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The Recruit Series - Everything You Need To Know

Noah Centineo has had a pretty solid working relationship with the folks at Netflix. After breaking out with "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," he went on to star in "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser" and "The Perfect Date," movies that played up his rom-com image. However, his next Netflix project would take him down a different path, with Centineo starring in the comedic spy thriller series "The Recruit."

The eight-episode show hit Netflix on December 16, 2022, finding Centineo as a CIA lawyer who's in way over his head. "It's different from things that I've done in the past," the actor explained to Moviefone. "It's also different from any spy genre show or film that you've seen before." So what makes this series so unique? Who's involved in the production aside from Centineo? And what do critics and audiences think about the Netflix series? Well, read on for everything you need to know about "The Recruit."

What is the plot of The Recruit?

Netflix describes Noah Centineo's "The Recruit" as a spy-thriller series filled with danger. In it, the "Black Adam" actor stars as Owen Hendricks, a budding CIA lawyer whose life turns upside down during the first week on the job. Centineo's character finds a letter penned by a former CIA asset, who's threatening some serious graymail. Either the agency exonerates her for murdering a truck driver, or she's going to expose the CIA's seedy deeds. 

Naturally, Hendricks is forced to be in the middle of this plot, navigating a web of lies as he seeks to find out the truth behind the CIA and the disavowed asset on a globe-trotting adventure. Can he keep things under control and make his way up the CIA ladder? Or will his first mission bring everything crumbling down around him? As Owen is a character who's probably a bit too cocky and reckless for his own good, we can promise that no matter what happens, there will be plenty of thrills, laughs, and high-stakes action along the way.

Who stars in The Recruit?

At the heart of the Netflix series is Noah Centineo, who stars as the show's lead character. Opposite Centineo's Owen Hendricks is "Guardians of the Galaxy" star Laura Haddock, who plays Max Meladze, the former CIA asset threatening to leak dirt on the agency. Joining Centineo and Haddock for the globe-trotting Netflix series is Fivel Stewart, who was last seen on Netflix's "Atypical" as Brigette Lundy-Paine's girlfriend. "Daredevil" actor Vondie Curtis-Hall, who played Ben Urich on the Netflix-Marvel production, also stars in "The Recruit" as Walter Nyland.

Canadian actor and "Ready or Not" star Kristian Bruun also appears in the series alongside "The Big Bang Theory" actor Aarti Mann. Bruun stars as Janus Ferber, while Mann plays Violet. Fans will remember Mann as Priya Koothrappali, Kunal Nayyar's younger sister in the aforementioned CBS series. "Key & Peele" producer and "Superstore" standout Colton Dunn also joins Centineo on his latest Netflix romp as Lester. Meanwhile, relative newcomer Daniel Quincy Annoh rounds out the cast for "The Recruit" as Terence.

The show's guest stars include "Arrow" actor Byron Mann as Xander, "The Rookie" star Angel Parker as Dawn, and "Law & Order" veteran Linus Roache as Senator Smoot. The character of Amelia is also played by "iZombie's" Kaylah Zander. You can also expect to see Nathan Fillion of "Castle" and "Firefly" fame as the CIA director.

Who was the showrunner for The Recruit?

Alexi Hawley is no stranger to the world of showrunning, as he's the guy in charge of both ABC's "The Rookie" (starring Nathan Fillion) and "The Rookie: Feds." He's also worked on shows like "Castle," "The Following," "State of Affairs," and "Body of Proof." (And yes, his brother is indeed Noah Hawley of "Legion" and "Fargo" fame.)

As for "The Recruit," Hawley really enjoyed the project thanks to the lead character's incompetence, especially in a genre that's usually full of James Bond-level experts. "Every spy adventure you have ever seen is about guys of a certain age [who] are really good at their jobs," Hawley told CBR.com. "To have a kid come in, who doesn't know where the copier is, and put him in these situations where he thinks he knows how to be an action star but doesn't was the fun of the show."

Who directed The Recruit?

The first two episodes of "The Recruit" are directed by Doug Liman. One of the most prolific action directors in Hollywood, Liman is responsible for "The Bourne Identity," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," and "Edge of Tomorrow." In other words, the man knows his stuff. Liman also executive produced the series alongside Noah Centineo. 

The second batch of episodes are helmed by Alex Kalymnios, who's worked on "Once Upon a Time," "Impulse," and "Titans." Following that, Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour — who's previously directed episodes of "The Midnight Club," "In the Dark," and "Black Box" — tackled Episodes 5 and 6. Finally, "Daredevil," "The Boys," and "Impulse" director Julian Holmes handled the last two episodes. As for the writers, showrunner Alexi Hawley penned several episodes, along with George Ghanem ("This Is Us"), Amelia Roper ("The Great"), Hadi Deeb ("See"), Niceole Levy (The Banker"), and Maya Goldsmith ("Pretty Little Liars").

How are critics and audiences responding to The Recruit?

So is "The Recruit" worth your time? Is this tale of espionage and graymail worth the stream? Well, over on Rotten Tomatoes, most critics seem to think the series is pretty okay. At the time of this writing, the show has a 69% approval rating based on 26 reviews. A lot of the praise is directed Centineo's way, with Austin Burke of Flick Fan Nation writing, "Centineo knows when to play it serious but displays the perfect amount of comedy."

On the negative side of things, critics who disliked the series felt it had a pacing problem and was unable to build momentum, with Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com writing, "'The Recruit' is far too amused with its wordiness in sharing the stuff that happens between cubicles at Langley, and it kills what little momentum the series gathers." Fans, however, seem more forgiving, as the Netflix series currently has an 85% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Where to watch The Recruit

If you're a fan of Noah Centineo, then you need to head on over to Netflix. That's where you'll find "The Recruit," along with a ton of other Centineo goodness. There's the "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" series, "The Perfect Date," and "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser." In other words, if you need some Centineo, Netflix has got you covered.

What is The Recruit rated?

While many of Noah Centineo's Netflix offerings are aimed at younger audiences, "The Recruit" is decidedly more adult. The series boasts a TV-MA rating, which means the spy thriller comes with plenty of violence, torture, and F-bombs. After all, it's an action thriller about the CIA — things are going to get a bit intense, even if it's also funny in equal measure.