Luke Cage (TV Series 2016–2018) Poster

(2016–2018)

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9/10
Not quite as good as Daredevil or The Punisher but still pretty good!
DiCaprio-HardyFan13 December 2020
While Luke Cage is not quite as good as The Punisher or Daredevil, it's still a very good, action packed show that is absolutely worth watching! It's another Netflix Marvel show that is outstanding. It's just too bad that they had to part ways because I loved all 5 of their shows, some more than others but all still good. Mike Colter was terrific as Luke Cage!
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5/10
Luke Cage Hits Like a 90lb Creampuff
hyperiontitanj2 October 2016
I was looking forward to this more so than the other Marvel Netflix shows, but Luke Cage is easily the weakest of the bunch.

The show improves throughout its run, but it really only picks up over the last few episodes. The story is not compelling, the acting is troublesome at times (mostly early on), and Cage's story arc and motivation (or lack thereof) leaves much to be desired for most of the first season. At times it's hard to believe he's the same character who first appeared in Jessica Jones.

The biggest issue is the tedium. The director appears to have a problem with story telling, but the real issue is there just isn't enough material to fill each episode. Every hour drags on and on. It's awkwardly punctuating by musical numbers that will not be appealing to most viewers with frequent cuts back and forth which simply interrupt the consequential moments of each episode instead of accentuating them.

The villains are too weak for the season to drag on as it did. Cage is very overpowered in this series (far more powerful than in Jessica Jones) and there's no plausible reason he doesn't mop things up by the end of the first few episodes. To account for this, much of the show is filler. Some of the reviews I've seen remark how much character development there is on the supporting cast as one of the show's strengths. Honestly, it seems to be a glaring weakness. Not only is this too, filler, the character development is poor. It not only doesn't explain who these people really are and in fact detracts from the characters as you see how weak and ineffectual the rest of the cast is.

In reality, Cage could have pimp slapped the villain out of Harlem at any point in the entire series and they could have moved on to a new and better story line.
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9/10
Season 2 redeemed the show
snowyprecipice25 June 2018
First season was messy, a little boring and a little unwatchable. Season two was solid and the characters were amazing. The development of Mariah, Hernan and Tilda were amazing! Extra props to Hernan; he was absolutely amazing to watch. Luke's small conflict suited him; he didn't need a big losing-himself-and-finding-himself arc - that was well done. Even the Jamaican dude was well done. Loved Danny's cameo!

(The ending, though.. what the hell lol)
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4/10
Which half to rate?
wcochran6 October 2016
The first half of season one rocked--the second half flopped.

Excellent acting performances for complex characters, masterful integration of powerful music, introspection and confrontation with current social issues--all highlights of the first several episodes.

Unfortunately, as the season progressed, one could sense that whoever was driving this bus fell asleep, or was otherwise distracted. A couple of scenes were reminiscent of old Batman and Robin episodes. B-rated, campy, predictable dialog replaced the eloquence of the early episodes. Logical progression of plot lines and at least cursory explanations of how this-lead-to-that were ignored. All capped with an uninspired, unsurprising finale.

My hope is the show will learn from its mistakes, correct the flaws, and become even better next year.
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3/10
Great character, woeful portrayal
thewadehome21 July 2018
Season 1 was ok, kept me interested enough to watch the second.

Season two. Wow. Bad does not begin to cover it. Not Luke himself, who gives a pretty good representation of the character as he did in season 1. Actually no, really, a good representation. The story is pretty good too and reasonably compelling. The problem is everything else.

The acting, generally, is horrible. Luke's Pops is good, Luke is good. Everyone else, and I mean EVERYONE is a horrendous caricature. Bushmaster is laughable, overacted and under developed. Mariah, damn, I love Alfre Woodward, but she is a 65 year old woman trying to play a sexy madam to a 40 year-old toyboy and she looks, walks and talks every day of her age. It's not the age difference, though, it's that she ACTS old. I mean, old lady old, it's simply not believable. Horribly overacted and distractingly bad.

