Culprits 2023 / A slick remix of heist thrillers, though not without its flaws


Before, then, and now — these are the three points in time that twisty TV heist thriller Culprits zips between. That remixed chronology (the convergent point of which is an audacious £100 million robbery) is both a strength and a stumbling block for the series. While it helps liven things up, it also takes some getting used to, which means the first episode requires more effort than expected as we work to get our bearings. By the time we’re on Culprits’ wavelength, though, the other attractions of the show reveal themselves: an intrigue-infused plot, charismatic characters, and adrenaline-pumping action.

The one constant in this whirlwind is David (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) — or Joe, or Muscle, all names he goes by depending on the timeline. A London-dwelling bodyguard recruited to undertake a mega-heist by shady mastermind Dianne (Gemma Arterton), we actually meet him long after it’s (seemingly) completed. Now living in Washington and sporting a just-passable American accent, he’s a family man who goes by Joe and bears no signs of his criminal past. Piecing together the puzzle of his transformation — and the threats that have somehow followed him across the globe — is Culprits’ greatest pull, one that wouldn’t be possible without its nonlinear storytelling, an initial hurdle that’s worth jumping over.

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