control.
  10. Reviewed by: Sam Barsanti
    Feb 1, 2019
    58
    It’s not that the writing is awful; it just veers a little too wildly between being needlessly vague and frustratingly ham-fisted. ... The Hargreeves family, though, is where the show shines its brightest. ... It’s not lacking plot, but in the end it’s just far too anxious about doling out answers to focus on the elements that could’ve made it great.
  11. Reviewed by: Kelly Lawler
    Feb 15, 2019
    50
    Overall, the series reeks of undeveloped potential. It looks beautiful and has an incredible cast, yet often drags. After a solid first episode, the plot is excruciatingly slow, pausing in all the wrong places.
  12. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Feb 11, 2019
    50
    The Umbrella Academy never delivers on its intrinsic potential. It’s just one more half-hearted attempt to capitalize on the genre’s popularity.
  13. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    Jan 28, 2019
    50
    You’re eternally aware you’re watching a very slow countdown to a superpowered world rescue. Particularities among the characters dissipate.
  14. Reviewed by: Nick Allen
    Feb 14, 2019
    40
    [The] busy nature initially makes for a slow start, as its pilot embeds us in their grief as means of gloomy exposition, but then it creates the opposite effect by the second and third episodes and onward--the series is both slow moving and overstuffed.
  15. 40
    There’s not much else going on here, beyond some admirable if too strenuous attempts by the actors to breathe life into the show. It is packed with talent, but except for Gallagher’s time-traveling Max Fischer vibe, somehow none of it quite shines as it has every right to--save for the mid-20th-century-inflected production design and art direction (credited to a team of four), and Jeff Russo’s old-fashioned score.
  16. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Feb 1, 2019
    40
    It’s soundtracked by “ironic” peppy pop music, the clearest sign a show is more interested in maintaining a pose than in showing us something we haven’t seen before. ... After a while, endless stylization for its own sake comes to feel cluttered and, worst of all, dull.
  17. Reviewed by: Steven Scaife
    Feb 4, 2019
    38
    For whatever weirdness the TV series promises at its outset, it ends up as another distended superhero show that smooths out its source material’s idiosyncrasies until little remains of whatever made it appealing in the first place.
  18. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 14, 2019
    30
    Netflix already has A Series of Unfortunate Events and could have easily titled The Umbrella Academy, its new series, A Series of Pointless Scenes. ... It probably doesn't help that the writing is superficial and the acting suboptimal, or that the whole thing relies on an ostensible quirkiness and viewers' innate sense that they've seen echoes of this many other places.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 80
  2. Negative: 11 out of 80
  1. Feb 17, 2019
    3
    I'm done with Netflix superhero shows. Why? They aren't action shows. They're drama. And not very good drama. Very little actually HAPPENS inI'm done with Netflix superhero shows. Why? They aren't action shows. They're drama. And not very good drama. Very little actually HAPPENS in these shows. It's mostly characters having conversations with other characters. And I'm not talking about conversations on the way to action happening. Conversation with just two characters sitting around talking in boring locations. In this room or that room. And when things actually happen, its as if it happens in addition to the drama. Something will happen and then it's right back to boring conversations. Full Review »
  2. Feb 16, 2019
    9
    The characters, the cinematography is amazing here so far. The usual slower pace in a Netflix series but it doesn't mean that this is not aThe characters, the cinematography is amazing here so far. The usual slower pace in a Netflix series but it doesn't mean that this is not a good series. The music is amazing in this series, for comicbooksuperhero fans who wants something different than Marvel or DC this is a great thing to watch. Full Review »
  3. Feb 17, 2019
    1
    This is a painful show to watch. There is nothing fun about it. The funny moments are all ruined by an immediate and unneeded dark twist.This is a painful show to watch. There is nothing fun about it. The funny moments are all ruined by an immediate and unneeded dark twist. There are shots that should be art and symmetrical but are instead shot just to the side seemingly just to erk the inner director of photography in you. The set design is immaculate as is the acting. But it is like the producer or director was constantly saying "It needs to be more dark" at the obvious cost of entertainment. People just trying to be good are penalized for it like it is some kind of clever commentary on the darkness of the world but it just kills the entertainment value. The super-powers really have nothing to do with the story. This could easily be changed to a story about a bunch of orphans and one grew up to be a nuclear physicist gone bad because he didn't get to go on the fam camping trip when he was a youngin, but nobody would watch that. This show is a pile of potential that a bad director/producer ruined.

    Robert Sheehan is legit the only good thing about this monstrosity. In one sentence, this show is a dark trainwreck played out over 10 long unentertaining hours.

    edit: Just realized this was the same writer/producer that ruined Fantastic Four.

    And they end it on a cliffhanger, but you know it isn't good enough to get a season 2.
    Full Review »