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West of Memphis (2012)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,625 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 24 user | 106 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: West of Memphis (2012)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

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Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

22 November 2012 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

West of Memphis  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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


35 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If they didn't do it, who did? Maverick410
My perception of what really happened is new? Tell me! peruketz
Pam Hobbs no longer thinks ex- Terry Hobbs guilty isleworld-1
What were the WM3's alibis? strongbad-274-706634
Jesse Misskelley why? sonofspam1972
i still dont know if these guys are innocent wayne-robb
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