Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. The baby-voiced costar of "Chasing Amy" proves an effortless filmmaker, turning Lucy’s journey into the awakening of a soul.
  2. Both Adams and Judd have been let down by Hollywood. Here they have the freedom to express their uniquely Southern takes on music, faith, family and femininity. This intensely personal film may not bring either of them widespread acclaim, but it's a small triumph nonetheless.
  3. 75
    The kind of small gem that's becoming increasingly rare in American films.
  4. 75
    Nothing much happens on the surface, but worlds of hope, hurt and determination lie right behind the characters' eyes, waiting to be discovered.
  5. Adams has a good camera eye and a fine feeling for the regional mores of the South, where she's from. Judd, who for a change isn't being terrorized in a thriller, is more nuanced and intense than she's ever been.
  6. 75
    "Chasing Amy" star Joey Lauren Adams makes a competent, tender writing and directing debut with Come Early Morning, but the film is still entirely in Judd's hands.
  7. A simple story yet told with such conviction, delicacy and instinct for truth that it carries keen emotional power. This is the first film from actress Joey Lauren Adams, so one can only hope she has more stories inside her for she has genuine storytelling talent.
  8. 70
    No new narrative ground is broken, but there's a lived-in, musical feel to this tale of a fiercely independent, thoroughly screwed-up building contractor (Ashley Judd, in a pleasing return to the directness of her first significant role, in Victor Nunez's "Ruby in Paradise").
  9. Reviewed by: Lael Loewenstein
    Falls prey to bits of psychoanalytic shorthand and narrative predictability, but it offers the rare, meaty role for an actress in her late 30s.
  10. The plot points verge on the familiar and obvious, but Adams's work with the actors (especially Judd and among the others Jeffrey Donovan, Diane Ladd, Tim Blake Nelson, and Scott Wilson) is so resourceful and focused that she makes them shine.
  11. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    Artfully shot and excruciatingly honest, the movie has great intentions but can't quite overcome its outsized sense of self-importance.
  12. An incisive but static and occasionally confusing character study of Lucy Fowler, a disheveled, hard-drinking single woman who has a day job as a contractor and a dissolute night life.
  13. The script is somewhat predictable and the pace is leisurely, but Ms. Judd makes Lucy's choices seem momentous, and Ms. Adams gives us several beautiful scenes.
  14. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Judd's typically lived-in performance and the authentic Arkansas locations -- cramped bars, dusty roads -- help vaguely distinguish a movie that comes on like a minor-key reprise of Judd's breakthrough "Ruby in Paradise" and every other rural indie melodrama to grace Sundance since.
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Despite her (Judd's) efforts and those of a generally talented cast, picture just pokes along and offers nothing out of the ordinary in terms of drama, characterization or insight. Judd's presence notwithstanding, this one would be more at home on small than on big screens.
  16. 20
    The end result is stale, clumsy, and about as compelling as an average episode of "As the World Turns."

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