Tiger Eyes

2013

Tiger Eyes (2013)

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Tiger Eyes marks the first major motion picture adaptation from the work of iconic author Judy Blume, whose books have sold more than 82 million copies in 41 countries. Davey is a 17 year-old girl abruptly relocated by her grieving mother to the strange "atom bomb" town of Los Alamos, New Mexico. With the sudden and violent death of her father, the displaced Davey no longer knows who to be or how to fit in. Everything that once mattered suddenly seems insignificant. But when she meets Wolf, a mysterious young Native-American, while exploring the surrounding canyons, she feels he is able to see past her pain and into her true self. The connection they make brings Davey back from the edge and sets her on a journey from heartbreak and confusion to life and love after tragedy.

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Critic Reviews for Tiger Eyes

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (14)

It's a pleasant-enough movie, but offers little that the book doesn't give its readers; far too quickly, it fades away.

Oct 24, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4

Remarkably, the story, adapted by Blume with her son, director Lawrence Blume, seems as fresh, painful and poignant as when she wrote it.

Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…

There are no surprises among the characters - depressed mom (Amy Jo Johnson), controlling aunt (Cynthia Stevenson), new boyfriend (Tatanka Means) - but the cast is strong enough to build on familiar elements.

Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Time has robbed Blume's subjects of shock value, but her perceptiveness hasn't dimmed. The movie's sincerity carries it along, and makes this story endearing despite its filmmaking clichés.

Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

This attenuated coming-of-age tale oozes heart and perhaps too much respect for its source material.

Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/5

A gentle, honest and shrewdly realized film ... It's worth seeking out.

Jun 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tiger Eyes

½

It always upsets me when a great film is released, only to be not promoted enough or have the budget to really place itself in many theatres. Sometimes, even when a film wins best picture at a film festival, even that isn't enough to bring it into the spotlight. Not to say that Tiger Eyes was Oscar worthy by any means, but I haven't heard a single person talking about this film in the way that I believe it should be remembered by. This is a very self-contained film that only has a few locations to it, but it's all about grieving characters, so that's really all you need. While this is far from a perfect movie, here is why Tiger Eyes deserves some recognition after being left in the dust over five years ago. Although I use word journey fairly loosely here, this film is all about the journey that young Davey Wexler goes on. After the death of her father, she joins her mother and younger brother on a trip to her aunts house, where they are to grieve a bit easier. Along the way, she meets a boy who opens up her outlook on life and many other characters pop in and out in order to make her fully discover that her life isn't quite as bad as she thought hers had become. There's much more to this movie than what the premise suggests and I loved taking this "journey" with these characters. Where the film fumbles some of these positives however, is in its dialogue. If there's one thing a film can do to make its audience chuckle, it's deliver bad dialogue. Not to say this film had horrible dialogue, but there are several instances where characters seem to be talking completely out of character or just seem to be overdoing it. Some viewers may not see this at all, but I was taken out of this movie on multiple occasions, and not to mention the family they are staying with, which are either just completely rude or the writers were thinking of a different tone for them on paper. It's strange, because I quite enjoyed most of these characters, I just didn't always buy into what they were saying. I may be starting to nitpick here, but the backstory to this film is truly what makes the current journey its following them on worth it. Each and every time the film flashes back to show the tragic backstory of its central family, the colourization and overly dramatic sequences that occur, felt like something out of a television film. It felt very cheap, even though the material itself still kept me engaged. Aside from some strange dialogue and overly exaggerated flashbacks, this is a very effective story as a whole. Within each of my complaints about this movie, I'm able to pull a positive out as well, while already liking the movie as a whole. To reiterate what I mentioned in the beginning of my review, I think Tiger Eyes is a film that slipped under the radar and remained there for the past five years. I'm just discovering it now, and yes there are issues with it, but the overall film is really quite powerful and touching. There are some very well-done moments that string their way through this film and have great payoffs in the end, making this a worthwhile 90 minute journey to take. Some people may not buy into everything that these characters decide to do, but the end result is still wonderful to experience. Tiger Eyes is a very small movie that may bore some people, but I thought it was directed with care by writer/director Lawrence Blume, and I left this movie feeling moved, regardless of the few hiccups sprinkled throughout. If you are a fan of the drama genre, I highly recommend checking this little film out. Tiger Eyes is a far from perfect pleasure to watch.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

½

One of the few Judy Blume books I didn't read growing up. I found an ex rental for $4, so it was a nostalgic purchase. Actually it wasn't thrilling. I think I understand how I missed it. Though the movie looks nice and the cast are good, I wasn't all that disappointed when the disc froze halfway through and couldn't be played any further. Maybe it didn't translate well from the novel or maybe i am just too old now...

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

½

A realistic and emotional coming of age story about love and loss and family.

Dannielle Albert
Dannielle Albert

Super Reviewer

½

Lawrence Blume's "Tiger Eyes," opening in select theaters across the country tomorrow, is adapted from Judy Blume's bestselling young adult novel of the same name but it doesn't feel like something that would fill a slot on ABC Family's schedule. It's a thoughtful and affecting film that has some simple but profound things to say about the pains of adolescence. Davey (Willa Holland) and her mother and brother move across the country to live with her aunt and uncle, to recover after the murder of Davey's father. With a sudden tragedy at the film's core, it possesses a pervasive melancholy but it never descends into maudlin depression. Davey's trauma greatly impacts her young life but it doesn't destroy it. She still has to navigate life in a new high school, deal with her disapproving relatives and begin an enjoyable low-key romance with the laconic Wolf (Tatanka Means). The grounded and deeply felt way Davey works through her grief is refreshingly real in comparison to the screeching melodrama that powers most modern teen films. Though "Tiger Eyes'" has a pleasantly unassuming tone, it's doesn't sand down the sharp edges that made its source material one of the American Library Association's most challenged books. Davey's friend Jane's (Elise Eberle) dependence on alcohol isn't soft peddled and her increasingly volatile relationship with her uncle (Forrest Fyre) reaches to a particularly ugly climax. And Davey's mother (Amy Jo Johnson), devastated by the loss of her husband, falls into a harrowing prescription pill addiction. The elements aren't sensationalized but not underplayed either. The film's story is simply told but it's not simplistic. None of the adult characters are saddled with the one-dimensionality that defines most teen movie antagonists. Davey's aunt (Cynthia Stevenson) occasionally comes off as heavy-handed but she's rarely wrong and Stevenson has one great scene where she gets to express how a lifetime of disappointments has worn her down. Even Davey's dreamy new ethnic boyfriend is given an uncommon amount of depth. The only part of the film that felt lacking was the generally predictability of plot and its pre-title sequence. In it, Blume holds a tight close-up on Davey running through the night, bathed in perfect golden light. We hear her labored breathing and the gentle melody of Nathan Larson's score before Davey poetically ruminates on death. It's the best scene in the film and it sets expectations for an elegiac sublimity that it never reaches again. As the first adaptation of a Judy Blume novel, "Tiger Eyes" is an unqualified success. It's as sensitive a portrayal of youth in transition as I've seen this year and it's heartening to know that the Blumes were able to make a film like this outside of the studio system. It's not an overwrought saga or a bland morality play, it's a measured slice of life tale about those quiet moments in everyone's life where they let go of who they are and become who they're meant to be.

Mario L McKellop
Mario L McKellop

Super Reviewer

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