A series of crime novels become a masterful cinematic triptych

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
August 26, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT
Phil Fisk

The subject of the Red Riding Trilogy, taken from headline-based crime novels by David Peace, is tough: grisly serial killings between 1974 and 1983 in Yorkshire, England, and cover-ups by those who should be on the side of justice. The execution is thrilling: three different directors (including Man on Wire’s James Marsh), three different visual styles, and a great cast of seasoned character actors. Each episode (originally made for British TV) works by itself, but there’s a real payoff in following all three. (Nothing matches The Wire, but this holds its own.) A-