New This Week
Created by Steven Zaillian (“The Falcon and the Snowman,” “Awakenings,” “Searching For Bobby Fischer,” “Schindler’s List,” “A Civil Action,” “Hannibal,” “American Gangster,” “Moneyball,” “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”) and Richard Price (“Sea of Love,” “Night and the City,” “Mad Dog and Glory,” “Kiss of Death,” “Clockers,” “Ransom,” “Shaft,” “The Wire”), the eight-part limited series “The Night Of” is up there with “The Wire” and “True Detective” as one of HBO’s greatest crime dramas.
It’s about a college kid who meets a gorgeous, troubled young woman, takes the drugs she offers him, has sex with her, and wakes up to find her dead and covered with bloody stab wounds. He doesn’t know what happened, but the night starts him into a long journey through the horrors and indignities of the criminal justice system.
It’s suspenseful, funny and crammed tight with what TV always needs most: great characters.
It stars John Turturro (“Miller’s Crossing,” “Quiz Show,” “The Big Lebowski,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”), Riz Ahmed (“Nightcrawler”), Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire,” “Boardwalk Empire”) and Jeannie Berlin (“The Heartbreak Kid”).
… As a crime drama in the vein of a more sprawling Law & Order or a less philosophical True Detective, The Night Of succeeds wildly. … The triumph of The Night Of is showing us the ways in which incarceration changes a person, changes that will likely continue once he’s freed into a world of very few prospects. …
… vital and gripping. It's not an imitator dressing itself up in the trappings of a classic HBO drama, but the real deal. … a wonderful bridge from HBO's glorious past to its sketchy present. HBO needed another great drama desperately right now; it got one (albeit one with a finite lifespan) courtesy of its greatest star ever.
... tense and exquisite … Mind your armrests when you watch it all unfold; you may clutch them right through the upholstery. …
... There is no easier target than the ill-shaven, dimly lit, perpetually brooding antihero attempting to free himself from troubles which are almost always of his own devising. Which makes the simple beauty and unexpected power of the HBO’s new limited series “The Night Of” even more remarkable. …
... meticulous and mesmerizing. HBO sent me seven episodes, and I was riveted, unable to stop until I’d watched them all, dying to see how it ends. …
... Deliberately paced but never dull, “The Night Of” offers a serialized criminal story that’s more interested in the characters and the criminal justice system’s process than in the crime itself. …
... absorbing and exquisitely constructed. If “The Night Of” makes great use of the procedural template, it does so with one great performance after another, an otherwise profound script, superior direction (mostly by Zaillian, with one episode by James Marsh) and a collective intelligence you will be hard-pressed to find on typical procedurals like “Law & Order.” …
... a remarkable piece of work, restoring meaning to overused adjectives such as “gripping” and “powerful.” It’s a crime procedural that builds tension slowly, and excruciatingly, and it makes its spiky points about this country gently but firmly, at times with sly dark humor. …
... At one point, “The Night Of” might have been groundbreaking. But in the wake of the excellent ABC series “American Crime,” which has walked the same outrage with far more nuances, sophistication and a superior cast, “The Night Of” feels so last decade.…
... As complicated and layered as life itself, The Night Of is an instant classic …
... With relentless precision, The Night Of uses every cinematic tool at its command to convey the dehumanizing aspects of Naz's imprisonment, from the unsettling thrum in the soundtrack to the use of focus and framing to obscure what we normally expect to be clearly shown. … So go slow. This Night is worth it. …
... Great care has been taken in almost every aspect of bringing the former Gandolfini passion project to TV. That care may peak early with a premiere that should be in Emmy consideration at this time next year, but subsequent episodes still hold an elevated, pulpy crime novel feel, dampened only slightly as contrivances begin to settle in. …
... the series is rich with enough detail that you can try to solve the crime on you own — if you can stop hyperventilating for long enough, that is. … Stone is part-Columbo, part-Monk: slightly off-putting, slightly endearing, and much smarter than he lets on. He’s quirky and wry, embodying his physical awkwardness and mental grace with a slight shuffle and a long trenchcoat. … Like “True Detective,” it’s addictive, deeply moving… and, regrettably, populated by men investigating a “loose” woman’s death. “The Night Of” is smarter with its politics in just a few episodes than “True Detective” ever was over two seasons, but it’s hard to not notice that almost all of the characters are tortured men, and that a nameless girl (Sofia Black-D’Elia) had to die to start the story. …
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