West of Memphis - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

West of Memphis Reviews

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Eric Melin
August 9, 2013
A documentary that distills 19 years of a witch hunt, a grass roots movement, lost leads, confusion, countless appeals, and hope into one remarkable movie that is hellbent on setting the record straight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
May 13, 2013
It effectively condenses what took the 'Paradise Lost' films nearly eight hours to reveal into a tight, snappy 149 minutes that affords you everything you need to know about the West Memphis Three.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
May 13, 2013
It's another case where, instead of a prosecution having to prove a case, a defendant has to choose the lesser of two evils. "This happens all the time," defendant Damien Echols says of the whole process, and he's right.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 5, 2013
It's not a new story, true, but "West of Memphis" makes it both extremely personal and universally painful.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
April 4, 2013
A sobering look at how the wheels of justice can be -- and are -- manipulated by political expediency and a small town's tendrils of the old boy network
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Tara Brady
Irish Times
March 29, 2013
The film is so utterly transfixing you won't believe almost two-and-a-half hours have passed when the final credits roll.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 21, 2013
We feel like we're watching an overlong true-crime television episode and not a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 18, 2013
I would have preferred Jackson's clinically-presented project display a bit more reverence for the three young lives that were brutally taken some twenty years ago.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Leah Churner
Austin Chronicle
March 15, 2013
Moving and gruesome, West of Memphis is an eloquent disquisition on the banality of evil.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 14, 2013
A real-life horror story, made no less shocking by the familiarity of its early scenes.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
March 14, 2013
"West of Memphis" re-examines evidence and retells the story in a methodical and procedural fashion in which even the false steps lead somewhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 14, 2013
While the "Paradise Lost" films captured events as they unfolded in the heat of battle, "West of Memphis" has the luxury of at least partial closure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
March 13, 2013
More a recap and appendix to the Paradise Lost trilogy... one can't help but feel that the celebrities involved needed this document of their efforts to appease their vanity.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Jake Mulligan
Boston Phoenix
March 13, 2013
The case is more intriguing than the film about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Brian Orndorf
March 8, 2013
Isn't unnecessary, but it's often superfluous.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
March 8, 2013
The film suggests these powerless, poorly educated young men were scapegoated because they would be missed by nobody of importance -- the justice system equivalent of the cannon fodder recruited from the same socioeconomic straits.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Mike Scott
March 8, 2013
It's nice to have all the twists and turns of the iconic case contained tidily in one well-crafted film, although there are no real revelations here.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 7, 2013
A true-crime story that begins with a notorious murder case and grows into a chilling indictment of the American justice system.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Sara Smith
Kansas City Star
March 7, 2013
"West of Memphis" becomes a greatest-hits concert of prosecutorial misconduct, and you'll agree when the film asserts that prosecutors knew they had the wrong guys.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
March 7, 2013
Incredibly, after three documentaries on the subject, there are still things to reveal about the West Memphis Three.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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