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The Outsider

Season 1
 (1,743)7.72020X-RayTV-MA
The gruesome murder of an 11-year-old boy in the Georgia woods leads a local detective into a disturbing search for the truth in Season 1 of this drama series based on Stephen King's bestselling novel. Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, Bill Camp, Mare Winningham, Paddy Considine, Julianne Nicholson, Yul Vazquez, Jeremy Bobb, Marc Menchaca and Jason Bateman star.
Starring
Ben MendelsohnBill CampJeremy Bobb
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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  1. 1. Fish in a Barrel
    March 7, 2020
    60min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Series premiere. Georgia detective Ralph Anderson sets out to investigate the gruesome murder of an 11-year-old boy but is mystified by his suspect's ironclad alibi.
  2. 2. Roanoke
    March 7, 2020
    1 h 3 min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    During a late-night visit with Terry, Ralph admits to being baffled by conflicting physical evidence. The next day, an unexpected tragedy throws the investigation into a tailspin.
  3. 3. Dark Uncle
    March 7, 2020
    58min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Confounded by the conflicting evidence, Ralph contacts unorthodox PI Holly Gibney, who promises to bring fresh perspective to the case.
  4. 4. Que Viene el Coco
    March 7, 2020
    1 h 7 min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    While retracing the Maitlands' vacation in Dayton, Ohio, Holly pursues a possible connection to an eerily similar case and gains valuable insight from local former detective Andy Katcavage.
  5. 5. Tear-Drinker
    March 7, 2020
    56min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Holly searches for clues in the Dayton case with fresh eyes. Jeannie gives Ralph an ominous warning.
  6. 6. The One About the Yiddish Vampire
    March 7, 2020
    1h
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Holly presents her theory about the connection between the Peterson case and two other child murders.
  7. 7. In the Pines, In the Pines
    March 7, 2020
    49min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Holly makes a calculated move to help Jack, while their whereabouts are tracked by Ralph and Alec.
  8. 8. Foxhead
    March 7, 2020
    56min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Holly, Ralph, Yunis and Andy follow Claude to Tennessee in an attempt to isolate the evil force and prevent its next kill.
  9. 9. Tigers and Bears
    March 7, 2020
    51min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The group considers its next move as Claude deals with the weight of his role.
  10. 10. Must/Can't
    March 7, 2020
    53min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The group finds itself in a climactic showdown in their last-ditch effort to root out El Coco.
  11. 101. The Outsider Trailer
    March 8, 2020
    2min
    TV-NR
    Audio languages
    English
    The gruesome murder of an 11-year-old boy in the Georgia woods leads a local detective into a disturbing search for the truth in Season 1 of this drama series based on Stephen King's bestselling novel. Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, Bill Camp, Mare Winnin

Bonus (1)

  1. Bonus: The Outsider: Season 1 Trailer
    This video is currently unavailable
    December 9, 2019
    3min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    HD. A quick preview of the new HBO series 'The Outsider.'

More details

Directors
Andrew Bernstein
Supporting actors
Julianne NicholsonMare WinninghamPaddy ConsidineYul VázquezJason BatemanMarc MenchacaHettienne ParkYul VazquezMichael EsperCynthia Erivo
Producers
Ben MendelsohnKatharine WernerDavid AugeJessie Nickson-Lopez
Season year
2020
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentnuditysmokingviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

1743 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

LeeLeeGeeReviewed in the United States on January 15, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Genuinely creepy and unsettling (NO Spoilers)
Just watched the first 2 episodes. I was shocked at the quality, because almost every Stephen King adaptation I've seen (I think I've seen most) has been kind of hokey. Not all, but most.

First, I'd like to point out that people who spoil shows in their reviews are jerks. Not necessary. Thanks a lot. Super-charming. Moving on...

The cast, the musical score, the setting (we're not in New England anymore, Toto)... and of course the story itself--it is all impressive. I was so anxious and unsettled by this eerie telling that I feel like I slammed a couple of cafe grandes while watching it.

The subtlety of the horror makes it almost solely cerebral. No nasty gore beyond what seems necessary to convey impact through the story.

