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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: An examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 16, 2013
    100
    Do we need a fourth film? Yes, I think we do. If you only see one of them, this is the one to choose, because it has the benefit of hindsight.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Mar 7, 2013
    91
    West of Memphis does nothing to displace its predecessor films as masterpieces of investigative filmmaking, but complements them as a riveting capstone to an epic and tragic tale.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 24, 2013
    90
    As with "The Central Park Five," you come away from the film impressed by the storytelling but enraged by the facts. It's outrageous that this kind of thing happens, but Berg does an outstanding job of showing us how it does.
  4. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Nov 25, 2012
    80
    Thorny, blood-boiling and finely made.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Feb 9, 2013
    75
    A long documentary that's very hard to watch - at times, it's harrowing.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jan 24, 2013
    75
    West of Memphis makes a lucid, absorbing contribution to an epic saga that Berlinger and Sinofsky first wrestled into an 18-year-long narrative that changed two lives and saved one. And it gives that epic an ending that's happy, sad, inspiring, infuriating, right and terribly wrong, all at the same time.
  7. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Dec 18, 2012
    40
    Berlinger and Sinofksy merely suggested Hobbs might be responsible for the crime; Berg goes in for the kill, inconclusive evidence and docu-ethics be damned. The queasy certainty with which the filmmaker jumps to her conclusions, however, is all too reminiscent of the original prosecutors' zeal. It's hard to imagine how someone could study this case for so long and yet miss its most critical lesson.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 28, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's a very interesting documentary which feels a bit too ordinary toward the end. I've seen the 3 Paradise Lost docs on HBO, so perhaps this film didn't have the same shock value for me that that it would like have for someone new to the subject. After the strong mountain of evidence that stacked up against the "other" stepfather who hadn't been scrutinized as strongly as the first over the last 15 years or so, it's a bit of a let-down that we don't see a criminal action brought against him. I would have liked to have seen the filmmakers at least address the issue. Glad to see Eddie Vedder (and the other "outsiders" praised by the final judge) stick by the 3 for over a decade of his life. Bottom line: it's an amazing story, but I felt like West of Memphis could have been a little tighter in its presentation after 3 such amazing HBO docs on essentially the same subject. Expand
  2. Dec 15, 2013
    5
    Justice gone wrong. It happens every day, yet it also goes right more often then not. Point is, what does justify that one case of failedJustice gone wrong. It happens every day, yet it also goes right more often then not. Point is, what does justify that one case of failed justice is held above the others? Are the Memphis 3 special? I think not. It's a tragic case, but there are plenty more in all states, all countries of the world. Difference is that those people aren't interesting enough for celebrities to get involved. Sure, it's cool that legends like Eddie Vedder and Henry Rollins are active for this case, but why just this case? Is it because it's WHITE justice gone wrong? Would it be different, let alone be a movie, if they wore slightly "off colour"? Just wondering... Collapse

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