The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
When They See Us is superbly made and startling in its invective. That invective is aimed with blistering intensity, not just at a justice system that allowed a miscarriage of justice, but at all of American society.
"When They See Us" is DuVernay's strongest work to date. But what makes it so devastating is its relentless portrayal of a criminal justice system that locks up, scapegoats and brutalizes black and brown American children with ease and enthusiasm.
It is a dense, fast-moving series that examines not just the effects of systemic racism but the effects of all sorts of disenfranchisement (though you could argue they all have that same root cause) on people with the boys' background.
Through the careful ministrations of [ Bradford] Young, [Ava] DuVernay and a superlative case, this is a series that makes previously erased people seen and known. Art has few greater purposes than that.
Seeing the series in the cold shadow of Trump's Presidency, we find ourselves doubly fatigued, watching a nightmare still going on, at a larger scale, while the need for urgent action overwhelms the desire for subtlety.
This is a work that wants viewers to see these people, and the fullness of their humanity, above everything else. What this means is a miniseries that's both profoundly rich and extraordinarily hard to watch.
[DuVernay] sometimes prioritizes the intellectual over the emotional or intentionally leaves big gaps in time and perspective. But her choices never feel haphazard. The material mines profound outrage, and the note-perfect ensemble lends it heart.