• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 23, 2020
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9

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User Reviews

  1. Oct 19, 2020
    6
    Lots of rich material but about twice as long as it needed to be. In essence, it's a bunch of well-off, damaged white people with poor boundaries who allow a second-rate charlatan to manipulate them to horrific extremes. Oh, and one of the subjects filmed everything while it was happening, which certainly puts you right in the midst of the action, but it also comes across as self-indulgentLots of rich material but about twice as long as it needed to be. In essence, it's a bunch of well-off, damaged white people with poor boundaries who allow a second-rate charlatan to manipulate them to horrific extremes. Oh, and one of the subjects filmed everything while it was happening, which certainly puts you right in the midst of the action, but it also comes across as self-indulgent navel-gazing. I'm not sure if a lot of the victims have good insight into why they were hornswoggled. But hey, I stuck around until the end, which is abrupt and incomplete compared to the excruciating marathon viewers had to endure. Expand
  2. Aug 30, 2020
    5
    I'm only two episodes in and I can see what other reviewers are talking about. Vincentes is also very sleazy, and comes off as someonewho married the first woman who would talk to him. It reminds me of a slicker version of other cult docs with the same core group of people; actors or aspiring actors. Why do these people keep falling for these charlatans? I guess its their need for attention.
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Aug 25, 2020
    70
    A humane and engrossing, if occasionally frustrating, HBO docuseries from filmmakers Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
  2. Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    Aug 24, 2020
    80
    Noujaim and Amer could have led "The Vow" with these lurid details. Instead they choose the staider route of depicting how innocent and legitimate this enterprise seemed to its participants – many of them intelligent, driven people attracted to Raniere's and Salzman's illusion of combined genius. Ultimately this approach makes "The Vow" more fascinating and horrifying because it persuasively argues that anyone can fall for influence techniques, including the smartest of us.
  3. Reviewed by: Joel Keller
    Aug 24, 2020
    80
    The fact that Raniere took what could be seen as a calculated, logical, scientific approach to his program fascinates us even more. When you hear him talk, he sounds less like a motivational speaker and more like a college professor or a wonky tech CEO. ... The Vow benefits from access to people like Vicente and Edmondson, plus lots of footage from various NXIVM organizational videos, meetings, and other insightful stuff.