• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 21, 2021
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Rachel Brodsky
    Feb 22, 2021
    100
    What Allen v Farrow proves time and again, though, is that Allen’s alleged behaviour towards Dylan, which is at times captured on video and is repeatedly described as “intense” and “intimate” by eyewitnesses, appeared to be highly consistent with abuse. To actually get at the truth, Allen v Farrow might have benefitted from the impossible: interviews with every last family member.
  2. Reviewed by: Saloni Gajjar
    Feb 19, 2021
    91
    Ultimately, it’s an intriguing docuseries that will interest those invested in the case to reexamine it through the lens of four compelling, often uncomfortable episodes.
  3. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Feb 25, 2021
    90
    Riveting and far-reaching. ... Allen v. Farrow goes beyond the headlines, to explore why it is that we're so reluctant to accept the worst about our pop culture heroes. [1-14 Mar 2021, p.9]
  4. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Feb 19, 2021
    90
    HBO’s powerful four-part series “Allen v. Farrow,” from investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, is a comprehensive, convincing and ultimately devastating documentary that threatens to burn what’s left of his career and legacy to the ground.
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Allen
    Feb 19, 2021
    90
    Despite what some future headlines about this docuseries might say, there is nothing particularly explosive about "Allen v. Farrow," so much as profoundly humanizing.
  6. Reviewed by: Marlow Stern
    Feb 16, 2021
    90
    The new four-part documentary series Allen v. Farrow makes a thoroughly convincing argument that Allen indeed molested his 7-year-old daughter, Dylan Farrow, that fateful day in their Connecticut home.
  7. Reviewed by: Liz Shannon Miller
    Feb 16, 2021
    83
    While it's not the most avant-guard of pieces, that straightforward approach helps elevate the wealth of first-hand materials included, some of which proves genuinely haunting.
  8. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Feb 16, 2021
    83
    Here’s a documentary about a writer-director who’s already been cast aside, showing both how he overcame it once and even more rigorously arguing why he, and others like him, can’t be allowed to do it again. In short, it works. After this documentary, no one should want to hear from Allen for a very, very long time.
  9. Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    Feb 22, 2021
    80
    Seen as a family quilt sewn with cherished home movies and old photos, placed next to recently filmed shots of Farrow sequestered at the family's Connecticut retreat, the series is a devastating tragedy. ... A few production aspects of "Allen v. Farrow" are questionable. ... But you can't deny the reality of the adult Dylan Farrow's uncontrollable shuddering at the memory of her abuse.
  10. Reviewed by: Joel Keller
    Feb 22, 2021
    80
    Allen v. Farrow is a fascinating deep dive into a case that has been all over the news media for almost 30 years now, even if it’s admittedly a one-sided account.
  11. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 19, 2021
    80
    Extensive access to the Farrows makes this an intimate look at that history, while renewing questions about separating art from the artist and Hollywood's embrace of problematic figures.
  12. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Feb 19, 2021
    80
    “Allen v. Farrow” is often most compelling when it focuses on the specificities of the testimony it has elicited — something HBO’s Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland” also did with chilling results. ... The segments featuring critics talking about Allen’s professional obsession with young women in sexual relationships with older men raise more questions than they answer. ... But these are cavils about what is a compassionate portrait of a woman, once a girl, who we only thought we knew.
  13. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Feb 19, 2021
    80
    The breadth of what the series tackles makes it much more compelling and thought-provoking than it would have been as a strict rehash of the Farrow-Allen split. On that more basic level, the doc does a solid job of recontextualizing our understanding of the details surrounding that breakup, as well as Dylan’s relationship with Allen.
  14. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Feb 19, 2021
    80
    What “Allen v. Farrow” does most effectively is illustrate how what happened – or didn’t happen – can make us examine our own preconceived notions. As with the HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” which explored allegations of sexual abuse leveled against the late Michael Jackson, “Allen v Farrow” makes you think about who you believe, what you believe, and why.
  15. Reviewed by: Cassie da Costa
    Feb 17, 2021
    80
    Even as a critic, it feels impossible to consider this series as a piece of art. It’s journalism, because it goes to great lengths to place much-obscured facts at the forefront of a story that has long been told through the lens of P.R. spin.
