‘Unbelievable’: Kaitlyn Dever Delivers A Stunning Performance In New Netflix Sexual Assault Drama [Review]

The Playlist | 9/14/2019 | Steven Allison
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Since its earliest venture into true crime, Netflix has hooked viewers on the world’s most perplexing cases. The details of these—from the mysterious fire poker of “The Staircase” fame to the shocking abuse of police power in “Making a Murderer” —have made amateur sleuths of us all. The streaming platform hasn’t quite spanned the entire gamut of crimes as yet, but the latest addition to its whodunit shelf is a step in the right direction.

Netflix’s “Unbelievable” is the first true-crime series to take on sexual assault, an offense associated with vexing stats. For every 1000 rapes in the U.S., only 230 are reported. Of that number, a mere 46 lead to arrest, 9 to prosecution, 5 to conviction, and even less to incarceration. A slew of cases flatline because police believe the victim is lying, so it’s no shock to discover the central victim in this 8-part miniseries finds herself in such a frustrating situation.

Pulitzer - Article - Story - Rape - T

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, and on an episode of “This American Life” podcast, “Unbelievable” tells the sadly plausible true story of Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever), a troubled teen in Lynnwood, Washington, who reports a brutal sexual assault to the police. Understandably traumatized, she muddles some aspects of her story, and under pressure from two pushy male cops, claims she made the whole thing up. No longer seen as trustworthy by anyone, including former foster mom Judith (Elizabeth Marvel), Marie’s life spins out of control in every way possible until she’s eventually charged with filing a false report. Years later, two disparate female detectives in Westminster and Golden, Colorado, find common ground in their dogged quest to track down a serial rapist whose MO is both meticulous...
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