Witness : Season 1

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 5, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Nov 2, 2012
    As an immersive experience for viewers who wouldn't think of getting this close to war zones, the Witness films are amazing documents.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Nov 5, 2012
    It's grim but exhilarating: a portrait of an artist chronicling despair.
  3. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Nov 5, 2012
    In Witness we are left with far more questions than answers or even observations....Fortunately, they're all good questions, important and worth asking in any format.
  4. 70
    Juarez, is unfortunately the weakest of the episodes.... Next week's follow-up, Libya--directed by Abdallah Omeish--is in the same vein. But like the other three episodes of Witness, it runs an hour and merges its disparate parts more smoothly.... The third installment, South Sudan, is even better.
  5. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 2, 2012
    Mann and HBO deserve much credit for profiling these extraordinary people. It's just too bad the execution tends to be a little long-winded or not nearly as expansive as it should be.
  6. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Nov 5, 2012
    At the same time [Eros Hoagland is taking pictures], his process is also the subject of a picture--shaped in part by the remarkable work of photographer and cinematographer Jared Moossy, who shoots all four episodes of Witness--a picture that shows both context and effect, the sort of broad view that might emerge from the most specific images.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Nov 2, 2012
    At every turn in this heart-wrenching series of films, we are reminded that these men and women are human, no matter how robotic they may seem as they rapidly snap off shots of death and tears.
  8. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Nov 2, 2012
    The thematic through-line is there, but could have benefited from more focused exploration. Still, there's something to be said for letting the photographers tell their own unvarnished stories, which makes this intermittently powerful series a valuable addition to studies of war journalism.
  9. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Nov 5, 2012
    The half-hour Juarez, on Monday night, is a bracing, at times mesmerizing introduction to the Witness series.... The subsequent films are each an hour long, and while all have powerful material, particularly the South Sudan chapter, they're also more diffuse and more prone to sentimentality about the violence and social disorder the photojournalists bear witness to.
  10. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Nov 20, 2012
    The Witness films are interesting not just for the external drama but the internal stories of the photographers, who try to explain what led them to seek out this thrilling but potentially deadly work.
  11. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Nov 5, 2012
    As impressive as the filmmaking is, the grim material and spare storytelling makes Witness a slog at times--more to be admired for its ambition and unflinching lens, along with the courage of its subjects, than savored or understood.

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