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72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: Crime After Crime tells the dramatic story of the legal battle to free Debbie Peagler, an incarcerated survivor of domestic violence. Over 26 years in prison could not crush the spirit of this determined African-American woman, despite the wrongs she suffered, first at the hands of a duplicitous boyfriend who beat her and forced her into prostitution, and later by prosecutors who used the threat of the death penalty to corner her into a life behind bars for her connection to the murder of her abuser. Her story takes an unexpected turn two decades later when two rookie land-use attorneys step forward to take her case. Through their perseverance, they bring to light long-lost witnesses, new testimonies from the men who committed the murder, and proof of perjured evidence. Their investigation ultimately attracts global attention to victims of wrongful incarceration and abuse, and becomes a matter of life and death once more. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Katie Walsh
    Apr 6, 2014
    100
    Potash marks time by the year until the last 30 minutes of the film, when the clock intertitles speed up with the many advancements in her situation, building to a breathless finish that will leave the viewer emotionally crushed and yet also hopeful and joyous.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jul 1, 2011
    90
    Recording every success and setback, the wrenching documentary Crime After Crime favors the personal over the political, creating a no-frills portrait of a stoic and remarkably unembittered woman.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jul 8, 2011
    80
    A deeply affecting account of the very real effect of political corruption, but also of resilience and grace.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jun 28, 2011
    75
    It not only makes for riveting cinematic drama (all the more impressive given that it relies so heavily on recounted words rather than illustrated actions), but for first-rate muckraking.
  5. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Jun 28, 2011
    70
    Although helmer Yoav Potash's approach is low-key and only vaguely cinematic, each instance of judicial malfeasance -- and there are many -- is allowed to toll loudly in its own moral echo chamber.
  6. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 28, 2011
    60
    The tale itself is extraordinary, so why not let it do the talking? When Crime After Crime sifts through the facts, we feel the pull of justice; those moments might be enough.
  7. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Jul 2, 2011
    40
    Stylistically dull, Crime After Crime proceeds from one talking-head interview to the next, sticking to sentiment.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Apr 3, 2014
    10
    This gripping independent film provides a rare and intimate look at the legal battle to free someone who has been wronged by the criminal justice system. It's more dramatic and emotionally powerful than anything I've seen in years. I don't want to spoil anything, but it has several significant plot twists, and the people in it are absolutely riveting. The music is great too, much better than most movie music. Expand
  2. Apr 4, 2014
    10
    This movie portrays a heart-wrenching story which is all to familiar to a large percentage of our nation's incarcerated women. The lengths to which this poor woman has to go in order to receive anything resembling justice are appalling, and the condemnation of the criminal "justice" system is impossible to ignore. This story is grippingly and expertly told by filmmaker Yoav Potash. This is not just an issue isolated to one, poor woman and one unfortunately incident: this is a shockingly common story within our prisons, especially among female prisoners (as pointed out by the film). If you've gotten anything out of the social commentary in either the book or screen versions of Orange is the New Black, you should see this movie for the real picture of what's happening every day to our peers in our prisons. Expand
  3. Apr 3, 2014
    10
    With good reason this film received seven standing ovations at Sundance! It's personal, emotional and uncovers shameful things about our legal system. Footage taken within a prison, let alone one of the biggest maximum security women's prisons in the world, is impossible to get so this was a huge coup for the filmmaker. Should be required viewing. Expand
  4. Dsb
    Apr 4, 2014
    10
    Crime after crime Is a interesting splice of life Woven in a tapestry of controversy It follows the struggles of a woman falsely Accused of murder Of her abusive pimp boyfriend With a excellent backstory of two young attorneys trying to get her out of prison I find this will be uplifting and positive Expand
  5. Jul 22, 2011
    9
    Although not the most cinematically adept or professional documentary of the year (and a bit too blatantly manipulative), the story of Debbie Peaglor and her interminable legal battle is so involving and so heart-breaking that it seems to me that only the heartless (ot the terminally chauvinistic) could fail to be moved by the movie. It is a stunning story from both a personal and a legal point of view; and (as in the case of The Last Mountain), it is a tragedy that so few people will see it (unless they tune it later to the Oprah network) and that the major newspapers again sent their 3rd string critics to review it. (The theater at which I saw the movie--the only theater in the area to show it--was playing it only one time per day.) The mix of personalities and backgrounds among the lead "characters" and their obvious affection for each other makes the movie even more compelling. Go see it before it closes (if it hasn't already). Collapse

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