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

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
    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
    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
    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
    The show is every bit as good, as delightfully odd, and as touching as the comic.
  5. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Feb 15, 2019
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    [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
    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
    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
    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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 244 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 244
  1. Feb 17, 2019
    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 17, 2019
    Most boring Netflix show since Iron Fist. The characters are very one note and do nothing but brood about their daddy issues (which are mostlyMost boring Netflix show since Iron Fist. The characters are very one note and do nothing but brood about their daddy issues (which are mostly delivered by lip service and rarely seen) and point out how much they hate each other. They never do anything to, you know, move the plot forward. In fact, saying there's a plot is an overstatement. For a show about how the world will end in a few days, it's surprisingly sluggish and lacking in tension.
    It's also actively ugly to look at (especially the lighting) and tonally all over the place. You got one scene that's very mopey and the next one is suddenly all "yeah! we're so punk rock" (especially with the try hard needle drops). It's basically like putting Zack Snyder's Watchmen and Guardians of the Galaxy in a blender.
    Not even Ellen Page can save it (she's sleepwalking through the whole thing, but can you blame her?)
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 17, 2019
    Very interesting characters and complex plot meets terrible writing, overused soundtracks and especially all the wasted potential of what aVery interesting characters and complex plot meets terrible writing, overused soundtracks and especially all the wasted potential of what a great show that could have be. Disappointing! Full Review »