Based on the true story of the West Memphis Three where three young boys were savagely murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. Spurred on by the demand from a grieving town, the local police act quickly to bring three "devil-worshipping" teenagers to trial. With their lives hanging in the balance, investigator Ron Lax is trying to find the truth between the town's need for justice and the guilt of the accused. Written by
Based on the 2002 book "Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three". See more »
West Memphis, Arkansas is situated along the Mississippi River on some the flattest terrain in the nation. But the movie shows landscapes, especially along the creek where the bodies were found, that are far steeper and hillier than exists in or around West Memphis. See more »
Well, that's all right, mama / That's all right for you / That's all right, mama, just any way you do.
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From a competent director like Atom Egoyan, one would certainly expect a bit more than this sub par effort, that looks and feels like a cheap, made for TV movie, in every way. Filled with dull court scenes, and a preachy vibe throughout, as though the film was made specifically to prove that the 3 boys were innocent of the charges. It is hard to imagine that a movie dealing with such a fascinating subject matter, could actually be boring; but Egoyan and his cast manage to deliver a completely lackluster product. Even Reese Witherspoon, who usually turns in good performances, is just awful in this. Somehow her Southern accent sounds completely fake...even though the actress IS Southern! It felt like the actors didn't put any feeling into their roles, perhaps because even they realized that the script was so uninspiring. And if the people involved in the project can't find inspiration, how is the audience supposed to feel anything at all? The only bright spot in this film is the appearance of the up and coming actor Dane DeHaan, who is usually the best thing about any production he appears in. Unfortunately DeHaan is on screen for less than a total of 10 minutes.
For those interested in the infamous 'West Memphis Three' murders, the documentary "Paradise Lost" is still the most interesting film on the subject. Later this year, there is yet another movie on this subject, due to be released in November 2014. Hopefully that film will handle the material better than this lackluster effort..
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