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The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst


What's the old saying, "You can't make this stuff up"? That adage certainly applies here to the true story of a wealthy, eccentric NYC real estate tycoon that leaves a trail of unexplained deaths in his wake.

Brilliantly told over 5 hours, HBO's THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST is one of the most suspenseful, intelligent and riveting true crime documentaries ever made.

Director Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) tracks Durst for a decade, coming to almost like this wildly offbeat, witty but arrogant loner. As you learn about Durst's twisted youth, his wealthy family dynasty and his formative years, you begin to sympathize with him.

But after his wife disappears without a trace and then he is accused of killing and dismembering his neighbor, a very different man emerges. Or does he?

The brilliance of Jarecki's doc is that it has the time to immerse you in the unfolding facts alongside the filmmakers. You never quite know what to believe and real life, in this case, provides more twists and turns than even the wildest Hollywood thriller.

The final 35 minutes is an edge-of-your-seat cat & mouse game between filmmaker and subject that left us with jaws dropped.

Only on HBO could a filmmaker have five hours to tell a story this complicated and intriguing and do it justice.

This is like the greatest Dateline episode ever filmed, mashed up with The Sopranos. Like that series, the title sequence, set to The Eels "Fresh Blood" is a visual/sound feast to kickoff every chapter.

Brilliant, intelligent documentary work at its finest, THE JINX gets an A+.

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