Criminal Record Review
Criminal Record Review Out ( Photo Credit – Apple TV+ )

Criminal Record Review: Star Rating:

Cast: Peter Capaldi, Cush Jumbo, Zoë Wanamaker, and Charlie Creed-Miles

Creator: Paul Rutman

Director: Jim Loach

Streaming On: Apple TV+

Language: English

Runtime: 8 Episodes, Around 1 hour each


Criminal Record Review Out ( Photo Credit – Apple TV+ / YouTube )

Criminal Record Review: What’s It About

There is nothing like a good mystery, and Paul Rutman, who has served as writer of many intense mystery thrillers like Inspector Lewis and Vera, comes around once again with a new show and a new mystery to unveil; this is the case of Criminal Record a new series developed by Rutman that sees two detectives as they work on a case from different angles, one is trying to reveal the truth while the other is trying to suppress it for his selfish reasons, creating a very compelling moral conflict.

Criminal Record Review: Script Analysis

It is very telling that Rutman is a veteran at creating this type of show because from the moment Criminal Record starts, it creates a very compelling situation by introducing several clues, plot lines, and characters who are a complete mystery to us, the audience but who start developing in surprising ways as the series progresses. In this case, the primary situation sees a rookie detective getting somewhere maybe she shouldn’t and realizing that being police and upholding the truth is more complicated than it looks.

Having two detectives working the case from very different angles is a masterstroke of genius, as from the get-go you will know who to root for, which creates an easy way for the audience to get invested in the series. The dialogue is sharp and flows very well; each conversation is filled with information and intentions that work on multiple levels. It is efficient, so the series never gets too wordy, and all the characters have the chance to act instead of just standing around waiting to react to the case unfolding.

Splitting the point of view of two different characters also creates a great dichotomy that allows us to focus on each character separately from each other; these two are not partners, and they are not working with each other, and yet, you can see how every action the other makes influences the actions and thoughts of the other, it is like an exciting and intense game of the cat and the mouse. Also, the show manages to create an outstanding balance between action and investigation.

So, while Criminal Record could be considered a slow-burn, every episode at least has one intense sequence that will have the audience on the edge of their seats. This dynamism in how the plot unfolds might be the best thing about the show, and it will be one of the things that the audience will find most compelling, as it will keep them watching the series every week until the end. Some other slow-burn shows should learn to achieve this balance, as pacing is one of the departments where modern TV series have the most problems.

Criminal Record Review Out ( Photo Credit – Apple TV+ / YouTube )

Criminal Record Review: Star Performance

To create a compelling narrative, you need characters, which need to be played by great actors, and Criminal Record has that precisely for us. The series is split into two points of view, with Cush Jumbo playing June Lenker, our rookie detective. Jumbo is mainly known for playing the role of Lucca Quinn in The Good Wife and The Good Fight, and in Criminal Record, she excels as a main character, someone easy to root for because she is standing for what is right.

Meanwhile, Peter Capaldi plays a more somber and dangerous character with dark secrets and mysterious motivations. Capaldi excels at this type of character, even when we know he also excels at being funny and tender, as we have seen in many of his other roles, like Doctor Who or The Thick of It. Capaldi’s character is hard to root for in contrast to Jumbo’s, but he is the most compelling of the two, and you want to learn more about him than anyone else.

Criminal Record Review: Direction & Music

The series is directed by Jim Loach, son of the great Ken Loach, and having excellent directorial skills is in the family. Jim Loach has worked on many series, Shameless, The Tower, and Hotel Babylon, so he is not a rookie anymore. Still, a complete director, and it shows that Criminal Record really knows how to create atmosphere and how to build stakes properly. Each episode serves as a big build to something greater, which creates a lot of anticipation in the viewer.

The score is acceptable, nothing to write home about, but it fits the series’ tone quite well. When things start becoming frantic, the music accompanies Loach’s images in a perfect dance; although the music pieces won’t be something you will listen to by themselves outside the show, they do the job they need to do. In the end, Criminal Record feels like a complete package, with solid visuals, tight pacing that still allows characters to have the time to be people, and then enough build-up to create powerful payoffs.

Criminal Record Review: Last Words

Criminal Record is a big surprise to start the year off, and it is also a very welcome addition to the Apple TV+ portfolio, which has increasingly become the place to find quality shows, even when it seems no one is really watching them. The actors are on point, the directing is solid, and the mystery is compelling, making the eight-part series a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good mystery or just wants to get into the genre with a bang.

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