• Network: HULU
  • Series Premiere Date: May 17, 2019
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 6 out of 37
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User Reviews

  1. May 21, 2019
    6
    This iteration of Catch-22 was beautifully shot, well acted, but the writing forgot the funny
  2. May 22, 2019
    5
    Abbott sweats just as the creator does and we do, it is good, but you can see the extra effort being applied.

    Catch-22 Luke Davies and David Michod distributes caution flyers before their play starts up. It has a catch. They have tried to walk that fine line between comedy and drama, it may serve the purpose but it may not be served up front. You, as an audience, are asked to compromise,
    Abbott sweats just as the creator does and we do, it is good, but you can see the extra effort being applied.

    Catch-22

    Luke Davies and David Michod distributes caution flyers before their play starts up. It has a catch. They have tried to walk that fine line between comedy and drama, it may serve the purpose but it may not be served up front. You, as an audience, are asked to compromise, to let go off plenty of things before you join in on their camp and work hard and earn your price. Joseph Heller's adaptation of this novel has had better versions. It certainly is more engaging and crowded but it also takes up a notch, for the shocks and thrills; unfortunately it doesn't bode well especially when it goes dark.

    Out of many, many elements spread around the six chapters, the "missions remaining" countdown on the screen is the best and the most successful one. The annoyance of our lead character, Christopher Abbott communicates with us and the anger shared. On terms of humor, Hugh Laurie as an utterly confident Major gets a huge chunk of it along with his co-star and dear friend George Clooney sharing the laughs with a stereotypical commands-gone-wrong gags. There is a certain amount of light in your eyes visible as soon as they appear on screen.

    Abbott as the frustrated and often flawed protagonist ultimately- after a long tiring and effortful battle with us- gets the empathy from us. With undergone loads of jarring information about the day to day politics of this camp, Abbott learns to be shameless like them, in the end, literally! Often the series tends to stretch, just for one joke or one punch which can be a test of patience for the viewers to sit through it. The term Catch-22, just like it is defined in the series, is confined in its self-created loop and no one, no one has the guts to break that wheel.
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  3. May 21, 2019
    0
    I gave this series two episodes, but I had to give up because it is so boring and doesn't capture the humor of the book. Clooney and his partner think they are so clever, but most of the stuff they do is pretentious garbage. I don't think they understand the tone of the book. Clooney shouldn't have let his partner direct the pilot OR star in it. Ugh.
  4. May 21, 2019
    6
    It looks great. They got the look and feel of WWII. And all the moving parts from the novel/movie are there, but just stretched "like not enough butter on too much bread." I'm also not a fan of the lead. He's no Alan Arkin, but then again, who is? He's just not sardonic or stoic like Arkin's Yassarian. I miss that the most. Plus, no Art Garfunkel. Say what you will, but he played theIt looks great. They got the look and feel of WWII. And all the moving parts from the novel/movie are there, but just stretched "like not enough butter on too much bread." I'm also not a fan of the lead. He's no Alan Arkin, but then again, who is? He's just not sardonic or stoic like Arkin's Yassarian. I miss that the most. Plus, no Art Garfunkel. Say what you will, but he played the wide-eyed, kool-aid sodden American to a tee. John Voight too. Much like M*A*S*H the movie was far better than the TV show, this falls into the same trap. Expand
  5. May 17, 2019
    7
    A funny and dramatic show with enjoyable music yet it could have been one episode shorter to keep from getting a little too repetitive.
  6. May 26, 2019
    10
    Personally, I love it. It's entertaining. Not a perfect representation of the book but I enjoyed it til the end. Don't let these pessimistic reviews turn you off - a funny and enthralling satire on war
  7. Jun 24, 2019
    8
    Great acting, nice photography, well paced and fine music selection for this mini series. They way it goes from comedy to drama is really powerful.
  8. May 26, 2019
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Catch 22 is really hard to make into anmovie or a show. It could be funnier but a lot of the humor in the book is in the narration. They also merge and cut many characters which is needed, the plus side of that is it's easier to follow especially because unlike the book it is shot chronologically. It may sound like I'm complaining a lot but I dont mind any of those things. I love the casting of Cathart, yossarian, major major, and Milo. It's beautiful shot and it does a great job of expanding Yossarians story line though at the cost of cutting out major characters, most notably Cpt. Black and ex PFC Wintergeen. As a huge fan of the book I am eternally grateful the series was made. I enjoyed the ride and was left wishing the series would go on forever. Expand
  9. Jun 19, 2019
    9
    Catch-22 might be the one of the most difficult novels in literary history to adapt into a movie or TV series. Actually calling this book "novel" is to undermine its merits. It is a "Postmodern masterpiece". I've read some comments about the director's and the screen-writer's inability to reflect the humor of the book. Actually there can be no other work (be it written or visual) that canCatch-22 might be the one of the most difficult novels in literary history to adapt into a movie or TV series. Actually calling this book "novel" is to undermine its merits. It is a "Postmodern masterpiece". I've read some comments about the director's and the screen-writer's inability to reflect the humor of the book. Actually there can be no other work (be it written or visual) that can reflect or equate the humor of Catch-22, which actually proves the genius of Joseph Heller.

