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Ken Burns: The Central Park Five

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning


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About the Movie

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 69
  • Fresh: 64
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 8.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A careful, thoughtful documentary that meticulously re-creates what happened on that night and details how and why everything went so terribly off-course. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Nov 29, 2012

Fresh: Even as "The Central Park Five" seeks satisfactory answers, it stirs outrage and discouragement all over again. – Christy Lemire, Associated Press, Nov 27, 2012

Fresh: Central Park is at first discomforting, then enraging, then illuminating. – David Denby, New Yorker, Dec 5, 2012

Fresh: An unusually good documentary about an outlandish miscarriage of justice. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Dec 6, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

One of the best documentaries EVER!

I lived in NYC at the time of this crime and can attest to the fear and racism that permeated the city at this time. This documentary captures not only the tragedy of a fatally flawed justice system but also the incendiary nature of the race baiting of politicians, police and media. You can't come away from this documentary without a heart broken for the five young men and their families. The fact that the city has not changed its position towards these young men is criminal. They were exonerated and yet the city refuses to settle the wrongful imprisonment suit. Disgusting!

Hindsight Always 20/20, Time For NY To Settle

Ken Burns' film doesn't attempt to examine the nuances, minutiae, or even important details of the the case as it was understood in the late 80's or how it came to be understood in the 21st Century; that's been done already. This movie is about the personal narratives of 5 teens who were cajoled and prodded with the time honored 'Good Cop/Bad Cop', 'Snitch or be Snitched' interrogation techniques. TCP5's noble purpose is its appeal to NY City: Settle The Lawsuit brought by these 5 who were wronged by a prosecution based on denial of the implausibility of 0-transference of evidence between the victim and defendants. One Last Detail: Trisha Meili never made any accusations against the 5 young Men persecuted for the brutalization she suffered. Not at their trial and not even in her book. The Central Park Jogger has always focused on recovery, forgiveness, and moving forward.

Fascinating film

I'm not going to lie. The repercussions of the things that happen in this film are very disturbing. It makes you wonder, if the police acted in such a way as to coerce them into giving false confessions, maybe they have done so other times... Nash's Equilibrium at work. An excellent example of the prisoner's dilemma, and a great insight into psychological warfare.

Ken Burns: The Central Park Five
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings