Parents' Guide to

Unbelievable

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Powerful, sympathetic drama shows a victim's side.

TV Netflix Drama 2019
Unbelievable Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Egregious blasphemy

I'm pretty tolerant, but once a movie or series uses the Lord's name interspersed with the F-word, I have to walk away. I was 4 episodes into this series when the Toni Collette character bellowed that God could go and F--- himself. This is deeply offensive to any person who cherishes and respects God. I look to Common Sense Media to guide my choices. I think there should be specific mention of instances of extreme and deliberately offensive blasphemy which invariably is directed to the Christian community.
age 18+

Good but beware

Really good show, could not stop. Heartbreaking no one believed Marie the 1st rape victim. Several flashback rape scenes but NOT graphic or I would have stopped watching. A great series that we all should be talking about: rape and sexual assault, how its handled in the justice/criminal system. How guys often get off scott free or slap on the hand. How society views it, how we view the women who have been victimized. How we elect men that have been accused of sexual misconduct, I mean what!? The show states that upwards of 40% of police officers are domestic abusers, sounds high to me but I'd like to think they did their research. So sad....this should be addressed and why these men DO NOT lose their jobs much of the time? Sometimes hard to watch this show but a timely message. Words of caution: these is lots and I mean LOTS of swearing. Dozens of F bombs being the worst, with several profanities and several S*** and other mild stuff. You will also see a full frontal nude man 2x as he is in jail being processed. You also see him nude from behind. Yes you see his penis, from a distance but yeah....it's there however for a few brief moments twice. So yes a gripping story but if you do not like swearing then do not watch this. Also some mild Christianity throughout as one of the detectives is a Christian, I liked this aspect even though she is mocked for it. Oh and she says the F bomb twice. I'm a Christian too and I hate swearing but I prob would have said it a time or two myself if I was on this case.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (10 ):

Fascinating if grim, this sensitive dramatization of a terrible true story is hard to watch, but impossible to look away from. At first, the real story behind this drama is hard to understand -- why would a real victim say her attack never happened? -- but the series makes it powerfully and painfully clear why Marie thought recanting her charges would ultimately be easier. Kaitlyn Dever is achingly sympathetic as Marie, with every emotion visible on her face as she's put through the tortuous aftermath of a rape report: the swabbing, the scraping, the endless recitations of her attack to stone-faced male cops who seem more interested in spotting inconsistencies in her report than in finding areas to investigate. Worse still is the social shaming that follows her recantation, the counselors and former friends who criticize her harshly as tears course down her face.

Marie's story is so awful that it's almost a relief when Unbelievable shifts away from Marie's story and towards the police officers who investigate separate cases eventually linked to Marie's. Watching the pieces of a criminal puzzle fall into place is a familiar arc for anyone who's watched an episode of Law & Order, and Wever and Collette are easy to watch doing their jobs. But if a police procedural was the only place this series was going, it'd be a lot less special. It's hard to see a victim being truly victimized, by a criminal and those who were supposed to protect her. But Marie's appalling experiences aren't even particularly unique, and this searing drama makes it clear exactly why that's so dreadfully wrong.

TV Details

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