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"Show Me a Hero"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Show Me a Hero" More at IMDbPro »

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28 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

HBO done it again. Great show.

Author: johmil-18374 from Sweden
20 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the first two episodes, and I really liked this show. Its similar to the wire but to me this is more entertaining. Its very realistic but not in a boring way, the tension of the housing project is building up more and more. The good people of Yonkers are not so good when this project is unstoppable. Racism, hate and death threats are all part of what the mayor have to deal with.

Its intense without overdoing it. People are not monsters but they trigger each other into a hateful mob. Its an impossible situation for the newly elect mayor, if he doesn't implement the housing project Yonkers is breaking the law and that will have severe consequences. But if he will continue he will have to deal with the pure hate the people of Yonkers feel for this project.

An interesting slice of history, very well executed with great actors and a director that knows what he is doing.

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26 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Oscar Isaac is incredible in this restrained, effective and realistic drama

Author: Red_Identity from United States
31 August 2015

Just amazing. It's rather understated and procedural many of the times (but nothing unsurprising if one has seen David Simon's TV series). What it does in the six hours is amazing though. Its character development is exquisite, and by the time it's over it feels like it was a run of an actual television series. Of course, it could only be this long, but that doesn't stop me from wishing it WAS a longer series. Oscar Isaac is an amazing actor. I've said it before and I'll say it again, he's doing things not many actors right now are (or even can). The amount of raw talent he has, as well as the amount of warmth he can convey is staggering. That's what makes the end of the series so heartbreaking. I really hope this wins the Miniseries Emmy next year, and that Isaac also takes home the trophy.

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33 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Do not be fooled, this is absolutely brilliant!

Author: nil24 from Denmark
18 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First let me just say, if you enjoyed season 4 and 5 of "The Wire", then you're absolutely going to love this. It has exactly the same raw and authentic feeling to it, but then again it's written and produced by David Simon who incidentally also played a big part in making "The Wire", so that's expected.

Everything from the stellar cast, who include Oscar Isaac, James Belushi and Winona Ryder among others, to the production is great, and the story is extremely captivating. or at least the performance of the actors make it so.

The show is based on true events. Namely the controversial low- income housing project which a federal judge had mandated the city of Yonkers, NY to build, in white middle-class areas in 1987. Do not be fooled by the seemingly dull premise, this is television at its best! The major themes tackle racism and segregation, an extremely relevant issue in the states to this day. It is actually quite appalling to watch the Yonkers city citizens debate on the issue, as it's clear that prejudice and racism are the reasons no one wants low-income housing in their respective districts. In other words, the show puts a very real and ugly face on the still existing racism in America.

It follows Nic Wasicsko (Oscar Isaac), a young member of the city council, who suddenly finds himself elected Mayor in a race he was supposed to have lost (A character quite similar to The Wire's Tommy Carcetti, played by Aidan Gillen). - and his handling of the controversial political issue.

This may sound boring, but it's actually the exact opposite. This is an Emmy material series!

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26 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Compelling and Drama. Brilliant performances

Author: osanders69
21 August 2015

This is a completely compelling and gripping drama that successfully explores an event from all the sides involved. As the story unfolds the viewer gets introduced to what at first seems like a lot of desperate groups of people, the first being the protagonist. We are introduced as the episodes unfold to not only the antagonist but we actually get introduced to the characters who the event actually effects. So for once we get to see how effects of decisions made actually effect the characters lives directly as opposed to them them just being theoretical of just facts or figures. Thats the only way I can describe it without spoilers. Spoilers would not be fair to this great production.

The acting is top notch. Some of the character actors in this production who we've all seen in things in the past actually shine here and do their best work. I guarantee that 20 minutes into the first episode you are hooked. Once you gather who the players are you really get sucked in.

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27 out of 37 people found the following review useful:


Author: npassage from United States
17 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just watched the first two episodes, wow, unbelievable. I think I see where this is going and it's going to be fantastic. Oh dear, it's going to be so great, I can hardly wait. The feel of the thing, the shots in the city offices, people sitting around, the council meetings with people screaming, it so well done, it's scary, seeing those people yelling and screaming raises a lot of political, social issues, what is the right thing. Would I be screaming with them? What would you do? The mayor is pitch perfect, calm, controlled, when will he break? The old lady, what is she going to do next, everything depends on her, absolutely incredible.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:


Author: Jack Kern from New York
8 September 2015

If nothing else, it is worth watching the series for the craftsmanship alone. I can't remember the last time I've seen something this well done. This show just oozes talent, David Simon and Paul Haggis make an excellent pair and do a great job creating a realistic of 80s-90s Yonkers. The acting across the board is also phenomenal, it seems every time I watch Oscar Isaac he is playing a totally different character, truly a talent. The show itself may be a little slow, but is totally fascinating and really keeps you interested with all of the different characters. Show me a Hero is not solely a political drama, thinking it is would be fundamentally misunderstanding the show. It's a show about real people and real politicians, which are both hard to come across.

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Where's Omar?

Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
30 August 2015

Show Me a Hero is a six part mini series that takes six episodes to watch. The reason I say this is because I found myself changing my mind multiple times on what I thought about what I was watching. Unlike the Wire, there is a lack of action and climatic moments. This gave the Wire the suspense element to go along with the drama. Here, all we have is a political drama. Although the casting is perfect and the true reflection of politics is well defined, it lacks the grit that the Wire showcased. Still, both the Wire and Show Me a Hero gave a realistic account of our society. Oscar Isaac gives a perfect performance as Nick Wasicsko. His portrayal of the not so perfect, inexperienced, yet heroic Mayor of Yonkers gives the mini series the meat on the bone. His journey reflects what it means to have courage in a world of cut throat politics. Much of the audience will be on the ropes with this story. I found myself changing my mind about what I felt about Wasicsko, the people living in the projects, members of the city council and the protesters. The mini series does this perfectly as you become a spectator of what Yonkers went through. I feel the producers of the mini series did this for a reason. This alone makes Show Me a Hero worth watching.

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11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Another gripping, necessary series from David Simon and co.

Author: Camoo from United States
13 September 2015

Against the tidal wave of television series released since 'the Wire' first premiered almost ten years ago, Show me a Hero quietly aims for the head and makes very few compromises to its trajectory. A show like this is way more content to jog its way steadily towards the finish line ahead of a pack of exhausted red faced sprinters who run out of steam well before the race is over. It knows that a story this fascinating but also so full of bureaucratic nitty gritty and highbrow social commentary can't start out the gate sprinting - it needs to build, and to grow, and to settle in your heart and your head in order to make its case for greatness. And it has nothing to prove. Much like the Wire and Treme, the payoff will come to those who wait it out, and unfortunately the series will probably suffer (or enjoy, depending on how you look at it) the same fate as those aforementioned shows because of it. A core group of loyal fans will stay with it from day one, and then countless other attention deficit disordered viewers will tune out until after the series has aired will come back to it later and wonder why the hell they waited so long to watch it.

Oscar Isaacs is phenomenal here, I would count this as his best work on anything, television or film or otherwise. He creates a complicated, conflicted character who gradually comes to tragic grips with his role as mayor presiding over a controversial housing development in Yonkers in the 1980's with a subtleness that I'm not sure many other actors would have delivered. Even my description doesn't really pay his character justice, it is never really made clear if he ever did grasp the importance of his political stand when he was in office. I'm not sure that is really the point. The point seems to be more that institutions can tower over men who think they control them, and that they do eventually have the power to affect positive change, in the same way that Simon's previous series showed us that institutions can be cold and inhospitable to anything but failure.

The show has a wonderful cast, and a lot of 'oh wow, I haven't seen that guy in AGES' moments - in roles that often play against type, and give these actors a lot of thoughtful, intelligent dialogue to work with.

And finally Paul Haggis. I haven't been the biggest fan of his work in the past, but paired with David Simon's wonderful naturalistic dialogue the directing feels masterful here, less gritty, more evocative than the Wire but stripped of the over the top melodrama found in Haggis's other work. There's a restraint here that I really appreciate.

I hope those people who might have tuned out after the first episode pick it up again. Show me a Hero is completely worth your full attention.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Television At It's Finest...

Author: MovieHoliks
14 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm just about all the way through this terrific six-episode mini-series off HBO GO, and this is television at it's finest! "Show Me a Hero" is based on the 1999 nonfiction book of the same name by former New York Times writer, Lisa Belkin. The book detailed a white middle-class neighborhood's resistance to a federally-mandated scattered-site public housing development in Yonkers, New York circa late '80s/early '90s, and how these tensions affected the city as a whole.

The show is fueled by the performance of Oscar Isaac as Nick Wasicsko, a former police officer, then Yonkers City Council member running for election to be mayor of Yonkers- eventually the youngest big-city mayor (1987–89) in the nation. This series really shows how that radical loud minority can sometimes rally political and public attention to negative stereotypes and misinformation- all based on unrealistic fears. Hmmm....sounds like what's kinda going on now with this whole "war on terror", ISIS, Iran, the Middle East, etc..???

Isaac's performance as Wasicsko is the heart of the project, but also look for some really good performances from veterans Peter Riegert, James Belushi, Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina, Wynona Ryder, Bob Balaban, "The Walking Dead"'s Jon Bernthal, etc... Also, for Springsteen fans like myself, a total of TWELVE of his tracks (especially the earlier ones) were used in this to represent Wasicsko's mind set!

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Politics and some more

Author: rahulgreenday8 from New Delhi
26 September 2015

Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy. The entire point behind the series is to show the fallibility of modern day's heroes. Nick Wasicsko is a well meaning politician who is much of a hero within his head. Luck changes for him very frequently and most of the time he is on a roller coaster ride. His inability to look beyond himself and giving himself the credit for victories and failures of others proves to be his downfall. The other part of the screenplay is focused upon the larger picture and viability of innovative social engineering and with how much pain and effort it can be achieved. It also shows the dichotomy between justice and popular politics in this scenario. The plot, characters, screenplay are raw and authentic and sort of inspiring. Good job HBO!

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