Critics Are Saying Benedict Cumberbatch's New 'Gut Punch Thriller' Will Be Your Next Binge-Watch

Benedict Cumberbatch in Netflix's Eric
Benedict Cumberbatch in Netflix's Eric Netflix

After spending much of the past eight years portraying the cape-wearing, spell-spinning sorcerer Doctor Strange in numerous Marvel films, Benedict Cumberbatch is back taking centre stage on the small screen.

The former Sherlock star takes the lead in the new Netflix miniseries Eric, in which he plays a puppeteer called Vincent who must battle his own demons in order to save his missing nine-year-old son Edgar.

But there’s a slight twist, as Vincent is convinced that if he turns his son’s drawing of a blue monster called Eric into a life-size puppet and gets him TV, Edgar will return home.

Critics have already praised the British actor’s impressive performance and the show’s approach towards issues like grief, but the offbeat style also seemingly isn’t for everyone.

Here’s what the critics make of it so far… 

Empire (4/5)

“Eric is an original new mystery surrounding the disappearance of a nine-year-old boy; the real mystery, though, is how anyone convinced Netflix to make this show at all. That’s not to say Eric is bad — in fact, it’s one of the most original Netflix Originals in some time.”

Radio Times (4/5)

“Prepare to be floored by Benedict Cumberbatch and this gut punch thriller…. It’s a series that should almost end with a call to action or a group to debrief with, that’s how fired up it’ll make you.”

It's fair to say Eric takes viewers in some unexpected directions
It's fair to say Eric takes viewers in some unexpected directions Ludovic Robert/Netflix

The Telegraph (4/5)

“Sesame Street meets Taxi Driver in Benedict Cumberbatch’s gripping drama… A lot of dramas fumble around for the right tone. That Eric can explore grief in one moment, then switch to Cumberbatch and his fluffy sidekick dancing away to the strains of Gloria by Laura Branigan, is testament to the talent involved here. It’s inventive, assured and far less weird than you expect.”

The Independent (3/5)

“Benedict Cumberbatch excels as a weirdo in dark, misanthropic missing-child drama… It is a mystery with a twist, where the twist is more interesting than the mystery. You don’t drink the cocktail for the garnish, but that doesn’t stop it adding some, much needed, zest.”

The A.V. Club

“Eric doesn’t sustain its momentum but it still boasts sufficient tension, heightened emotions, and some great performances… So while Eric isn’t perfect, its melancholy, sense of place, and general weirdness make it definitely worth your while.”

Entertainment Weekly (C-)

“Netflix’s new limited series from Abi Morgan has a complex exploration of racial inequality and capitalist oppression nestled inside its fuzzy-monster-puppet exterior. By attempting to connect the two tales, Morgan diminishes the effect of each, leaving viewers with an overly complicated narrative that nonetheless comes to a predictable conclusion.”

The Hollywood Reporter

“There are worse crimes for a series to commit than an overabundance of ambition. But a disappointing show is a disappointing show. Even when you’re getting two for the price of one.”

Screen Rant (3/5)

“Eric is a show with a lot to say and many characters it wants to explore, but lacks the benefit of time… That said, thanks to the stellar performances of her incredible cast and some very powerful moments, the show does just narrowly avoid crumbling under the weight of its various plots.”

Eric begins streaming on Netflix this Thursday, 30 May, 2024. Watch the trailer below: