Under the Banner of Heaven is a dramatic true crime miniseries created by Dustin Lance Black and based on the true novel of the same name by Jon Krakauer.
The series revolves around a brutal murder apparently linked to Mormonism. Although it has generated some controversy within the Mormon faith, it has received highly positive reviews, in particular for the performance of the main characters, especially Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington.
Movies and Shows Like Under the Banner of Heaven
If you liked the award winning drama and are looking for a new series of choices, don't miss the list of nine shows like Under the Banner of Heaven we've put together for you.
Follow a world-weary detective in Pennsylvania who sets out to solve a series of disappearances and deaths of young women while dealing with her own personal challenges in Mare of Easttown.
Meet a reporter who returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two young preteen girls. However, she must face not only her inner demons but also revelations about the nature of her family, which will threaten her sanity, in Sharp Objects.
Or follow a professor who notices a dangerous increase of opioid-addicted patients in his office, mostly desperate workers. He starts to investigate this increase in chemical dependents and realises that there is a big conspiracy in a huge pharmaceutical conglomerate in Dopesick.
Check out our list of shows like Under the Banner of Heaven and lose yourself in captivating investigation and suspense hours.
And as always, let us know in the comments if you think we've missed anything out!
OUR LIST OF SHOWS LIKE UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN
Under the Banner of Heaven Quick Recap
Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield) is called in to investigate a brutal murder of a young woman, Brenda Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones), and her 15-month-old baby daughter in a small rural town in the USA.
Her husband Allen (Billy Howle) is covered in blood and professing his innocence at the scene. But what appears to be a simple case unfolds into a horrific tale of religious extremism and family love gone very wrong against a shadowy backdrop of a religion whose own origins are shrouded in myth even for many of its members.
A devout Christian, Pyre finds his faith shaken by the crime, especially when evidence suggests the murder had church involvement. The deeper he digs into the investigation, the deeper he uncovers buried truths about the origins of the religion of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the violent consequences of unwavering faith, which entirely change his worldview and cause him traumas that are hard to overcome.
The crime transforms the routine of the entire community leaving people with a constant feeling of paranoia. Pyre realises that the people involved in Brenda's death are hazardous and will likely have more victims.
Is Under the Banner of Heaven True?
This gripping drama tells a story that is more outlandish than fiction that slowly unfolds to show how the LDS faith contributed to a tragedy.
Like the true crime novel on which it is based, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, by Jon Krakauer, it is based on real events that happened in Utah in 1984.
The book follows two brothers who were members of a fundamentalist Mormon sect and decided to murder their brother-in-law, claiming it was divinely inspired. The book goes into detail about the history and beliefs of these sects, as well as exploring the idea that some people can be driven to violence because of their faith.
The story develops not only about the murder being investigated but also about the rise of fundamentalism in Mormonism and the conditions under which the LDS was started in the 19th century. It is a heady story, and presenting it through the lens of one family's tragedy makes it enjoyable and irresistible.
How Many Episodes In Under the Banner of Heaven?
Under the Banner of Heaven, the mini series adaptation of Jon Krakauer's non-fiction book, is a seven part drama that aired in 2021.
As it was filmed as one complete story, wrapping up the murder investigation, there is no second season.
Who Killed Brenda?
Spoiler Alert if you haven't already seen Under the Banner of Heaven but it was Ron and Dan Lafferty, two brothers who were members of a fundamentalist Mormon sect, who killed their sister-in-law Brenda.
The brothers believed that they had received divine inspiration to commit the act and went on to murder her in cold blood. The book and movie explore the history and beliefs of this sect as well as how faith can be used to incite violence.
What Is The Recommended Age To Watch The Show?
Under the Banner of Heaven is centred on a violent crime that took place in 1984. Although the series has no explicit images, we get a glimpse of a body on the ground and blood pooling and splattering.
The origins of the Church of Latter Day Saints are explored and criticised, particularly the motives and methods of extremist branches, such as the one relevant to this case. In the central family, women are expected to be silent, serve their spouses, and obey them. Thus, women are treated as secondary to their husbands, instructed to look after the house without any say while the men make decisions.
The cast is largely white, and most of the main characters are, as in the true story, Mormon, except for the police detective, a native man played by an actor of Comanche descent.
There is no inappropriate language, as well as no alcohol or smoking scenes, with occasional references being made to LDS restrictions against alcohol, caffeine, and smoking. Sexual content is confined to some light kissing, and romance is characterised as leading inevitably to marriage, and marriage is taken incredibly seriously as a covenant in the Mormon faith.
While it is the parents' responsibility what kind of content they allow their children to watch, we recommend this series for more mature young people over 17.