• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 3, 2019
Leaving Neverland Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

until day of season premiere
  • Summary: Director Dan Reed's two-part documentary features interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck as well as their families as they discuss how the then two pre-teen boys were befriended by Michael Jackson.
  • Genre(s): Movie/Mini-Series, Documentary, Music
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jan 25, 2019
    90
    “Leaving Neverland” is no thriller, but it’s undeniably a kind of true-life horror movie. You walk out of it shaken, but on some level liberated by its dark exposé. ... The second half of “Leaving Neverland” is mostly devoted to how Robson and Safechuck got in touch with their trauma and began to recover from it, something that only happened after Jackson’s death. It’s an essential part of the story, and part of why this is an important film.
  2. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Jan 25, 2019
    83
    It could probably be an hour shorter if Reed cut back on all those enervating drone shots of the Los Angeles landscape (this is what happens when you’ve got four hours of HBO primetime to fill). And yet, the film is ultimately able to transcend its basic functionality. Not because of how well it conveys these particular accounts, but rather because of how comprehensively it corroborates so many others like them.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 22, 2019
    80
    Leaving Neverland possesses another layer of relevance in methodically tackling the King of Pop, and a musical legacy that has long since been at the very least clouded, and for many, forever tarnished.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Pond
    Feb 1, 2019
    75
    The power of "Leaving Neverland" lies in the faces of the two men telling their stories, and the anguish of mothers trying to measure their own complicity. It’s hard not to see truth in those faces, but no doubt many will continue to resist.
  5. Reviewed by: Danette Chavez
    Feb 22, 2019
    75
    A harrowing watch, the soaring orchestral score from Chad Hobson providing a jarring counterpoint to Robson and Safechuck’s graphic accounts of the abuse they say they suffered from Jackson over several years. ... The documentary maker’s credulity is valiant, but it also prevents Leaving Neverland from achieving the same scope as his other works like Three Days Of Terror (another HBO production) or his Emmy-nominated documentary, Terror In Mumbai.
  6. Reviewed by: Kristen Baldwin
    Feb 21, 2019
    75
    As a documentary in the strictest sense of the word, Leaving Neverland is a failure. As a reckoning, though, it is unforgettable.
  7. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Feb 1, 2019
    70
    The sheer variety and volume of horrifying disclosures made here ... make "Leaving Neverland" both riveting and grueling, impossible to turn away from and the definition of a tough sit.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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