Devil’s Knot (2013)

devils knotDirector: Atom Egoyan

Writer: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson (Screenplay) Mara Leveritt (Book ‘Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three’)

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Alessandro Nivola, James Hamrick, Seth Meriwether, Kristopher Higgins, Amy Ryan, Robert Baker, Mireille Enos,  Dane DeHaan


Plot: Based on the true story 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.


Verdict: Interesting


Story: We get to follow the final known steps of the three young children followed by the search for them. We then have to go through the who might have done it which leads to the three suspects. We get to meet the investigator who follows the case from a distance to start with but moves closer when he starts to think not everything is right. We go through the court case but much like real life we don’t get any answers.

Based on the real story of the tragic killings and how the case has never officially be solved (Which I didn’t know go into). Everything put together seems very real to how things sounded like they went rather against the law book through the court case. If that was how the case went it does seem really hard to believe an outcome was true. I do like how the story showed the faults in the handling of the case and offered potential suspects that never got looked into. I do think this could have just be a television special though, because of its lack of conclusion it makes the Hollywood treatment seem too much. (7/10)


Actor Review


Reese Witherspoon: Pam Hobbs mother of one of the victims who has to deal with the loss of a child, the invading media asking her the same old questions and suffer through a court case. She does start to doubt the suspects during the court case and seems to have uncovered something. Good performance from Reese who plays the grieving mother perfectly. (8/10)


Colin Firth: Ron Lax private investigator who takes an interest in the case, he doesn’t want to see any more children killed with the potential outcome being tried for. He tries to uncover a potential larger story but always get shot down and anything he brings to the case seems to get dismissed. Great performance from Colin, who portrays the American accent to fit in perfect. (9/10)


Alessandro Nivola: Terry Hobbs husband of Pam who is in grieving but just wants to see the people reasonable pay. Good performance in a role where he gets to add a bit of mystery to his character. (8/10)


James Hamrick, Seth Meriwether, Kristopher Higgins: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley the three suspects who go through a court case given no chance to be found no guilty. All three do a good job as three young men about to see their futures taken away from them (7/10)







Support Cast: With the support cast we have the Police force who start off looking very professional but as the court case unfolds seem to have missed important information. We have both sides of the lawyers who want to win but struggle as well as the other families and how they are struggling through. Each supporting cast member helps the story continue and does a good job with the time they get. (8/10)


Director Review: Atom Egoyan – Does a solid job to show how the story of the case is still incomplete and how it was treated so one sided. (8/10)


Crime: Looking at the real crime that never seemed to get solved. (9/10)

Drama: Solid drama showing the effect the crime had on the people and how they dealt with it. (8/10)

Thriller: Lacks the thrills it could have because we are not left to guess what will happen. (4/10)

Settings: The settings all look very authentic for the time and all play into the effects of how the story unfolds. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try, it is a real story about an unsolved crime so you will know it will leave you feeling slightly empty. (Try It)


Best Part: Colin Firth performance

Worst Part: Court Case was a shambles

Believability: Based on a real event. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Unlikley

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: They say the crimes were satanic. The truth may be scarier.


Overall: Solid Drama Based on Real Event

Rating 71


  1. I have to say I found this film very disappointing. I was hopeful with Egoyan directing, and was interested in the real-life case but Devil’s Knot doesn’t find anything to say that wasn’t said much more effectively in the documentary West of Memphis, which I’d highly recommend.

    • As i hadn’t heard of the case before i liked how it made the case look like a shame and kept mystery, but i thought if they made a film the story might be finished. I might check out that documentary see if there is anymore to it all

      • I can imagine this film would be a lot more interesting if you didn’t know about the case already. There’s certainly a lot more to it and actually 4 documentaries have been made about it, the Paradise Lost trilogy and West of Memphis. If you’re interested I’d check out West of Memphis first as it seems to be the most comprehensive take on the story.

Leave a Reply