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11 great documentaries on Netflix

Catherine Pearson Feb 22, 2017

Documentary fans are well served by these 11 great documentary series and features, currently available on Netflix UK...

In recent years, even months, Netflix has upped its game. No longer just a site to instantly stream an old title you might have once picked up in Blockbuster, it's become a hub of quality new and original film and television and this is by no means limited to its vast selection of fiction.

See related The world of the Peaky Blinders

With the scope of possibility in visual effects and the boundlessness of imagination there are very few places we cannot explore in fiction nowadays… that is unless we explore stories that are stranger than fiction. There is a tangible thirst for the real; the overwhelming response to recent Netflix documentary Making A Murderer in the news and social media, as just one example, exposes the desire for and
See full article at Den of Geek »

Bruce Sinofsky, 'Metallica: Some Kind of Monster' Co-Director, Dead at 58

Bruce Sinofsky, 'Metallica: Some Kind of Monster' Co-Director, Dead at 58
Bruce Sinofsky, one-half of the Emmy Award-winning documentarian team behind films like Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and the West Memphis Three trilogy Paradise Lost, passed away in his sleep Saturday morning following complications from diabetes, his filmmaking partner Joe Berlinger told Variety. He was 58.

"[Sinofsky's] unique combination of courage and empathy made that possible, as well as everything that came after for us," Berlinger told Variety. "The extraordinary adventures we had on the road and the deeply stimulating experiences we had in the editing room were life-changing for all of
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Bruce Sinofsky, Oscar-Nominated Documentary Filmmaker, Dies at 58

Bruce Sinofsky, Oscar-Nominated Documentary Filmmaker, Dies at 58
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky died early Saturday morning in his sleep from complications stemming from diabetes, his frequent collaborator Joe Berlinger told Variety. He was 58.

Sinofsky covered a range of topics in his career — from heavy metal to murder cases.

He is best known for the “Paradise Lost” trilogy, a series of films he made with Berlinger about the West Memphis Three, a group of teenagers convicted, despite a lack of evidence, of murdering and sexually mutilating three prepubescent boys. Prosecutors claimed the children were killed as part of a satanic court ritual. Those films helped draw attention to miscarriages of justice associated with their trial and conviction. A number of celebrities including Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins and Johnny Depp also rallied to the cause.

Public pressure resulted in the Arkansas Supreme Court allowing the three men — Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin — to be
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Tales of the Grim Sleeper’ Could Become the Eighth Murder-Related Doc to Land an Oscar Nom

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Nick Broomfield’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper follows the case of the serial killer in South Central Los Angeles that spans more than 20 years. The first murder took place in 1985, but an apparent 14-year break between murders earned him the nickname of “the Grim Sleeper.” Lonnie Franklin Jr. was arrested in 2010 and is currently awaiting trial for almost a dozen women, though the number could increase. Though the case is a major part of the film, Broomfield also explores poverty, racism and the police investigation that failed to warn the neighborhood that a serial killer was suspected until 2008.

The film made the Academy’s documentary feature shortlist and could land a nomination at the 87th Academy Awards. Here are seven other documentaries about murder in America that scored nominations (in chronological order):

Four Days in November (1964)

Released just a year after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Devil’s Knot Review

Director: Atom Egoyan.

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Amy Ryan, Dane De Haan, Alessandro Nivola, Stephen Moyer, Rex Linn, Martin Henderson, Kevin Durand.

Certificate: 15.

Running Time: 114 minutes.

Synopsis: Atom Egoyan’s haunting true mystery about who killed three children in a small town. The police identify three teens, aka the West Memphis Three, as committing the murders during a satanic ritual but the truth may be scarier as a mother (Reese Witherspoon) and investigator (Colin Firth) suspect all is not as it appears.

