Boston Strangler Review

In the vein of great investigative dramas like Zodiac, All The President’s Men, and Spotlight, Boston Strangler shows us how the reporters working behind the newsdesk are able to break the story and assist the police in catching the killer. What makes Boston Strangler different is that this story is about Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole, played by Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon. These two women risked a lot to tell this story and broke barriers when investigating who the killer was.

(L-R): Keira Knightley as Loretta McLaughlin and Chris Cooper as Jack MacLaine in 20th Century Studios’ BOSTON STRANGLER, exclusively on Hulu. Photo by Claire Folger. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved

Loretta McLaughlin was regulated to the “Lifestyle” section of the Record-American newspaper. While she sees the men getting stories she would like to write about she is give the assignment about writing about the latest toaster out on the market. Loretta notices that a few recent murders seem to have the same Modus Operandi that she feels is a pattern that needs to be explored and written about. Due to her role and sexist newroom culture of that time, she has to convince her editor to profile these murders and write about what she finds.

As with other movies of serial killers, Boston Strangler follow the similar format. We see Loretta and Jean Cole, an investigative reporter from Boston’s Sunday Advertiser, working together on this story. Jean mentors Loretta by showing her how to play by the rules and still be a woman. Jean also teaches Loretta how to get inside the doors that the men do not let the women through. During this entire investigation, they become good friends who rely on each other to be strong and safe.

(L-R): Keira Knightley as Loretta McLaughlin and Carrie Coon as Jean Cole in 20th Century Studios’ BOSTON STRANGLER, exclusively on Hulu. Photo by Claire Folger. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

While we get a great look inside the women’s investigation process, we also get a look at how this investigation affects Loretta’s family life. Her sister-in-law feels that Loretta should be paying more attention to her family. Loretta’s husband, James, played by Morgan Spector, is the supportive husband. Whenever there is a call about a murder, he encourages his wife to go and to be careful. This support tends to dwindle when mysterious phone calls start coming to the house and Loretta is spending too much time at the newsroom.

Boston Strangler gives us a full-well-rounded look into Loretta McLaughlin’s journey from being the first one to connect the dots on the murders and dubbing the killer the “Boston Strangler”. Although certain aspects of the true story were skimmed over to give us a good thriller, the movie does a great job of building suspense and giving you the right amount of twist and turns. The story of the Boston Strangler is well known but the story of Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole has been kept to the side for too long and needs to be told.

Final Thoughts: Boston Strangler is a crime thriller that follows the same steps as other crime thrillers. The movie varies in its depiction of female reporters and how they were treated by others in the newsroom. Through their resilience, Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole connect the murders and become the experts that can help the police find the Boston Strangler.

Kid-Friendly: This is a part of American History that children might learn about on their own. Watching the movie might give them an insight as to the time these murders took place and lead to them digging for more information on the two women who helped with this case.

Violence: There are disturbing scenes when we see the killer attack the women. There are images of the crime scenes which show the aftermath of the murder.

From 20th Century Studios and award-winning writer-director Matt Ruskin (“Crown Heights”) comes “Boston Strangler,” a true-crime thriller about the trailblazing reporters who broke the story of the notorious Boston Strangler murders of the 1960s. The film stars two-time Oscar® nominee Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game,” “Pride & Prejudice”), Emmy® nominee Carrie Coon (“Fargo,” “The Gilded Age”), Alessandro Nivola (“Amsterdam”), David Dastmalchian (“Dune”), Morgan Spector (“Homeland”), Emmy Award nominee Bill Camp (“The Night Of,” “The Queen’s Gambit”), and Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper (“Adaptation”). Written and directed by Matt Ruskin, the film is produced by Ridley Scott (“The Martian”), Kevin J. Walsh (“House of Gucci”), Michael Pruss (“American Woman”), Josey McNamara (“Promising Young Woman”), and Tom Ackerley (“I, Tonya”), with Michael Fottrell (“The Fate of the Furious”) and Sam Roston serving as executive producers.

The film follows Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley), a reporter for the Record-American newspaper, who
becomes the first journalist to connect the Boston Strangler murders. As the mysterious killer claims more and
more victims, Loretta attempts to continue her investigation alongside colleague and confidante Jean Cole
(Carrie Coon), yet the duo finds themselves stymied by the rampant sexism of the era. Nevertheless, McLaughlin
and Cole bravely pursue the story at great personal risk, putting their own lives on the line in their quest to
uncover the truth.

Scroll to Top