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Eve's Bayou (1996)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 8,101

My Rating

Movie Info

A young girl learns some difficult lessons about truth, love, and fidelity in this critically-acclaimed Southern gothic drama. Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett) is a ten-year-old girl whose father Louis (Samuel L. Jackson) is a successful and well-liked doctor in an African-American community in Louisiana. Louis is a good father and an excellent provider, but he also has a way of attracting the ladies, and he's not inclined to turn them away. One night, the Batistes hold a party, and Eve, her older

R,

Drama

Kasi Lemmons

Feb 27, 2001

Lions Gate Films

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All Critics (54) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (10) | DVD (5)

Subplots are woven stealthily into the story, taking the pressure off the central drama, allowing it to be affecting rather than melodramatic, and heightening the atmosphere of the lush Louisiana setting.

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sparkling directorial debut.

April 27, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An intensely emotional drama that mixes elements of Southern Gothic with the kinds of characters and tensions that prevail in the plays of Southern writers like Tennessee Williams.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer/director Kasi Lemmons shows sweet judgment here, doesn't caricature or demonise the errant father, and elicits a host of nuanced performances from women of all ages.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gothic and, for better or worse, poetic memoir about a young girl and her family of Creole aristocrats.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In Eve's Bayou, Tennessee goes to Louisiana, and finds a familiar home. Tennessee Williams, that is.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More than anything, about the nature of memory and how it rarely matches the truth of life.

March 8, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

The film is given an almost dream-like quality by Vincent who washes everything in a sepia-type tone that adds to the effect of seeing an adult world of deceit and hurt through the eyes of a child.

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Lemmons' focus on strong female characters, and her willingness to ignore accepted notions of "black filmmaking" are powerful assets, but one can't help wishing the film as a whole lived up to its initial promise.

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It feels like I've seen dozens of films this year by first time writers and directors, and not one has stuck to me until now.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A solid, if somewhat heavy-handed, Southern Gothic tale, steeped in mysticism.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Pretentious as all hell, sorry.

September 16, 2004 | Comment (1)
New Times

Easily one of the best films of the year, and ironically, it was better than all of the Best Picture nominees.

May 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

The melodramatic mysticism is as thick as the bayou moss, but Eve's Bayou manages to maintain a magical narrative about Louisiana southern backwater living that is intoxicating and engaging.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Hardly revolutionary.

February 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

The dark complexities of this family's story are intriguing, although the plot seems to meander a bit at times; it seems a long time before the film gets to the point. But all the characters are very real and well-defined, especially Eve's.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Through the film, the visuals are also enhanced by the wonderful score, which echoes jazz and cajun music. In the end, this might not be the year's best film, but it's still a wonderful film.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

The first line hooks you and the rest of the film reels you in.

August 13, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Pulled me in from the word go.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

A spooky drama that explores the bonds between women and the explosions set off by family problems.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Eve's Bayou

A young girl with a philandering father and a psychic aunt comes of age in a Louisiana bayou.
Strictly in the tradition of Southern Gothic storytelling, this film falls all too often into cliche -- cliches that anyone familiar with the Southern Gothic genre know all too well. The atmosphere of the film, which most people liked, is created by the soft monologues and the panning scenic shots, but I found the monologues poorly written and detracting from the scene and the connective tissue of the film doesn't do much to advance the central story.
Young Jurnee Smollett is quite good, capturing her character's childhood innocence, but her elocution betrays her inexperience, and Lynn Whitfield is responsible for making her monologues feel like departures rather than necessary elements of the story.
Overall, this is a basic Southern Gothic film, and if you've seen them all, then you've seen this one.
April 18, 2013
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

One of the Galas from the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival, and a Gala it is. Directed by Kasi Lemmons whose work's need to be explored further, along with this DVD came Dr Hugo, a short excellent film. By Eve's Bayou just short of 5 stars, Eve is a very young girl and we explore her young life and those around her, Samuel Jackson (Her Dad) houses many secrets that are none to none by Eve. Also Eve has an Aunt who is a fortune teller, and Eve seeks the help of a Voodoo Lady. There is many secrets that tear Eve's family apart. All in all a great movie with a great cast. worth seeing and worth adding to any collection. 4 1/2 stars
April 13, 2009
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Should have received more attention at the time of its release, we have a very good performance by Samuel L. Jackson here.
January 4, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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