Ozark season 4 part 1 reviews say the Netflix series has some of the best performances on television

Ozark season 4 part 1
(Image credit: Netflix)

Ozark is entering its endgame. The first part of its final season debuts on Netflix on January 21 (with the second part to follow)  – and the critics are already praising the crime caper’s farewell, making particular note of strong lead performances from Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. Julia Garner, too, is in typically scintillating form.

Other reviews are more muted, with Ozark season 4 part 1 seemingly only setting up an explosive finale instead of being an all-out rollercoaster from start-to-finish. What links each critical response so far, however, is a celebration of one of Netflix’s most underrated shows.

Ready for a taste of what to expect? Don’t worry, no spoilers: here’s what the critics think about Ozark season 4 part 1.

Metro – 4/5

"While season four part one naturally is merely laying the foundation for Ozark’s end game, there are already plenty of twists and major developments setting up a finale bound to be a fist-in-mouth ride right until the very end."

NME – 4/5

"It’s all very tense and gripping – thanks, largely, to a set of the best performances you’ll find on TV. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney are faultless once again as Marty and Wendy, who rush about anxiously cutting deals that fall through five minutes later. And it’s always a treat to watch Felix Solis (Omar) crack his knuckles and contemplate which skull he’ll crush next. But as in previous seasons, Julia Garner stands out. Her nuanced portrayal of Ruth, clearly traumatised by past crimes, flicks between deep distress and overpowering rage in the blink of an eye... Don’t be surprised if Garner wins a third Emmy in four years."


"Ozark can feel like watching Breaking Bad in the NFL RedZone, the viewing option that delivers each and every touchdown on in-season Sundays. It’s chaos and gunshots without anything but the most glancing nod to a moral reckoning; it’s everything that people enjoy about high-gloss, expensive TV, without the parts that act as ballast. (This extends to the show’s visual sense, so dimly lit and murky as to suggest that Ozark believes moral ambiguity can be better achieved through lighting than through writing.)"

IndieWire – B-

"It’s boiled down its broad themes into one basic ‘will they or won’t they,’ summed up nicely by Bateman himself: “Are they going to get away with it, or are they going to pay a bill?” It’s no spoiler to say season 4 part 1 isn’t going to answer that question, just as it’s somewhat predictable this half-a-season consists largely of table-dressing. Once the general plan is outlined in the premiere, Marty and Wendy — not to mention their two kids, Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) — go about executing their objectives. The stakes are higher, yes, but by now, the structure is familiar: The Byrdes are given a perilous, preposterous task, and they try to do it anyway."

A.V. Club – B+

"The first half of the final season is packaged such that it sets up the show’s obviously ill-fated end—it’s hard to see how Marty and Wendy can have a happy ending. But the seven episodes also work well as a shorter season of the show. Ozark returns to prove its worth in the genre by remaining a riveting and satisfying crime drama to its bitter (almost) end."

For more from the streamer, check out the best Netflix shows, the best Netflix movies, and what else is new on Netflix this January.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.