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Chris Pratt's The Terminal List Has Screened For Critics, And Most Agree It's Made For A Pretty Specific Kind Of Viewer

Chris Pratt on The Terminal List.
(Image credit: Prime Video)

Chris Pratt may be enjoying the box office success of Jurassic World Dominion, but the actor was able to step away from his blockbuster movie career to star in an upcoming Prime Video series. The Terminal LIst features Pratt as former Navy SEAL James Reece, who’s out for revenge after the rest of his platoon was killed in an ambush. If you think it sounds like this series falls in the same vein as Reacher and Jack Ryan, you’re right, and the critics who have screened the series also noted The Terminal List seems to be the latest attempt by Amazon Prime Video to corner the market in a pretty specific genre: Shows For Dads.

How much you enjoy Chris Pratt’s return to the small screen when The Terminal List is released to Amazon Prime subscribers on July 1 may depend on how firmly you fit into that key demographic. The series is based on the 2018 novel by Jack Carr, and along with Pratt, the series features some well-known actors, including Taylor Kitsch, Constance Wu, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Riley Keough and Patrick Schwarzenegger. Let’s take a look at the reviews.

Dave Nemetz of TVLine grades the series a D, saying that while there’s a lot of action, none of it is particularly interesting, and the series seems like little more than “something new for the Amazon algorithm to recommend to your dad” after he’s finished with Prime Video’s other similar offerings. The review says:

The Terminal List‘s plot defies logic, if you stop to think about it for even a minute, but it confidently shoves its way past any such concerns. It’s utterly humorless, too, punctuated by crude bursts of graphic violence. Even those aren’t effective, though: The action is bloody but not exciting, and the story is bewildering but not interesting. In between, we get saccharine family scenes and a paint-by-numbers conspiracy that gets more complicated but not any more compelling.

Valerie Ettenhofer of SlashFilm also doesn’t like the show, but in addition to calling it boring, she says it’s too depressing to be mistaken for the escapism viewers might get from other series featuring revenge and conspiracies. From the review: 

After a solid premiere episode, The Terminal List unfolds in a pattern that soon becomes boring, alternating between Reece's memories of his life before the SEAL team mission went awry, his current self-imposed quest, and insultingly dumb scenes of other people trying to stop him before eventually deciding he's in the right. The lackluster writing disappoints, but its weakest link may be its lead. Pratt, who has previously excelled in comedies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Parks and Recreation, is obviously miscast here. Every scene that's meant to be emotionally resonant falls flat, and at each step of Reece's life-shattering journey, Pratt presents a stone-faced version of the character that seems utterly unchanged.

Most critics made mention of The Terminal List’s similarities to other Prime Video shows in that genre, but Liam Mathews of TV Guide doesn’t necessarily see this as a bad thing. He rates the Chris Pratt series a 7 out of 10, arguing that it isn’t without its faults, but the good will outweigh the bad for the audience it’s trying to reach, just like Bosch, Reacher and Jack Ryan. He says:

These shows aren't chasing Emmys, they just want to entertain with a twisty plot, some thrilling action set pieces, and a mildly complex main character. They're also three of the service's most popular and successful shows. Prime Video's latest series, The Terminal List, fits that dad-friendly bill to a T. By the humble standards of the genre, The Terminal List is a smashing success.

Scott Campbell of We Got This Covered rates it a “Fair” 3 out of 5 stars and agrees it’s strange to see Chris Pratt playing against type in such a dark role, but given the subject matter, his signature quips and one-liners would have been out of place. Rather than comedy, The Terminal List brings the action, he says:

The Terminal List is absolutely loaded with brutal hand-to-hand fights, frenetic shootouts, fast-paced car chases, a myriad of deafening explosions, and a ridiculously high body count. Following on from fellow Prime Video exclusives like Jack Ryan and Reacher, don’t be surprised if this ends up being the hottest show of the summer for dads all around the world.

Another critic who enjoys seeing Chris Pratt not rely solely on being a smartass is Alex Maidy of JoBlo, who rates it an “Average” 6 out of 10. He says the series probably would have been better as a feature film or with a smaller number of episodes, because at its current length, the plot never really grabs your interest. In his words:

With Chris Pratt in the lead and acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua helming the first episode, The Terminal List has all the makings of the next great action series. The only problem is that it is woefully dull and never musters enough out of some interesting plot elements to justify its existence. As much as I wanted to love this show, The Terminal List is surprisingly bland despite some brutal on-screen violence and a solid performance from Pratt.

So critics had some pretty harsh opinions about the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series, but fans of other similar action shows seem to be the clear target audience. As always, viewers should feel free to form their own opinions, and if you want to see Chris Pratt in a different role, avenging his platoon, you can check out The Terminal List on Friday, July 1. Also be sure to check out these other best shows on Amazon Prime Video.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.