Parents' Guide to

The Punisher

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Intense, brutal violence and language in dark drama.

TV Netflix Drama 2017
The Punisher Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 17 parent reviews

age 11+

Great show. Suitable for teens

The show was, in my opinion underrated and under promoted. It should’ve been a higher grossing tv show. The characters were dark and enigmatic. The settings were awesome. Overall great show. Violence is blown way out of proportion by critics and over protective prissy mothers. I watched this with my 12 and 16 yo boys and they loved it. If I’d had an 11 yo I would have let them watch it
age 18+

Great show… for ADULTS who can handle extreme violence.

It’s pretty sad to see so many ratings on here saying parents are letting their young kids watch this. This is an adult show with graphic violence throughout every episode. The violence is over the top, showing faces beaten so repeatedly that their face structure actually changes… every detail shown. Loads of brutal shootings, stabbings, beatings and broken bones in which details are shown close up. Someone has the skin on their face brutally scraped with glass, several torture scenes, eye gouging, stomping continuously on faces. Kids have zero need to see this level of violence. No wonder we have some of the problems we do today. I watch a lot of violent shows… Vikings, war movies, zombies and other gory shows, but this made me look away several times. Please let kids be kids. They can choose to watch this kind of violence on their own when they’re adults. I personally don’t care much about “adult” language, but there was a lot in this series. 3 or 4 sex scenes that I can recall. One that’s a bit more than the others and shows mild nudity. Additionally there are many themes are adult in nature including severe war PTSD and support group discussions, and grief after death causing violent mental illness.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (17 ):
Kids say (36 ):

The presence of the magnetic Jon Bernthal elevates this Marvel series, but it has so many familiar beats that the whole proceeding feels stale. Frank is a man with nothing to lose, galvanized into great (and often brutal) efforts to root out crime by his lost and broken heart. Comic book fans even have a word to describe female characters who are dispatched in gruesome ways to give a male character motivation: "fridged." It refers to the tendency of comic book girlfriends and wives to end up murdered and stuffed into a refrigerator for their superhero men to find, all the better to make him come after the perpetrator with a mortal vengeance. It's both regressive and disappointing that The Punisher chose to fridge Frank's family -- and though a revenge fantasy may have flown just fine for another generation of fans, to modern viewers it's not quite the thing.

Viewers who can get past that bit of murky morality will enjoy Bernthal as Punisher: growling at baddies in his hoodie in a convincingly feral way, and showing up at VFW counseling sessions to absorb some positivity from an old army buddy (Jason R. Moore). Other side characters also have a little crackle: Ebon Moss-Bachrach as a wormy junior detective, picking away at the same conspiracy as Frank with conflicted agent Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah). You've seen this sort of "big bads with big bad plans" setup before, but the actors make it compelling enough, if the violence and mixed messages don't turn you off. If parents allow teens to watch, they may want to ask a few pointed questions about the show's violence and what it means: Is the Punisher a hero? If this is a hero, what does a villain look like?

TV Details

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