I can't figure out if it's the writing or the acting or both but either way this is a mess. The direction, at times, is very obviously to blame, at other times the editing actually made me laugh out loud but generally writing and acting are awful.

After a fantastic start with Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage season 1 Marvel are starting to lose the plot. Iron Fist was terrible, Defenders barely better and this the worst yet. It's a shame because it all started with great potential.

Tie it into the movies better, introduce Spidey, F4 and other NY based good and bad guys and it may survive but if it continues this way the TV universe is as good as dead.
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5/10
Flip flop of a show...
You know what every comic book fan wants to see in a superhero story? Action? No. Great villains. No. Devious plots? No. Fast paced story? No. We all want good guys and bad guys to get in the same room, have dialogues and then leave over and over again with nobody doing anything. Yay! 13 hours of show per season...20 minutes of action...the rest is Luke Cage telling bad guys to stop and then doing nothing as they murder a bunch of people. It has some ok moments...but really struggles to do anything.
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9/10
Not Luke warm
kosmasp11 September 2020
Well for some it was I reckon, but it is tough to please everyone anyway, so this being different is either good or bad. Connected with the other shows on Netflix, this also works as stand alone, even if people from the other shows pop up (look for a timeline to watch the shows if you care, because there are some consequences that are being carried over too).

The show itself has a lot of cool music, some cameos (to name but one let's take Method Man who also has a speaking role besides blessing us with his lyrical skills) and a lot of action too. I am not so familiar with the comics, so I can't really compare or tell you what the differences are if there are any. I can tell you that the plot seems unpredictable and there are quite a few twists that I did not expect myself. Very cool actors involved (all the shows have cool people in them) and while it is not without flaws and I initially thought about going with an 8 rating, having Rakim as a bookend performer to the show made me just incredibly happy! Arguably one of the best MCs (no offense KRS-One, also in performing in season 2), if not the best. The show finds an abrupt end overall, though it can be called satisfying - production values are immense to say the least and amazing too. Top notch production with a very charismatic lead actor
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7/10
Alfre Woodard is incredible
kennethhawkins7418 November 2018
While the storyline plods along, the characterization is strong, especially with regard to Alfre Woodard's breakout role. She reminds us of what the complexity of a villain looks like, and she explores every part of what it means to be filled with avarice, love, desire, intelligence, and hate. She makes this show better for its unsure plot at times.
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4/10
ZZZZZZZZZZZZ
john_hugo19 December 2018
For a superhero series it is incredibly boring. Endless scenes of meandering conversations which seemed more like something to fill the empty spaces than advancing any plot. Very little action. Luke Cage is very one dimensional. The character was better in the Defenders as a member of the team than a stand alone series. Not surprised to see the show canceled. If you are looking for something to put you to sleep at night, then this is definitely the show for you.
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3/10
Series drags on and on
fruizj782 August 2018
Its like you keep waiting for action that never comes. The acting is horrible, most notably Theo Rossi who is not believable as a "tough guy." The main character is great, Mike Colter plays the character wonderfully but is not supported by the terrible writers of the series. Could have been so much better, could'nt make it past episode 5
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5/10
Unfunny smack-talk, annoying speechifying, long, drawn-out character development & repetitive fight scenes.
connorundrumme6 September 2018
The writing-ugh, hackneyed & cheesy and overdone (not even "corny"). The direction & acting was so painfully over-the-top, way too often. The unfunny smack-talk, annoying speechifying, the long, drawn-out character development scenes & even the repetitive fight scenes were agonizing at times. The actual plot line(s) for S01 could have been completed in 6-8 episodes at most, not 13. It seemed like it was set in Brokenrecordtown. I mean, I get it, "STORIES," but its like an unrelenting hammer for each & every character/moment. Then, there's the flashbacks/reenactments in both intros to episodes, & in Misty's speculations/intuitions - so much filler. The music/soundtrack choices are overbearing at times. (Sometimes in the artists' performances, but also in the "dramatic interludes.") It seems like there was a "taking advantage of any inroads" thing going on with the music, which isn't a normal sitch for the Marvel brand.

