'The Terminal List' Review: The Most Important Television Show In Recent History

I promised I’d have a review up eventually, and here it is after teasing that one was coming. I wanted to be sure I have this show my full attention because even before I watched it I recognized its importance in our modernity-infested zeitgeist.


This was mostly thanks, in part, to the fact that upon the release of “The Terminal List” on Amazon Prime, leftist outlets couldn’t talk about it with enough venom. According to leftist reviewers, everything about the show was awful, especially the show’s lead who they claimed couldn’t carry the emotional weight necessary for the role.

Yet, Chris Pratt’s “James Reese” was so solid that I can’t imagine anyone else in the role now. I’m convinced it wouldn’t have worked half as well without him. This, of course, didn’t matter to the left whose actual problem with it wasn’t that it was a bad show, it’s that it was a good show that didn’t carry their political messaging within it in any capacity. There’s no LGBT commentary or 90 lb women knocking out 200 lb men. No talk about climate change or the importance of gun control.

(READ: Chris Pratt’s ‘The Terminal List’ Is Sending Leftists Into Conniption Fits While Audiences Love It)

“The Terminal List” is a solid, apolitical tale that ropes in a myriad of story-telling elements to create what could be considered some of the best-acted and best-written television I’ve seen in some time.

My review won’t be the first, but it will be the most honest. Let’s start from the top.


“The Terminal List” is based on Jack Carr’s novel of the same name. It follows the story of James Reece, a Navy SEAL veteran who gets intel about the location of one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. The information is vetted from above and he rallies his team to find and eliminate the target.


Yet, as the mission gets underway it becomes very clear that the enemy was prepared for their arrival and soon his team is ambushed. During the event, Reece suffers head trauma and is pulled out by a squad mate. They’re forced to retreat and only he and his friend Earnest “Boozer” Vickers (Jared Shaw) survive. Everyone else is killed.

Fast forward to a short time later and Reece is speaking to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and it appears that his story contradicts the events that happened according to the audio logs recovered from the mission. Reece’s head trauma and confusion about the series of events had his superiors put him on ice.

Reece is ready to believe that his version of events was all wrong and seek help for his head trauma, when he suddenly gets word that Boozer had committed suicide. When Reece shows up at Boozer’s apartment, it’s clear to him that his best friend didn’t take his own life. Between the altered events in the audio logs, Boozer’s murder, and the clear setup from the mission, Reece begins to pull on a fact thread.

This investigation, helped along by reporter Katie Buranek (Constance Wu), sends Reece to discover the hidden truth behind a grave betrayal, and subsequently, sends him out on a revenge mission that goes far deeper than anyone anticipated.

The show is many things that are expertly wrapped into one solid package. It’s a story of political and military intrigue, corporate sabotage, a revenge mission, a sicario tale, and all with solid action peppering it all.


Before I get into the good, let me list some of the negatives, and I’m doing this first because there aren’t many.

For one, the show is dark and I don’t just mean from a narrative perspective. The show suffers from most scenes having a blue filter over them, even daytime scenes. If it’s a nighttime scene, you’d better not have any glare on your television screen, because you won’t see some of it. It can be frustrating at times. While this artistic decision works well with the show’s narrative, especially in the beginning, it wears out its welcome quite quickly. The editors would have done the audience a solid by turning the brightness up just a smidge.

Moreover, while I wouldn’t say that the show suffers from too much filler, it is there and it does slow the show down on occasion. Reece suffers flashbacks more often than he should and the interruptions can make the show grind more than flow.

That’s it. Now onto the good, and I’m going to start with the elephant in the room.

The media lambasted Pratt for this role. The loveable goofball from “Parks and Rec” had no business acting as a character that has to carry this much emotional luggage according to reviews. They say he falls short and his rage and sadness come off more shallow than they should.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Pratt brought such a fantastic presence to the character of James Reece that it surprised even me. He wears pain just as well as he wears determination. He manages to be intimidating with the backdrop of a dedicated family man. His reactions and shifts in moods seem natural despite the fact that this role pulls him in many different directions in rapid-fire ways. Moreover, I was impressed at how Pratt can manage to display rage while maintaining the quiet non-reactiveness of a Navy SEAL.


It’s pretty clear that Pratt put a lot of training into this role. In fact, you kind of forget that he was never actually a SEAL in real life. His movements, from the way he walks to the way he handles his gun, look like it’s something he’s been mastering for years. He took being James Reece very seriously and knowing Pratt it’s because he takes people who do what Reece does very seriously.

His fellow actors don’t drop the ball either. Wu delivers a superb performance as a journalist determined to get to the bottom of Reece’s predicament. While I expected Buranek to annoy me, I often found myself enjoying her every moment on screen and she ended up being one of the plot’s largest driving forces.

I also found myself impressed with Jai Courtney and Sean Gunn who played antagonists within the series. Courtney, in particular, sells his part as the head of a villainous, heartless corporate entity well. Special shout-out to JD Pardo who played FBI agent Tony Layrun, tasked with hunting Reece down. Their cat and mouse game were oftentimes the highlight of the show and they played well off of each other.

Of course, Taylor Kitsch as Ben Edwards played a perfect partner to Pratt’s Reece. Edwards becomes Reece’s literal partner in crime and scenes where the duo are together are often the most intense. Kitch plays a man who is reluctant but unwilling to let his best friend take on the fight alone, and his character adds some much-needed humanity when Reece seems inhuman.


The action featured in the show was never too over the top despite getting grandiose. While Reece is an expert marksman, his cleverness is oftentimes more highlighted than his ability to hit a target. Reece, being the good guy, goes to great lengths to kill only those who deserve it, and the lengths he goes to preserve the lives of the innocent, including those who are hunting him, is fascinating to watch.

The writing is well paced and every mystery is wrapped up neatly by the end. Nothing feels unearned though some have had exceptions with the last five minutes of the movie.

All-in-all, “The Terminal List” hits a very important cultural note by being a solid, apolitical movie. Like “Top Gun: Maverick,” the film focuses on good storylines, solid character development, and doesn’t shoehorn in messages that support leftist modernity. Its popularity is proof that if studios truly want to make programs that people want to see, they just need to leave politics behind.

It’s definitely going to upset critics, but as the American people have learned, their opinion is worth next to nothing now. “The Terminal List” is another show that proves they have no real bearing on whether or not an audience will flock to watch it.

(READ: Professional Movie Critics are Useless)

I wholeheartedly recommend “The Terminal List” which I see as one of the first shows ushering in a post-woke era of entertainment.



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