After Innocence


Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18

Critic Reviews

  1. 91
    Powerfully explores the struggles faced by those whom DNA testing has exonerated after years behind bars.
  2. 80
    Jessica Sanders has observed a collection of lives dramatically altered by a flawed legal system.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    A powerfully affecting documentary.
  4. Calm, deliberate and devastating, Jessica Sanders's documentary After Innocence confirms many of the worst fears about weaknesses in the American criminal-justice system.
  5. The moral purity of After Innocence is so overwhelming that it simply leaves you with nothing to say or do. It's kind of beyond criticism.
  6. What emerges from these stories is a picture of the fallibility of the system and the vulnerability of innocent citizens, whom even scientific evidence cannot protect from incompetence, ego and prejudice, and of the courage of the exonerated victims to make meaning of their tragedies.
  7. One of the powerful things about After Innocence is that, no matter what your position on punitive justice, you can't argue with the film's position.
  8. There's also a little something smarmy about the interactions between the lawyers and their clients, all of whom are poor.
  9. In her clear and compelling film, Sanders lets the innocents do the talking.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    After Innocence isn't bravura filmmaking, and it doesn't have to be -- this is one of those documentaries where the subject is compelling enough to do the legwork.
  11. The embittered men make fascinating subjects.
  12. Puts a human face on the failings of the American judicial system and the growing importance of DNA in legal proceedings.
  13. 70
    Rousing, quietly outraged documentary.
  14. 63
    Exploring the lives of several wrongly convicted men exonerated by DNA evidence, the documentary After Innocence makes a reasonable case that compensation is due them.
  15. Though Jessica Sanders' rambling documentary about the damaged lives of wrongfully imprisoned men would have made a better subject for an hour-long "Dateline" special, it's still a powerful indictment of a judicial system too anxious to close cases, and then close ranks when someone tries to reopen them.
  16. 60
    Taylor does her cause no real favors by trotting out only the most articulate, most clearly railroaded exonerees. It should be just as chilling to learn that even the shady get screwed.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. RalphusJ.
    Jan 17, 2006
    Bothered by Barry Scheck's role (he helped get O.J. off), but otherwise this is a nice piece of work.