The Recruit review: The thriller that loses its spark

‘The Recruit’ is a series that follows a CIA recruit, Owen Hendricks, as he tries to solve a complex case and learn the ways of the agency. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


When Owen Hendricks, a young lawyer, joins the CIA, he is given the task of sorting graymails and finding the ones that could do actual damage.

He comes across a letter written by a woman named Max Meladze, who is in prison for committing a murder. The letter contains the information that no civilian should possess.

She threatens the agency that she would reveal their secrets to the press, which could jeopardize their agents and missions, if they do not get her out of the prison.

Owen, who still does not know how things work at the agency, keeps making mistakes. However, he has a way of talking people into doing exactly what he wants.

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He lands up in dangerous situations one after the other. He knows he cannot trust Max, but he makes a deal with her; they promise to help each other out.

With his coworkers working against him, Max going behind his back, and powerful men noticing him, Owen must find a way to do his job well without losing himself in the process.


Noah Centineo, who plays the role of the protagonist, Owen, manages to grab the attention of the audience with his charm. He is able to present himself as a rookie almost perfectly. However, he does not leave a long-lasting impact.

Laura Haddock as Max gave an average performance. She failed to express a range of emotions that were attributed to Max’s character; Max had her own vulnerable moments, which Haddock could not express.

The performance of the supporting cast was average at best. However, Angel Parker stood out as Dawn.


The series chose to depict the vulnerable side of the protagonist. Owen was not a hero made of steel, and he was not always unaffected; he puked, cried, and suffered from panic attacks and shocks.

Owen’s character is not the typical hero who wants to save everyone. His character is flawed; he has his own issues that affect his life choices.

The audience gets to see Owen grow. From a naive agent, he grows into a person who knows how to make others do his bidding and who understands that he can only depend on himself.

Some of the strategies depicted in the series are quite interesting to watch. For instance, the way the CIA bends the truth to transform their failure into their accomplishment was fascinating.


The plot sometimes seems too dragged out. In order to make the plot elaborate, at times, it seemed like the writers ended up adding parts that were unnecessary.

Some scenes are very unrealistic. There are times when Owen gets out of a tricky situation or he gets exactly what he needs, and it seems too convenient to the audience. 

Although the flaws in Owens’s character make him interesting, his self-sabotaging behavior can be exasperating.

The series is compelling in the beginning, but after a point, it stops being exciting. It definitely does not keep you on the edge of your seat.


‘The Recruit’ is a dragged-out thriller that is not very thrilling. However, the ending contains the suspense that is missing in the whole series. Viewers who like long series based on intelligence agencies can give it a try. 

The Recruit
The Recruit review: The thriller that loses its spark 1

Director: Doug Liman, Alex Kalymnios, Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr., Julian Holmes

Date Created: 2022-12-17 01:02

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: The Recruit ending explained: Who kidnaps Owen?