Filmed over 10 years, this real-life thriller follows a DNA exoneree who, while exposing police corruption, becomes a suspect in a grisly new crime.
Director: Andrew Davis
Information Page: https://uk.newonnetflix.info/info/80000770
Netflix’s “Making A Murderer” has been making a bit of a stir, which is quite rare really for a documentary. To me, the sign of a good documentary is that it makes you interested in the topic – even if you had no interest in it before. I don’t really have an interest in crime, murder or the American legal system so I’m not even sure why I watched this documentary series – but I did anyway. But did it live up to the hype?
Not so long back I reviewed Netflix’s first feature length film “Beasts of No Nation” and one of my comments was that it was very over-hyped and that perhaps I should have waited until the hype had died down before I watched it. But here I am again, a few weeks after the arrival of “Making A Murderer”, and I’ve sat through nearly 10 hours of documentary…
The series itself is very well produced and tells the story of Steven Avery and some of his family members. In 1985 he was imprisoned for sexual assault and attempted murder although he maintained his innocence. Yes, I know, all convicts maintain their innocence but with advances in DNA testing Steven Avery was exonerated in 2003 having served 18 years as an innocent man.
Avery went on the sue Manitowoc County for a sum of $36 million! Needless to say, this small Wisconsin county wasn’t too pleased with that and Avery was suddenly the chief suspect in a new murder case. The series was filmed over 10 years and at times this shows – older interviews and court footage is grainy and a bit annoying; especially when you have sweeping flyovers of the beautiful North-Eastern American scenery in glorious HD. After a while you do actually get used to that switching of quality and you soon find yourself absorbed in the story.
You start to love and hate certain characters in this story; those who are acting suspiciously or are present during lots of the key points. It’s like watching CSI but then you’re drawn back into reality that these are real people, with real families and lives at stake. The story being told is fascinating and it’s a good eye opener into the American legal system – things like evidence and assumptions being banded around the media before the trial even starts that so heavily influence those following the case.
With no spoken narration, only occasional written narrative, “Making A Murderer” is addictive viewing. Every episode manages to end on a cliffhanger and simply compels you to watch the next. The episodes are around an hour long, although one is just 47min, and I think it won’t take long for you to make up your own mind on the case. As a ‘side-story’ to the documentary we also hear about Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was accused of assisting Avery in the murder.
If you’re reading this then you’ve probably already seen other reviews and commentary about key evidence that wasn’t shown by the defense team but also by the prosecuting team. There are a lot of things that don’t really add up, a lot of ‘coincidences’ and dubious behaviour by the police and state officials. However, there are a lot of things that don’t quite add up with Avery too…
Have you seen this series? Do you agree with the jury’s verdict? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!