Amazon’s newest mystery thriller series “Citadel” premiered on April 28, 2023, starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Richard Madden, Stanley Tucci, and Ashleigh Cummings.
The show follows two spies who embark on a mission to stop a shadowy syndicate. With its high-profile cast and Amazon’s reputation for producing successful action series, expectations for “Citadel” were high.
So, what are the critics saying about the show? Here’s a brief roundup:
Lucy Mangan of The Guardian writes, “It is basically televisual crack. Twists, turns, explosions, old-fashioned fisticuffs, the deployment of outrageous gadgetry… are parcelled out in one long, glorious stream…”
Brian Lowry of CNN describes “Citadel” as “the kind of meat-and-potatoes series that should find an attentive audience on Amazon, which has already tapped into a similar vein with ‘Jack Ryan’ and ‘Reacher’… Amazon hasn’t been bashful about throwing money around to bolster its streaming efforts, and ‘Citadel’ muscularly caters to the action audience.”
James Dyer of Empire comments, “Not the world-changing mega-show Amazon might have wanted, but neither is it a total misfire,” and talking about the action and the chemistry between Priyanka and Madden, James notes, “Bombastic action is doled out at regular intervals and the leads’ electrifying sexual tension could power a small city for weeks.”
On the other hand, Nick Schager of The Daily Beast describes “Citadel” as “the definition of generic, trading in stock espionage clichés dressed up with superficial embellishments in a manner not unlike the Russos’ ‘The Gray Man’.”
Martin Robinson of the London Evening Standard gives the show a rating of ⅘ and notes, “It won’t win any awards but so what? This is pure Saturday night fun of a super-slick kind.”
Alberto Carlos of Espinof praises the show’s fast pace and competence, writing, “Despite its obvious flaws, ‘Citadel’ is a highly entertaining espionage thriller, with the itch to be a blockbuster.”
Sarah Musnicky of VitalThrills.com offers a more mixed review, saying, “While ‘Citadel’ is beautifully shot and fills in the void for action-spy thrillers temporarily, it fails to excite.”
Brittany Witherspoon of Screen Rant offers the most enthusiastic review, calling “Citadel” “the television event of the year” with a “tremendous cast, a compelling story, and action-packed season 1 episodes.”
In conclusion, “Citadel” seems to be a mixed bag for critics, with some praising its high-octane action and entertaining performances, while others criticize its generic spy thriller tropes.
Nonetheless, it seems like the show could be a hit with audiences who enjoy fast-paced action and espionage drama and, on top of that, the electrifying chemistry between the lead cast that was so visible in trailer of the show.