(1997)

Critic Reviews

78

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
All of these moments unfold in a film of astonishing maturity and confidence; Eve's Bayou, one of the very best films of the year, is the debut of its writer and director, Kasi Lemmons.
91
Entertainment Weekly
But the notable accomplishment of actress-writer Kasi Lemmons ("The Silence of the Lambs") in her feature directorial debut is in creating a landscape quite beautiful and entirely her own -- a fluid, feminine, African-American, Southern gothic narrative that covers a tremendous amount of emotional territory with the lightest and most graceful of steps.
80
Empire
For another, this film is that still shamefully rare pleasure, an absorbing ensemble piece in which a fine group of actors get to show their class and range, playing a black American family who are prosperous, cultured and complex.
78
With her audience's full attention assured, first-time director Kasi Lemmons then proceeds to unravel a spellbinding, powerfully seductive tale that blends Southern Gothic magical realism and disturbing family drama with the flair of a born storytelling genius.
75
USA Today
Indeed, Eve's milieu is fresh and specific enough to make even Jackson subordinate to Kasi Lemmons, the writer (and sometimes actress) who dreamed up this story for her directorial debut. [07Nov1997 Pg08.D]
75
You find yourself absorbed in simply looking at them to the extent that it's hard to hear what they're saying. It's a nice dilemma for a movie to present.
75
ReelViews
Rather than perpetuating racial stereotypes, Eve's Bayou defies them, creating several well-rounded characters and placing them in a deceptively complex story that builds to a forceful conclusion.
63
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
So what's the problem? Just that the plot seems a bit too schematic, the characters a little too pat, and the imagery altogether too convenient -- for a tale that means to explore the elusiveness of truth, Lemmons sure likes to sew things up neatly.
50
As a screenwriter, Lemmons is able to keep all the plot elements in place. But as a director, she is unable to keep things moving.
50
Christian Science Monitor
In the end, however, the story is too contrived and melodramatic to reach its full potential.
50
She's an adventurous, occasionally reckless filmmaker who deploys a full arsenal of cinematic flourishes, but Lemmons' lack of restraint gets in the way of her storytelling.

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