Making a Murderer (2015– )
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The only thing that could have been made a bit better is the episode running-time, sometimes the episodes feel a bit too long.
--9 out of 10 stars--
One thing that sets this series apart from previous shows in this genre (like NPR's Serial) is that the producers never once make an appearance on camera, nor does the viewer ever hear their voices, at least not in a literal sense. Instead, they rely on interviews, court proceedings, news clips, and telephone and video recordings to tell the story, often against the backdrop of the Avery's family compound. In a simple and clean way, the series is beautifully shot. And the story itself... unbelievable. But even the most reasonable, even skeptical viewer will have to grapple with the theories put forward. Theories that would seem a reach at best if it weren't for the overwhelming hard evidence unfolding, on film, right before your eyes.
I started out by saying that it was hard to describe how moving this documentary was, and I actually found myself transitioning through the same emotional states (albeit to a much lesser degree) that the key figures seemed to experience: from shock and disbelief to anger and ultimately to a sense of despair.
To me, what separates television and film that constitutes true "art" from that which is merely entertaining, is that it reveals something perhaps not so obvious but nonetheless true about human nature or the human experience. This easily surpasses that standard, but what makes it particularly chilling is that this is not a carefully constructed fictional plot designed to pull our heart strings. This actually happened. And it happened to real a person. To a real family.
You will find two major types of reviews in here:
1. The skeptic type, based on rational and logical analysis of all the evidence and framings towards Steven Avery and Brenden Dassen making them not guilty (attributing around 10/10 rating).
2. The emotional type, based on irrational and illogical analysis of all the speeches and horror stories the prosecution, the police and the media told the public making them guilty (attributing around 01/10 rating).
This documentary series is constructed to favour the skeptic type (1). However, reality favoured the emotional type (2).
Living the American nightmare, shall them say.
Enjoy this highly unbiased masterpiece.
MaM, ten hours long, is gripping throughout. The story is revealed chronologically, paced so perfectly to leave the viewer gasping at regular intervals, yet never feeling manipulated. But make no mistake: the filmmakers do have an opinion. And by the end of MaM, it is an opinion you will share.
The comparisons to gems like Paradise Lost and The Jinx are inevitable. Up until now, Paradise Lost represented the pinnacle of the genre; MaM tells its story similarly, yet surpasses PL. Where The Jinx, an otherwise excellent documentary, left me with a bad taste, feeling that the truth played second fiddle to its filmmakers' ambitions, MaM never focuses on its creators. The drama is narrated only by the players, the argument made convincingly by historical footage, media and police manipulation made plain not by rhetoric, but by the simple evidence provided by context.
Avery's story, as presented in MaM, is a horrifying story that leaves one infuriated at law enforcement, politicians, and news media. Not generally one for righteous indignation, this was the first series I've ever watched from which I had to take regular breaks out of sheer rage. Avery's story is not a pleasant or uplifting one. But it is as well-told as any I've seen.
I was impressed by the 2 original lawyers in Part 1, but they come across feeble and impenetrable compared to her.
Exploding to see the corruption finally get unfolded- this show has clearly taken the world by storm, and I pray justice and the truth will be brought to light.
The series possesses the hallmark quality of Netflix's original programming:'bingeability'. Once you get a grasp of what it is all about, you just continue on with the flow until the documentary reaches its conclusion.
An important point if you are coming fresh from the similar true crime series, The Jinx, then you might feel that this documentary series doesn't put as much emphasis on flair and reenactments. Instead the approach is based on journalistic substance with a lot of focus being placed on police reports, recordings, court documents etc. However, I found the series intro theme to be hauntingly beautiful. It really gets stuck inside your head.
Like The Thin Blue Line, Murder on a Sunday Morning, and Paradise Lost documentaries before it, the approach is overwhelmingly in favor of the defendant. You feel like you are witnessing a great injustice unfold before your eyes. There is little room for you to argue that Avery is guilty. But with the amount of evidence both substantial and circumstantial presented in Avery's favor, there is certainly little to argue anyway.
In conclusion, I would recommend this documentary to anyone into true crime. It really is well-prepared and worth a watch despite being a tad exhausting due to its length.
Justice is an illusion, held hostage by those with twisted motives and the means to subvert it. Shocking, infuriating. But then again, this is one case which has come to light. Very possible this is a systemic ill within the US justice system, something we subconsciously tend to overlook since the repercussions, were it true, could be so shattering.
I checked out this documentary because it somehow struck a chord with me in some resemblance of True Detective.
Only thing, this is real, which makes it so much more frightening.
I sat through all episodes on end, while rewinding bits to get details I missed.
Had it been fiction, it would have come off as too far out.
Most engaging and chilling piece of documentary I've ever seen bar none.
I'm still shaken and really disturbed.
After binge watching the show in a single night, I decided to follow my satisfaction with research about the film's origin and process. Much to my dismay, I uncovered crucial evidence that was deliberately undisclosed. In order to keep this review concise and factual, I will not elaborate on the method of my findings. Trust me, however, when I say that this evidence is legitimate.
Nevertheless, these are the most important of my discoveries.
1) Steven Avery touched on the horrific memory of when he "accidentally" roasted his family cat in an open fireplace. What he did not disclose, however, is that this was no accident. In fact, he went so far as to douse the poor cat in oil before intentionally setting it alight. This information alone is enough for me to conclude that this man has an innate blood lust.
2) Remember the conversation during the trial in which the prosecutor states that Teresa Halbach was receiving constant calls from a man with whom she was becoming annoyed/frightened? The name of this caller was not revealed in "Making a Murderer," but it would be staggering news to discover that this caller was the one and only Steven Avery. And yes, it was.
3) Teresa Halbach specifically asked not to go to the house of Steven Avery. This is by far the most crucial evidence, as it confirms that Avery is problematic at the least.
The part of "Making a Murderer" that most troubles me is that the filmmakers portray Avery as a magnanimous, almost saintly citizen of Wisconsin. The way they present his case, it is perfectly clear that he is innocent of every charge that is set against him -- yet this is untrue. This false portrayal makes me question the validity of this documentary, and others.
However, with all this being said, our Justice System has countless flaws in its method of convictions and obtaining evidence, and that is undoubtedly true. So as stated earlier, I do believe that this documentary is important, but its reliability could have been improved upon.