Come Early Morning

Critics Consensus

A quiet but moving film anchored by the unexpected depth of Ashley Judd's performance.



Total Count: 48


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,743
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Movie Info

A Southern beauty whose habit of waking up in strange beds with head-ringing hangovers is beginning to wear thin determines to uncover her secret shrouded family past in hopes of discovering the truth about the woman she has become in the feature filmmaking debut of actor-turned-director Joey Lauren Adams. Lucy (Ashley Judd) is a small town thirtysomething who seems to have fallen into a downward spiral of alcohol-fueled benders and spontaneous one-night stands. In order to begin the transformation necessary to help her overcome her self-destructive ways, however, Lucy will have to look deep into her familial past and seek out the true weight of the burden that has led her down the darkened path she currently walks. Diane Ladd, Tim Blake Nelson, and Laura Prepon co-star in an intimate personal drama that made its premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.


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Critic Reviews for Come Early Morning

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (8)

  • If and when Come Early Morning ever resurfaces on DVD, order it immediately-and while you're at it, order Chasing Amy too, if you haven't already seen it, and enjoy a dandy double feature with two country girls of enormous talent.

    Nov 22, 2006

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • This is a quietly powerful film about small-town Southern living that avoids all the usual clichés and makes us feel as if we're dropping in on real lives in mid-stream.

    Nov 20, 2006
  • The baby-voiced costar of Chasing Amy proves an effortless filmmaker, turning Lucy's journey into the awakening of a soul.

    Nov 15, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • In Come Early Morning, Ashley Judd delivers her most natural screen performance since Ruby in Paradise, the film that pushed her toward stardom in 1993.

    Nov 13, 2006 | Rating: 4/5
  • In a way, the movie itself is an example of that philosophy put into practice. [Director] Adams clearly did a lot of soul-searching as she wrote the story. Her introspective script provides another actress with a great role and a new start.

    Nov 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • Beautifully photographed by Tim Orr, Come Early Morning is the kind of small gem that's becoming increasingly rare in American films.

    Nov 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Come Early Morning

  • Jun 17, 2013
    Allegedly this is the ultimate art film of the country hillbilly woman. What it reminds us is that some lives are too boring to put on the screen even in the name of art.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2012
    "Come Early Morning" starts with Lucy(Ashley Judd), a building contractor, taking the walk of shame but not so much that she insists on paying for the motel room. In talking to Doll(Candyce Hinkle), she finds out her dad(Scott Wilson) is back in town. Seeing a chance at reconciliation, she accompanies him to the new church he is attending. When that old time religion does not stick, Lucy is back to the old grind at the local honky tonk where she gets into a fight with a fellow patron that Cal(Jeffrey Donovan), who is new in town, helps to break up and then takes a liking to her. Without much of a story to speak of, "Come Early Morning" has to rely on the charms of its rough hewn subjects to engage the audience with the study of a character who is haunted by the past mistakes of her family, leading her to act impulsively, sometimes without the help of alcohol. Wrapping that all up, the movie is perfunctory in its conclusions but thankfully not its resolution. In this case, I would have to say that the country music and the religion add regional flavor instead of acting as stereotypes. Regardless, the movie is helped by a good cast that also includes Diane Ladd, Stacy Keach and Ray McKinnon, of which Ashley Judd fares best in a thoroughly lived in performance.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 02, 2010
    This film manages to capture loneliness, pain and despair in a way that felt utterly real. It actually hurt me to watch, but ultimately it was catharctic. A brilliant performance by Judd and gratifiying to see her in role that is worthy of her talent. Written and directed by Joey Lauren Adams, perhaps it takes women writing and directing the roles they wish to see for women, just completely fleshed-out characters which I know I crave to see.
    Laura C Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2009
    "You got no say over your heart, Lucy. And If you think you do, you'd best not let yours roam too far." A good, low-key drama written and directed by Joey Lauren Adams. With some good acting by Ashley Judd, Scott Wilson, Jeffrey Donovan and Laura Prepon.
    Magnus X Super Reviewer

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