‘Guerrilla’ reviews: ‘Surprisingly wrenching’ Showtime miniseries stars Idris Elba and Freida Pinto

John Ridley has been a busy man. The Oscar winning screenwriter of “12 Years a Slave” has written, directed and produced ABC’s “American Crime” anthology, which is currently airing its third season. And now his next TV venture is set to hit the airwaves: the six-episode limited series “Guerrilla” premieres on Showtime this Sunday, April 16.

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“Guerilla” is set in London in the 1970s amid the Black Panthers movement. It stars Freida Pinto and Babou Ceesay as an activist couple who free a political prisoner (Idris Elba) and form a radical resistance movement. It has been met with praise from critics, scoring 75 on MetaCritic.

The miniseries tells a “surprisingly wrenching” story. Ridley “leaves an indelible directorial stamp” and “is on his way to TV greatness.” The storytelling is “inspired” and performances are “fully dimensional and riveting,” especially from Pinto, who is “exceptional” in her role.

Are you excited for this new miniseries? Do you think it will be a major Emmy contender? Check out some of the reviews below, comment at the bottom of this post, and discuss this and more with your fellow TV fans in our forums.

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Neil Genzlinger (New York Times): “The six-part series, which begins on Sunday on Showtime, isn’t easy to climb aboard, especially for American viewers steeped in the misbelief that the passions of the Vietnam War were exclusive to the United States. But it’s notable for its unromanticized view of a period that can be subject to mythmaking, and for its deceptively diffuse buildup to a fabulous final hour.”

Sonia Saraiya (Variety): “‘Guerrilla’ is a surprisingly wrenching story about good intentions going awry … Although the show’s primary tension is about black people in a white, British supremacy, at the story’s center is not Marcus, Dhari, or even Idris Elba’s Kent, but Freida Pinto’s inscrutable, passionate Jas … Whatever the reasoning, Pinto is exceptional in the role.”

Matthew Gilbert (Boston Globe): “One thing is clear: John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of ’12 Years a Slave,’ is on his way to TV greatness, if he hasn’t quite arrived there yet. With ‘American Crime’ and, now, ‘Guerrilla,’ the ambitious writer-director works with serious and complicated issues, buoys them with inspired storytelling and camera techniques, and stirs his actors to deliver fully dimensional and riveting performances.”

Steve Greene (IndieWire): “All of the show’s competing interests do find themselves manifested in Kent Fue (Idris Elba), the show’s greatest example of the scope that ‘Guerrilla’ strives for and the consequences of stretching it as thin as it does … Ridley leaves an indelible directorial stamp on the opening third of this series with some of his standby sensory touches.”

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