Devil’S Knot is based on a true story from the early 1990s where a trio of children went missing from their neighbourhood in West Memphis, Arkansas. The three were found horrifically mutilated and bound in a local river the following day, and just a few weeks later, three teenagers were arrested and charged with their murders. Atom Egoyan’s film is a dramatisation of those events of May,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Watch: Exclusive Scene from 'Devil's Knot' Starring Colin Firth as Defender of the West Memphis Three

Watch: Exclusive Scene from 'Devil's Knot' Starring Colin Firth as Defender of the West Memphis Three
Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of May's Indie Film Month. "Devil's Knot" is currently available to view On Demand. In 1994, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin were convicted of the murder of three young boys in what was labelled a Satanic ritual. The trio became known as the West Memphis Three. Multiple documentaries have been made about the tragic incident, including Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's "Paradise Lost" series. Atom Egoyan's "Devil's Knot" is a fictional representation of the case focusing on a West Memphis Three lawyer played by Colin Firth. In this exclusive look at the film, Firth is confronted by his ex-wife, played by Amy Ryan, about whether or not he should take on the case.  After checking out the clip below, head on over to iTunes to check out Indiewire's interview
See full article at Indiewire »

Devil’s Knot Review

The 1993 murders of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, has been explored time and time again, in documentaries like HBO’s Paradise Lost trilogy and Peter Jackson’s West of Memphis, but pop culture can’t seem to leave the sensational case alone. The question of whether Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. were actually guilty of the savage crimes seems to destined never to be definitively answered, though most films about the case have emphasized how tenuous links between the trio and the murders actually were.

Devil’s Knot, Atom Egoyan’s dramatization of the investigation and subsequent trials, features bankable Hollywood stars like Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon, and that star power makes this retelling more likely to appeal to the masses than the documentary coverage. That’s why it’s so unfortunate that Egoyan never manages to do right by his powerful source material.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

West Memphis Redux: Atom Egoyan on Devil’s Knot

The West Memphis Three case was the subject of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s much-lauded Paradise Lost trilogy (1996, 2000, 2011), as well as Amy Berg’s 2012 West of Memphis. Each documentary chronicled the ongoing evolution of a uniquely American tragedy: the wrongful convictions of three teenage outcasts in the grotesque slayings of three eight-year-olds in West Memphis, Ark on May 5th, 1993. In Devil’s Knot, Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s fictionalized retelling of the events, the teenagers who stand accused — Jason Baldwin (Seth Meriwether), Damien Echols (James Hamrick), and Jessie Misskelley Jr. (Kris Higgins) — are clearly railroaded by local law […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Devil’s Knot movie review: well-worn tracks

Atom Egoyan is all over the real-life case of American injustice surrounding the West Memphis Three. But sadly, I’m not sure why. I’m “biast” (pro): I’ve been following the real-life story depicted here for many years; love the cast and director

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Atom Egoyan, who is a pretty amazing filmmaker — his The Sweet Hereafter must be one of the saddest, wisest movies ever made — is all over the case of the West Memphis Three… and, sadly, I’m not sure why. The real-life story is already a notorious modern anti-classic of American injustice, thanks to an ongoing online campaign and four documentaries — Paradise Lost trilogy and the recent West of Memphis — devoted to the plight of the three men who, as teens, were convicted of the supposedly Satanic murders of three little
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Review: Atom Egoyan's 'Devil's Knot' Lacks Insight Into Case Of West Memphis Three

It has been twenty years since the horrifically mutilated, murdered bodies of children Steve Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers were found in a creek in the middle of Robin Hood Hills in Arkansas. And thus started a saga that spanned nearly two decades, with the trials of the accused Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin gaining national attention, which eventually turned to outrage. Chronicled in great detail via the 'Paradise Lost' trilogy of documentaries as well as Amy Berg's "West Of Memphis," the case of the West Memphis Three soon became one of justice denied, not only to the three young men, but also the victims whose real killer or killers is still unidentified. A controversial Alford Plea agreed to by the trio of boys in 2011 has effectively closed the case, and nearly every angle of the investigation from paths taken to those unexplored has been scrutinized.
See full article at The Playlist »

