Culprits Season 1 Review: A Big, Slick Crime Thriller

Culprits is now streaming on Hulu.

Culprits Review FandomWire
Culprits Review FandomWire

SUMMARY

  • This article reviews Hulu's Culprits and is spoiler free.
  • Here at FandomWire, we give the series a 8 out of 10 rating.
  • Culprits is a big, slick crime thriller with twists at every turn!
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Culprits is now streaming on Hulu.

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There’s nothing I dig more than an old-fashioned caper movie or series like Culprits. The intoxicating idea of striking it rich, the armrest-grabbing game of cat and mouse, and the heightened stakes— even the wide variety of eclectic characters keep things interesting.

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Culprits exceed almost all expectations regarding the Whodunnit Caper streaming series. This rare series keeps you on the edge of your seat, guessing until the end. Stylized, exciting, action-packed, and torridly paced, this is buttered streaming popcorn television at its finest.

And while the series, especially the final episodes, can be gratuitously violent and unnecessary, you most likely won’t be able to stop binge-watching Hulu’s Culprits until its satisfying conclusion.

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Culprits (2023)
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Gemma Arterton in Culprits (2023)

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Hulu’s Culprits’ Plot Summary and Review

The story follows the same old trope: a group of “elite” thieves (or bad guys) is recruited to steal millions of dollars from some other bad guys. Their target? A secret underground vault used by shady criminal types looking to bypass government oversight.

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Organizing the team is Dianne Harewood (Gemma Arterton), a notorious underworld figure known for her extreme discipline and ruthless nature. She recruits “Right Hand” (Tom Mothersdale), “Officer” (Kirby), “Soldier” (Laura Morgan), “Fixer” (Karl Collins), “Doctor” (Amara Karan), “Driver” (Vincent Riotta), “Fuse” (Mark Field), and “Specialist” (Niamh Algar) to accomplish her mission.

However, the final piece of the puzzle is David (Candyman’s Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), aka “Muscle,” a career bodyguard with a talent for prevailing when situations become messy. David is highly skilled, intelligent, and calm under pressure. Dianne appreciates something in an employee, commenting that she has grand plans for his future.

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Culprits (2023).
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett in Culprits (2023).

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Culprits has twists at every turn!

Culprits was created by J. Blakeson, his follow-up to the Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage Netflix hit, I Care a Lot. His latest venture is the equivalent of a Matryoshka doll in the sense that as one twisty reveal is uncovered, another will soon be discovered.

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Most crime thrillers start as originals but are then set on autopilot for most of the film or series. That’s because Blakeson incorporates intricate and nonlinear storytelling that’s exciting. In true Lost style, the scripts are suspenseful, especially in the first two episodes. Blakeson and his writing team keep the viewer guessing the timeline in the present, past, or both.

It’s an engaging ride brought on by a top-notch cast. Barry’s Kirby offers some charming comic relief but also delivers the best performance of her career. Arterton has never been given the credit she deserves for the magnetic star quality she possesses. The stoic and statuesque actress is at her villainous best here.

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 Culprits (2023).
Gemma Arterton in Culprits (2023).

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Is Culprits Worth Watching?

Culprits is worth watching for its long, windy, and exciting road and the star-making turn of Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. An actor with movie star quality, he can easily play an everyman—not just in action scenes, in which he excels, but also in the tender family scenes with his partner (Kevin Vidal) and his two children (Maria Nash and Baeyen Hoffman).

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While most of the story is entirely compassion-free, Stewart-Jarrett is the moral compass, aka the heart of the series, able to guide the viewer to the very end. This is much needed considering the slick, blood-soaked trail Culprits leaves in its wake.

Culprits‘ suspenseful atmosphere, gradual time release reveals, and layered puzzle never reaches enigma status thanks to the audience-friendly season finale. Blakeson’s film is not a perfect crime thriller, but it’s a damn entertaining one that gets the job done.

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Culprits (2023).
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Gemma Arterton in Culprits (2023).

Also Read: A Murder at the End of the World Review: FX and Hulu’s New Murder Mystery Is Gripping and Intriguing

8/10

8 Out of 10

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Written by M.N. Miller

M.N. Miller is a film and television critic and a proud member of the Las Vegas Film Critic Society, Critics Choice Association, and a 🍅 Rotten Tomatoes/Tomato meter approved. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Mansfield University and a Master's from Chamberlain University. However, he still puts on his pants one leg at a time, and that's when he usually stumbles over. When not writing about film or television, he patiently waits for the next Pearl Jam album and chooses to pass the time by scratching his wife's back on Sunday afternoons while she watches endless reruns of California Dreams. M.N. Miller was proclaimed the smartest reviewer alive by actor Jason Isaacs but chose to ignore his obvious sarcasm. You can also find his work on Hidden Remote, InSession Film, Ready Steady Cut, Geek Vibes Nation, and Nerd Alert.