• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 22, 2020
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jul 21, 2020
    88
    Director Sam Hobkinson does a masterful job of weaving previously unheard recordings, new interviews with mob insiders and former investigators, and well-filmed dramatic re-creations to tell a story that never glamorizes these infamous thugs while painting a shocking picture of a crime-infested, corrupt and grimy New York that at times seemed to be teetering on the brink of complete chaos.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 21, 2020
    80
    Where Fear City truly shines is in its finer details, be it the revelation that Lucchese boss Tony “Ducks” Corallo got his nickname from his skill at evading subpoenas and arresting officers, or the way in which the FBI tailed bugged vehicles not only with a monitoring van, but with four separate cars equipped with repeaters that boosted the wiretap’s transmission signal. The result is a real-life cat-and-mouse saga of duplicity, treachery and murder that put an end to the golden age of the New York City mafia
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Jul 22, 2020
    75
    It can be a little dry at times, but it’s an easy watch, a reminder of how dedicated professionals and breakthroughs in technology can change law and order. ... Unlike a lot of Netflix mini-series, I almost felt like “Fear City” could have used another chapter.
  4. Reviewed by: Joel Keller
    Jul 22, 2020
    70
    Fear City: New York Vs. The Mafia may not be the most revealing docuseries, but the interview subjects and the subject matter are still fascinating enough to give this well-worn topic a revisit.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Levin
    Jul 27, 2020
    63
    The series works best as a clinical dissection of how this happened both from a conceptual standpoint in terms of formulating the case and piecing the puzzle together, and from a practical one. ... The documentary feels perilously thin for such a rich subject. "Fear City" would benefit from being longer and more in depth than just three episodes.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 25, 2020
    63
    A slick, engaging, well put-together documentary series that neatly skims the surface of Federal efforts to bring down the Five Families who made up The Commission — the organizers who made “organized crime” a phrase all of America was all too familiar with.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jul 22, 2020
    50
    For those enamored with tales of the mob, Fear City weaves in enough previously unheard audio to marginally justify the three-hour binge. Beyond that, even from someone fascinated by the subject matter, it's tough to deliver a favorable judgment.
  8. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Jul 21, 2020
    50
    With two episodes clocking in at less than 45 minutes and one running longer than an hour, you probably should have done four installments with more depth or a feature-length doc with tighter editing and fewer by-the-numbers talking head segments from Alite and Franzese. Fans of mobster programming probably won't complain.
  9. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Jul 21, 2020
    40
    The series is edited with such impatience that it never lets a moment breathe or makes room for the details that might enliven this umpteenth telling of the tale. The interviews are so chopped that at times it sounds like every word was taken from a different sentence. It’s the rare Netflix series that could actually have benefitted from stretching out over another hour or two. Paring the story down to its cops-and-mobsters essentials robs it of its soul.
  10. Reviewed by: Alissa Wilkinson
    Jul 22, 2020
    30
    Something as pulpy and cinematic as cops chasing criminals should be loaded with juicy stories. Fear City somehow manages to both be far too simplistic and utterly lost in its own weeds. ... There’s a place in the world for uncomplicated nostalgia for the old days. But it should never be as vapid, or dull, as Fear City.
User Score
5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Jul 31, 2020
    5
    Bunch of FBI agents and mobsters, way past their primes jerking each other off. Some interesting footage, audio, and history, but ultimatelyBunch of FBI agents and mobsters, way past their primes jerking each other off. Some interesting footage, audio, and history, but ultimately ruined by a lot of self-congratulation on both sides. The o e guy turned state's evidence. How is he alive? Full Review »
  2. Jul 27, 2020
    6
    I feel like I have seen almost all of this before. Some of the specific stories detailing the exploits of the investigators was enjoyableI feel like I have seen almost all of this before. Some of the specific stories detailing the exploits of the investigators was enjoyable and played out almost like a suspense thriller (even though you know the ending). But how many times do we have to get Micheal Franzese telling the same stories. If you know anything about this era, there isnt much more here. Full Review »
  3. Jul 26, 2020
    6
    Could have been really good seems like maybe they rushed it because something is missing...