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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Damien Echols
Jessie Misskelley
Jason Baldwin
Henry Rollins
Eddie Vedder.
Directors
Amy Berg.
Screenwriters
Running Time
147 minutes

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West Of Memphis
Peter Jackson: truth crusader


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Plot
In 1994, Damien Echols (18), Jessie Misskelley (17) and Jason Baldwin (16) were wrongfully convicted of killing three young boys. Here, Berg and producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh uncover the truth, in the hope of securing their release.


Review
West Of Memphis
Anyone who has been following the awful saga of the ‘West Memphis Three’ will need no prompting to see the latest, ostensibly final, chapter in the true story of the terrible miscarriage of justice that led to three teenagers being found guilty in the court of public opinion before the jury reached a verdict. The sentence for Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin was life in prison, and the slightly older Damien Echols, death. Though later freed, they still remain guilty in the eyes of the law.

The circumstances surrounding the wrongful convictions were first explored in HBO’s 1996 documentary Paradise Lost, which presented a compelling argument that the teenagers had been framed for the crimes, largely on the basis of their outsider status and fondness for heavy metal music. Soon after the documentary was first aired, celebrities like Johnny Depp and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder began to champion their cause, ensuring that neither finance nor faith ever ran out. Two further HBO docs detailed the continuing efforts to overturn the convictions, but it was only when Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh took up the baton that a more thorough re-examination of the evidence became possible. Combining new interviews, archive footage, reconstructions and forensic tests, Berg’s film is the story of the resulting re-investigation, and it is spellbinding: as tragic, horrifying and morbidly fascinating as a motorway pile-up, and with as many victims.

Yet this is not the story of a single injustice, but many: not only did police and prosecutors conspire to frame three innocent teenagers for a capital crime, but also — let’s not forget — the real culprit, a multiple child murderer, remains at liberty. Those expecting West Of Memphis to be the last word on the subject may be dismayed by the Zodiac-like absence of closure. Damien, Jason and Jessie may have won their freedom, but despite the mountain of exonerating evidence, the struggle to prove their innocence and find the real killer — or killers — goes on.


Verdict
Prepare to be shocked, disturbed, awed... and, if you expected justice to prevail at last, ultimately devastated.


Reviewed by David Hughes

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for West Of Memphis
Empire Star Rating

fuck me talk about milking it haven't Joe Berlinger and Bruce sinofsky already exhaustively covered the story in the three documentary's they made? surely there are other stories out there worth documenting ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hi charlie at 18:58, 23 December 2012 | Report This Post


Dannybohy

Then make one that gives your opinion and the non supporter side, if it means so much to you or quit your moaning about Jackson and Berg making theirs...that you still haven't seen. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rumpledink at 18:35, 19 December 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Dannybohy, *yawn*

L: Rumpledink The deal was if they plead guilty they would be released. They took it for that reason and could still maintain innocence. The fact the state even offered that deal says a lot about how confident they are that the WM3 are guilty. Your bile might also hold some weight if you had actually seen the doc first before declaring it "shit" and "telling you what to think". he movie is made by Peter Jackson, an avid WM3, it was never going to be an unbiased movie. It is a movie c... More

Posted by Dannybohy at 11:35, 19 December 2012 | Report This Post


Dannybohy, *yawn*

The deal was if they plead guilty they would be released. They took it for that reason and could still maintain innocence. The fact the state even offered that deal says a lot about how confident they are that the WM3 are guilty. Your bile might also hold some weight if you had actually seen the doc first before declaring it "shit" and "telling you what to think". ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rumpledink at 10:21, 19 December 2012 | Report This Post


Guilty as charged, sentenced and plead

Who says there was injustice?. It isn't a fact, its opinion of a film maker packaged and branded for the masses. Take the time to read up on the case and trial history before you make your mind up on such a complex case ,rather than just watch this shit which is trying to tell you what to think. They where found guilty, one of them confessed multiple times, they plead guilty when they where set free. why make another bias movie when there have been three already made!. Jackson just tryi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dannybohy at 17:16, 18 December 2012 | Report This Post


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