They Call Us Monsters

 (147)
7.11 h 21 min2017X-Ray16+
Juan, Jarad and Antonio, all young teens, face decades in prison. While the gravity of their crimes is great, these young men are still simply teenagers. Do they deserve a second chance? To some, they're kids. To others, they're monsters.
Directors
Ben Lear
Starring
Jarad NavaJuan GamezAntonio Hernandez
Genres
Documentary
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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Supporting actors
Darrell Edwards
Producers
Gabriel CowanSasha AlpertBen Lear
Studio
The Orchard
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentsmokingsubstance useviolence
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Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

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Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

147 global ratings

  1. 58% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

eReviewed in the United States on June 23, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Disgusting
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This movie is disgusting. The filmmakers want the audience to feel sorry for violent, unrepentant criminals, because "teenagers' brains aren't fully developed, so they don't understand what they're doing". That argument may work for minor things like trespassing or speeding, but every teenager knows that cold-blooded murder is wrong. The criminals in this film have deliberately hurt people, but all they can talk about is how bad they feel for themselves, and the filmmaker wants us to feel sorry for them too. The victims of these people have had their lives taken or destroyed, and they deserve justice. I have trouble feeling sympathy for the shooter featured in this film who shot into a car full of young women and paralyzed one of them.

Also, the way the criminals talk about women is truly disturbing, and the way the filmmaker goes along with it is troubling too.

Beyond that, the film is poorly done and is pretty boring. There is a lot of unnecessary footage and not a clear flow.
32 people found this helpful
Ron BakerReviewed in the United States on January 15, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Actually, they call themselves monsters
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This documentary profiles 4 youth offenders who really do not demonstrate remorse for their murders or any committed desire to improve. It also makes clear how likely their recidivism is. The crimes these youth committed are certainly monstrous, does that make them monsters? Indeed, they have proven they have the capacity to be monsters. Society must remove them to safeguard public safety, that's what a modern society does. Despite their age they admit that they knew their life as gangbangers could end up this way, they are not wide eyed youths that just made an impulsive mistake.
31 people found this helpful
Chet FakirReviewed in the United States on September 25, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Boring
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Yes they have committed monstrous crimes and yes they are monsters and I'm glad they won't be seeing the outside of a prison any time soon, but the movie focuses on them writing a screenplay and it's excruciatingly boring. The kids aren't anything special, just run of the mill dullards with nothing that makes them or their story compelling except for their crimes. Sucks to be them, and it sucks worse to be one of their victims. I'm glad I'm not part of their bargain basement milieu and I'm glad these fools were tried as adults and will be kept away from society.
13 people found this helpful
Scott Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
As a former juvenile...
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I did something wrong as a child. Fortunately the state passed laws to protect me. I understand more than what most people would. Today I retired very young and would have only been able to with the thoughts of compassion over retaliation and retribution. I suggest everyone to read a book by a lady named Baz. Incarceration Nation. To discover why we have high return rates and a plethora of failures in the injustice system. I see all kinds of revenge and ignorance in people's reviews. If only they could see that America is doing it all wrong and that can be shown easily versus countries with extremely high success rates. Ignorance gets nobody anything. The definition of insanity is repeating. Americans are filed with insanity and cognitive dissonance. This is based on statistical facts vs other countries. Let us focus on compassion. Not hate and retaliation. I'm not religious. But this is also a biblical principle Christians always seem to forget.
2 people found this helpful
G. HookReviewed in the United States on October 28, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Manipulating from cops
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Those cops who were interviewing Jarad definitely used scummy tactics to get him to say what they wanted him to say. Had he not, he may not be in jail today. And where are the other people who were with him? They aren't in jail.

And, I thought it was illegal in California for a juvenile to waive their Miranda rights without being consulted by a lawyer. Did he get to speak to a lawyer before these cops manipulated a written confession out of him?

If the police have hard evidence against you, they don't need a confession. They are not your friend, and they are not there to help you. They are there to build a case and find you guilty. Body language is not admissible in court.

Don't talk to cops! Invoke your 5th & 6th Amendment rights!
3 people found this helpful
adam Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
wanders a little
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This probably could have been condensed into an hour, but that could be said for most films. I also feel that whatever message the director was going for was muddled. Is this a documentary about the actions of these teenagers? Is it about the moral dilemma of locking teenagers up for decades? Is it about the legislation being proposed concerning a chance for teenage offenders to parole early? Or was it about the film that the offenders were making, which felt like an unnecessary addition?

It mostly kept my attention, although I did skip around a little. Oh, and any scene involving Nava's lawyer is pure gold. First, she said she never enters a trial expecting to win. Then she compared losing her first trail to someone doing blow for the first time. Then came her hilarious cross examination of an LAPD detective, which was an awkward train wreck that made her client look even more guilty and resulted in her basically refusing to ask any other witness anything for the remainder of the trial. Now I see why she never enters a trial expecting to win.
7 people found this helpful
lhcumminsReviewed in the United States on April 24, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Description is off!
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I read the description and watched the trailer and it would appear this movie is about following 3 young male teenagers who are facing possible life sentences. Once you watch the movie it's about 3 young males working with a director to create a screen play. This movie briefly goes over the males story lines but it focuses mostly on created a screenplay that the young males work on together. The language is very poor in this movie and you hear the "F" word in everyone's sentences. There was also a screen where the inmates are arguing if the girl should engage intercourse with a 12 year boy". There was another scene where one of the young males was release and you see him doing drugs and drinking. I watched this movie with the residents at my Detention Facility and they found it comical and it glorified detention life styles.
5 people found this helpful
Review HappyReviewed in the United States on November 4, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
This Movie REALLY Makes You Think
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Okay so they're kids, but when you were a kid, did you ever want to shoot someone? Hell no. And you like them as kids but then you listen to them and realize, they really aren't sorry or truly aware of any other kind of life. But again, they're kids and you like them. But then, what about the people they killed? I would have liked to hear from the families. What do they want? I can't imagine their pain. I'm disabled and that's hard enough and that young girl in the wheelchair broke my heart into pieces. I have a hard time with my disability so I know pain but her! She can't walk. That's all kinds of f'd up. I'm not really sure how to feel about any of this. I'd LOVE to see them all now, 5 years later. And then again in 5 years because there is a difference between 16, 21, 26 that is so huge. I really think we need to stop letting the courts decide and let the family of the victim's decide. They are the ones that matter the most. Would I want my child's killer out? It really depends on who they are at 30. I'd have to talk to them and then decide. I'm not a very forgiving person but I couldn't imagine an entire lifetime in jail as punishment for a moment at 16. It's such a hard decision. Honestly, I might not let them out but I'd want them to at least have more yard and pool time if they were truly sorry. And I'd want to revisit it every 5 years or so. I know some 40 year old jerks who should never get out so I'm not sold either way by this film. I really would like to hear from the victim's families and the victims themselves and see a follow up to this film with these guys.
2 people found this helpful
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