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Eden (2013)

tomatometer

78

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 2,733

My Rating

Movie Info

Jamie Chung stars in a searing contemporary drama, based on the true story of a Korean-American teenager who is kidnapped from a bar in New Mexico and transformed into a sex slave in Las Vegas by a band of ruthless international thugs. Beau Bridges plays an avuncular federal marshal, a good ol' boy, who turns out to be one of the operation's masterminds while Matt O'Leary is equally repellent as the boss's wildly erratic, drug-addled right-hand man. But it's Chung who breathes life into a story

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Megan Griffiths, Richard B. Phillips

Jun 10, 2013

Phase 4 Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (6)

Cruelty, bloodletting and death are evident throughout (frequently occurring just outside the frame), and Griffith's laudable discretion actually intensifies their impact.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Griffiths lays bare a many-tentacled trafficking system sickening in its reach.

March 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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A quite moving performance comes from Jamie Chung as Eden, repulsion sliding into fearful acceptance without the extinction of hope.

March 27, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
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Nearly every second is taken up with the horrors inflicted upon the heroine by the sorriest bunch of good ol' boy sadists since "Deliverance."

March 22, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A few moments harp on the sentimental, but overall, this is a powerful addition to the small collection of films dedicated to spreading awareness of this horrific crime.

March 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[An] excruciating vision of under-age women conscripted into sexual slavery by a criminal enterprise from which there is seemingly no escape.

March 19, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jamie Chung gives a reserved, watchful performance, but the true surprise is perpetual nice guy Beau Bridges in a nasty turn as the head trafficker.

August 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Eden surprises by managing to paint a vivid and disturbing picture of the trafficking experience within the context of a conventional thriller.

July 24, 2013 Full Review Source: The List
The List

It's chilling, convincing, matter-of-fact realism.

July 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Griffiths handles the exploitation with care, hinting at what goes on rather than rubbing our faces in it.

July 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

It's based on the experiences of a real life Korean woman, Chong Kim, but you can just tell that many of the facts have been massaged.

July 19, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Harrowing true events are dramatised with surprising restraint in the low-key Eden.

July 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

I would have liked to know more about the criminal setup, though leaving it unexplained gives it a greater tang of evil: a very strong performance from Chung.

July 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Engaging, sharply focussed and pointedly non-exploitative sex trafficking drama with a strong script, assured direction and a terrific central performance from Jamie Chung.

July 18, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Props to Griffiths for proving that it only takes a very slight shift in tone and focus to give a gory old bike a set of shiny new wheels.

July 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

For half an hour, with brutish hunks abusing teens in torn clothes, we think: "Sexploitation!" Then stately, plump Beau Bridges appears, a corrupt federal marshal resembling a gone-to-girth Timothy Spall, and the story starts.

July 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Director-cowriter Megan Griffiths refuses to sensationalise the tabloid aspects of this harrowing true story about human trafficking within the USA.

July 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

A frustratingly mild interpretation of a horrific true-life incident.

July 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Director Megan Griffiths wastes a great villain and settles for easy answers in a watchable but by-numbers thriller.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Tackles the issue of sex slavery, but does so in a way that never feels too clumsy or overarching. Instead, it's a character study with thriller elements; it exposes you to a horrible underworld without ever beating you over the head with it.

March 25, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

The intimate scenes between marginalized individuals feeling out complicated relationships. . .gives unusually poignant insight into those caught up in sex trafficking.

March 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Tackling the most lurid of subjects, this schlocky shocker proves that sometimes female directors can be as exploitative as men.

March 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Eden

To me, films like this are the true definition of horror, because they really happened. Anyone can look up the graphic details on Wikipedia and see that not only did it happen here, but it happened fairly recently. Hyun-Jae was just a typical California teenager, who went out to party one night. She met a man, left with him, and quickly learned he wasn't what he appeared to be. Hyun-Jae is sold into prostitution and has no other choice, but to be a sex slave for the next three years. The film was very well done, in that it didn't go over the top. Abduction of Eden showed us, what we needed to see, in order to understand and be shocked by what happened, but it didn't go so far as to desensitize us to the story. Jamie Chung, A.K.A. Stu's wife from the Hangover, stars as Hyun Jae, and her performance was really key to how the audience would react to what was happening. Equally as good, was the jailer, Matthew O'Leary. It took me a while to recognize his as the kid from Domestic Disturbance and Spy Kids 2, and it was shocking to see how quickly he grew up. He was this horrible guy, doing terrible things, but there was a part of you that saw him as trapped as the girls were and you couldn't help but feel sorry for him. The cast makes the film, it's as simple as that. Abduction of Eden was a story that was fast moving and somewhat graphic, but ultimately predictable. Films like this one could go either way, it all comes down to just what they show and who they cast, and the producers of this film did an outstanding job of both.
October 6, 2013
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Foreign Titles

  • Eden (2012/I) (DE)
  • Eden (UK)
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