“Documenting a horrifying story from every conceivable angle, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” examines the abuse and murder of an eight-year-old boy by his mother and her boyfriend, and the ways that the system failed to protect him.
“Difficult to watch, the documentary is inevitably compelling but structurally messy — a byproduct, perhaps, of stretching the material over six parts.
“In that sense, this Netflix presentation falls victim to what’s increasingly an issue with entries within the true-crime genre: Finding a gripping story, then telling it in a disjointed, flabby way.
“The powerful aspects of the content are thus offset by detours and digressions that could have been excised.”
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