In S02, the characters can turn immature and irrational on a dime's worth of action. It also feels like it's trying to cover too many genres/topics at once, so it loses drive, & has a stunted pace. It's soooo heavy on "wisdom" & religiousity, it starts to feel like it's aimed at teens, but with the level of violence, nudity, sexist stereotyping & adult themes, it just seems downright confused about its audience. Sometimes the arguments & abuse in relationship situations come off as more of an instruction manual than a cautionary tale. Are there a lot of people looking to the world of Marvel for counseling sessions, or will they need them even more afterwards?
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5/10
Mostly boring
maliksigns20 September 2018
The series has another concept, more quiet, but THAT quiet? The story goes longer and longer, like a chewing gum with no taste anymore.

I survived the first season. Somehow, but could not get myself to watch the second season.

BORING.
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6/10
Expected More
creashun-002756 October 2016
There's a lot to say about this series but I think the most obvious is how underwhelming the main character is. Colter comes off as rejected, docile, and often simple. There's background of him being a former cop but his intellect as Luke Cage seems far too simple for any skills of the sort. That along with the monotonous tone he takes throughout each episode really diminishes the character. The supporting cast works well and they are engaging and entertaining; especially Cottonmouth. The musical cameos are great as well and remind me of the old New York Undercover TV series when every episode featured someone new in the background. My only complaint is Luke Cage himself.. in the comics he was an active and athletic guy that didn't walk around in hoodies all of the time speaking with his "inside voice." This is like Luke Cage on Ritalin.
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7/10
From Great to Acceptable
Murder-Meatball16 October 2016
Luke Cage starts off great with a strong classic noire vibe in a modern coat of paint. A strong cast creates a powerful atmosphere and tone that draws you in. Mike Colter clearly looks the part of an indestructible giant and plays Luke Cage in a somber and traditional "tormented, silent protagonist" kind of way, but it is the surrounding cast that truly brings out this jewel: Simone Missick as the honest officer from the street, Mahershala Ali as the tormented gang leader, Frank Whaley as the smart mouth sidekick cop, Alfre Woodard as the congresswoman stuck in both the future and the past, Frankie Faison as the mentor and spot of light in the dark.

Sadly as the story progresses through the season and especially about half way through with some major shake up of the status quo, much of the great character nuances and complex relationships that had started to develop were taken in a very different direction and new characters were given more screen time. This I think was a mistake; not only because in its current iteration replaced focus of interesting characters and arcs with something very straight forward and boring, but also because it happened so soon in the series.

Such a significant shake up would have been much more suitable for a season finally and with a second season dealing with the fallout and changing landscape for our cast to traverse, not as a throw in at the half way mark.

All in all the first half of the series was a clear 8 for me and the second half about a 6 so on average it comes out a 7, Good, but not a must watch.
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1/10
Luke Cage -- A Huge Disappointment.
mzand-751-53957217 October 2016
The Creator and main writer of Luke Cage was an English Major and it shows. This series had all drama and excitement of a college thesis. It's great that he referenced the great black mystery writer Walter Mosley and other masters of the genre like Dennis Lehane but that's as close to greatness he ever got. This show had some the most inept and amateurish writing of any Marvel franchise EVER. The dialogue was so predictable you could say the words along with the actors as they were speaking.Scene after scene had the characters DISCUSSING, the same issue over and over again where NOTHING happened. These writers failed to understand the most basic tenet of screen writing which requires CONFLICT.I don't mean physical fighting but mental and intellectual sparring with the characters inner life and struggles coming through in their subtext – what they're thinking and not saying. There was zero subtext in almost every scene. On top of that their efforts at humor and wit were a bunch of tired old sayings and jokes we've heard a thousand time.

