Casting JonBenet

Casting JonBenet
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Twenty years after the modern world's most notorious child murder, the legacy of the crime and its impact are explored.

Title:Casting JonBenet
Release Date:April 28, 2017
Runtime:
Genres:Documentary
Production Co.:Forensic Films, Meridian Productions, Symbolic Entertainment
Production Countries:United States of America
Director:Kitty Green
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:reenactment

Casting JonBenet Reviews

  • Drek
    by Jeremy Stulberg on 1 May 2017

    12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

    I never review films on IMDb, but I had a particularly strong reaction to this one. It started out as an intriguing concept, and I was very impressed with the creative vision of the film, which seemed like it could add a new layer of commentary to a tired, old story...That impression lasted for about 10 minutes. After that, the film very quickly devolved into a one-note gimmick, which somehow managed to be disturbing, ghoulish and often boring at the same time. Ultimately, I was left with a hollow feeling of numbness about this murder, as well as the non-professional actors profiled. The film felt so craven in its blatant exploitation of the crime (as well as the interviewees). It was downright grotesque if you give more than a passing thought to the fact that it's all based upon a child's murder...one that has been examined ad nauseam over the course of the past 20 years. In the end this film felt like more of an exercise, or an experiment gone awry. It had no heart, or center. It was utterly empty.

  • No new insight, just gossiping neighbours profiting from the murder of a child
    by rorymorris1 on 29 April 2017

    16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

    The murder of a little girl is now entertainment..

    The show is basically the local community surrounding the home of JonBenet pretending to be the parents of the child who was murdered!! Its absolutely absurd and completely disrespectful to the childs memory. Just because they live in the locality it gives them the right to project their opinion on the thoughts and emotional state of JonBonet and her family? Its quite clear the producers were just clutching for ANY way to profit from this little girls death and this was the result. Its speculative , offers no new information and only diminishes the reality of what happened by turning into entertainment . Its a wonder there wasn't a soft drink advert half way through . Absolutely disgusting

  • Difficult to follow
    by enunezjr on 10 May 2017

    5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

    It's a bunch of aspiring actors with recollections of JonBenet's murder. The facts, though there, are difficult to decipher, especially to someone who isn't well versed on the facts of the case. I was hoping to learn about the case and what happened, guess I'll have to go elsewhere.

  • Less to do with casting, more to do with public opinion
    by Shenoa77 on 28 April 2017

    11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

    Fascinating performances by Colorado local actors. Who would have thought this state garnered so much talent. I was memorized by personal stories told by Hack Hyland, Suzanne Yazzi, Kit Thompson and Ronda Belser. This film is less to do with JonBenet and more to do with human emotions.

  • A unique, uncomfortable, but utterly compelling documentary
    by themikeman-65866 on 29 April 2017

    13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

    This is not your average true crime documentary at but boy is it a good one! The recollections from the locals is very haunting as well as their own personal experiences and how it connects to the murders. There are uncomfortable parts but that just makes it more compelling and emotional.

  • Nonsense
    by catnymph2006 on 7 May 2017

    4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

    This is nothing but a compilation of opinions from wannabe actors, sheds no light on anything whatsoever, did not even pull any emotion from me for the tragedy of this poor child's murder. Some conservative opinions, some wildly out there, no basis in fact for most of those opinions. Don't see the point of hearing some boring people tell me what they think happened. I stopped watching after one particular woman had a crazy but detailed idea of how she thought it could happen involving Patsy waking and finding something going on then reacting but it going terribly awry. Just total conjecture and wild imagination at some points.

  • Stupid. Absurd. Exploitative. AVOID! (0/10)
    by Rasmus Holmen on 30 April 2017

    11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

    I love Netflix, and I love a lot of their original productions. They have produced so much incredible content, in such a short amount of time. So when I sat down to watch this "documentary", I was expecting a quality film.

    While there's been a slew of new documentaries about the JonBenét murder lately, recycling a case that hasn't evolved much in years, I thought "hey, it's Netflix, I'm sure it's good". It turns out that you have to take the title very literally. This film is entirely about Colorado locals who go through what must have been a parody of what a casting for a real documentary about JonBenét (using crazy people instead of real actors) could have looked like.

    Indeed, you see a number of different people auditioning for a handful of the principals, such as the real-life John and Patsy, the brother Burke and various others. Most of the time, these "actors" talk about themselves and not about anything related to the Ramseys or the murder case. One disgusting guy describes bondage involving breasts, another explains how a handwriting expert identified an injury to her ankle based on what her writing looked like.

    The "documentary" offers no new information or insight into the case - instead it replays various moments and occasionally far-fetched theories. One such theory revolves around the nine-year old brother smashing her sister's skull with a hammer - this is dramatically re- created with kids pounding a watermelon with said hammer.

    The subject of JonBenét's bed-wetting is also brought up - for what reason I'm unsure.

    While it's entirely possible that the real-life Ramsey family is not entirely innocent in what happened, it's absolutely disgusting that they are subjected to this garbage film. I'm not sure I can see the art in joking about the brutal death of a six-year old, especially in such a gratuitous and ridiculous way.

