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West of Memphis (2012)

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An examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three.


Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Michael Baden ...
Himself (as Dr. Michael Baden)
Holly Ballard ...
Jamie Clark Ballard ...
Jennifer Bearden ...
Patrick Benca ...
Steve Braga ...
Karen Bruewer ...
David Burnett ...
John Mark Byers ...
Himself (as Mark Byers)
Michael Carson ...
Dennis Carter ...
Joyce Cureton ...
Vincent Di Maio ...


West of Memphis is an examination of a failure of justice in Arkansas. The documentary tells the hitherto unknown story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light. Told and made by those who lived it, the filmmakers' unprecedented access to the inner workings of the defense, allows the film to show the investigation, research and appeals process in a way that has never been seen before; revealing shocking and disturbing new information about a case that still haunts the American South. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 November 2012 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

West of Memphis  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,360 (USA) (28 December 2012)


$309,864 (USA) (19 April 2013)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Damien Wayne Echols: The thing I like most about time is that it's not real. It's all in the head. Sure, it's a useful trick if you wanna meet someone at a specific place in the universe to have tea or coffee. But that's all it is, a trick. There's no such thing as the past, it exists only in the memory. There's no such thing as the future, it exists only in our imagination. If our watches were truly accurate the only thing they would ever say is now.
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Featured in At the Movies: Episode #10.1 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent overview of a complex and troubling miscarriage of justice
24 November 2012 | by (US) – See all my reviews

While the story of the West Memphis Three, their awful flawed trial and subsequent efforts to obtain freedom were well covered in the "Paradise Lost" trilogy of films, this single film overview has a lot of value.

Perhaps because the case can now be looked back on in total, it feels like there is a clearer focus here than in the excellent "Paradise Lost" series. There also seems to be more of an emphasis on the emotion and humanity of all the victims – the three falsely convicted young men, but also the families that lost children.

Last, the film makes some of the awful holes in the prosecution case more simple and clear than earlier accounts, as well as putting a chilling spotlight on the possible real perpetrator, but without the theatrics that harmed 'Paradise Lost 2', which seemed guilty of what the trial did to the three boys; throw suspicion on a subject largely because he 'acted weird'.

Here the investigation into another possibility feels more dispassionate and scientific, and less manipulated, leaving one with questions rather than forcing conclusions.

The world might not have 'needed' another film on the subject, but personally, I feel the more injustice can be intelligently examined and exposed the better off we are as a society.

38 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I used to think they were innocent, but not any more.... theraj662
Guilty as charged mrquint73
What is the point of the snapping turtle argument? Maverick410
If they didn't do it, who did? Maverick410
This movie is reckless DannyDee14
This Documentary is so biased and irresponsible reveals many hypocracies freeboarder
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