Charlie Cox spy thriller Treason has mixed reviews despite reaching #1 on Netflix

Charlie Cox in Treason
(Image credit: Netflix)

New Netflix spy thriller Treason may be racking up the views on the streamer, but it's not been a complete hit with critics – or audience members. The show, released on December 26, shot to number one on Netflix. It has a respectable score of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, but an audience score of only 37%. 

It stars Daredevil's Charlie Cox as Adam Lawrence, an MI6 agent groomed for success – until a run-in with a figure from his past throws everything into question. Grappling with personal and diplomatic problems, suddenly everything is on the line for Adam. The ensemble cast also includes Ciarán Hinds, Olga Kurylenko, and Oona Chaplin, while Bridge of Spies writer Matt Charman penned the script. 

According to the Financial Times (opens in new tab), "Every potentially suspenseful development is undermined by slack characterisations and exchanges which spell out, but fail to convey, the high stakes involved."

"Treason manages that brilliant television trick of sucking you in with its labyrinthine plot so effectively that you don’t realise quite how stupid it is until long after the credits roll, at which point it hits you like a ton of bricks. But, still, it has the air of unfulfilled promise," writes The Guardian (opens in new tab).

The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)'s review reads: "The events of the story take place within possibly two or three days and manage to be too derivative for the show to earn much credit as plot-driven and too rushed for it to succeed as character-driven," while The Evening Standard (opens in new tab) says: "It’s exciting, breathless and full of twists and turns but it doesn’t quite measure up to the other new spy offerings out there."

As for audience opinions, one Twitter user wrote (opens in new tab): "Skip this. Plot holes, poorly written and instantly forgettable," while another said (opens in new tab): "#TreasonNetflix is hilariously dumb. I'm watching it purely to spot the huge plot holes. It's so bad you can't help but watch." However, according to one viewer, the show is "gripping if you ignore the whole 'They wouldn’t really do that' aspects. A good watch."

All episodes of Treason are now streaming on Netflix. For more viewing inspiration, fill out your watch list with our picks of the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.