• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 4, 2016
Season #: 3, 2, 1
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Nov 13, 2019
    100
    I have seen the third season of “The Crown,” which will be available on Netflix on Sunday, and it is dazzling and excellent. It’s extraordinary historical TV. ... Often, streaming series feel more like season-long blurs than a series of distinct episodes. That is not the case with “The Crown,” as it tells its story as precisely and lavishly as anything on TV these days.
  2. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Nov 4, 2019
    100
    It’s exceptional television that takes full advantage of the narrative structure and scope the medium provides. ... Colman’s performance is a season-long exercise in extraordinary restraint that provides a profound payoff.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Goldberg
    Nov 4, 2019
    100
    The Crown distinguishes itself from other prestige television of the age through its willingness to still be episodic when the narrative calls for it, and in these standalone episodes showrunner Peter Morgan finds some of his strongest material. ... The Crown may put the “prestige” in “prestige television”, but it earns every dazzling moment.
  4. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Nov 4, 2019
    100
    Colman is masterful as a cold but not uncaring figurehead for a country in need of solace. ... Sweeping historical significance aside, it’s the intimate, internal battles make this season just as riveting — if not stronger — as the last two.
  5. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Nov 14, 2019
    90
    It has a smashingly good new cast (whose performances are equal if not better than their predecessors) and a brisk, almost urgent sense of galloping through the long life story of Queen Elizabeth II. ... Colman is convincing in the role from the moment we see her, conveying the queen’s deepest worries with just the slightest twitch. ... It blends fact, fantasy and humanity in a way that allows us to wonder if the crown truly does rest where it ought.
  6. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Nov 4, 2019
    90
    The Crown remains entertaining and immersive even in these more emotionally slight hours, and its existence as a compendium of Queen Elizabeth’s reign is a stunning achievement.
  7. Reviewed by: Caroline Framke
    Nov 4, 2019
    90
    This dual attempt to humanize the royals without going too far in any direction presents an uneasy balancing act that “The Crown” doesn’t always nail. The moments when it does can be transcendent, which is almost always thanks to the actors, not to mention the directors guiding them. Without these steady, nuanced performances, “The Crown” could easily droop under the weight of its own ambition and others’ expectations. With them, “The Crown” becomes as compelling a portrait of how power warps individuals, and the world along with them, as exists on TV.
  8. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Nov 14, 2019
    85
    In fine form, too, a seamless transition between casts with writer Peter Morgan keeping everything on an even and remarkably timely keel as the queen frets her new prime minister may be compromised by the Russians.
  9. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Nov 4, 2019
    80
    The parallels struck in each episode between what’s going on in the world and the royals’ own personal struggles can tend toward too clever, too forced, or too coincidental at times. [But] Concealing where Queen Elizabeth—the history and the person—ends, and Queen Elizabeth—the TV character—begins is where The Crown showcases its most delicate sleight of hand. And it’s in that, too, that the series continues to be the most compelling, teetering between tabloid snuff and reverent curiosity with a confident handle of the creative danger that entails.
  10. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Nov 4, 2019
    80
    Austere and immaculately polished, The Crown remains a model for carefully crafted episodic storytelling, a trenchant examination of the nature of power and, remarkably, now features a new ensemble that proves every bit the equal of the first.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Rorke
    Nov 12, 2019
    75
    Stiff of spine and thin of voice, this Elizabeth (played by Oscar winner Olivia Colman) may make you long for the incandescent Claire Foy ... The history lessons check some necessary boxes — Churchill (John Lithgow) goes to his eternal reward in Episode 1 — but also resurrect delicious bits that may have been forgotten. ... With an ever-present cigarette holder and air of hangover chic, Margaret is a free spirit trapped by the rules of the palace, and her contrast with Elizabeth is something Morgan returns to again and again with striking results.
  12. Reviewed by: Kristen Baldwin
    Nov 5, 2019
    75
    At its heart, The Crown is a catalogue of the myriad ways Elizabeth must deny her true self out of duty to her country. It’s a theme that’s at once tragic and predictable, which makes the emergence of Prince Charles and Princess Anne as more prominent players all the more welcome.
  13. Reviewed by: Ann Donahue
    Nov 4, 2019
    75
    What is on the screen in “The Crown” is a gorgeous display of some of the age’s best actors performing at the peak of their craft. ... And yet, Colman is relegated to reacting more than acting because of how her role is written. ... [Queen Elizabeth is] a complex sovereign in a complex time, the defender of the faith. Morgan should show some more faith in her himself.
  14. Reviewed by: MaryAnn Sleasman
    Nov 13, 2019
    70
    The series itself struggled between finding its own balance — with some episodes striking resonant chords ("Bubbikins," "Margretology") and others falling painfully flat ("Coup," "Moondust"). But as Elizabeth herself states during one of her meetings with PM Wilson, sometimes it's better to simply look the other way, to wait for this to pass. Season 3 is a time of transition — for the royal family, for the United Kingdom, for The Crown itself.
  15. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Nov 12, 2019
    70
    At this phase of the story, Elizabeth is more uptight and controlling than ever, especially now that some of her children are old enough to cause her problems in the way only her sister once did. But the job and the many ugly things she has to do in it weigh on her more than ever, which Colman portrays beautifully. It’s not a thrilling time for Elizabeth, or The Crown, but it’s a complicated transition handled quite deftly.
  16. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Nov 4, 2019
    70
    In terms of performances, The Crown 2.0, which arrives on Nov. 17, marks an improvement over its fine predecessor. The versatile Colman makes a more complex Elizabeth, one who isn’t brittle so much as ill at ease in her own exalted skin. ... The same aura of mystery that Elizabeth defends in the documentary episode also limits the mostly reverent Morgan’s insight into his characters, to the extent that their conflicts get repetitive.
  17. Reviewed by: Alexis Ong
    Nov 6, 2019
    63
    Season three of The Crown lacks the urgency that previously made the Netflix series so engaging. This is partly due to the more subdued relationships between the older members of the House of Windsor, now settled into their various roles as sovereign, husband, sister, and wife.

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