I also appreciate that there have been no pointless, gratuitous s** scenes. I hate that so much. Watching that garbage is tantamount to watching people use the restroom. They both largely happen in private for so many reasons! To each his own, though.

It is very hard to find a good, scary mystery. They seem to have nailed it with this one. I may be speaking too soon... I hope not. Looking forward to finding out.
182 people found this helpful
H. BalaReviewed in the United States on April 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
showed up for Stephen King, stayed for Holly Gibney
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It's hard not to go into this show unaware that it's based on a Stephen King bestseller - and I guess I just gave that away, so sorry. But if you were one of the seven oblivious people who dove into this HBO adaptation blind, then, odds are, you'll react much like the characters in it. It starts out with everything normal, if you consider it normal, that unspeakable crime that took place in the little town of Cherokee City, Georgia. Then, as the inexplicable evidence begins to mount - that perversely damns and exonerates the suspect - and as the otherworldly element gradually creeps in, you and the characters experience a seismic shift. You begin to get unnerved, as things take an unsettling supernatural turn. Or maybe I'm projecting. It's how I felt.

Maybe some plot spoilers now, mostly about Holly Gibney. She's someone who's best experienced as an unwrapped package. Three paragraphs down, I aim to speak of her. So, maybe skip that.

As in that movie, Alien, a moody psychological horror that posed as sci-fi, you don't get to eyeball the monster until deep into the story. The Outsider specializes in the slow burn treatment, the less-is-more approach. Time is taken to build the story. Don't step off. The payoff is worth sticking around for.

It's superb acting across the board. Jason Bateman is the Little League coach who becomes the primary suspect hullabalooing his innocence despite the slam dunk case against him; Ben Mendelsohn as the skeptical seasoned cop who struggles with the concept of evil with a capital "E"; and Cynthia Erivo as, hands down, the best thing about this series.

She plays Holly Gibney, an odd duck. She's a savant investigator, a gumshoe with heightened observational skills. She can glance at a building while driving by and tell exactly how tall it is. She can remember who did every rock song for the last 35 years, yet she's never listened to a record. Is it a form of sensory processing disorder? Like synesthesia? She seems to place somewhere on the autism spectrum. Anyway, Holly Gibney falls in the unique category. There's an innocence about her, and a social awkwardness, and a refreshing lack of filter that all combine to make her really interesting. She's a more endearing version of Adrian Monk and Daryl Zero. She gets hired to backtrack the Little League coach's movements during a vacation he took. She doesn't show up until the third episode. So, be patient. Some of the best scenes have to do with the tension between Gibney and Mendelsohn's dubious, dogged cop.

I'd fallen off the Stephen King hype train some years ago. Dean Koontz, too. I went into The Outsider, the novel, blind(ish). I knew SK wrote it, so I suspected gnarly shenanigans. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was a creepy, momentum-building read. I thought the HBO adaptation did honor to the novel. Changed some things, kept in some things. The end product is a deft mash-up of gritty police procedurals and horror from the dawn of time.

I couldn't help myself. After I got done binge-watching this, I had to go look up the Village Stomper's classic song, "Washington Square."

Stick around for the final episode's mid end credit stinger. Does that mean what I think it means?
34 people found this helpful
M. D. ROY EARLEReviewed in the United States on October 12, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
a review more focused than the movie
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First off, some advice for reviewers that should be obvious but apparently is not. There are at least four reviews of “The Outsider” posted by individuals who haven’t watched the entire movie. To paraphrase one, “I’ve only watched the first two episodes, and they're great. Look forward to the next eight.” While another accurately states “First two episodes were exciting; the next two dragged. Hope the remaining six are better.” At least two other reviews contain comments that suggest the reviewers haven’t watched the entire movie.
Here’s the advice to would-be reviewers: if you’re going to review a movie or book, watch it or read it in its entirety first. Otherwise those of us contemplating a purchase will likely someday read “Only watched the first ten minutes, which were exciting. I only hope the next 9 hours and 50 minutes are as good.” Or “Just read the first two pages of King’s latest; hope the next 600 pages are just as fantastic!” Your initial impression of a fraction of the product is of interest and value to nobody. If you're part-way through a book or movie and it's a dud to you, cut your losses, but refrain from reviewing it based on the portion you're familiar with.

