DEFENDING JACOB is a new Apple TV Plus series. The mini-series has 8 episodes, the genre is mystery-thriller and the story should keep you guessing. Also, you should appreciate the awesome cast of this Apple TV+ series. Read our full Defending Jacob review here!

Defending Jacob is a new Apple TV+ mini-series based on a novel. The genres are mystery and thriller, but it opens with a murder so obviously, crime is also a key element.

The casting of this Apple TV Plus series is pretty impressive and should draw in many viewers. Whether you’re a fan of Marvel movies, Stephen King adaptations, Get Out or Downton Abbey, there are actors you’ll be familiar with.

Continue reading our Defending Jacob series review below.

The cast of Defending Jacob

As mentioned above, the cast of this new mini-series really is enough to check it out. As the title character, Jacob, we have Jaeden Martell from the two new movies based on Stephen King’s IT novel.

Do check out: Our review of the latest IT adaptation here >

If the name seems a bit off, it might be because Jaeden Martell went by Jaeden Lieberher up until IT: Chapter 2 came out. He was credited as Jaeden Lieberher in IT: Part 1. Whatever name he’s been credited by, he has made many other awesome movies such as Midnight Special and St. Vincent.

As the parents of Jacob, who are (of course) defending their son, we have Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery. Downton Abbey is probably the series most will recognize Michelle Dockery from. However, she was also in the Netflix mini-series Godless and starred in the TV series Good Behavior (2016-2017).

And many will think of Chris Evans as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most recently though, he was in Knives Out which also co-starred Jaeden Martell. Also, Jaeden played a young version of Chris Evans in Playing It Cool (2014), so playing father and son was the logical next step.

Also in the cast of Defending Jacob, we have the always brilliant Betty Gabriel (Get Out), Sakina Jaffrey (Lost in Space), Cherry Jones (Signs, The Handmaid’s Tale) and Pablo Schreiber (Pornstache from Orange Is the New Black).

Defending Jacob: Season 1 – Apple TV Plus Review

A story that will keep you guessing

If you’ve read the novel this mini-series is adapted from, then you’ll obviously be familiar with the plot. Including various plot twists and turns along the way. However, we don’t know yet that this Apple TV+ mini-series will follow the book exactly, so there should still be some excitement for those familiar with the story.

For everyone else, the main thing with Defending Jacob is the fact that it will keep you guessing. Sure, there will be some red herrings along the way as well. Mostly, however, we’re dealing more with watching facts surface and seeing how people react to them.

For the parents of Jacob, they’re forced to deal with some very hard-hitting facts within the first two episodes. And yes, you will get angry at them for how they react, but you’ll probably also be confronted with asking yourself; What would I have done?

A lot of the story does force you to confront your own sense of morale, loyalty, and relating to certainty and doubt.

Watch Defending Jacob on Apple TV+ now!

The entire Defending Jacob mini-series is directed by Morten Tyldum. The Norwegian director previously made The Imitation Game (2014), which earned him an Oscar nomination for directing. Also, he directed Passengers (2016) and the pilot episode of the Jack Ryan TV series.

William Landay wrote the novel this is based on and Mark Bomback has written the adaptation, so he’s behind the scripts for this mini-series. Mark Bomback previously co-wrote screenplays for movies such as The Wolverine (2013) and the two final movies in the recent The Planet of the Apes trilogy.

The first 3 episodes of Defending Jacob are released in one go to get you started. The remaining five episodes will be released weekly on Fridays. For me, getting the first three episodes really is the perfect way to get the audience involved, but I’m not a particular fan of waiting for the rest of the story. Oh well, to each their own… and yes, I think it will be worth the wait!

Defending Jacob premiered on the Apple TV Plus streaming service on April 24, 2020.


Showrunner: Mark Bomback
Director: Morten Tyldum
Stars: Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaeden Martell, Betty Gabriel, Pablo Schreiber, Cherry Jones, Sakina Jaffrey, J.K. Simmons


A gripping, character-driven thriller based on the 2012 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name. The limited series unfolds around a shocking crime that rocks a small Massachusetts town and one family in particular, forcing an assistant district attorney to choose between his sworn duty to uphold justice and his unconditional love for his son.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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