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Capturing the Friedmans Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Not since "Memento" has a movie served up such a provocative mind-bender, and the Sundance winner by first-time filmmaker Andrew Jarecki has the advantage of being true.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    An extraordinary film; it may be the most haunting documentary since ''Crumb.''

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    The more you learn, the more questions you have about life in that Great Neck house. Leo Tolstoy wrote that "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own fashion," but not even he could have invented the Friedmans.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    In the entertainment culture that surrounds us, words like "harrowing," "anguishing," "unfathomable" or "horrifying" don't sell movie tickets. Capturing the Friedmans is all of these things and more.

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Utterly compelling account of a true-life criminal investigation where "truth" can never be pinned down.

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  • See all Capturing the Friedmans reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Captivating and intense. Mature teens+.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film discusses a father and son accused and convicted of many counts of child sexual abuse. The film includes explicit discussion of incest, anal and oral sodomy, and child pornography. There are also intense scenes involving a father committing suicide, heated arguments between family members, and adults recalling childhood sexual abuse.

  • Families can talk about police investigation procedures. Why might Arthur and Jesse Friedman be innocent? Families could also discuss David's reactions to his father's and brother's arrests. Why was he so angry with his mother? Was he right in believing his father and brother without question? Families could also discuss Elaine Friedman's reaction to her husband's and son's arrests. Why was she eager to have her son confess to something he insists that he didn't do? How would you have felt in a similar situation?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The secrets and lies of parents make this a tricky area.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Not an issue

  • sex false5

    Sex: Child pornography, sexual abuse, incest, and sodomy discussed throughout.

  • language false3

    Language: Some profanity.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue