Critical Condition: Ozark

Ozark (Netflix, from today)

➢ “A wealthy family relocates a money laundering scheme to the Ozarks in a smart, sharp drama that engages with prestige tropes but never quite falls into their trap …  The taut thriller veers close toward storytelling pitfalls but deftly avoids falling into the bleak soup of bloated streaming dramas about a tortured male soul. Ozark so carefully guides the audience through the story that it is one of the most compulsively watchable debuts of the year — a crime story that is part-thriller, part-caper, and endlessly surprising.” — Variety.

➢ “[Jason] Bateman Bateman, perhaps unsurprisingly given his comic chops, helps leaven some of these darker moments with masterfully delivered lines. But, while his wry exasperation is expected, his ability to forcefully sell emotion as a leading man is a joy to behold.” — Empire.

➢ “Ultimately, the series feels grounded, but it can also feel a bit dirty. Between the strip clubs, the sex tapes, and the nasty business driving the story, the lakeside drama occasionally hooks its audience like a worm on the end of a fishing line. The camera holds a second too long on an uncomfortable moment or captures an act that should’ve been spoken. Squirm as you might, you’re likely pinned for good.” — IndieWire.

➢ “Just when you think Ozark has already allowed plenty of shit to hit its rapidly rotating fans, it not only comes up with more shit, it plugs in a whole new batch of fans. Midway through its ten episodes, that can start to feel a tad exhausting, with the increasingly interconnected plot points sometimes generating tension and sometimes leaning more toward the contrived than the believable.” — New York magazine.

➢ “Pulp masquerading as prestige, Netflix’s new drama Ozark is four or five different shows doing battle at once — generally in the most familiar of moody and murky cable crime veins — but with a couple interesting characterisations and twists if you’re willing to focus in a way the show rarely is prepared to do itself.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

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