Review of the Trayvon Martin docuseries

Review of Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story Rating *** When I first heard about this documentary, I thought that maybe it would be about how the Trayvon Martin story had been manipulated by lawyers, the media, and opinionated talk show hosts into something it wasn’t. I surely didn’t expect the filmmakers to run […]

Two documentary quick takes

I have two excellent documentaries worth your time. First up is Three Identical Strangers directed by Tim Wardle. Rating ***** I got to see this one in the theatre, which I might add was jam packed. This is the story of three identical twins who were separated at birth. Neither the twins nor their adoptive […]

Evil Genius Quick Take

Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist by Trey Borzillieri and director Barbara Schroeder Rating ***** Evil Genius is another well done true crime docuseries. The film revolves around the collar-bomb murder of Pizza deliveryman Brian Wells in Erie, Pennsylvania in 2003. Who was behind the crime, which also involved a bank […]

Wild Wild Country Quick Take

Wild Wild Country directed by Chapman and Maclain Way Rating ***** Here is another documentary series to add to your watch list. This story takes place in the early-to-mid 1980s. I remember hearing about it in the media. My take at the time was that this was another one of those crazy cults with a […]

Everything Nonfiction 2018 Oscar Picks

When most people put out lists like this, they choose films that they think will win or should win. My selections are based solely on which films affected me on an emotional level. Chances are high that my picks will not align with the actual winners. For example, the best picture I saw in 2017 […]

Everything nonfiction docudrama and docuseries guide

Over the last several months I have been able to watch a number of excellent docudramas and docuseries. I wanted to share with you a list of some of the very best multi-episode documentaries and docudramas that are available right now. The six part Waco series on the Paramount network is as good as anything […]

Review of Abacus

Review of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail directed by Steve James Rating ***** If you like David vs. Goliath stories, this documentary is for you. The film starts with two people of Chinese descent watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. The connection between the story told in the documentary and the Frank Capra film […]

Documentary quicktakes

I’ve seen a ton of great documentaries over the past few months. I don’t have time to review them all, but I would like to mention a few of the notable ones I’ve seen. Energy To start things off, I have two documentaries that deal with energy. The first is Al Gore’s sequel to an […]

Review of Vietnam by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Vietnam Ken Burns Lynn Novick Rating ***** I was fortunate to graduate from high school just as the war in Vietnam was winding down. So, while I was keenly aware of what was happening, I was also focused on other things. I now know from watching this excellent historical documentary series just how fortunate I […]

Review of The Kalief Browder Story

Time: The Kalief Browder Story directed by Jenner Furst Rating ***** The Kalief Browder story is an enlightening case study of our broken criminal justice system. Kalief’s story might never have come to light but for one decision made by Kalief – he chose not to take a plea deal. Kalief was sixteen years old […]

Review of the Netflix documentary series The Confession Tapes

The Confession Tapes directed by Kelly Loudenberg Rating ***** As someone who follows and writes about our broken criminal justice system, I found the Netflix documentary series Confession Tapes to be a compelling, unflinching look at the consequences of getting it wrong. Most of the time I learn about wrongful convictions after the fact when […]

Review of Confession Tapes True East

Confession Tapes episode one True East Rating ***** The new Netflix documentary series Confession Tapes is an eye opener for anyone who does not believe in false confessions. The first episode tells the story of Atif Rafy and Sebastian Burns, two young men tricked into confessing and who remain in prison. The filmmakers allow the […]

Review of Betting on Zero

Betting on Zero written and directed by Ted Braun Rating ***** Would you invest in a company that you knew was nothing more than a scam? A company whose victims were people who could least afford to be ripped off? If you or a fund you invest in has holdings in Herbalife (HLF), then you […]

Review of Trapped

Trapped written and directed by Dawn Porter Rating *** 1/2 When it comes to the topic of abortion, I am on the side of pro choice. I don’t believe the government should tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. The documentary Trapped looks at the effects of Republican led efforts to […]

Must see Netflix documentary Icarus

Icarus written and directed by Bryan Fogel Rating ***** Every once in a while a book or film will completely blow me away. This documentary is in that category. The film starts out as an inside look at doping in athletics. Bryan Fogel is a bicyclist who competes in amateur racing. He wants to know […]