• Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 8, 2018
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jun 7, 2018
    100
    It’s a binge-watcher’s dream come true: an absorbing epic that echoes its own subject matter. ... Far more than just a riveting mystery about whether Michael Peterson is a killer, this expanded version of The Staircase is a warts-and-all portrait of the frustrating intricacies of the American judicial system, and the myriad infuriating and exhausting ways in which it inefficiently operates.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Jun 7, 2018
    100
    It’s a must-watch for anyone interested in true crime shows as it’s not only a fascinating case on its own but really the template for so much that’s on television and streaming services today.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Jun 7, 2018
    100
    The Staircase is consistently, understatedly astounding in what it shows us and where Mr. De Lestrade’s camera goes. ... One of the more enigmatic works of documentary ever made.
  4. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jun 7, 2018
    100
    The Staircase, ruminative and humane to the end, remains one of the finest examples of this genre.
  5. Reviewed by: Katie Rife
    Jun 7, 2018
    91
    There are many possible interpretations of what happened the night Kathleen Peterson died, and many different ways to judge the players involved. This ambiguity, the fact that two people can watch the same series and come away with different conclusions, is ultimately to The Staircase’s credit.
  6. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    Jun 11, 2018
    80
    Like a good novel, The Staircase never seems to bore. It does, however, give viewers pause when it comes to the justice system.
  7. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Jun 11, 2018
    80
    In a way, The Staircase is like a true-crime version of the Up series, albeit on a much more modest scale. It is compelling, but like many entries in this genre, not exactly an objective work of journalism.
  8. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Jun 10, 2018
    80
    It’s a gorgeous ending, complete with a post-credits coda.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 54
  2. Negative: 5 out of 54
  1. Jun 12, 2018
    5
    As fascinating as it is {and it really is a fascinating story} the first two episodes were a bit of a slog at times which made me think IAs fascinating as it is {and it really is a fascinating story} the first two episodes were a bit of a slog at times which made me think I lacked the staying power to sit through all THIRTEEN!

    Maybe I should have stuck with it instead of Googling the full story.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 22, 2018
    6
    Highly engaging story, extremely bloated series. The last several episodes, at least, should have been heavily edited and condensed.
  3. Jun 9, 2018
    9
    A fascinating, refreshingly candid look into the lives of the accused and those around him as they craft their legal defense and navigate itsA fascinating, refreshingly candid look into the lives of the accused and those around him as they craft their legal defense and navigate its challenges.

    The filmmakers' access to the Petersons and their legal team allows them to uniquely capture the ongoing humanity of all involved. Although this touches the familiar registers of grief, what makes The Staircase most surprising and effective—not to mention valuable as a case study in social psychology—is how Peterson & Co confront their frustrations and predicaments with a sort of casual aplomb and even macabre humor, apparently no subject too taboo to resist being made light of.

    Most fascinating, however, is that in Peterson family loyalty, as well as the incidental friendships that form through the close relationship with legal counsel—and perhaps also due to the simple mundanity of the legal process itself—we get the impression that several of our main characters are beginning to lose sight of the disturbing facts that, deep inside, they must suspect (or in fact know) to be true.
    Full Review »