    The directors chose a more if not complete Aristotelian plot structure for the series. Actually I do not know how one can make a movie out of a collage. I guess you have to put the events into order to make your visual work more watchable, and this is successfully done by the director and the writer of the series. Also, I believe that this inadequacy in adapting a complex-structured literary work into a visual one shows the advantages of writing a literary work (which has its own difficulties in itself, but since it is not a literary blog I'll put this subject aside and write that this is as great an adaptation of the Joseph Heller's postmodern masterpiece as possible.
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  10. Jan 16, 2021
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have very mixed feelings about this adaptation of Catch-22. Firstly, though I know I really shouldn't, I am gonna compare it to the book.

    The book is one of my favourite ever, and if you're reading this and liked the show, you should definitely read it. Unfortunately, whilst this adaptation is alright, it doesn't hold a candle to the book. I feel a large part of this is due to sevral deviances it takes.

    Firstly, I believe that adapting it chronologically weakens the impact of some scenes (particularly, Snowden's death) and it's a decision that I feel was a mistake. Furthermore, I feel that some of the anecdotes also being cut lessens the humour of the show. Catch-22 was always going to be a hard novel to adapt but such decisions rob the life out of it.

    However, there are definitely sparks of brilliance throughout the show. It's at its best when dialogue is directly ripped from the book (two scenes that stand out for this is Cleverly being court-martialed and Yossarian recieving his medal). Additionally, I thought the actor that played Yossarian was excellently casted and really bought his character to life.

    I'll give respect to George Clooney for even trying to produce such an ambitious project but unfortunately it does fall into the curse of the book being much better. One advantage though is that the book is confusingly plotted so actually if you read it after the show you'll have more of an idea of what's going on and thus may enjoy it more.
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  11. Jul 29, 2019
    1
    If you have not read the book, this series may come across as a serviceable, lightweight, stand alone comedy drama. If you have read the book it can only be seen as a tragic failure, so inept and unadventurous as to be insulting to the viewer.

    The central character in the book, Yossarian, is a gritty, conflicted, **** crazy antihero. This yossarian is a namby pamby, petulant narcissist.
    If you have not read the book, this series may come across as a serviceable, lightweight, stand alone comedy drama. If you have read the book it can only be seen as a tragic failure, so inept and unadventurous as to be insulting to the viewer.

    The central character in the book, Yossarian, is a gritty, conflicted, **** crazy antihero. This yossarian is a namby pamby, petulant narcissist. Only Milo Minderbinder is chosen out of the rest of the cast for even a half hearted attempt at development. The rest are fleeting ghosts with no suggestion of authenticity. The great set pieces from the novel, like Captain Blacks great Loyalty Oath Crusade were excised wholesale.

    There are no words of mine which could begin to convey the awfulness of this adaptation. There is no sense that a war is happening at all, apart from the flying scenes. The madness, the fear, the tension are all absent, as is, for the most part, the comedy. Clooney layers on the nostalgia and sentimentality at every opportunity, which is unforgivable when adapting the most unsentimental book of its time.

    A thousand curses on the head of George Clooney for this gloop, this tripe. May the dung of ten thousand camels fall upon him.
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Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Cumming
    Jan 3, 2020
    60
    Lots of people will like Catch-22, especially those who thought the book was impossible to do well on screen. In the end it left me cold. Six hours is a long time without sympathy.
  2. Reviewed by: Adrian Horton
    Dec 3, 2019
    80
    Clooney’s adaptation is immediately impressive – visually deserving of a bigger than a laptop screen – with a cohesive, arid palette and shots ranging wildly in scope from resonant closeup to sweeping landscape. But it takes a couple of episodes to settle into the show’s polarizing rhythm, which is less a film-making issue than the high-level entry to the source material’s cunning conceit.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    May 30, 2019
    45
    The Nichols film still gleams with the diamond-hard fury of the book and echoes with its mad laughter. The tepid Hulu series has neither. Next to the movie, the Hulu series looks like a pallid corpse drained by a vampire.