The Crowded Room review: Tom Holland proves himself in thrilling Apple TV+ drama

The Apple TV+ show premieres on 9 June

Tom Holland in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)
Tom Holland in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)
  • 📺 Where to watch The Crowded Room: Premieres on Apple TV+ with first three episodes on Friday, 9 June and then weekly thereafter.

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: Criminal, Shutter Island.

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Tom Holland, Amanda Seyfried, Emmy Rossum, Sasha Lane, Will Chase, Jason Isaacs and Lior Raz.

  • How long is it? 10 episodes, between 38 to 58 minutes each.

  • 📖 What’s it about? After being arrested for his involvement in a shooting in New York City, Danny Sullivan reveals how he came to be there through interviews with interrogator Rya Goodwin.

In 1979, Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland) is anxiously waiting to get off the subway. He has a gun in his pocket and is set on killing the man who hurt his friend Ariana (Sasha Lane). Though when Danny comes face-to-face with her abuser at the Rockefeller Centre he panics and Ariana has to shoot into the crowd, creating a terror incident.

Read more: Tom Holland says The Crowded Room broke him (The Hollywood Reporter, 3 min read)

Ariana manages to get away but Danny is caught by authorities, where interrogator Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried) meets him to try and understand what led to the incident, and how Danny's life story holds the key to answering why.

Amanda Seyfried and Tom Holland in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)
Amanda Seyfried and Tom Holland in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)

The Crowded Room is a thrilling 10-part limited series helmed by Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind A Beautiful Mind. It is a quietly captivating story that will draw viewers in with the mystery of it lead character, whose life is fraught with pain.

It feels like Holland has been waiting for an opportunity like this to come along for some time, and he relishes the opportunity to show off his acting chops in ways he hasn't been able to often onscreen.

The role of Danny is a tall order as it requires Holland to wear a lot of different hats, so to speak, and he does a marvellous job at portraying the many nuances of the character.

Amanda Seyfried in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)
Amanda Seyfried in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)

In The Crowded Room, Holland shows he is capable of more than just playing Peter Parker, or a slight variation of the character like his Nathan Drake proved to be in Uncharted. He just needed the right role to come along in order to do so, it seems.

Read more: Tom Holland: Into the Spider-Verse is ‘the best Spider-Man movie ever made’ (IndieWire, 2-min read)

The mystery at the heart of the show is not as unpredictable as the drama hopes it is, though, as there are enough clues scattered throughout the first half of the series for viewers to decipher the truth long before the penny drops. As such, this does make it slightly frustrating to wait until the big reveal finally happens.

Zachary Golinger and Emmy Rossum in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)
Zachary Golinger and Emmy Rossum in The Crowded Room. (Apple TV+)

But, once it does, the Apple TV+ drama delves into a different, more interesting debate around Danny's past and the reasons for his actions, with Seyfried's Rya helping him through the emotional turmoil that has plagued him for decades. It's a poignant narrative that is heightened through Seyfried and Holland's powerful scenes together.

Even if the story is not as mysterious as it aims to be, The Crowded Room is a thrilling watch full of intriguing performances and a heartfelt story.

The Crowded Room premieres with its first three episodes on Apple TV+ on Friday, 9 June, and it will air on a weekly basis thereafter.

Watch the trailer for The Crowded Room.