As all things do with time, our 5 Movies to Watch This Week series has run its course and is evolving into something slightly different. Instead of simply listing a selection of five movies each week, we're going to start looking at films that are well liked and explore movies that are similar but lesser known.
To get the most out of each and every film you dedicate your time to watching, we also hope to further familiarize our audience with their favorite directors by highlighting said directors' less popular films, etc.
With this week's entry, we've decided to highlight everyone's favorite new Netflix series, Making a Murderer. The first season recounts the story of Steven Avery, a man who was imprisoned for the sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen, and who was later exonerated, only to be subsequently accused and convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach. The series was filmed over the course of 10 years.
Today we'll be looking at six other crime-related films/series – Capturing the Friedmans (2003), The Central Park Five (2012), The Staircase (2004), The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015), Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and The Thin Blue Line (1988).
Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
While filming a documentary about children's birthday party entertainers, filmmaker Andrew Jarecki learned that one of his subjects, professional clown David Friedman, was the son and brother of two men who had been convicted of child sexual abuse in a high-profile 1980s criminal trial.
Using home videos made by the Friedman family before and during the trial, as well as new interviews, Jarecki explores the conflicting stories of the accused, the alleged victims and the investigators.
The Central Park Five (2012)
Filmmakers Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon examine a 1989 case of five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman. After they had spent from six to 13 years in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.
The Staircase (2004)
Directed by filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, The Staircase follows the high-profile murder trial of North Carolina author Michael Peterson, who was arraigned in 2001 for the murder of his wife after her body is discovered lying in a pool of blood on the stairway of the couple's Durham home. As the mystery unravels, de Lestrade's cameras are granted unusual access to Peterson's lawyers, home, and immediate family, resulting in an inside look at a shocking case.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015)
This groundbreaking six-part documentary delves into the strange history of real estate heir Robert Durst, long suspected in the still-unsolved 1982 disappearance of his wife as well as the subsequent murders of family friend Susan Berman and neighbor Morris Black.
The Jinx results from nearly a decade of research by the filmmakers, who expose police files, key witnesses, never-before-seen footage, private prison recordings, and thousands of pages of formerly hidden documents.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
Paradise Lost is directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky about the trials of three teenage boys who came to be known as the West Memphis Three. The three teenagers are accused of the murder and sexual mutilation of three prepubescent boys, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. Although the trial produced virtually no physical evidence connecting the defendants to the crime, the town, the jury, and the police felt they had their killers.
The film was followed by two sequels: Paradise Lost 2: Revelations and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.
The Thin Blue Line (1988)
One night in November 1976, after his car breaks down on a road outside Dallas, Randall Dale Adams accepts a ride from teenager David Harris. Harris is driving a stolen vehicle and, later that night, when Dallas police officer Robert Wood pulls the car over to check its headlights, he is shot and killed. A jury believes Adams is the killer, but Errol Morris' classic documentary explores the role of Harris' perjured testimony, misleading witness accounts and police misconduct in the verdict.
If you liked Making a Murderer, we highly recommend checking out Capturing the Friedmans, The Central Park Five, The Staircase, The Jinx, Paradise Lost and The Thin Blue Line.
Also be sure to check out 10 Movies to Get You Through The Holiday Season and 20 Slasher Films Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know.