Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

1997

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

49%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 35

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 37,105
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Movie Info

Clint EastwoodÕs adaptation of John BerendtÕs nonfiction novel doesnÕt create much of a drama from its centerpiece tale of murder in high society, but it brings to life the setting, the rich assortment of characters and the atmosphere of modern Savannah.

Cast

Kevin Spacey
as Jim Williams
John Cusack
as John Kelso
Jack Thompson
as Sonny Seiler
Lady Chablis
as herself
Alison Eastwood
as Mandy Nichols
Irma P. Hall
as Minerva
Paul Hipp
as Joe Odom
Jude Law
as Billy Hanson
Dorothy Loudon
as Serena Dawes
Anne Haney
as Margaret Williams
Kim Hunter
as Betty Harty
Geoffrey Lewis
as Luther Driggers
Richard Herd
as Henry Skerridge
Leon Rippy
as Detective Boone
Bob Gunton
as Finley Largent
Michael O'Hagan
as Geza Von Habsburg
Tim Black
as Jeff Braswell
Muriel Moore
as Mrs. Baxter
Sonny Seiler
as Judge White
Terry Rhoads
as Assistant DA
Patricia Herd
as Juror No. 1
Nick Gillie
as Juror No. 20
Patrika Darbo
as Sara Warren
Emma Kelly
as Herself
Gregory Goossen
as Prison Cell Lunatic
Shannon Eubanks
as Mrs. Hamilton
Virginia Duncan
as Card Club Woman No. 1
Rhoda Griffis
as Card Club Woman No. 2
Judith Robinson
as Card Club Woman No. 3
Jo Ann Pflug
as Cynthia Vaughn
James Moody
as Mr. Glover
John Duncan
as Gentleman in Park
Bess S. Thompson
as Pretty Girl
Jin Hi Soucy
as Receptionist
Michael Rosenbaum
as George Tucker
Dan Biggers
as Harry Cram
Georgia Allen
as Lucille Wright
Collin Wilcox Paxton
as Woman at Party
Aleta Mitchell
as Alphabette
Dorothy Kingery
as Jim Williams' Sister
Amanda Kingery
as Jim Williams' Niece Amanda
Susan Kingery
as Jim Williams' Niece Susan
Ted Manson
as Passer-by
Danny Nelson
as Senator
Bree Luck
as Woman at Club
Ann Cusack
as Delivery Woman
Gerry Spence
as Hair Dresser
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Critic Reviews for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (18)

Audience Reviews for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

  • Oct 11, 2012
    Ambiance takes center stage in this most unusual murder mystery starring the quirky citizens of Savannah, GA. The story centers on a northern reporter, John Cusack's character, a southern self-made man/art collector, Kevin Spacey's character, and a murder trial. What is the truth regarding the murder? I really didn't care. This reminds me of Hitchcock's "MacGuffins," something important to the characters in the film but not the audience. Savannah's charm and eccentricities are the draw of the film, and director Clint Eastwood displays them proudly. There are aspects of the film I like and some I don't. I enjoyed the addition of UGA, the Georgia mascot, but I didn't buy the voodoo woman Minerva much. I liked Alison Eastwood; I'd like to see her in more roles. Lady Chablis steals the show; she's over the top fantastic. Southerners in general were too exaggerated though, particularly the Luther Driggers character with the flies. Eccentricities are one thing, don't get ridiculous. Overall though, its fun watching the "old south" being dragged into the present, and the film definitely made me want to experience Savannah for myself.
    Clintus M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2011
    Jim Williams: Sport, truth, like art, is in the eye of the beholder. You believe what you choose and I'll believe what I know.  "Welcome to Savannah, Georgia. A City Of Hot Nights And Cold Blooded Murder." Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil is probably in the bottom half of Eastwood's directorial efforts. But i still really like it. I'm probably overrating it, because it does have a lot of problems, but I just really liked it for it's unconventionality. It's a strange, almost surreal movie; full of weird relationships that make no sense, voodoo, murder and a bunch of southern accents. It's slow moving and I loved it for that. It pretty much hypnotized me. Nothing about it is all that exciting, but it's a joy too watch. Even with how much I like this film; I won't say it's a great film. It has a lot of problems. The story runs together and it kind of makes it feel like a mess; but a mesmerizing mess at that. If you don't like slow moving, not a lot of action, long movies, stay away because this is not for you. Also, at times the strangeness of some of the characters makes the movie come off as overly silly, which is weird to see from a Clint Eastwood directed film.  I can overlook all of its problems though because Eastwood still manages to make it captivating. The story is extremely interesting and seeing this movie makes me really want to read the book. The best part of this movie is the two leads, John Cusack and Kevin Spacey. I am a huge fan of both and it was a lot of fun watching them onscreen together. Also, Jude Law has a very minor supporting role, which he still amazing in. If you're thinking of watching this movie only because of the presence of Law, though, I wouldn't bother. He might have about 5 minutes of screen time in the whole film.  This is one of those movies that is very polarizing. It's going to split people on whether they can enjoy it or not. It reminds me a lot of Eastwood's Hereafter in that regards. Both are extremely slow and have no real feeling of a beginning, middle or end. But I still enjoyed them both. I know a lot of people who hated them both too. Eastwood has obviously done much better things than this and that's part of the reason I'm not rating it even higher. With all that talent that is involved in this film; it should have been even better. Even though I did like it; the expectations of how good it should be did make it slightly disappointing.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2011
    As a big fan of the novel I was let down by the film (trying to make John Berendt a character involved with rather than an observer in all that takes place was a major miscalculation) but even disregarding that I've read the novel doesn't make for any major improvements, its still boring as hell. Kevin Spacey is great and casting Lady Chablis as herself works better than you'd think but they can't make it engaging.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2010
    A fine achievement, for three reasons. First, the extraordinary atmosphere which Eastwood succeeds in conjuring, especially at the opening and in the graveyard scenes - eerie threat in the midst of sunlit affluence. Second, Spacey's performance, top class as always, subtle and stylish - has he ever disappointed (all right, Working Girl)? Third, the dazzling presence of Lady Chablis, playing him/herself. Next to these, the flaws - length, awkward narrative structure, Cusack's sleepwalking performance, pointless scenes which fizzle out - seem relatively unimportant.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer

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