As for the actors, with the exception of the always terrific Rosario Dawson, Simone Missick, Frank Whalley and Mahershala Ali, this series had some of the most inept and awful acting I have ever seen on TV. Mike Colter's heavy breathing and grimacing to show emotion and Alfre Woodward's head-shaking-always-on-the-verge-of-tears fake emoting were amateurish at best. Don't even get me started on Karen Pittman's horrendous dragon lady performance of Inspector Ridley.

One could forgive a lot if the show hadn't been so deadly dull.It's a real indictment of the writing when you can fast forward through most of every episode and not miss a thing in the story which unfortunately was the only way to get through this interminable slog. Binge watching? Hell, it was more like cringe watching.
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9/10
As excellent as I hoped it would be.
Colin00011 October 2016
After being thrilled by Daredevil, and also enjoying the Jessica Jones series, I headed for a binge session of Luke Cage with some trepidation. I thought it very possible, that like Suicide Squad, and Batman vs Superman, the hype could have been too much. It wasn't. In fact, the series isn't hyped enough.

Setting the stage for this series, the feeling of the authenticity of a black community had to be explored, and this was done via two vehicles - the music and the barbershop. The barbershop was a focal point for reflection. Most of the action happened away from there. There were references to real life events of Harlem, so even though the series championed always going forwards, it also looked back.

Because there were so many characters, it was impossible to flesh all of them out. But with the important ones, layers revealed more of each person's journey. This was done quite well, although some characters did seem a bit too one-dimensional for my preference.

The action was good, but in some episodes it was a little sparse, and in one or two episodes, it seemed there was hardly time to for me to make a coffee, before a jump to another conflict. So the pacing was not even, but it was certainly acceptable.

Rosario Dawson brings a tension to the series and the personal interplay is something that I liked a lot. She was my third favourite actor in the series. Alfre Woodard was just superb. It was easy to love her, and to hate her. Her performance was the best in the series. However, Alfre Woodard was my second favourite. But Mike Coulter was truly amazing. He upped his game from Jessica Jones to be the full lead, and he was brilliant. His character of Luke Cage was played at a perfect pitch. Strong yet hesitant, disinterested and disenfranchised, he changed to become what people were secretly hoping for.

Sadly, none of his enemies were strong enough in my opinion. Even though its known that he is not as strong as Spiderman, and is not fast, he does need enemies that define him more. I think these may have to be created from scratch, as his historic enemies from the comic are not the challenge that he really needs.

I have read other reviews of this series, and those that don't seem to like it, seem to be the same people that anonymously call black people *Harambe* on Twitter. If you're black, you will probably love this. If you have black fiends that you view as equals, you will probably love this. If you think BLM is evil, and most black people want handouts, and deserve to be shot without question by the police, then you will not like this TV series at all - too many black people. Its paints a positive picture of black people, as rounded, whole and secure. Some people will react badly to that, no matter what.

For the rest of we TV superhero fans, its one of the best things ever! Bring on series 2.
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5/10
All of the ingredients for greatness overcooked into a bit of a mess...
mtweed-249648 October 2016
I am so very disappointed with Netflix here as Luke Cage has all of the ingredients for greatness but suffers from a lack of villain power. Daredevil has a big physically overpowering presence to realistically challenge him throughout. Jessica Jones had a mentally superior adversary in Kilgrave, who again provided a challenge throughout. In fact both of the street heroes got their a$$es kicked on several occasions. Which is where Luke Cage fundamentally suffers.

The fact is that nobody can realistically challenge Luke Cage and he could have quite easily wrapped all of this up within the first 3 episodes. Instead it ventures into the realms of stupidity. For that reason Netflix, I give you 10/10 for Daredevil, 9/10 for Jessica Jones, 6/10 for Luke Cage. I hope that Iron Fist will have a real adversary and Netflix can be less confused about its series. In fact... make it 5 for acting talent alone.

