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‘OJ: Made in America’ Is a ‘Masterpiece’ and 7 Other Glowing Reviews

ESPN’s ”30 for 30“ documentary series from director Ezra Edelman leaves no ”stone left unturned, no eerie vibe left unfelt,“ one critic says

Hollywood has been on an O.J. Simpson binge this year.

From FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” to ESPN’s new “30 for 30” documentary event series, the 22-year-old murder mystery is still captivating audiences all over the world.

“O.J.: Made in America” doesn’t just focus on Simpson’s alleged murder, but rather the social and political climate of the United States that shaped the football star. It analyzes how the addiction to fame and the negligence of the LAPD all contributed to Simpson’s acquittal in 1995.

“The new five-part documentary by Ezra Edelman finally brings the case back to reality. It may also explain why we’ve spun so many fantasies around Simpson: to avoid looking at the real-life problems that led to the murders and Simpson’s farcical acquittal,” TheWrap’s Tim Molloy wrote. 

The Los Angeles Times even slated it as a possible Oscar winner, saying all prior attempts to tell Simpson’s story pale in comparison.

In short, if there’s any O.J. Simpson documentary you have to watch, it’s this one — all seven hours and 43 minutes of it.

Read seven of the best reviews below:

Ken TuckerYahoo! TV
“When you get through the five-part, nearly eight hours of the new film O.J.: Made in America — and believe me, after you watch the first two hours premiering Saturday night on ABC, you’re going to want to watch the whole thing — you come away both excited and drained. It’s an amazing viewing experience.”

Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
“Ezra Edelman’s stunningly ambitious, eight-hour documentary is a masterpiece, a refined piece of investigative journalism that places the subject it illuminates into the broader context of the end of the 20th century.”

Linda HolmesNPR
“As a work of filmmaking, ‘O.J.: Made In America’ is distinguished by its good judgment. In particular, rather than cover every jot and tittle of the highly theatrical televised trial, it places that trial’s important moments in the context of the pressures that created them and the pressures they, in turn, created.”

Jack Hamilton, Slate
“In many ways I found the last episode of ‘Made in America’ to be the most fascinating and wrenching 90 minutes devoted to everything that’s happened since those not-guilty verdicts were read.”

Verne Gray, Newsday
“Edelman deserves all the plaudits he will get and already got for this film, which screened at Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. ‘Made in America’ absolutely is the book on O.J. and, most remarkable of all, a book consigned to the screen.”

Hank Stuever, The Washington Post
“As for the murder trial itself, and the sensational way that it occupied daily life in wall-to-wall coverage, Edelman again proves himself to be a fair and thorough filmmaker. To dive any deeper into the case, you’d simply have to rewatch every single minute of the trial and read all the transcripts yourself. No stone left unturned, no eerie vibe left unfelt, ‘Made in America’ winds up being all things to all viewers: It works for those who never once doubted O.J.’s guilt, yet it also works for those who still maintain his innocence.”

Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
“There have many attempts to tell the O.J. Simpson story, to explain why, in 1995, what appeared to be an open-and-shut case of domestic violence taken to its fatal and too-often inevitable conclusion turned into the trial of the century and resulted in acquittal. But all pale beside Ezra Edelman’s 7 1/2-hour chronicle of Simpson’s life and times.”

“O.J.: Made in America” premieres Saturday, June 11 on ABC at 9 p.m. ET. Parts 2-5  will show on ESPN Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and next Saturday, June 18, at 9 p.m. ET.

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