The Central Park Five Reviews

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Eric D. Snider
Twitch
July 27, 2013

It's more like an interesting, in-depth article in The New Yorker than a movie.

Chris Chang
Film Comment Magazine
June 17, 2013

The film, in some ways a primer on the perennial intractability of racial prejudice, clearly intends to be some sort of vindication of its five central figures. It succeeds in the first respect but falls wide of the mark in the second.

Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
May 13, 2013

The filmmakers do a tremendous job of setting the mood and mind-set of New Yorkers in the spring of 1989, when violent crime was rampant and the Big Apple was rotting to the core.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Brian Orndorf
Blu-ray.com
April 26, 2013

Burns and Co. once again nail the complexity of history with traditionally eye-opening results, yet The Central Park Five isn't quite as comprehensive as hoped, capping such profound pain with a few nagging question marks.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
April 17, 2013

It's a vivid and gripping documentary (although, at two hours, somewhat longer than it needs to be), a grave indictment of a city and a system at the breaking point.

Sara Smith
Kansas City Star
April 16, 2013

The Central Park Five takes one of the most sensational crimes of the late 20th century and strips the circus that followed down to its roots. The horrific attack in the woods on that April night 24 years ago was just the beginning.

Brian Tallerico
HollywoodChicago.com
April 16, 2013

The Central Park Five," the second best documentary of 2013, examines the case, placing in perfect context of what was happening in 1989 in NYC and how it led to evil both in Central Park and in the offices of the people trying to keep us safe.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Robert Denerstein
Movie Habit
March 28, 2013

When hysteria trumps innocence

Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
January 10, 2013

Like the "Paradise Lost" films, it's a shocking but clear-eyed portrait of injustice.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Shannon M. Houston
Paste Magazine
January 4, 2013

The Central Park Five is such a moving piece of work, it is difficult to watch at times.

Full Review | Original Score: 8.3/10
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
January 1, 2013

It shows what happens when police and prosecutors abuse their power.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

Expect your blood pressure to rise during The Central Park Five.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
December 21, 2012

The doc is rife with smart or wrenching or shameful moments. The fresh interviews with the accused, now men, are invaluable.

Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
December 20, 2012

Puts the crime and the times in sharp perspective.

Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto
December 20, 2012

Burns and company conduct a thorough, riveting investigation that does a far better job of assessing the tragedy than the justice system did two decades before. Of course, hindsight is an advantage we all take for granted.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Lee Marshall
Screen International
December 17, 2012

It's a gripping story that comes in a well-crafted package.

Kam Williams
AALBC.com
December 16, 2012

A heartbreaking expose' about a rush to judgment which ruined five, innocent young lives.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jennifer Merin
New York Press
December 16, 2012

Exclusive interviews with former heads of Israel's counter terrorism agency reveal insiders' analysis about the country's policies. Fascinating. Frightening.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
December 14, 2012

As grim a portrait of the criminal justice system as can be imagined.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic
December 14, 2012

How could this second crime have occurred? The film asks that question but only partly answers it, and in the process it raises an even more troubling one.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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