what is the movie black bird about

From the opening scene to the very end of the six-episode “Black Bird,” Lehane’s dialogue is incisive, and his words bring the entire ensemble to life. Egerton finds the perfect balance between grit and vulnerability. He doesn’t want to talk about child rape and murder; he’s just an opportunistic criminal. Egerton’s portrayal of the emotional toll of having to listen to a monster is reminiscent of Netflix’s superb “Mindhunter,” which appears to have influenced the procedural aspects of McCauley’s story. Kinnear is someone who pushes a little harder than the police, who appear to be too ready to believe that Hall is a serial confessor. His flinty intellectualism fits the character perfectly. Hauser is a bit more of a mixed bag. He portrays Hall with a high-pitched affect that is probably accurate to the real guy but occasionally acts as a crutch or even a distraction. He performs better when he doesn’t give in to Hall’s wide physicality and vocal tics, especially in the fifth episode where Hauser and Egerton are almost in a two-hander. Last but not least is the tragic work done by Liotta, who was genuinely sick on set. He imparts a truth to his worried, terminally ill father that provides an emotional context for everything that occurs on the show.

James Keene, portrayed by Egerton, is the author of the nonfiction book In With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption, which Lehane has adapted. A small-time criminal, Keene is caught with enough drugs and weapons to get ten years in prison; this means he won’t live to see his sick father, Big Jim, a retired police officer (Liotta), pass away. He pays attention when Lauren McCauley, a detective (a superb Sepideh Moafi), approaches him with a suggestion. Keene will be transferred from a minimum-security holding facility to a maximum-security facility for the criminally insane, where he will be surrounded by career sociopaths and murderers. This is an extremely dangerous idea. But it might save lives in addition to resulting in Keene’s release.

“Black Bird” may seem unworthy of attention given its release during a period when true crime is all the rage, but even if you’re not a fan of the genre, this show is still worth watching. It was more reminiscent of deep, character-driven content than many of the current “ripped from the headlines” miniseries, such as “The Night Of.” Despite the fact that everything is so horrifyingly real, it has the weight of some of Lehane’s finest fiction.

“Black Bird” also excels at making the most of its six episodes’ length. These days, most limited series aren’t the ideal length; they’re too frequently written like movie scripts that are shortened to fit the requirements of mini-series format. However, “Black Bird” takes its time to irritate you. Keene is aware that he cannot simply enter jail and begin questioning Hall without any warning, as Hall might betray his hopes of having his appeal granted. He must grow to know him over several days, and “Black Bird’s” structure makes that slow burn authentic, along with Mogwai’s excellent score. The fact that Egerton is constantly present and can read Keene’s anxiety level from a tight jaw or tense look is also very helpful. It’s a great performance.

With one of the greatest limited series of the year so far, Apple TV is keeping up their fantastic 2022 after the success of “Severance,” “Slow Horses,” “Pachinko,” and “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.” The gripping “Black Bird” maintains suspense for six hours while narrating a remarkable true story about a prisoner who was persuaded to associate with a serial killer in order to ensure his continued incarceration. This clever, exciting television show—which tells a story both inside a prison and with the investigators outside—is greatly enhanced by the writing of the legendary Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Shutter Island,” and “Gone Baby Gone”). This show goes beyond the true crime genre to become a character study of a man who is forced to befriend pure evil in order to ensure that it doesn’t escape. “Rocket Man” star Taron Egerton flexes his acting muscles in a way he’s never been allowed to before, Ray Liotta gives a moving final performance, and Greg Kinnear does his best work in years.

If you are a ‘Mindhunter’ fan who has still not gotten over not getting a third season of your favourite show, ‘Black Bird’ can provide some much-needed closure

July 30, 2022 07:27 pm | Updated 07:27 pm IST

what is the movie black bird about

The narrative of Black Bird follows fallen hero James Keene on his journey to atonement and liberation. The six-episode limited series is dramatized to appeal to our senses and is based on a true story.

Like many of its predecessors in the genre, the Apple TV series aims to provide viewers a closer look at the mind of a serial killer. But it’s not seasoned FBI agents who usher us into the “criminally insane” people’s cells.

As a teenager, Taron Egerton’s character James “Jimmy” Keene was destined for greatness as a star football player with scholarships to prestigious universities. That is, until he gets sucked into the world of drugs and guns, which brings all of his dreams crashing down. Little Jimmy falters and goes off course, turning into the archetypal American bad boy who deals drugs, sleeps with women, and keeps guns in his home. Jimmy’s carefree days come to an end when he is discovered in possession of weapons and drugs during a raid on his apartment. He enters a guilty plea to the charges brought against him and receives a ten-year prison sentence.

In exchange for Jimmy moving to a maximum-security prison, where inmates are considered criminally insane, and getting a confession from Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser), an inmate suspected of killing over 14 women whose bodies have not yet been found, FBI agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi) offers Jimmy his freedom. McCauley chooses Jimmy for the position because she thinks his charm, intelligence, and upbringing will help him get along with Hall and get her to confess.

Setting up the scene and choosing the music for the performers to dance to takes about an episode and a half, and even though the plot is being established slowly and monotonously, But persevere because it will all be worthwhile in the end.

In their scenes together, Taron Egerton as James “Jimmy” Keene and Paul Walter Hauser as Larry Hall are captivating. Watching the pair perform is like watching a well-rehearsed ballet because they are so good at feeding off of each other’s energies on screen. Their performances captivate us beyond the confines of their cells; Hauser, in particular, establishes a persistent sense of unease on screen with his body language and the distinct ticks he gives Hall.

Although the show offers several ways to address the patriarchy and misogyny that most serial killers experience, these plot points are merely mentioned in passing. Black Bird makes an effort to capture the intellectual essence of Mindhunter, but it never quite rises to the level of its potential, veering and turning into just another competent thriller.

Additionally, the show ignores the more significant structural problems that American prisons face, such as the industrial-prison complex and the sometimes agonizingly small racial divide that occurs inside prison walls.

Nonetheless, the series’ production is well-executed, featuring quiet tones and clear audio. The colour grading is reminiscent of Fincher’s Mindhunter. Black Bird can offer some much-needed closure if you’re a Mindhunter fan who still can’t get over the fact that your favorite show didn’t receive a third season.

Lastly, the program serves as a worthy sendoff for Ray Liotta, who plays Jimmy’s father Big Jim in the film. Big Jim is a weak elderly man recuperating from a stroke who must face morality and the legacy he leaves in his son. He is a major factor in Jimmy’s battle for freedom. The fact that this was Liotta’s final role adds to the impact of Big Jim’s on-screen reflection.

Black Bird is currently streaming on Apple TV+


What is the story behind the movie Black Bird?

The true story behind Apple TV’s Black Bird is based on the real-life events of Larry Hall, a convicted kidnapper and alleged serial killer who is still alive today.

What was the point of Black Bird?

Black Bird is the story of James Keene, a fallen hero and his path to redemption and freedom.

Is Black Bird worth watching?

This true crime show was truly a great watch! Each one of the episodes keeps your interest triggered. As a big fan of the Netflix show “Mindhunter”, I see some parallels with Black Bird. The FBI, profiling, serial killer and prison environment are all present in both shows.

Who was the serial killer in Black Bird?

Amongst Apple TV+’s latest streak of hit drama TV series is the understated but incredible true story of Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton) and serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser), Black Bird.