I just want to start this review stating that I am a True Crime afficionado. Documentaries, Mini-Series and Movies just gets me excited. I’m not a Sociopath, I swear! Now when you add Mormons to the mix and the Cast de la Casts, there really is nothing more one person could ask. Everything about the first two-thirds of Under the Banner of Heaven feels like a continuation of True Detective, especially in the vein of its Season One. There is so much to uncover and discover throughout this Show that you will not be able to pull yourself away from the screen and will have to watch it all in one swift go.
The Show focuses on Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield) who is a Mormon Detective investigating the grizzly death of Brenda Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones), which causes him to start questioning his faith in his religion. However, the family at the height of this gruesome murder is very anti-government and will do anything to make sure they don’t have to answer to any branch of the government, even if it means finding out who murdered one of their own. Throughout the Show, Ron Lafferty (Sam Worthington),Dianna (Denise Gough), Dan (Wyatt Russell), Allen (Billy Howle), Matilda (Chloe Pirrie), Robin (Seth Numrich), Samuel (Rory Culkin) and Doreen (Megan Leitch) are all butting-heads with the local police department and Jeb, which starts to strain on his wife, Rebecca (Adelaide Clemens).
The Storyline in Under the Banner of Heaven isn’t quite linear, but instead tells three different stories over different timelines (a few years) and these stories intercut with each other – which gets confusing at times. However, the main Storyline of who killed Brenda Lafferty is the most compelling story that shines throughout. Since this is True Crime, and if you read the 2003 Book of the same name, you might already know how this ends, but that never seems to cause issues as every moment is as captivating as the last.
Moreover though, the performances in Under the Banner of Heaven are truly exceptional. Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Wyatt Russell and Daisy Edgar-Jones are all incredible throughout their performances. Garfield delivers a performance with such passion and heart that is almost akin to his performance on stage in Angels in America. Edgar-Jones plays the innocent woman who just fell for the wrong person in the wrong family perfectly to a tee, while Worthington and Wyatt play the sinister characters excellently.
There is so much to admire and to enjoy within Under the Banner of Heaven if true crime subject matters are something one is into. With the pacing and mystery (if one allows there to be one) present, every moment is more gripping than the last as one tries to piece together who is responsible. The brilliant performances throughout this Mini-series as well, bring it all together and this is one of the most compelling things we’ve seen on Television in recent memory. Under the Banner of Heaven is must-see TV and provides some career highlights for its plethora of brilliant performances.
UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN arrvies Wednesday, June 8, 2022 on Disney+.