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The result is both exhaustive and exhausting; indeed, it's not until the end of the fourth of the series' eight episodes (each is about 45 minutes long) that the actual trial begins. By then, various revelations about Peterson, ranging from surprising to unsavory to downright sordid, have proved once again that truth really is stranger than fiction. In fact, while the four-month trial is interesting, it doesn't reveal much that we don't already know. Unlike most so-called "reality" programming, The Staircase is the genuine article. That means that it lacks the constant throb of big, dramatic scenes provided by your average TV cop-courtroom show, especially as the series is well over six hours long. Still, although one might easily skip to Episode 8 to learn the outcome, there's more than enough suspense to justify watching every minute of it, and regardless of one's expectations, the announcement of the verdict is a jolting moment. Only two key elements remain unexplained: What went on in the jury room during deliberations? And did Peterson do it, or not? Only he knows, and he ain't talkin'. --Sam Graham
The murder charge shatters Peterson's life and causes his family to choose sides.
The movie allows its cast to create their own portraits, and this character study is as compelling and riveting as any fictional drama.
When I can do it when I already knew the outcome, we go from good to exceptional pretty fast.
Terrible visual production values aded in post have a raunchy 90s TV vibe but only slightly distract from an amazing story, well-told.Published 15 months ago by Joshua Ligairi
Very interesting story and well done. I've seen the Staircase twice and still can't decide if he's guilty or not.Published on February 5, 2013 by Tony A Carpenter
It wa the wrong DVD. I wanted the Staircase with William Peterson. I coudn't undertand why it was so expensive when I ordered it, but realized when it came that it was the wrong... Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by the Mary Lou Pappolla
When Jean-Xavier de Lestrade's comprehensive, problematic, and strangely exhilarating documentary miniseries "The Staircase" premiered on the Sundance Channel in 2004, I sat... Read morePublished on November 28, 2011 by K. Harris
Documentarians follow a sensational trial from start to end and are allowed access to the defense team and their meetings. Several twists and turns occur. Read morePublished on November 24, 2011 by Will O
It's an amazing documentary, you have to keep telling yourself that this is true and not a thriller/drama. Read morePublished on June 24, 2011 by Katherine E. Allen
This is a captivating video. I got this for my wife and we both loved it. We had no idea what the verdict would be and was surprised by all the drama. Read morePublished on December 6, 2010 by Michael L. Sweet
Since I don't care much for Court TV types of television, my expectations for this film were quite low. Read morePublished on September 17, 2009 by Cary B. Barad
I just finished watching "The Staircase" last night. It is a very impressive, highly addictive document that will instantly have its hooks in you from episode 1. Read morePublished on July 14, 2009 by robb0117