Netflix released the three-episode fifth season of Black Mirror this week - but it seems the sci-fi anthology series is running out of steam.

A number of critics have negatively reviewed season five, with one episode, starring Miley Cyrus as a pop star, earning some of the worst reviews for any episode of Black Mirror.

Variety's Daniel D'Addario said two of the episodes were "fine" - but that Cyrus', titled "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too", is "the most majestically wrongheaded installment" of Black Mirror.

Miley Cyrus stars in the fifth season of Black Mirror. Photo / Netflix
Miley Cyrus stars in the fifth season of Black Mirror. Photo / Netflix

"Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too... doesn't just risk Black Mirror's big reputation, but clomps onstage and lights it on fire," he said.

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"So consumed with showing us a future that seems pointless and impossible, this episode falls vastly short of fulfilling the particular potential of its story or doing what Black Mirror does best."

Vulture's Kathryn Van Arendonk agreed that Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too is "muddled and pointless". While she said the three new episodes were "beautifully made and filled with impressive acting", she argued that the stories were "almost universally dumb".

Topher Grace in season five of Black Mirror. Photo / Netflix
Topher Grace in season five of Black Mirror. Photo / Netflix

"In each episode... the problem is that instead of an underlying point powering the story's core, there is almost nothing," she said. "Season five is a mess".

IndieWire's Ben Travers said season five "stretches thin ideas to their breaking point".

"Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones' new episodes of Black Mirror feel like a half-hearted effort," he wrote, adding that Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too is "a mess".

Andrew Scott in season five of Black Mirror. Photo / Netflix
Andrew Scott in season five of Black Mirror. Photo / Netflix

Mashable's Alexis Nedd called the season "surprisingly toothless" - but argued that Cyrus's episode is the best.

"Like the other two episodes in Season 5, it doesn't stick its landing but the liminal space between knowing Miley Cyrus' persona and watching what happens on screen is the closest Season 5 comes to replicating the magic that made previous episodes great," she wrote.

Other critics were kinder. The Guardian's Luca Mangan called the new season "sweet, sadistic and hugely impressive," while Slant Magazine's Michael Haigis praised the way the new season "maintains an empathetic focus on the characters struggling to navigate grim new worlds".

Black Mirror season five is streaming on Netflix now.