7.9/10
9,705
31 user 112 critic

West of Memphis (2012)

Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
An examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three.

Director:

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

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Baden ... Self (as Dr. Michael Baden)
Jason Baldwin ... Self
Holly Ballard Holly Ballard ... Self
Jamie Clark Ballard Jamie Clark Ballard ... Self
Jennifer Bearden Jennifer Bearden ... Self
Patrick Benca Patrick Benca ... Self
Steve Braga Steve Braga ... Self
Karen Bruewer Karen Bruewer ... Self
David Burnett David Burnett ... Self
John Mark Byers ... Self (as Mark Byers)
Michael Carson Michael Carson ... Self
Dennis Carter Dennis Carter ... Self
The Chicks ... Themselves (archive footage) (as Dixie Chicks)
Heather Crawford Heather Crawford ... Self (archive footage)
Joyce Cureton Joyce Cureton ... Self
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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

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Henry Rollins: [when asked why he was drawn to the West Memphis 3 case] Damien liked to hang out alone and wrote in his journals that he was depressed. Hello! He liked to listen to weird music. Check. He was a wise-ass in the face of law enforcement. I mean, are you kidding? It could have been me. Could have been me.
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Connections

Features Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Scene of the Crime
Written by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
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User Reviews

 
That's the way they do things in West Memphis
21 October 2016 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

There's no such thing as a nice murder, but the deaths of three children in West Memphs, Arkansas in 1993 seemed particularly horrific: the killer had apparently cut off his victim's penises and drunk their blood before throwing the corpses into a creek. The police promptly rounded up some local kids with a passing interest in Satanism, and a conviction as duly secured. Only later, amid mounting concerns over a potential miscarriage of justice, did it emerge that an incompetent pathologist had failed to recognise that the wounds were almost certainly inflicted post-mortem, and not by the killer, but by turtles. Not only had the wrong people been convicted of the crime, but the crime was perhaps just an "ordinary" murder after all. But getting the State to agree was a further long struggle. Amy Berg's documentary charts the story. It's horrific (the crime was still an awful one, even if not quite as originally portrayed, and the false imprisonment of the accused a second tragedy), fascinating, and beautifully filmed. On the downside, it is a bit long, and while it does a good job at suggesting who might have actually committed the crime, one can feel a bit uneasy about making such charges in a film like this (although one can also note that the authorities seemingly have no interest in re-investigating the case). More than anything else, the film is an interesting (and scary) look into the life of the American poor, a long way from the glitz of Manhattan. For many of the people we see in this movie, life would have been a hard, tough grind, even without the terrible events displayed. When one of the three accused finally gets out of prison, he tells us he isn't going back to Arkansas; and one doesn't feel like blaming him.


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Details

Country:

New Zealand | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 November 2012 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

West of Memphis See more »

Filming Locations:

Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,360, 30 December 2012

Gross USA:

$310,154

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$318,317
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)| Color (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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