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Review: The Brief But Wholly Satisfying Netflix Documentary 'Long Shot'

By Dustin Rowles | Streaming | November 7, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Streaming | November 7, 2017 |

On Saturday night, Matt Goldberg over on Collider tweeted the following:

I had 40 minutes to spare before Saturday Night Live began that night, so I thought, ‘Fuck it. I trust Goldberg. It’s 40 minutes. I can spare it! I’ll watch a couple of minutes, and if it doesn’t grab me, I’ll do something else.”

It grabbed me immediately.

It’s a short documentary, and I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll be brief: It’s about a guy named Juan Catalan, who was falsely accused back in 2003 of a brutal gangland murder of a 16-year-old. He was arrested, interrogated using slimy tactics, and eventually the prosecutor brought him up on charges that made him eligible for the death penalty. The thing is, though: He had an airtight alibi, or rather, it would have been an airtight alibi if he were a white guy from a nice neighborhood. But he’s not. He’s a person of color whose brother was involved in a gang, and therefore, presumed guilty, even though he was at a Dodgers’ game during the time of the murder. He had tickets. He went with friends and his six-year-old daughter, who testified on his behalf. Are six-year-olds even capable of lying under oath?

However, all that evidence wasn’t enough to convince the prosecutor that Juan Catallan wasn’t behind the murder. It took a goddamn Hail Mary to save him. I won’t spoil it, except to say it involved Larry David and an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

It’s a quick watch. You can watch on your phone over your lunch break while eating a sandwich, or at the laundromat while waiting for a load to dry. It’s totally worth it.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.