• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 15, 2017
Wormwood Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 53 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Eric Olsen seeks to find the truth behind his father death and its connection to the CIA in this six-part series with real interviews, archival footage and reenactments featuring Peter Sarsgaard, Molly Parker, Christian Camargo, Tim Blake Nelson, Bob Balaban, Jimmi Simpson and Michael Chernus.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense, Documentary
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 14, 2017
    100
    It takes time to absorb, and invites repeated, obsessive watching. ... Mr. Morris presents a powerful historical argument in the guise of a beguiling work of cinematic art--and vice versa.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Dec 13, 2017
    100
    On a purely narrative level, Wormwood is consistently gripping and eye-opening, but what truly elevates it to the realm of greatness is Morris’ boundary-pushing storytelling approach. ... Redefining what a documentary can do and be.
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Dec 14, 2017
    100
    A masterful, thought-provoking six-part documentary series from Errol Morris. And it’s a riveting cold case.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 12, 2017
    80
    It plays out like a dare--go with Morris’ fractured approach and you’ll find a remarkable, protracted psychological profile; binge it in the hopes of a more coherent payoff and you’re in for a mighty letdown. Either way, Wormwood manages to channel the most poignant themes at the root of Morris’ work.
  5. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Dec 14, 2017
    80
    With Wormwood, he [Errol Morris] never promises to wrap up the mystery of Frank Olson’s death in a neat little package. It’s a son’s journey to find closure that makes this absorbing, if not slightly paranoid, series worth your time.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 12, 2017
    80
    As the vice tightens through the elder Olson’s death and the aftermath, both the narrative drama and, even more, the story of the survivors’ quest for the truth accelerate, making the power of Morris’ distinctive approach fully felt; having come this far, it will be hard for viewers to pull themselves away during the second half of this epic.
  7. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jan 26, 2018
    35
    Wormwood, ultimately, is a wildly overblown embarrassment to Morris' reputation.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Dec 19, 2017
    10
    It will be awhile before I forget the closing monologue from the son who has wasted his life trying to prove that the CIA murdered his father.It will be awhile before I forget the closing monologue from the son who has wasted his life trying to prove that the CIA murdered his father. How very, very sad. Expand
  2. Jan 14, 2018
    9
    Conspiracy theory fake documentary about the accumulation of lies and murder that involves CIA all along the Cold War. It´s ressemblance toConspiracy theory fake documentary about the accumulation of lies and murder that involves CIA all along the Cold War. It´s ressemblance to real life is surprising. Expand
  3. Feb 12, 2018
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Something Rotten in the state of Wormwood.
    Six hours later I am left with Macbeth's assessment " full of sound and fury but signifying Nothing!"
    Morris' foray into true crime fails at the most elemental level NO HARD EVIDENCE! Only endless repetition of home movies, excruciating Hamlet monologues, stylised Hollywood Cold War recreations.
    Too long for SO LITTLE.
    SIX EPISODES move from a study of a Father's death to become the twisted torment of an obsessive son who is Hamlet reborn... overreaching metaphor. Remember Me becomes his epitaph and eulogy.
    Morris's visual techniques are at first intriguing and inventive but without plot movement become stale and repetitive to an irritating degree, collages, multiple angles, split screens all hammering the same dull point. These become soporific and you may be excused for dropping into a comatose state.
    Disappointingly the great real life story is submerged in the paranoia and whining expose of Eric Olsen's clear line of deductions from only circumstantial conspiracy scenarios that smack of a Hollywood script from the Cold War and are validated by Morris' gratuitous recreation of Murder by CIA Most Foul! Scenes that have no valid evidence. They are played out Documentary truth when all they ever can be are supposition and joining dots that are so far apart in time they seem plausible. Especially in the claustrophobic mind of this fanatical son who sits in a bare room with a clock that never moves from 2.37 am. Symbolism abounds but it is not conclusive hard evidence. It does capture the tragic waste of a life which has been locked into 1953 and imprisoned in an endless maze of lies, cover ups and colliding theories.
    Ultimately Eric finds a first class expose Journo who makes a conversion to Eric's now Religious Belief in A Conspiracy at the highest level from a deep throat informer BUT his hands are tied. You just want to scream at this arrogant grandstanding journalist "Stop hijacking this story and find your own plot to bastardise!" Utterly Dishonest Documentary style right here. "I may be able to tell the whole story one day" just adds fuel to the sense that we as an audience have been led by the nose to absolutely NOWHERE JUST BY THE VISUAL TRICKERY OF VIRTUAL SCREEN REALITY.
    I had that wholly unsatisfying feeling of empty promises and certainly no closure that came after all those long hours of SERIAL, imbibing every detail on the way to EREHWON. (USE A MIRROR)
    Expand
  4. Dec 30, 2017
    2
    I was hoping this was going to be a slightly fictionalized, fast-paced dramatization, but no, it's a boring - sorry - documentary that playsI was hoping this was going to be a slightly fictionalized, fast-paced dramatization, but no, it's a boring - sorry - documentary that plays out in the '50s and '70s, ugh. Like many books you read, there's just way too much spurious, expository detail included. For me - please get to the point. As such I didn't even make it through ep 1. But see, everyone, EVERYONE knows by now that the federal govt is all about abuse of power instead of governing, that's why there is scandal after scandal after scandal. Now in the early '70s we as a people weren't so jaded yet. But since then we've seen horrible abuses by the DoD, EPA, FBI, CIA, and NSA, as well as the Office of the President with Nixon's Watergate, Reagan's Iran-Contra scandal, and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. So when "Wormwood" is revealing that the CIA did this horrible thing, my response is "tell me something I don't know." It's par for the course. Another decade, another scandal that's made public. Netflix shouldn't have commissioned this, it clearly should've been a PBS documentary. Expand

Related Articles

  1. The Best Miniseries, TV Movies, and Specials of 2017

    The Best Miniseries, TV Movies, and Specials of 2017 Image
    Published: December 26, 2017
    We reveal the 15 highest-scoring limited series, TV movies, and TV specials of the past year.
  2. Fall Film Festival Recap: The Best & Worst of TIFF, Telluride and Venice

    Fall Film Festival Recap: The Best & Worst of TIFF, Telluride and Venice Image
    Published: September 17, 2017
    Get the latest buzz on all of the noteworthy films debuting at the recently concluded Toronto, Venice, and Telluride festivals.
  3. 26 TV Shows to Watch This Fall

    26 TV Shows to Watch This Fall Image
    Published: September 1, 2017
    These are the most promising new and returning shows debuting this fall.