"Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs," the Lifetime movie that details the life of the self-proclaimed prophet and leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints found guilty of sexually abusing young girls, aired Saturday, and the reviews are in.
The made-for-TV movie, which Variety writer Brian Lowry said has a "higher-than-usual sleaze factor,"
is the first part of a Lifetime two-part event, the second being a documentary, which viewers may find more worth their while, he added.
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Calling the movie a “once-over-lightly treatment, with a ripped-from-the-headlines component,” Lowry said the parts of the movie that were focused on the girls being abused were better than those that focused solely on Jeffs.
“The movie settles for presenting the group as freaks and perverts,” Lowry wrote. “As for those seeking any further insight, perhaps skip the movie, and just watch the doc.”
Yahoo TV delineated 20 of “the most outrageous and disturbing moments”
in the movie, and labeled at least three “You'll want him to get another life sentence” moments.
Yahoo’s 20th most disturbing point: “An on-screen postscript to the story: 10,000 members of the FLDS still worship Warren Jeffs as their Prophet.”
Jeffs is played by Tony Goldwyn of “Scandal,” who Variety said credibly captures Jeffs’ smooth voice. But Yahoo TV said fans might be more than a little shocked to see their "Scandal" vice president "engaging in behavior that earned Jeffs a life sentence in jail."
Crushable called Goldwyn “very good at being a creeper.”
Despite what the A.V. Club called the “scandal inherent” to the Jeffs story
, the site said the Lifetime movie felt “uneventful.”
“But in the hands of director Gabriel Range ('Death Of A President') and the film’s team of writers (basing their work on 'When Gods Become Men' by true-crime writer Stephen Singular), it becomes more of a character study, ambling along without any true momentum to the story,” A.V. Club wrote.
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