  16. Reviewed by: Kristen Baldwin
    Feb 19, 2021
    75
    What makes Allen v. Farrow all the more devastating is that it isn't packed with explosive revelations — it just puts all the evidence together and lays it at our feet. At times the series meanders and would have benefitted from a tighter edit.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Feb 19, 2021
    75
    Much of “Allen v. Farrow” serves as an extensive refresher course of a stunning series of events that played out in very public fashion. ... Dylan comes across as someone who is still feeling the after-effects of her childhood trauma and always will — but refuses to let that define her. She’s warm and smart and brave and strong, and we feel such hope for her to have a lovely and complete life with her family.
  18. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Feb 18, 2021
    75
    Bloated or streamlined, unbalanced or “She said, he said,” and even with a “Let culture off the hook” equivocated ending, “Allen v. Farrow” still manages to do what Connecticut and New York justice didn’t. The provable lies we hear Allen tell, the evidence that we either never heard or don’t remember reading about, leave no doubt.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Feb 16, 2021
    75
    Even within its limitations of scope, “Allen v. Farrow” is compellingly argued.
  20. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Feb 19, 2021
    70
    The most compelling aspect of the series is the hard light it shines on the cost of betrayal and infidelity, particularly to children like those in Mia’s family, who watch in pain and anger as the man they looked on as a father figure has his barely concealed fling with Soon-Yi, whom he would later marry.
  21. Reviewed by: Charles Bramesco
    Feb 18, 2021
    60
    In an effort to touch on everything, some sub-topics (separating the art from the artist for Woody fans, the scuttled release of his latest film A Rainy Day in New York) get addressed so glancingly, they’d be best omitted. But however overinflated, the series has a lucid sense of its central image: that of a family ripped in half, with the kids left to choose sides.
  22. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Feb 16, 2021
    60
    It’s a harrowing watch. But there’s a difference between criticizing the survivor and criticizing the project constructed around her — which is important to note, because Dick and Ziering have made choices that don’t always work and built arguments that aren’t as convincing as Dylan’s own words.
  23. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Feb 16, 2021
    60
    If a punishing watch, it is a valuable thing to have as a part of the cultural record, twice over: It allows, at expansive length, Dylan to meaningfully be heard, and not solely about the worst thing that ever happened to her. ... This work is imperfect. One senses in the voices of cultural commentators employed by Dick and Ziering a desire to place a new spin on questions of “separating the art from the artist” and of perceived great men escaping culpability. The series is neither equipped to answer these, nor, at its best, about them.
  24. Reviewed by: Sophie Gilbert
    Feb 23, 2021
    50
    Dylan’s motives are impossible to fault: She tells the filmmakers that she wants to share her experiences again so that others who have endured what she has feel less alone. She deserves to get to do that, and if more exposure brings catharsis, then so be it. But the paradox is that in portraying events so selectively, Allen v. Farrow leaves too much room for yet another public wrangling.
  25. Reviewed by: Andrew Crump
    Feb 19, 2021
    42
    “Allen v. Farrow” justifies itself when all anyone can look at is Dylan, but so frequently undercuts (and even debases) itself, and her, through overbearingly crummy technique.
User Score
3.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 22
  2. Negative: 14 out of 22
  1. Feb 21, 2021
    3
    Three problems: 1) Overly sensational, with suggestive emotional appeals based in speculation, not evidence. 2) Little new information (soThree problems: 1) Overly sensational, with suggestive emotional appeals based in speculation, not evidence. 2) Little new information (so far, one episode in) that is directly incriminating. 3) Extremely one-sided, offering few counter-arguments or explanations from Allen. Let's hope the next three episodes are more nuanced and balanced... Full Review »
  2. Feb 22, 2021
    1
    Yellow press, did expect more from HBO. Of course, Allen is heard only via audiobook from his memoir Apropos Of Nothing which is meant toYellow press, did expect more from HBO. Of course, Allen is heard only via audiobook from his memoir Apropos Of Nothing which is meant to stand in for his side of the story? Well, that' lazy. But again, what about Soon Yi? Why not interview her, or their adopted children? Or Moses Farrow?

    Is it coming in the next episodes? Or what new info is there to beat the dead horse for the 4th time?
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 23, 2021
    1
    http://mosesfarrow.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-son-speaks-out-by-moses-farrow.html