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Not All Critics Loved Netflix's The Lincoln Lawyer, But That Isn't Stopping It From Crushing The Streaming Competition

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in The Lincoln Lawyer.
(Image credit: Netflix)

The public takes a lot of stock in reviews of new movies and television shows, typically jumping onto something that's praised or shying away from something that's panned. However, in some cases, such reactions may not have as much bearing on a production's success. Take Netflix’s new show The Lincoln Lawyer, for example, which may have received some less than favorable reviews but hasn't been stopped from crushing its streaming competition.

According to Netflix’s Global Top Ten (opens in new tab), the series' first season has been number one in the top 10 for the past two weeks, with over 108 million hours viewed. It even managed to beat out the final season of Ozark, which came in second with The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib being third. The Lincoln Lawyer, which premiered on May 13th, is currently Netflix's top streamed program in 90 countries, which is an amazing feat, to say the least. 

Despite its brilliant streaming numbers, not all critics were taken by the new legal drama. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season currently has a 75% from the critics an 82% audience score, showing that there's a divide between pundits and general audiences. One less-than-favorable reviews came from The AV Club’s Saloni Gajjar who felt the show was “tedious, low-stakes legal drama.” Meanwhile, Variety’s Daniel D'Addario believed that while the procedural “has real bite and something to say,” it doesn’t effectively balance the family drama with the legal proceedings.

This is far from the first time that a Netflix production didn’t receive overwhelmingly positive reviews but still earned high viewership. The Netflix movie John Henry got a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, but people were still streaming it, pushing it to #2 on the trending list. The same was said for another poorly-reviewed film on the streamer, Coffee & Kareem, which reached the top ten list. These are prime examples of how reactions and reviews aren't always an indication of how something will be received.

Of course, you have to wonder what it is that's got people hooked on The Lincoln Lawyer and making it one of the best Netflix shows to stream right now. The David E. Kelley-created series (which is based on Michael Connelly's novel, The Brass Verdict) centers on an L.A. defense attorney who works out of his Lincoln Town Car instead of an office. The Magnificent Seven’s Manuel Garcia-Rulfo takes over the lead role that Matthew McConaughey played in the 2011 film adaptation. There's other serious talent at play as well, as there's a star-studded cast consisting of Scream’s Neve Campbell, Ugly Betty’s Becki Newton, Insidious alum Angus Sampson, Blood Diamond’s Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and more. 

All in all, the new drama seems to have quite a bit going for it, in spite of the critical reception. You can judge for yourself whether The Lincoln Lawyer is worth checking out by grabbing a Netflix subscription.

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.