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Devil's Knot (2013)

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The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a Satanic ritual.

Director:

Atom Egoyan

Writers:

Paul Harris Boardman (screenplay), Scott Derrickson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reese Witherspoon ... Pam Hobbs
Colin Firth ... Ron Lax
Alessandro Nivola ... Terry Hobbs
James Hamrick ... Damien Echols
Seth Meriwether ... Jason Baldwin
Kristopher Higgins ... Jessie Misskelley (as Kris Higgins)
Amy Ryan ... Margaret Lax
Robert Baker ... Detective Bryan Ridge
Collette Wolfe ... Glori Shettles
Rex Linn ... Chief Inspector Gitchell
Bruce Greenwood ... Judge Burnett
Kristoffer Polaha ... Val Price
Matt Letscher ... Paul Ford
Michael Gladis ... Dan Stidham
Stephen Moyer ... John Fogleman
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Storyline

Based on the actual events of the West Memphis Three, where three young boys were savagely murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. Spurred on by the demand from a grieving town, the local police act quickly to bring three "devil-worshipping" teenagers to trial. With their lives hanging in the balance, investigator Ron Lax is trying to find the truth between the town's need for justice and the guilt of the accused. Written by Anne Campbell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They say the crimes were satanic. The truth may be scarier. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2014 (Philippines) See more »

Also Known As:

Condenados See more »

Filming Locations:

Morrow, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,015,932
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reese Witherspoon was eight months pregnant with her third child during filming. See more »

Goofs

West Memphis, Arkansas is situated along the Mississippi River on some the flattest terrain in the nation. But the movie shows landscapes, especially along the creek where the bodies were found, that are far steeper and hillier than exists in or around West Memphis. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stevie Branch: [sings] Well, that's all right, mama / That's all right for you / That's all right, mama, just any way you do.
See more »

Connections

Features Race with the Devil (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Alter of Sacrifice
Written by Jeff Hanneman (as Jeffery John Hanneman) and Kerry King
Performed by Slayer
Courtesy of American Recordings, LLC
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"There's power in the blood"
18 June 2014 | by doug_park2001See all my reviews

Based on the book by the same title, DEVIL's KNOT is a docu-drama about the 1993 ritual murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. This film does not contain any basic information that is not already covered in the documentaries PARADISE LOST and WEST of MEMPHIS. It does, however, provide some fairly interesting reenacted personal perspectives of the various parties: victims' families, the accused "Memphis 3" and certain of their friends, the police and prosecution, the defense teams, etc. DEVIL's KNOT makes for a compelling enough show and is expertly filmed with decent but not great acting. Though I'm sure that there are some misrepresentations of certain details, it is faithful to the basic events of this case. The biggest limitation is that those who have read the various books and seen earlier films will not find anything terribly new here while casual viewers who are unfamiliar with the case will find all the various characters and shifting perspectives confusing.

Colin Firth gives a nice performance as private investigator for the defense Ron Lax; ditto for Reese Witherspoon as Pam Hobbs. DEVIL's KNOT might have worked better with a stricter focus on one or maybe both of these characters, even if that meant ignoring certain other people and factors in the case.

Regardless, this film is very revealing of how incompetent police work, selective use of evidence by the prosecution, and public hysteria in this rather superstitious Bible Belt community led to the denial of reasonable doubt for the accused "Memphis 3." Without telling you what to think or pointing the finger unduly, it also cursorily examines other potential suspects. There are some brief bits of courtroom drama, but again, the focus changes just as things get really interesting.

In short, DEVIL's KNOT is quite watchable, but the attempt to tell the entire story in a narrative of less than two hours is inadequate and dissatisfying.

WARNING: Though there's not a lot of gore, there are some brief and graphic post mortem shots of the young victims.


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