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"Amanda Knox" Review

As someone who doesn't really follow tabloid hype stories very closely, the name Amanda Knox meant very little. I was vaguely aware that she was an American exchange student who has gone to Italy and then some girl (her housemate) turned up brutally murdered and there were intimations that Knox and her Italian boyfriend had killed her in some weird sex game gone super wrong. It seemed like I was always hearing her name pop up over and over as she was convicted, had that overturned, then reconvicted in absentia, etc.

Hot off the success of their stunning Making A Murderer documentary series, Netflix is clearly hoping for similar cultural buzz for Amanda Knox, a cursory primer of the case which dragged on eight years from the time of the murder to her final exoneration. With interviews with Knox, her lover, the British reporter leading the yellow journalism charge, and the chief investigator from the town's police, it superficially recaps the investigation and trial and subsequent reversals.

The problem Amanda Knox has is that her case was widely disseminated with every tawdry detail and how the police totally screwed the pooch with their investigation, basically convicting two people with tainted evidence. The shock power of Making A Murderer came from the fact that outside of Wisconsin, no one had really heard of this case and with 10 hours to work with, there was tons of video footage of the trials which laid out the case that some serious miscarrying of justice was going on and no one should be feeling good about how those convictions were secured. Amanda Knox is a brief hour-and-a-half with which to address years of events and there's simply not enough there there.

If you know little about Amanda Knox's excruciatingly slow slog through the Italian justice system, then Amanda Knox is a tidy catcher-upper. Otherwise, there's nothing new other than inconsequential interviews with the players.

Score: 6/10. Watch for a primer on the case.


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