The Central Park Five Reviews

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Joseph Jon Lanthier
Slant Magazine
November 16, 2012

Though relentlessly and admirably logical, the movie constantly glosses over the buried human element.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sarah Boslaugh
December 1, 2012

... a respectable but often tedious film that adds little to what is already well known about this episode

Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
November 21, 2012

"The Central Park Five" ultimately fails to make its case that five teenagers were sent to jail for a crime they didn't commit solely because of institutional racism.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Robert Denerstein
Movie Habit
March 28, 2013

When hysteria trumps innocence

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-
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.

Casey Burchby
Village Voice
Top Critic
November 20, 2012

The central power of the film comes from hearing the accused finally telling their own stories.

Sam Fragoso
Fan The Fire
September 18, 2012

There's no grand epiphany or blinding revelation, just cogent storytelling framing a provocative and devastating incident in American history.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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
Simon Gallagher
Film School Rejects
May 28, 2012

The Central Park Five story is enormously engaging, and the presentation, and in particular the editing of this doc are both very accomplished.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Devin Faraci
Badass Digest
November 20, 2012

A powerful, moving, infuriating experience. Everyone should see this movie.

Christopher Campbell
September 20, 2012

The real story is about how terrible our society is in relation to the terrible problems of the judicial system, not the latter in and of itself.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
December 6, 2012

Involves a detailed reconstruction of how the story broke, was developed and was dramatized by lurid tabloid headlines.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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.

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
December 6, 2012

An unusually good documentary about an outlandish miscarriage of justice.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
November 29, 2012

Watching "The Central Park Five" is a deeply affecting experience.

Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
December 20, 2012

Puts the crime and the times in sharp perspective.

Clay Cane
December 7, 2012

Not only gripping and heartbreaking, but terrifying.

Full Review | Original Score: A
Kirk Honeycutt
November 3, 2012

What the film does best is explain the psychology behind police and prosecurtorial attachment to a false story.

Full Review | Original Score: 7
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