The Devil's Knot Has Already Been Untied -- and Better

At their worst, the four documentaries that have examined the tragic case of the West Memphis Three have felt like the work of master ironists. Telling the story of three Arkansas teens convicted of child murders just because two of them wore black and had an interest in the occult, the filmmakers have again and again fought against the very public railroading of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley by holding up other West Memphis, Arkansas, misfits as likelier culprits, in effect riposting the small town presumption that outcast kids must be wicked with the coastal presumption that one of those self-righteous rednecks must be. All credit is due to the filmmakers for fighting for these kids, ultimately helping free them from prison and, in Echols's case, death row. But ...
See full article at Village Voice »

Jason Baldwin and Atom Egoyan on Making Art of the West Memphis Three

Jason Baldwin had already been in prison for several years when his friend Mojo shook him awake at 2:30 one morning. "My first thought was, 'I hope he's not taking me for an escape, because I don't want to get killed,'" Baldwin recalls. Instead, Mojo led him without explanation to the visitors' room, where he bought Baldwin a Mountain Dew and a microwave burrito and planted him in front of a television. "He didn't tell me what the movie was," says Baldwin, "but when he pushed play, it was Paradise Lost," the landmark 1996 documentary that introduced audiences to the West Memphis Three, three teenagers — Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and, of course, Baldwin himself — wrongly convicted of murdering three eight-year-old boys.

"I remember Mojo jumped...
See full article at Village Voice »

Exclusive: Atom Egoyan Talks the Challenges and Rewards of Directing Devil's Knot

As the tagline from the latest Atom Egoyan film, Devil's Knot (review), states, “They say the crimes were satanic. The truth may be scarier.” Based on the convictions of the men accused of the "West Memphis Three" murders, it focuses on the families and legal aspects of the case.

We recently chatted with director Egoyan about how he became involved in the project, which describes how Jessie Misskelley, Jr., Jason Baldwin, and Damien Echols (aka the West Memphis Three) were exonerated and released after serving nearly 20 years in prison.

He also touched on why he chose to focus on some lesser known principals from the case, the challenges of bringing this story to the screen, what he learned about the U.S. justice system while making the film, and more.

Dread Central: So, how did you first become aware of the West Memphis Three story, and what was it about
See full article at Dread Central »

Exclusive: Jason Baldwin Talks Visiting the Set of Devil's Knot, the Film's Horror Appeal, and More

The men known as the West Memphis Three were convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the heinous murders of three little boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Jason Baldwin, who’s interviewed here, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Jessie Misskelley, Jr., received a sentence of life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and the so-called ringleader, Damien Echols, was given the death penalty.

During the trial the prosecution declared that the children were slain as part of a Satanic ritual. A number of documentaries have been based on the case, and celebrities, filmmakers, and musicians have spoken out in the belief that they are innocent. Finally, in 2010, the trio were released after striking an unusual legal deal.

And now, there’s a Hollywood movie, Devil's Knot (review). It’s directed by Atom Egoyan and stars Academy Award winners Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon.

Dread Central: One wonders… as someone who lived the story,
See full article at Dread Central »

Beyond Fright Review: Devil’S Knot

It’s never easy to separate the truth from fiction, or at times, understand why some biopic films make the decision to focus on the wrong individuals instead of the people whose lives were truly affected. While the film itself is somewhat well done in the whole scheme of filmmaking and is an effective court-drama, Devil’S Knot ultimately fails in its priorities, focusing too much on the wrong characters, all while missing the opportunity to spread awareness and shed light on one of American’s biggest judicial mess-ups.

While the story of the 1993 murders of three little boys in West Memphis, Arkansas is widely known at this point, the case which resulted in what many people consider a modern day witch-hunt and a wrongful conviction of three outcast teens, has just now made its way to a narrative film. While the true crime book and four documentaries (the Peter Jackson
See full article at Icons of Fright »

'Devil's Knot': Dane DeHaan looks guilty in West Memphis 3 film -- Exclusive

'Devil's Knot': Dane DeHaan looks guilty in West Memphis 3 film -- Exclusive
The true story of the West Memphis Three has been told many times in many different forms, notably the trio of documentaries from filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, who helped shed light on the miscarriage of justice that convicted three Arkansas teenagers for the ritual killing of three young boys in 1993.

On May 9, the haunting tale comes to theaters and digital home video with Devil’s Knot, Atom Egoyan’s star-studded feature with Reese Witherspoon as the mother of one of the murdered boys and Colin Firth as the investigator who senses that the truth had been lost in
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

The Devil's Knot Fastened to This Image Gallery

Image Entertainment is bringing The Devil's Knot to us on May 9th, and right now we have several new images for you cats with a penchant for true crime cases. Guilty? Innocent? Give us your take on who committed these heinous crimes.

Synopsis:

From Academy Award nominated director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) and starring Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech) and Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), comes the true story of a crime that would grip a nation for almost two decades and that continues to be one of the most high-profile trials of all time. Based on the bestseller by Mara Leveritt, Devil's Knot recounts the trial and conviction of teenagers Damien Echols; Jessie Misskelley, Jr.; and Jason Baldwin in the savage murder of three 8-year-old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993.

Dubbed the so-called "West Memphis Three," the defendants,
See full article at Dread Central »

"Devil's Knot" Trailer Examines the West Memphis Three Case

  • TooFab
This might be tough movie to watch. Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth star in the "Devil's Knot" based off of Mara Leveritt's book, by the same title, which follows the true story of the infamous West Memphis Three. In 1993, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were convicted of killing three young boys in Arkansas as part of a satanic ritual.  The teens later became known as the West Memphis Three ... but were eventually released after being wrongly charged in 2011. In the flick, Reese stars as the grieving mother, Pam Hobbs, who's 8-year-old son was one of the mysteriously murdered boys. Firth plays the private investigator, Ron Lax, who's not convinced that teenagers were responsible for the brutal crimes. There's been a ton of controversy around the trial, and stars like Peter Jackson, Natalie Maines and Johnny Depp are just a few of the celebs who've involved themselves in the case,
See full article at TooFab »

Devil's Knot Trailer: Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth at Center of Movie About the West Memphis Three

Devil's Knot Trailer: Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth at Center of Movie About the West Memphis Three
The new trailer for Devil's Knot has been released and, given the subject matter, it can definitely be difficult to watch. Based on Mara Leveritt's best-selling book of the same name, the film follows the true story of three teenagers—Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr.—who became known as the West Memphis Three after they were accused and convicted of killing three young boys in Arkansas in 1993. The movie, however, puts the spotlight on the grieving mother (played by Reese Witherspoon) of one of the murdered boys, as well as a private investigator (portrayed by Colin Firth) who is not convinced the convicted teens are guilty of the crime. In 2011, the Memphis Three...
See full article at E! Online »

The Devil's Knot Untied in New Trailer

Image Entertainment is bringing The Devil's Knot to us on May 9th, and right now we have the full trailer for you cats with a penchant for true crime cases. Lord knows they rarely come as compelling as the story surrounding the West Memphis 3.

Synopsis:

From Academy Award nominated director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) and starring Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech) and Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), comes the true story of a crime that would grip a nation for almost two decades and that continues to be one of the most high-profile trials of all time. Based on the bestseller by Mara Leveritt, Devil's Knot recounts the trial and conviction of teenagers Damien Echols; Jessie Misskelley, Jr.; and Jason Baldwin in the savage murder of three 8-year-old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993.

Dubbed the so-called "West Memphis Three,
See full article at Dread Central »
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