Oh... and try and give Rosario Dawson a point in the next season. I like her character but her only point in this series is because the storyline demanded it.
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10/10
Perfect!
cbwelch30 June 2020
This is awesome! The music, the filmography, the stories, and the acting. It's spot on and brings the comics to life, sets the mood perfectly. I can highly recommend this for anyone looking for a Marvel adventure.
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4/10
Starts strong then completely falls apart.
scott-94911 December 2016
This was very compelling for the first 5-6 episodes. Without spoilers I can't explain, but afterwards it absolutely falls apart. It's almost like a different team of writers took over. Dialog becomes pedantic... even cringe-worthy. Story lines are boring and I simply stopped caring. Something clearly happened during production of this series. It's as if they crammed 3 seasons in to one and only cared about the 1st season. Characters introduced midway through are silly. Lengthy, meaningless, overly-dramatic scenes abound. This is definitely the worst Amazon original I've seen. It's a shame.... I've enjoyed Daredevil and Jessica Jones so much... but this is garbage. Don't get invested.
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1/10
Boring
elite198514 March 2017
Everything about this show pales in comparison to Daredevil and Jessica Jones (netflix prior 2 marvel series). Bad actor, bad script, bad villain. I tried really hard up to episode 8 for it to get better but it never did. Could not watch anymore. Hopefully the Iron fist and Punisher shows coming up will be better.
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4/10
Quality is lacking
jimmierader10 September 2018
Marvel Netflix series are lacking the same quality other Netflix shows and movies offer. I get that Luke Cage is to break racial and gender boundaries and norms, this can be done without compromising writing and acting. Do better.
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3/10
Do Not Waste Your Time!
henryshear19 June 2018
I am a huge Marvel tv show fan. I love Daredevil,Jessica Jones,and somehow, I even tolerated Iron Fist. Luke Cage is so boring, it moves very slowly and the acting is very bad. I have loved Mike Colter in other shows, but he is terrible in this one. I am amazed by all the praise the show has gotten he far. The only way I would even think of giving this show another chance is if they fired the whole cast and writers and started over again. It is a terrible, terrible show and I do not recommend it for anyone.
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3/10
Um... laughable?
VicTanner4412 July 2018
I couldn't give it one star because I laughed genuinely at so many poorly written, acted, and filmed scenes. Like a soap opera gone wild. And I like Knight Hawk's title, I thought Cage's punches and moves were among the funniest parts: The actor is seemingly so very uncoordinated! Great guy I'm sure, strong as hell in real life and all that... Cripes though, were some of those "fight" scenes hokey or what?. As were Mariah's scenes (all of them, every last one). Oooh - and the music interludes... Starting to chuckle writing this. Maybe I should give it another star.
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9/10
Awesome!
jaimefaye-4593527 June 2018
These folks saying that Luke Cage is less than incredible are either morons or completely insane. It's not supposed to be big screen quality. This is blacksploitation at its finest. Season 2's soundtrack is absolutely breathtaking. All of my favorite reggae musicians in one place! I didn't think Mariah would be able to be as evil as Cottonmouth, but she brings her own brand of brutality to the show. Netflix handles the minor Marvel characters very well.
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Woo hoo! No racial bias!
rsvp32128 June 2018
This series is model for how to do a cultural show without alienating any group.

Unlike pathetic and ruined shows like DC's "Black Lightening", and Marvel's two other loser super power series, "Impulse", and "Cloak and Dagger", Luke Cage writers don't hatefully target/blame any specific group, or whine about any snowflake social pc issues. It's just brilliant action and a smooth plot.

Extremely enjoyable to watch, Season 2 better than 1, I've upped my rate from a 6 to an 8.

I just hope there's not another two years to get Season 3!
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