Leaving Neverland: Miniseries (2019)

Leaving Neverland

Critics Consensus

Crucial and careful, Leaving Neverland gives empathetic breadth and depth to the complicated afterlife of child sexual abuse as experienced by adult survivors.



Critic Ratings: 92

Audience Score

User Ratings: 0
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Air date: Mar 3, 2019
Air date: Mar 4, 2019

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Critic Reviews for Leaving Neverland Miniseries

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (34)

Reed's careful and methodical style allow us not simply to learn (and learn to recognise) the pedophile's methodology, but to begin to understand the staggering complexity of the relationship of perpetrator to victim.

Mar 13, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The purity is that it begins and ends with survivor testimony, chillingly credible in its details, from Safechuck and Robson.

Mar 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Leaving Neverland's greatest advantage - its focus on the two men's personal testimony - is also its biggest weakness, as no one outside their families is interviewed by the filmmakers to provide a wider context.

Mar 1, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The circumstances surrounding Jackson and his relationships with young boys have always been unclear. But today's climate allows Leaving Neverland to ask questions at length -- and provide some answers.

Mar 1, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

As we're learning more and more with cases of abusive predators, we need to listen more carefully because the abuser often has the power and platform to yell louder. At its best, Leaving Neverland tries to balance the volume.

Mar 1, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Not a particularly imaginative documentary, in that it sticks to a straightforward narrative, and, in its empathetic approach, doesn't bother trying to include views from "the other side."

Feb 28, 2019 | Full Review…

Leaving Neverland is an extremely vital four hours to watch.

May 14, 2019 | Rating: 9.5/10 | Full Review…

I feel bound to honour the complexity, and the compassion, of [the] statement.

May 2, 2019 | Full Review…

A very well put-together documentary that held my attention from beginning to end...despite it's four hour length, I hardly felt it.

Apr 2, 2019 | Rating: A | Full Review…

I hope that parents will watch this film and learn how sex abuse occurs and how predators groom victims and the grown-ups who care for them. And I hope that everyone who sees this film will understand more about the destructive cult of celebrity.

Mar 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Leaving Neverland: Miniseries

