A critical look into some true crime cases where American law enforcement made up for lack of actual physical evidence by using devious psychological tactics during interrogation in order to extract confessions from naive suspects.
Making a Murderer documents the true story of Steven Avery, sent to prison under questionable circumstances, exonerated on DNA evidence 18 years later, and accused of murder shortly thereafter under equally questionable circumstances.
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.
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