The Crowded Room Review: Is the Latest Psychological Thriller from Apple TV+ Worth Watching?

The Crowded Room Review: Apple’s Newest Psychological Thriller Tested


“The Crowded Room” is the new psychological thriller from Apple TV+, inspired by a book by Daniel Keyes. The limited series has 10 episodes and stars Tom Holland as Danny Sullivan, a young man arrested for a shooting at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Although reviewers have been forbidden to give any spoilers, the storyline is gradually uncovered through the course of several interviews with Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), the interrogator. The show was created by Akiva Goldsman, and directed by various directors. Here’s what you need to know about “The Crowded Room” ahead of its release on June 9th.

Cast and Characters

“The Crowded Room” boasts an impressive cast of actors, including Tom Holland as Danny Sullivan, Amanda Seyfried as Rya Goodwin, and Emmy Rossum as Candy, Danny’s single mom. Other notable actors include Will Chase, Jason Isaacs, and Christopher Abbott. Each character plays a crucial role in Danny Sullivan’s story as their past and present behaviors intertwine to form the central plot of the show.

The Plot

The plot of “The Crowded Room” is intriguing from the outset, with Danny Sullivan being arrested for a shooting in Rockefeller Center. The story then follows his in-prison interviews with Rya Goodwin as he tells his tale. Secrets throughout Danny’s entire life are unraveled, including his upbringing, relationships, and an incident from his past that may provide insight into what led to the shooting. His past is slowly pieced together, with flashbacks to scenes that undercut what he is saying and suggest a darker narrative at work. The narrative is deliberately vague, with information being drip-fed until the true unravelling of the mystery in later episodes.

The Characters and Their Development

Throughout the series, Danny Sullivan is the character that viewers focus on, with other characters in his life playing crucial supporting roles. Tom Holland, who gained fame as Spiderman, gives an adequate performance, but it’s Amanda Seyfried who steals the spotlight. Although her character is often passive and muted in the first half of the show, when her character’s real motivations and secrets are revealed, Seyfried displays impressive acting skills, as does Holland.

The Pacing and Story Development

One of the downsides of “The Crowded Room” is the pace at which the story is developed. The show takes a long time to introduce and tease out key information, and the mystery becomes tedious as more time passes without any serious revelations. One of the biggest issues with the plot is that the show takes too long to get to the point. As a result, the pace drags, and the characters often feel like they are moving in circles instead of making any significant advances.

The Cinematography

The visual style of “The Crowded Room” is one of its strongest points, with filmmakers using a range of techniques to build tension. The show’s grainy texture and gritty color palette lend a sense of realism, while its use of shadows and darkness creates a suitably ominous atmosphere. Despite some repetitious narrative decisions that test our patience, the series boasts some cinematography that is visually stunning, especially the transition from past to present, which is seamless and adds texture to the story.

The Score and Soundtrack

The score and soundtrack of “The Crowded Room” are integral to the show’s atmosphere. The score is often used to heighten the tension and delve into the characters’ innermost thoughts. The haunting soundtrack is effective at setting the tone and creating a sense of unease, particularly in the early stages of the show when the plot is still developing. However, in later episodes, the mysterious plot of the show takes center stage, and there are only a few musical cues to help create the emotional impact when needed.

The Verdict

Overall, “The Crowded Room” is an impressive psychological thriller with some strong performances and stunning cinematography. However, the show is let down by its slow pace, and the mystery of the story takes time to reveal itself. The show has tension and intrigue throughout, but too many questions go unanswered, and it can become frustrating for the viewer. That said, “The Crowded Room” is still a must-watch for fans of psychological thrillers, thanks to its strong acting performances and beautiful visuals.


“The Crowded Room” is one of the most anticipated releases on Apple TV+ this year, and even though it has its flaws, it’s still a compelling and engaging watch. As a fan of psychological thrillers, I found myself invested in Danny’s story and eager for the truth to be revealed. The stunning cinematography and haunting soundtrack contribute to the atmosphere and tension of the show. Although the pace is slow, the acting performances are impressive, and the show is still worth the watch.


1. Is “The Crowded Room” worth watching?

Yes, it is worth watching for fans of psychological thrillers and those that enjoy a good mystery.

2. What is the central storyline of “The Crowded Room?”

The storyline revolves around Danny Sullivan and the shooting at Rockefeller Center; as the story progresses, Danny’s past is gradually revealed and intertwined with the present narrative.

3. Who are the main characters of “The Crowded Room?”

The main characters include Tom Holland as Danny Sullivan, Amanda Seyfried as Rya Goodwin, Emmy Rossum as Candy, and Will Chase as Marlin.

4. Is the pacing of “The Crowded Room” slow?

Yes, the pacing is sluggish and can be frustrating for viewers as it takes a long time to get to the main reveal of the mystery.

5. What is the verdict on “The Crowded Room?”

The verdict on “The Crowded Room” is that it’s an impressive psychological thriller, thanks in large part to the strong acting performances and stunning cinematography. However, the show’s slow pacing and the convoluted mystery may frustrate some viewers.