  • May 20, 2019
    Incredibly one-sided! Inconsistent, and boring narrative!
  • May 19, 2019
    Starts with a positive story and then the part about the molestation starts. Where the start shows a lot of footage where you do see them together, the molestation stories are just the stories. The interviews are shot like one single interview but the angles and even the background change. It seems some manipulative tricks have been used to support a storyline. Personally I went through a different process than most while watching Leaving Neverland. I watched the first 40 minutes or so and then got boored. Then I finished watching it some days later. So the verifiable positive part in the beginning for the most part stood separate from the rest of the film. Because of this, the first part didn't effect the second part and I came to conclude that I didn't hear any new things. It was more graphic, for sure, but there was no way for me to know why these stories were telling the truth more than the FBI investigation MJ went through. Since many are convinced by this film, I started looking for reviews by others and found a ton of articles and videos talking about the case evidence that contradicts a lot of the claims and some interesting facts that were left out like Wade having dated with two JAckson family members and the fact that the timeline presented by Safe chuck is off by years making him older and way bigger than MJ if the made claims are even true. Another fact is the lawsuit of one of the two of over a billion dollars that apparently was thrown out of court. The only conclusion I could draw in the end was that this film was made with the intent to just tell the story that MJ did these things without researching these stories. I encourage everyone who watches this film to first realize that this is a story about something that was researched by the FBI for over 10 years. Further I encourage people to do some research afterwards. For me it was quite an experience to see the videos on YouTube on the matter where several people interview Brandi and Taj Jackson and made their own review of this movie where they use the court documents from the 2005 trial to make a judgement about the made claims in Leaving Neverland. It's really interesting how this film was able to move so many people to do their own kind of journalism with not claims they just want to believe but actual documents. It's also interesting that the media for a big part wasn't interested in researching how legitimate the claims were.
  • May 18, 2019
    A very one sided untruthful "tale" from proven liars. A sad, sad day for America when we start believing what is presented to us WITHOUT ANY PROOF, especially when it is being leveled against a dead man who cannot defend himself from these LIES!
  • May 15, 2019
    Terrible lies all to get money from jackson estate. Absolute disgrace wade and safechuck should fsce criminal charges for the lies and inaccuracies in this terrible programme.
  • May 13, 2019
    One of the worst films I have ever seen. A malicious and cruel piece of propaganda with no facts presented or any evidence. Just riding the wave of #MeToo while the two accusers are suing the Jacksons Estate for millions. Awful film that every gullible idiot in the world seems to have swallowed. Dan Reed and the two unmentionable pieces of sh*t in this concocted, child porn horror film should be all thrown in jail for obscenity.
  • May 11, 2019
    Difficult to get through but a must watch because it properly exposes the grooming process that facilitates sexual abuse, as well as the psychological damage and complex victim/abuser relationship that deters victims from speaking up.
  • May 10, 2019
    This is not a documentary, this is a woefully inaccurate hit-piece by a couple of people who have changed their story at every occasion looking to make another buck off of the name of Jackson. Legally the accounts here hold no water whatsoever.
  • May 08, 2019
    It's a great documentary and totally worth watching whether you are Jackson's fan or not. Great depiction of how life works - don't sell your soul to the devil (money, fame etc.) because he'll make you pay for it. And if something is too good to be true, it probably is. A lesson to any parent. People who doubt these men's credibility usually ask why they did not come out earlier. The answer is easy. Perception of life changes after you have children. Something that your parents did to you (or didn't do for that matter) seems completely normal until you have kids yourself. The world turns upside down then as you open your eyes. In this case it wasn't just parents that did them wrong, but also a parental figure that they adored during their whole childhood. At their heart all they want now is to fix themselves and help other people. It's not fun for them being scrutinised and discussed the way they are now, but they are doing good.
  • May 01, 2019
    Horrible film of 2 boys fantasizing about a sexual relationship with MJ that never happened. All facts have been proven these 2 have been trying to get money out of MJs estate and failed.
  • Apr 24, 2019
    Michael Jackson's life has always been a mystery and we are finally getting answers. "Leaving Neverland" exposes Jackson for the disturbing and pedophilic actions he carried out on multiple helpless young children. It is a compelling attempt to dethrone the King of Pop. The stories revealed taint Jackson's legacy, delivering the repulsion he deserves. I can confidently say that after watching this movie, listening to Michael Jackson's music will never feel the same again. "Leaving Neverland" focuses on two survivor's testimony against Michael Jackson to effectively disclose the abusive sexual relations Jackson performed on them when they were children. Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two survivors, are now in their thirties opening up about the violations they experienced and why it was so easy for Jackson to get away with it. Michael Jackson used his social power and immature character to take advantage of the boys. At the time, people everywhere idolized Michael Jackson. He released hit after hit, invented dance phenomenons, magnified a contagious energy, and stole the crowd's heart. Who didn't want to meet Michael Jackson? He used his talent to guide the boys and their families right into his control. Jackson made them feel special. He would call their homes, help them financially, invite them on trips, offer them memorability, and more. Mrs.Safechuck stated, "No one can befriend him he has to befriend people...for him wanting to befriend us, oh my god how lucky." The families were starstruck and blindsided by the pop star's fame and riches. It never crossed the parents mind that it was inappropriate that their sons were sleeping and spending time alone with Jackson, for he exhibited a very immature personality. Jackson showed interest in playing with toys, reading books, and other childish activities. The parents and boys thought of him as more of a friends the boys' own age. Jackson even cried when the boys had to leave. Clearly, Jackson experienced a very lonely and disturbing lifestyle. Sexual relations between Jackson and the boys occurred right under the nose of the parents. The kids had no idea what Jackson was doing to them was wrong. Jackson took many measures to make sure he would not get caught. He would convince the boys that it was their way of expressing love for each other, he would make them run drills in getting dressed quickly without making noise, and would tell the boys they would both go to jail if anyone ever found out. The boys were brainwashed and under the control of a monster hiding within this grown man. After watching this documentary, it is clear that the child molestation accusations against Michael Jackson are true. It is astonishing that his fans continue to defend and support Jackson. The documentary consists of four hours of survivor testimony that is so graphic and specific that it is almost impossible to have been made up. Wade reflects, " "To be graphic about it...a full, adult, grown-man-sized penis in my mouth...in a little 7-year-old's mouth." These visuals and the survivors reactions offers strong evidence against Michael Jackson. This documentary exposes Jackson for the lies he fashioned for years. Yet, fans continue to be blinded by their idol. This is also reflected in fan's positions on Michael Jackson's facial reconstruction and skin color transformation. Evidence supports that Jackson modeled his face and bleached his skin to conform to the white race. Scholars iterate that Jackson exhibits an underlying desire to be part of the the white "dominant" racial group. In fact, Quincy Jones, Jackson's music producer even pointed out in a 2009 interview that he did not think Michael wanted to be black. Despite the evidence, crazy fans continue to believe Michael Jackson's lies and are alluded from the truth. Jackson maintains a high moral and humanitarian facade. Neverland acts as an asylum for Jackson's troubling character. "Leaving Neverland" unmasks the monster that Jackson truly is.

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