World's Most Wanted

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
World's Most Wanted TV Poster Image
True-life international crime docu has violent imagery.

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Positive Messages

Capturing criminals will lead to a sense of justice for those who were harmed as a result of their actions. The series also notes that all of those who are wanted are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

People from law enforcement agencies around the world are committed to finding those responsible for things like terrorist attacks, genocide, and mobster activity. 


Each episode features descriptions of shootings, torture, murder. Photographs and videos show people being hacked with machetes, people with bloody wounds, bloody corpses. Guns, rifles, other weapons shown. Bigoted epithets are audible on recorded evidence. 


Words like "damn," "hell," and similar sometimes audible. Bigoted epithets are audible on recorded evidence. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A drug lord is featured. Drug-related gangster activities are also discussed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that World's Most Wanted is a documentary series about the search for alleged criminals wanted for high crimes around the world. The alleged crimes of people are discussed, and disturbing, violent images of attacks, murders, and bloody wounds and corpses are shown. Drug-related crimes are addressed in some episodes. All of this is offered in context and will likely appeal to true-crime buffs, but it isn't meant for younger viewers. 

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What's the story?

WORLD'S MOST WANTED profiles some of the world's most wanted criminals around the world. The series chronicles the atrocities allegedly committed by individuals like Irish-born Islamic militant Samantha Lewthwaite, aka the "White Widow"; businessperson Félicien Kabuga, who is accused of funding the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda; gangsters like Matteo Messina Denaro and Semion Mogilevich; and Mexican drug lord Mayo Zambada. Interviews with members of government agencies like the DEA, the FBI, France's DGSE, and the U.K.'s MI6 discuss some of the ways that fugitives have been able to elude law enforcement over the years, and the cooperative efforts being made to take them into custody. They also discuss some of the mistakes that have allowed these individuals to remain free. Archival media footage, photographs, documents, and other audiovisual material help round out each narrative. 

Is it any good?

This compelling series spotlights some of the more notorious individuals whose alleged criminal activities have made finding them an international priority. Reinforcing this is the footage of brutal attacks, bloody, mutilated corpses, and interviews with witnesses and survivors of terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, the painstaking efforts to find them are evidenced by the detailed, and sometimes slow, conversations about what has been done. But most of the people profiled here aren't as well known in the United States, which makes their stories feel fresh to U.S. audiences. If you like real-life crime stories, World's Most Wanted is worth tuning into. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the kind of work that goes into locating dangerous criminals around the world. What kinds of things do the law enforcement agents on World's Most Wanted do to find them? Does their job seem as adventurous or exciting as the way it seems on fictional crime shows or movies? 

  • What is the purpose of telling the stories behind some of the world's most dangerous individuals? Is it for entertainment purposes? To justify the efforts of looking for them? Or to raise awareness and seek help from audiences? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

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