Parents' Guide to

Making a Murderer

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Compelling crime doc has violent themes, strong language.

Making a Murderer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Fascinating Documentary a MUST Watch!

This is better than the OJ trial. Guilty or innocent? Makes for great conversation and research. Join the conversation and get involved more with your local justice officials. I want to go to Law school after watching.
age 18+

Making a Murderer Review

This documentary takes a very deep, and sometimes dark, look at a case we may never have all of the answers to. It is very well made and produced, and works to be very truthful and balanced when it comes to telling the story of Steven Avery. It’s very obvious that the creators wanted to present all of the facts- good and bad- to allow the viewers to decide what to think without being swayed one way or the other. There are moments of foul language and recounting stories of immorality, but it’s never used as a ploy to get ratings or a reaction. It’s simply a part of this true story. This being said, the creators also do an excellent job at remembering that this is a true story, by showing respect and dignity to the deceased victim and her family, as well as to the man who may or may not be guilty of murdering her. While the documentary can be very dark at times, it leaves you with a sense of hope that the truth will be brought to light and justice will prevail.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (1):

This compelling documentary offers close-up and extremely detailed stories that underscore the flaws of the criminal justice system that affected Stephen Avery. Though the question of his guilt or innocence is a theme, conspiracy theories that surround his crimes and trial cloud the minds of those involved and those of viewers. The roles that social class and economic factors played in his ability to mount a sufficient defense are also highlighted.

It's a complicated narrative, and thanks to the massive amount of recorded footage, records, and interviews introduced throughout, there are moments when it feels heavy and repetitive. The descriptions of violent crimes, evidence of hateful backlash, and the disintegration of the Avery family over a 30-year period is also difficult to navigate. Despite all this, it's very well done and well worth tuning into if it you can handle the subject matter.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate