7.9/10
7,934
32 user 108 critic

West of Memphis (2012)

Trailer
2:03 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A further followup of the case of the West Memphis Three and the decades long fight to exonerate them that finally gained traction with new DNA evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Stars: Gary Gitchell, Todd Moore, Dana Moore
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The case of the West Memphis Three, its questionable circumstances and the parties involved are followed up years later.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Stars: Damien Wayne Echols, Melissa Byers, Norris Deajon
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood
Documentary | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman
Crime | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams
The Staircase (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, presents a gripping courtroom thriller, offering a rare and revealing inside look at a high-profile murder trial. In ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Peterson, David Rudolf, Ron Guerette
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children.

Director: Amy Berg
Stars: Oliver O'Grady, Thomas Doyle, Adam
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The accident made national headlines: a suburban mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York and crashed head-on into an SUV, killing herself and seven others. In ... See full summary »

Director: Liz Garbus
Stars: Jesse Temple, Brad Katinas, Diane Schuler
The Cheshire Murders (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the quiet suburb of Cheshire, Connecticut, Jennifer Petit and her two young daughters were killed in a horrific home invasion; husband and father William Petit was the only one who ... See full summary »

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner
Stars: Marilyn Bartoli, Deb Biggins, Michael Daluz
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.

Director: Kurt Kuenne
Stars: Kurt Kuenne, Andrew Bagby, David Bagby
Edit

Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Road to Nowhere
Written and Performed by Bill Carter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Infuriating, depressing and horrifying but also ultimately inspiring.
14 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'WEST OF MEMPHIS': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A documentary film on the West Memphis Three case, in which three teenage outcasts (Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley) were arrested and charged with the murder of three 8-year old boys (Steven Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore), despite the lack of any conclusive evidence and apparent police and prosecutor misconduct. The boys spent eighteen years in prison and were released in August of 2011 as part of a deal reached with prosecutors due to new evidence. The film was directed and co-written (along with Billy McMillin) by Amy Berg (who also directed the 2006 documentary 'DELIVER US FROM EVIL', about the Catholic Church's cover up of a priest's sexual abuse, towards dozens of young boys, in the 70s). It was produced by Berg, Echols and Lori Davis as well as filmmakers Peter Jackson and his wife Fran Walsh. The movie is heartbreaking, frustrating and very disturbing but it's also inspiring in the way it shows how many people came forward to support justice and the freeing of these (presumably) wrongfully convicted men.

The film tells the story of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley (known as 'The West Memphis Three'), who were tried and convicted of the 1993 murders of three 8-year old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1994. Echols was sentenced to death and the other two were sentenced to life imprisonment. The prosecution claimed that the three misfits killed the young boys as part of a satanic ritual but had no physical evidence to backup their claim. They were convicted on a theory, a forced confession of a mentally handicap teen (Misskelley) and the testimony of some shady witnesses (who later retracted their statements and admitted they were lying). Multiple HBO documentaries have been made on the subject which have motivated many to come forward in defense of the accused, including several celebrities (like Jackson, Walsh, Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins and Johnny Depp to name a few). New forensic evidence allowed a deal to be reached with prosecutors where 'The Memphis Three' were released from prison under time served (18 years) due to Alford pleas (which allowed the three to maintain their innocence while admitting that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict them (a disgraceful way for the prosecution to avoid the embarrassment of a retrial and admitting they were wrong). The events of the entire ordeal are explained in detail through interviews with several of those involved. There's also a lot of evidence provided pointing to the most likely killer of the three young boys (Steven Branch's stepfather Terry Hobbs).

The film is the classic tale of people in power taking advantage of the weak that can't defend themselves (three misfit teens in this case) and society exploiting someone for looking different and acting 'weird' (therefore he's 'creepy' and there must be something wrong with him). This sort of thing happens all the time, this is just one of those times it's been brought to the public's attention. Which is a good enough reason, on it's own, why no one (with any morals of any kind) should support the death penalty. The movie is infuriating, depressing and horrifying but it's also ultimately inspiring. It's also very relatable, to some, and shows how people that are different are often used and abused by society. That's why so many musicians and other celebrities felt for these young men and got involved in trying to help them. It's a movie that we can all learn a lot from. It still leaves a lot of questions and doesn't reach a completely satisfying conclusion (because one wasn't reached in real life) but the filmmakers did about as good a job bringing this story to light (in more detail, to the masses) as they possibly could. A must see!


11 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page