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Netflix prepares to drop star-studded true-crime original - and the first reviews are in

Prepare for Benedict Cumberbatch as you've never seen him before

Netflix prepares to drop star-studded true-crime original - and the first reviews are in

Eric has been a long time coming, with Netflix putting a *ahem* monstrous amount of energy into teasing its forthcoming original miniseries.

The streamer's latest true crime mystery is lining up to be a tantalising show for the ages, with the first reviews already rolling in ahead of the first episode launching on the streamer this Thursday (May 30).

A genre-melding crossover that even throws in a handful of laughs for good measure, Eric's premise is centred around the mysterious disappearance of a nine-year-old boy.

Set in 1980s New York, Benedict Cumberbatch plays troubled puppeteer Vincent - the father of missing Eric, and the star of hugely popular children’s television show, Good Day Sunshine.

His character spirals into a dark and conflicted headspace as he struggles to deal with his disappearance, battling substance abuse, among other personal conflicts, as he clashes with Eric's mother Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann).

Written for Netflix by none other than Abi Morgan - the talent behind 2011's Oscar-winning film The Iron Lady and Bafta-nominated film Shame - the foundations are set for a critically acclaimed offering.

But with true crime the flavour of the decade, can the streamer really go wrong?

Recent shots of Cumberbatch dressed as a 7-foot blue monster flooded the internet after the star was papped filming on the streets of NYC last year, with the final cut is as bizarre as the images imply.

"It was one of the most ludicrous things I've ever done - and I've done a few," he told BBC News, adding: "It was fun though - and painfully funny."

Now, the first reviews are starting to roll in on Rotten Tomatoes ahead of this week's release.

Empire describes Eric as "one of the most original Netflix Originals in some time" adding: "Monsters real and imagined are confronted in an ambitious undertaking that successfully balances true-crime realism with child-like awe and wonder. More of this please, Netflix."

And it appears the outlet is not alone, with critics widely praising this truly one-of-a-kind release for its 'out of the box' premise.

The Telegraph awards Eric an impressive four stars, writing: "A lot of dramas fumble around for the right tone. That Eric can explore grief in one moment, then switch to Cumberbatch and his fluffy sidekick dancing away to the strains of Gloria by Laura Branigan, is testament to the talent involved here. It’s inventive, assured and far less weird than you expect."

The Hollywood Reporter heaps less praise, writing: "Amid these lofty ideals, Eric loses sight of the fundamentals. It stretches a feature film’s worth of plot over six languorous hours, draining them of suspense... At times, the city-in-crisis material plays like a ham-fisted attempt to add gravitas to the salacious mystery of a lost boy."

Meanwhile, AV Club writes: "While Eric isn’t perfect, its melancholy, sense of place, and general weirdness make it definitely worth your while."

The Independent awards it three stars, writing: "As a missing-person drama, it is not in the same league as Gone Girl or The Secret in Their Eyes. Yet that is only a thread of what Eric is doing... It is a mystery with a twist, where the twist is more interesting than the mystery."

The Times awards it three stars, writing: "Was it meant as a parody? I’m not sure I could tell. Be assured, though, that Cumberbatch nails it as Vincent. It is worth watching for him; the plot, not quite so much."

The New Statesman writes: "This must be the best thing Morgan has ever done. It’s as if she’s broken free, though from what, I’m not quite sure... Meanwhile, Cumberbatch is flying, all curly hair and conviction. Even the lolloping, energetic, flat-footed way he walks is purest Times Square, circa 1982."