• R, 2 hr. 26 min.
  • Documentary
  • Directed By:
    Amy Berg
    In Theaters:
    Dec 25, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Aug 6, 2013
  • Sony Pictures Classics


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West of Memphis Reviews

Page 1 of 6
Eric Melin

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 Source: Scene-Stealers.com | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2013
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger

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 Source: The Patriot Ledger | Original Score: A-

May 13, 2013
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

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 Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI) | Original Score: 3/4

May 13, 2013
Tom Long
Detroit News
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It's not a new story, true, but "West of Memphis" makes it both extremely personal and universally painful.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

April 5, 2013
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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 Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 4.5/5

April 4, 2013
Tara Brady
Irish Times

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 Source: Irish Times | Original Score: 5/5

March 29, 2013
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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We feel like we're watching an overlong true-crime television episode and not a movie.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2/4

March 21, 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 Source: NECN | Original Score: B

March 18, 2013
Leah Churner
Austin Chronicle

Moving and gruesome, West of Memphis is an eloquent disquisition on the banality of evil.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 4/5

March 15, 2013
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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A real-life horror story, made no less shocking by the familiarity of its early scenes.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 14, 2013
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"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 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Original Score: 3/4

March 14, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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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 Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 14, 2013
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

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 Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI) | Original Score: B

March 13, 2013
Jake Mulligan
Boston Phoenix

The case is more intriguing than the film about it.

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 13, 2013
Brian Orndorf

Isn't unnecessary, but it's often superfluous.

Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com | Original Score: B-

March 8, 2013
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

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 Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Original Score: 3/4

March 8, 2013
Mike Scott

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 Source: Times-Picayune | Original Score: 3/5

March 8, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A true-crime story that begins with a notorious murder case and grows into a chilling indictment of the American justice system.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 7, 2013
Sara Smith
Kansas City Star

"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 Source: Kansas City Star | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 7, 2013
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Incredibly, after three documentaries on the subject, there are still things to reveal about the West Memphis Three.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 7, 2013
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