FEAR CITY: NEW YORK VS THE MAFIA is a new Netflix true-crime documentary series. You almost cannot help but think you’re watching fiction, but it’s all too real. Also, it’s just three episodes, so do check it out. Read our full Fear City: New York vs The Mafia review here!

FEAR CITY: NEW YORK VS THE MAFIA is a new Netflix docu-series in the true-crime genre. Also, yes, it’s obviously about the mafia in New York. You will hear a lot of clips from FBI surveillance tapes and see the photos they took from stake-outs as well. Also, we hear from both FBI agents, New York prosecutors, and members of the Mafia.

Need more reasons to check it out? It’s by the same people that created the amazing true-crime docu-series Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.

Recommended reading: Our review of the Netflix docu-series Don’t F*** With Cats here >

Continue reading our Fear City: New York vs The Mafia review below. The docu-series is just three episodes and we’ve watched them all for this review.

Like watching a Godfather movie come to life

When you first hear the real surveillance tapes from a mafia boss’ home, it’s like you’re watching a scene from a Godfather movie. Seriously, if you told me that I was listening to Joe Pesci, I wouldn’t really doubt that this was true. It just seems so stereotypical that it cannot be real.

But it is!

Also, the various mafia-themed movies and TV series had to get it from somewhere. And it was clearly from talking to real-life wise guys. Another thing that strikes me is just how brazen the mafia in New York was. They knew that nothing would happen to them and that’s why it became possible for the FBI to actually get to them.

My favorite part of this docu-series was how both FBI agents and the members of the Mafia are interviewed. There’s obviously a strange sort of collegial respect for one another. Almost like they’re “just” on opposing teams of a much less serious game.

Fear City: New York vs The Mafia

Watch Fear City: New York vs The Mafia docu-series on Netflix

The three episodes of Fear City: New York vs The Mafia all have a runtime between 45 minutes and one hour. This obviously means you can easily binge-watch the true-crime documentary series in one evening. And yes, you’ll probably want to since it’s all so crazy, you almost can’t believe it’s true.

At the same time, it’s clear that while we can watch the story unfold over three episodes, it took many years to build this case. What I really enjoyed about this documentary is the fact that it’s told in a very chronological way. It just makes the most sense to me, when we’re dealing with true-crime.

Exactly as it was the case with Don’t F**k With Cats, which was made by the same people. They know how to build the story of a docu-series in the perfect way. We get to experience things in a very organic way and discover details in the same order that they happened. It’s crazy, it’s intense, bloody, and it’s just mindblowing. Do check it out!

Fear City: New York vs The Mafia is out on Netflix from July 22, 2020.


This docuseries chronicles how the feds took down the five mafia empires of New York City at the height of their powers during the 1980s.

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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