The Stephen King novel upon which this TV series is based is a solid ghost story of ~560 pages. The novel is one of many of the longer King tales that starts off very strong, and falters in both pace and quality prior to a reasonably interesting ending. Reading “Outsider,” the thought creeps in around page 200 that this is an exceptionally long, drawn-out treatment of a fairly simple, straight-forward, and potentially exciting story. Thoughts I have had around the one-third mark of numerous King novels: “When will something happen?” “Should I speed-read to the detriment of retention, or should I simply skip ahead?” I believe this recurring problem with King’s longer novels is why many of his short stories and novellas generate such consistently high praise, relative to his longer novels.
I mention these attributes of the novel, because this made for TV series falls into the same pattern, perhaps made even less bearable because of the medium. This story would have made a tightly-scripted movie of approximately 90 to 120 minutes length.

First, the positives:
It’s a solid, interesting ghost story. Those who object to King’s overly simplistic and recurring “boogeyman” approach should be reading and viewing material by others.
The mystery that’s the focal point of the first two episodes is of exceptional interest and ingenuity.
The acting is decent, especially when the plot is advancing. When it is not, the acting alone cannot sustain interest.

The negatives are plentiful:
Holly explains how various murders in which "the suspect has a strong alibi yet all evidence points to him" form a pattern, and everybody immediately rejects her proposed explanation of a boogeyman. Nobody affords her the slightest benefit of the doubt. Hence, given Hollywood cliches, the viewers knows she’s correct.
And speaking of cliches we've seen countless times, does everyone in Hollywood wake up from a nightmare by sitting up in bed and gasping for breath? It's never been my reaction, and I've had my share.
The soundtrack is dreary. The thudding bass notes are meant to increase tension, and though yet another cinematic cliche, they work in moderation. Here, they intrude in all episodes whenever the smallest hint of menace or revelation surfaces. They are recorded so loud, so intrusive, that I found myself turning down the volume and subsequently being unable to hear the dialogue.
The cinematography is troublesome. Almost everything, including actors who are speaking, is out of focus much of the time. Again, selective focus can be useful in isolating individuals from busy backgrounds (just as “deep focus” can place an entire, detailed cinematic world on your screen), and is effective when used in moderation. But blobs of unfocused colors delivering dialogue, repeatedly, is tedious rather than interesting. It’s as if the cameraman and director found their cameras frozen on a wide-open aperture of f1.4 or f2, and decided to make a go of it nevertheless.
Endless close-ups of Holly, almost always with exactly the same neutral expression on her face, seem a trite and overwrought attempt at conveying...what?…mysticism, intelligence, depth? After about the twentieth such extended close-up, they serve to convey ennui.
The Detective at the center of this movie comes across as rather dull-witted. This is not so in the novel. The police would never try to deliver a suspected murderer to a courthouse through an angry mob. This contrived situation has the effect of producing a memorable scene, but contrived and fabricated it remains.
Holly comes across in the movie as some sort of occult, enigmatic genius, capable of repeatedly providing explanations and understanding mysterious occurrences that none of the other characters are capable of imagining or care to believe. She is not so in the novel; she is a much more sympathetic character.

