"Suspenseful Family Mystery"
What You Need To Know:
DEFENDING JACOB is incredibly well done. The cast of seasoned actors does a fantastic job evoking emotion and creating suspense. The set and music add to the script’s somber tone. The audience is left with a cliffhanger after each episode, keeping them wondering what really happened to the dead boy. DEFENDING JACOB has a strong humanist worldview where Andy takes matters into his own hands to clear his son’s name, but family, marriage and friendship are extolled. DEFENDING JACOB also contains lots of strong foul language and some violence. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
DEFENDING JACOB is a limited series on Apple+ based on the novel by William Landay. The show follows the Barber family as their son Jacob is accused of murdering his classmate Benjamin Rifkin. The story is told through flashbacks, though they are extremely easy to follow. Present day Andy Barber, Jacob’s father, sits in a courtroom testifying and telling the story through his point of view.
The miniseries starts slowly. Andy (Chris Evans) is the assistant district attorney first as-signed to the murder case of Rifkin. When the police find evidence to charge Jacob with the murder, Andy is relieved from his duty. His wife, Laurie (Michelle Dockery), is also fired from her job, and the family now has nothing to do but prepare for the trial.
Along the way, Andy does all he can to help clear his son’s name. Some could argue that Andy takes matters too much into his own hands as he tries to be of help to Jacob and his lawyer. Twists, turns and secrets are at every corner with each new episode bringing more to light and making the audience question who killed Rifkin.
DEFENDING JACOB is incredibly well done. The cast of seasoned actors does a fantastic job evoking emotion and creating suspense in each episode. The set and the music add to the script’s somber tone. The audience is left with a cliffhanger after each episode, which keeps them wondering what really happened to the dead boy.
DEFENDING JACOB has a strong humanist worldview as Andy takes matters into his own hands for most of the episodes trying to clear his sons name. However, there are moral elements such as family, marriage, friendship, and trusting law enforcement throughout. Although these aspects shine through, the show is marred by foul language and secrets.