May 5, 1993. West Memephis, Arkansas. Three young boys playing in the nearby woods never come home for dinner. In the rush to find and convict the killers, police focus on a trio of teenagers suspected of devil worship. As the mother of one of the murdered boys (Reese Witherspoon) tries to come to grips with this unspeakable tragedy, she is desperate to believe that the killers have been found and will be brought to justice. It is only when a private investigator (Colin Firth) reveals that the evidence doesn't all add up, that the community is forced to face the reality that the true killer might still be out there.
Guilty of first-degree melodrama
- Devil's Knot review by AS
To make a slow-moving courtroom drama you need a powerful writer, a powerful director and, above all, a powerful cast. Then you come up with 'Anatomy of a Murder' or 'Witness for the Prosecution' or 'In Cold Blood'. When you have none of the essential ingredients you come up with this dross, a tale peopled by stock bigot citizens and bent cops, and an investigator played by Colin Firth who wanders through the ruins wearing a perpetually bemused expression as if he has no idea where he is or what he's doing there. The pity is, this could have, and should have, done justice to a real-life criminal case in which justice was very badly served.