By far the most serious flaw in this production is the length. Numerous other reviews comment about the weakness of the middle episodes, and I agree. Edit out about an hour of vacuous close-ups of Holly, another hour of dialogue like “Well, I just thought….”, an hour of endless repeated explanations of the supernatural that nobody understands, cares about, or is willing to accept, 30 minutes of close-ups of “the neck rash,” an hour of couples riding in cars in which one or the other is always out of focus, and about three hours of anything that doesn’t serve to move the plot forward, and you’ve got the makings of a tight drama.
14 people found this helpful
PatriciaReviewed in the United States on January 17, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best King adaptation I've seen
So far, this is the best Stephen King adaptation I have ever seen. Jason Bateman has already proven himself to be an incredibly skillful director with his tour de force in Ozark. He is able to bring the essence of King's spooky story to life without any of the corny shtick so many others resort to and the story is realized in an uncompromising and effective way. His role as Producer on this project no doubt allowed him to make sure that every element of the production was handled with the same level of consideration. The acting, sets and even the music come together seamlessly with the end result being well worth watching. Small details, for example the music that Ralph is listening to as he pulls up to the crime scene, give color to the character and create a unified atmosphere that is easy to get immersed in. Looking forward to Episode 3.
45 people found this helpful
Bookworm™Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
If you liked the book, you may be disappointed.
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I watched this series shortly after reading the book, which I recommend. I was particularly interested to see how Holly Gibney, my favorite Stephen King character, would be portrayed. It turned out that the character was completely rewritten. The Holly Gibney in the book (and in the Bill Hodges trilogy) was far more interesting and likable. There were other changes that seemed arbitrary, such as changing the name of a number of the characters and some plot changes. If haven't read the book, you might enjoy this, but if you were expecting a faithful adaptation of the Stephen King novel, you will likely be disappointed.
5 people found this helpful
Mr KramReviewed in the United States on December 6, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
a very interesting take on an investigative story (NO spoilers)
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I am a fan of Stephen King’s writing, and I have to admit– I get anxious when one of his works gets adapted to screen or film, because well gee whiz.... look at the Stephen King adaptation track record. Some fairly good ones & a few pretty-good-to-great ones, but many fail to represent what King put down on paper. And I understand why– King’s imagination is so crazy phenomenally creative combined with the reader’s imagination while interpreting King, that trying to show that with actors, sets, wardrobe, special effects, & filming only goes so far. It’s not King’s works that flop– it’s the translation by other minds onto screen or film that fall short of King’s stories.

I had bought The Outsider book (novel) when it came out and had only begun to read it, when a series of extraordinary life events hit me & had to be dealt with– I never got around to finishing it. I do not have HBO, so I was not able to watch the drama series when it aired. So I was very happy to find it available on dvd on Amazon!! I bought it & watched it right away!! Halfway through, I remembered (derp!) I have the book.... which I am glad I have, because I want to see how the ending on the tv series matches up to the ending in the book.

Why compare endings (tv to book)? Because the final tv episode with what happens regarding “the bad guy” (term used to try & avoid any spoilers) SERIOUSLY DISAPPOINTED ME!!! The first 9 episodes, I’d rate at 4 to 5 stars. However the final episode / episode 10, I would rate no higher than 3 stars. It just seemed to kind-of-and-at-many times FLOP for me. There was this great story telling and build-up through 9 episodes, only to (as I feel) quickly wrap everything up in too nice of a bow (for what all happened, how & why, previously). Also, from what little I read so far in the book (I am going to finish the book now), there are many changes in the tv series.... WHY?? why does this seem to be a desired thing to do (make small-to-drastic changes from the original source to the screen/film version)?? And so all of this is why I only give this dvd 4 stars. Still, if you like King’s works &/or you enjoy a good investigative story– I definitely recommend purchasing this dvd!! But if you want true Stephen King– buy the book!! Keep in mind, though, that in this tv series adaptation there is some nudity, a sex scene, and they do at times love to use the f-word over & over & over (it’s HBO afterall).
2 people found this helpful
Alexander O. TeitzReviewed in the United States on August 4, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not Knowing the Book - Amazed by the Series
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Stephen King has a formula, a style for which he is known. The older he gets the more it shows in his works. Normally Stephen King films & series exaggerate it. The Outsider from first frame to the last is different. It has the feel of a dark police procedural. The characters are human sometimes depressingly so. The acting is phenomenal. The story is genuinely scary and creepy - something you don't always get with King. I watched this in 2 sittings feeling like I was holding my breath the entire time. The tension is tactile. After the first viewing it even creeped into my dreams. If you like horror - watch this even if you don't like King. It is a masterful work of art.
3 people found this helpful
KeepTahoeGreenReviewed in the United States on January 13, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Quit crying.
It doesn't come on until 9pm. Quit crying.
39 people found this helpful
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