Colin Firth in Devil's Knot (2013)

Long Winded in West Memphis

When Pam (Reese Witherspoon) and Terry Hobbs' (Alessandro Nivola) eight year old son goes missing they are not alone as two other young children in West Memphis go missing at the same time. A search for the children turns grim when their naked bodies are found bound in a river. With everyone in town wanting justice and due to the horrendous nature of the young children's deaths they believe it to be the work of Satanist the police arrest and charge 3 teens with the murders. Investigator Ron Lax (Colin Firth) finds himself drawn in to the case as he looks in to whether the teenagers are guilty and why the entire town feels a need for justice.

I watch a lot of TV movies and as such have watched a lot of "True Story" movies about real crimes and I have to say the only difference between "Devil's Knot" and many a true story TV movie is money. Money buys better talent, better equipment and with money you have more time to get a scene right from changing the dialogue to doing numerous takes to make sure the shadowing is right. Money also buys you the chance to create flashback scenes and visualize information rather than relying on the characters to tell you facts.

Reese Witherspoon in Devil's Knot (2013)

As such I will say that in some ways "Devil's Knot" is attention grabbing with both Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth at the centre of most of what is right with their ability to bring depth to their characters drawing you in even if the characters may not be authentic. Plus of course there are some very unsettling scenes through out the movie especially during the scenes when the little boy's bodies are found in the river. But director Atom Egoyan has such a slow, ponderous style that it almost feels like he is challenging you to see if you can stay focussed on the movie and not find your mind wandering elsewhere.

What this all boils down to is that "Devil's Knot" whilst benefiting from what money brings to a movie is nothing special and for me suffers because of its slow, ponderous nature almost pushing you away, to become distracted by other things.