Run time: 114mins


Director: Atom Egoyan

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth

Synopsis: The film follows the 1993 murder and mutilation of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the resulting trial of the three teenage boys who were found guilty

of the killings.  Colin Firth plays visiting private investigator Ron Lax, who leads the defence of the suspected killers. Through his work on the case and conversations with Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the dead children (Reese Witherspoon), Ron finds there may be more to the deaths than the authorities think, but will it be enough to contend with the beliefs of the small Bible Belt community?


Of late the films of the once great and creative Atom Egoyan have lost their edge and Devil’s Knot is unfortunately no exception.  The celebrated case of the has already been exhaustively covered in three documentary films – Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky and there have been several books.

Devil’s Knot feels curiously flat and convoluted in the courtroom sequences, and the performances of the two major stars, Colin Firth and Reece Witherspoon are certainly not their best, while rising star Dane DeHaan is criminally wasted.

A fairly long epilogue postscript details events since 1994, including the defendants’ release from prison in 2011, but by that stage it is difficult to care.




Images courtesy of Entertainment Films