The West Memphis Three case has already been covered pretty thoroughly in four well-received documentaries, but a new trailer for Devil's Knot gives us a sense of how director Atom Egoyan is going to depict a fictionalized version of the notorious case.
The trailer rehashes a lot of what we know about the story—three boys are murdered, and devil worship is cited when three teenagers are blamed from the crime. The film's focus seems to be on Pam Hobbs (played by Reese Witherspoon), whose son was one of the victims, and private investigator Ron Lax (Colin Firth), who doesn't think the case against the teens adds up.
This trailer comes just a year after the release of the last two documentaries on the subject: West of Memphis and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the conclusion to a series of HBO films. So what new does Egoyan's film bring to the story? According to some critics, not much. Scott Foundas of Variety wrote, following the film's Toronto International Film Festival premiere, that it "comes across as a flat, ponderous proposition, transforming a fascinating tale of small-town prejudice and miscarried justice into a surprisingly staid courtroom drama." Still, The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore called it "compelling."
The film will have a U.S. release next year.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.