Devil’s Knot

A detailed yet shallow police-procedural dramatization

In 1993, three eight-year-old boys were murdered in the Tennessee woods. Though three teenagers were convicted (wrongly, and released in 2011), the crime remains unsolved. It has already been the subject of four documentaries and a book or two.

So the real mystery is why gifted Canadian director Atom Egoyan (Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter) would feel the need to make this detailed yet shallow, police-procedural dramatization. Despite the presence of Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth and Alessandro Nivola, and a nice Southern Gothic ambience, this remains an inert, unsatisfying effort. (114 min)