Review | Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy

Credit: Franco Biciocchi/LifeTime

Airs Monday 2/21

Us Rating: ***

A comely all-American girl heads to college in Italy. Two months later, she's suspect in the grisly murder of her female roommate. It's the stuff of far-fetched novels -- yet, as this compelling TV movie documents, such was the fate of Seattle's Amanda Knox.

The drama opens on November 2, 2007: Meredith Kercher (Amanda Fernando Stevens) is found dead, and suspects Knox (Hayden Panettiere), then 20, and nerdy love Raffaele (Paolo Romio) claim innocence. The local (and maybe corrupt?) police hound Amanda in truly harrowing interrogation scenes, which are interspersed with rote flashbacks. As the details get more peculiar -- Knox does cartwheels while waiting to be questioned! -- the tension mounts.

Panettiere manages to be both vulnerable and flinty, always keeping viewers guessing about her role in the crime. And while Knox is eventually found guilty, there's no closure here. Just expect to be left haunted. (Lifetime, 9 P.M.)

--JOHN GRIFFITHS