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West of Memphis (2012)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,183 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 23 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 ...
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Holly Ballard ...
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Jamie Clark Ballard ...
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Jennifer Bearden ...
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Patrick Benca ...
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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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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

Official Sites:

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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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Company Credits

Production Co:

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1.85 : 1
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Featured in At the Movies: Episode #10.1 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Justice delayed is justice denied"

West of Memphis

This documentary, produced by Peter Jackson, examines the 1993 triple homicide of three eight-year-olds, investigation and trial of three teenagers and the subsequent efforts to overturn their conviction. While the story itself spans a 20-year period, this documentary focuses upon the most recent attempts at re-examining the evidence and freeing those convicted (one of whom confessed).

The story's already been told in HBO's "Paradise Lost" 1 - 3 (yep, this is the FOURTH doc on the subject), but this tale has been going on for twenty-years and has had multiple layers. If you haven't seen any of the other movies, or know nothing of the case, not to worry - West of Memphis does a fantastic job telling you the story from start to finish and in refreshing the memories for those of us to whom it's familiar.

I'm normally not bothered by graphic images, but my only complaint for this movie is the frequency of the explicit crime scene and autopsy photos of the victims - truly disturbing and haunting...I felt it was too much and took away from the film - the story itself, and sad realization that there were six actual victims, is overwhelming enough without being visually assaulted. I'm not one to normally feel the need to close my eyes or to look away, but here, I did.

And what a shame, by forcing me to look away, it forced me to tentatively recommend this film to everyone - it's tough to watch and revisiting how six children lost their lives is harrowing. While our country has the best justice system in the world, it's not perfect and works best for those who are able to afford the finest legal council money can buy (right, OJ?!) - in any case, "Justice delayed is justice denied".

I highly recommend it - but, I've warned you...it's tough.


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