Devil's Knot is the true story of three young boys who were savagely murdered in West Memphis in 1993. The film follows the story of multiple perspectives, but primarily focusses on the mother of one of the victims, Amanda Hobbs (Reese Witherspoon) and an investigator who wishes to be a part of the case, Ron Lax (Colin Firth). The film takes us in an almost documentary style through the court cases and investigations that occurred after the incident, all with the hopes of finding the killer.
Devil's Knot tries a new approach at making a biopic, but ultimately ends up all over the place. This film tries to tell us the true story in a new way, a way that makes us feel as if we're watching something that actually happened, much like a documentary does. The problem with doing something like this is that there's no real story to follow and no distinct character to root for. It feels like we're being force-fed information about the topic, but with famous actors being shoved into our faces making Devil's Knot one of the most convoluted movies of the year, right alongside Winter's Tale.
The performances are decent, but nothing groundbreaking. The actors in the film clearly tried. There isn't any performance that had me cringing or rolling my eyes about. Nothing in this film is horrendous, it's just bland. There's even one scene in which Reese Witherspoon almost brought a tear to my eye, but a) that's not hard to do and b) this was solely due to the fact that the film was a true story. If this film wasn't based on fact then the emotional aspects of it would be lost.
There's too much to the true story for a single 2 hour movie to tell. The true story behind this film spanned over several years and to make a film about it is almost impossible to do right. Devil's Knot makes an attempt at putting all this knowledge in, but, yet again, fails. New characters are constantly being introduced just so they can supply crucial evidence during one scene, but by the time that their screen presence ends we're still unsure as to who they were and what role they played in the film.
To sum up, Devil's Knot features performances that are simply fine and it manages to drag itself along due to the facts supplied by the true story, but it's ultimately a convoluted bore that force-feeds us the important information.