    I'm sure the "documentary" is meant to be a commentary on how the media, reality TV, social media etc. in this day and age is used to promulgate scandal, sex and murder in a blase fashion. This inane "documentary" does nothing to halt this trend - in fact, it does the opposite.

  • Fascinating film on the human condition
    by timothyongb on 4 May 2017

    3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

    A brief look at the IMDb reviews put up there and one will be able to find a lot of hate for this movie. They say: there are no new insights to the case, basically a bunch of random strangers gossiping about and dramatizing the death of a child. This film is all of that, and because of that, it is great.

    I came into the film not knowing a single thing about the case. (I've yet to reach twenty and I do not live in the west) And it is through this film, through these gossips by these strangers that I have managed to piece together a vague sense of what the case is all about.

    But this understanding of mine that I received on what happened to the child is a dramatized and subjective rendition of the proceedings.The people interviewed are your regular Tom and Jane on the street. The answers they share are less of an expert's and more of the opinion being spread out on the streets, what the people believe. The subjects feel very assured of what they believe, which theory they believe. Their answers to the questions are filled with the passion of a group of people sharing their ideas on the case. They draw from their personal experiences and from their subjective ideas. Many of the interviewees personalize the case too much and as such it is definitely not something to be taken as the truth.

    Though this leads to some extremely fascinating scenes where the interviewees appear to be relating and perhaps even sympathizing with the proposed perpetrator in their theories of the case. Further more the fact that these interviewees are actually auditioning to be acting as the people they talk about serves to further blur the identities between the 'perpetrator' and the regular human being. Perhaps we all have the potential commit an act or play a part in something so horrifying. After all, we are all human. We make mistakes.

    In this respect, the film reminds me of the great documentary 'The Act of Killing' where the lines between the identity of fiction and reality, history are blurred. Of course 'Casting JonBenet' does not solely focus on the blurring of identity and the aspects of human nature, but there are moments where the tragic loss of the child can be felt from through the subjects, how they felt about it, how they can relate to the death. A little superficial perhaps, but it does not feel sentimental as many conventional documentaries would have done if they were in the shoes of such a topic. It feels earnest and real.

    This movie is not the typical documentary typically known to the mainstream, it's goal is less focused on delivering information to the public in an entertaining manner but rather, just as some of the best documentaries do, it focuses on exploring the human condition. This film is less about the case of Jonbenet but more about the normal person's interpretation, reaction and their personal bits of introspection regarding the tragic incident.

    The film certainly is not without faults, there are plenty. But my main complaint would be that the reaches not much of a conclusion and the montage near the end emphasizes a little too much on the film's concept and ends up feeling more manufactured than earnest and emotional.

  • Just Terrible
    by stylynn10 on 2 May 2017

    7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

    An awful movie that turns the death of a child into "entertainment" and for what purpose? Don't hope to learn anything new here; there is nothing but speculation and bad acting. The "film" managed to trivialize the life and death of this little girl and somehow, people found it to be profound. Um, seriously? Instead of making this movie, the film makers should have donated the money to an organization that helps children. Shame on Netflix for even posting this garbage.

  • meta-film done right
    by reid-hawk on 10 May 2017

    1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

    Out of the recent trend of documentaries of actual films that portray real stories, which are not as confusing as they sound (like "Katie Plays Christine"), "Casting JonBenet" is the best. I think I should say that before this movie I had never heard of the JonBenet murder and subsequent case; maybe I've been living under a rock or something. I say this due to the fact that it may have enhanced my experience with this film, and that people who are not entering it blindly might not enjoy it as much. After I watched the film I went online to judge the reactions of people, and far and away most general audience members seemed to dismiss this film as garbage. Many people stated that it added no new information to the case or that it was boring. To those people I would say that they missed the point, as pretentious as it sounds. This was a seemingly world famous case, what new information could they provide? What makes movies like "The Thin Blue Line" or "The Jinx" so good is that they actual had some real impact on the world by adding evidence not previously seen. Other movies/miniseries, like "The Imposter" or "Making a Murderer" show us cases that we otherwise never would have heard of. This movie has neither of those luxuries, so instead it does something different. It films the people in the community that Jonbenet Ramsey lived in and tasks them with playing the parts of members of the Ramsey family. All the while, the camera crew is filming these people and gleaning their insight into what they think about the murder. Their opinions range from insightful to off-the- wall batsh*t insane (think movies like "Room 237), and I enjoyed every second of it. Parts of this movie had me and my friends rolling on the floor with laughter due to just how peculiar and funny these characters playing characters really were. Other moments, like the ending montage I wont spoil, had me sitting in silence completely engrossed at what was on screen. Being able to have moments like that within the film make this movie truly special, as well as the first amazing film of the year. My only issue with it is that it lulls at some points towards the final 3rd, but even then it is still a very watchable film. Don't let negative reviews online discourage you from watching this movie. Watch it for yourself and make your own mind up

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