Life of Crime: 1984-2020

Life of Crime: 1984-2020 ★★★★½

The first hour of this recaps the utterly gripping previous two installments that many probably didn't see prior to them recently turning up on HBO Max. The second brings us up to date. This is quite possibly the most harrowing documentary I've ever seen. After spending an hour or three or four watching these individuals battle strong and persistent demons over fifteen years or so in and out of jail, the final half-hour somehow packs an emotional punch beyond anything you can imagine. The rawness here is unparalleled. Any discussion you have heard about poverty, inequality, addiction, rehabilitation, desperation, the justice system, and the nature of criminality does not carry the weight and impact of watching these troubled New Jersey souls go through it all with alternate amounts of hope and despair. I'm glad that The Fighter indirectly introduced me to Jon Alpert's unique brand of documentary. This kindred series will haunt me forever.

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