When They See Us: Season 1 (2019)

Season 1
When They See Us

Critics Consensus

Ava DuVernay pulls no punches in When They See Us, laying out the harrowing events endured by the Central Park Five while adding a necessary layer of humanity to their story that challenges viewers to reconsider what it means to find justice in America.



Critic Ratings: 63


Audience Score

User Ratings: 26

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Air date: May 31, 2019
Air date: May 31, 2019
Air date: May 31, 2019
Air date: May 31, 2019

When They See Us: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.


Jovan Adepo
as Antron McCray
Reginald L. Barnes
as NYPD Officer Harmon
Asante Blackk
as Young Kevin Richardson
Marsha Stephanie Blake
as Linda McCray
Kylie Bunbury
as Angie Richardson
Chris Chalk
as Yusef Salaam
Jim Cleary
as Corrections Officer
Justin Cunningham
as Kevin Richardson
Omar Dorsey
as Elombre Brath
Aunjanue Ellis
as Sharon Salaam
Vera Farmiga
as Elizabeth Lederer
Caleel Harris
as (Young) Antron McCray
Ethan Herisse
as (Young) Yusef Salaam
Felicity Huffman
as Linda Fairstein
Chris Jackson
as Peter Rivera
Joshua Jackson
as Mickey Joseph
Famke Janssen
as Nancy Ryan
Jharrel Jerome
as Korey Wise
John Leguizamo
as Raymond Santana Sr.
Freddy Miyares
as Raymond Santana
Michael Murphy
as Leader of the Nation of Islam
Niecy Nash
as Delores Wise
Adepero Oduye
as Nomsa Brath
Marquis Rodriguez
as (Young) Raymond Santana
William Sadler
as Michael Sheehan
Blair Underwood
as Bobby Burns
Jasmin Walker
as Nurse Rikers
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News & Interviews for When They See Us: Season 1

Critic Reviews for When They See Us Season 1

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (22)

When They See Us gives voice back to those who aren't always allow to speak.

Jun 21, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

DuVernay makes an effective artistic choice by filming much of this through a blue filter, so that the boys' world is enveloped by a Kafkaesque indigo gloom from which they - and the viewer - can find no escape.

May 31, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

In rendering their journeys, DuVernay pays careful attention to the terrifying power of language, especially the animalistic rhetoric with which prosecutors and journalists referred to the teens.

Jun 3, 2019 | Full Review…

When They See Us achieves quite a lot, asking us all to consider exactly who in America really gets the presumption of innocence when accused of a crime.

Jun 1, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[Ava] DuVernay's direction and writing is clear-eyed and focused, and puts a heavy emphasis on what the boys and their families lost over their decades-long ordeal.

May 31, 2019 | Full Review…

Taken as a whole, there's a lot to recommend When They See Us. It does as much as it can to recast the gaze on Black and brown people, eliciting empathy and the desire for justice.

May 30, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

As television storytelling, it's little short of brilliant. As history, the verdict is less certain.

Jun 24, 2019 | Full Review…

What When They See Us shows best is the cruel myopia of a legal system which would look at five boys and only want to know one thing about them.

Jun 21, 2019 | Full Review…

When They See Us reaffirmed my faith that despite the endless stream of content that Netflix pushes out every week, and despite its plans of world domination, it's also, occasionally, doing the Lord's work.

Jun 19, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's utterly soul-searing, even more so than Ken Burns' acclaimed 2012 documentary about the shameful, revealing case.

Jun 19, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for When They See Us: Season 1

  • 12h ago
    Put me in tears! This movie wasn't just a drama it was in sense a horror story. Five men and families nightmare that the director brought to light! She did such an amazing job and to the REAL men who lived this you men a vessels.

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