Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 100
    All of these moments unfold in a film of astonishing maturity and confidence; Eve's Bayou, one of the very best films of the year, is the debut of its writer and director, Kasi Lemmons.
  2. But the notable accomplishment of actress-writer Kasi Lemmons ("The Silence of the Lambs") in her feature directorial debut is in creating a landscape quite beautiful and entirely her own -- a fluid, feminine, African-American, Southern gothic narrative that covers a tremendous amount of emotional territory with the lightest and most graceful of steps.
  3. Louisiana's delta country has never looked more darkly, lusciously sensual than it does in Eve's Bayou, a Southern gothic soap opera, written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, that transcends the genre through the sheer rumbling force of its characters' passions.
  4. First and best, it's got a rip-roaring story. It sweeps you along, borne effortlessly by believable if flawed characters, as it flows toward the inevitable tragedy. But it's also got a heart: It watches as a child harsh of judgment learns that judgment is too easy a posture for the world, and it's best to love with compassion. [07Nov1997 Pg G.01]
  5. 75
    Rather than perpetuating racial stereotypes, Eve's Bayou defies them, creating several well-rounded characters and placing them in a deceptively complex story that builds to a forceful conclusion.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Indeed, Eve's milieu is fresh and specific enough to make even Jackson subordinate to Kasi Lemmons, the writer (and sometimes actress) who dreamed up this story for her directorial debut. [07Nov1997 Pg08.D]
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    She's an adventurous, occasionally reckless filmmaker who deploys a full arsenal of cinematic flourishes, but Lemmons' lack of restraint gets in the way of her storytelling.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. KennedyB.
    Jun 6, 2006
    10
    Eve's Bayou received no Oscar nominations, yet it is one of the finest motion pictures of 1997 -- a fully realized production from the Eve's Bayou received no Oscar nominations, yet it is one of the finest motion pictures of 1997 -- a fully realized production from the screenplay and direction to the acting and cinematography.
    [***SPOILERS***] It depicts a prosperous black family in early '60s Louisiana. The father and husband (Samuel L. Jackson) is a physician who philanders yet dearly loves his children. When a wedge of suspicion comes between them, events proceed toward a tragedy that may even have supernatural implications. This is one of the few black films in recent memory without a whiff of racism in the air. In part, that's because the world it depicts is wholly black, while the situations are timeless and universal. The cast is superb, from Jackson as the life-loving and sometimes misunderstood patriarch to Lynn Whitfield as his fearful wife and Meagan Good as his willful eldest daughter. The point-of-view character is Eve, the youngest daughter, played with heartbreaking fervor by Jurnee Smollett. Also strong in support is Debbi Morgan, as Jackson's sister. But the most credit should go to Kasi Lemmons, a relatively unknown actress who shows a rare artistry in her writing and directing debut. Trust us: She makes Good Will Hunting's Ben Affleck and Matt Damon look like amateurs -- and they were Oscar-nominated.
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  2. Lakendrea
    Oct 17, 2006
    10
    The best black family representation!!
  3. LanaS.
    Oct 13, 2008
    10
    Well crafted, yet overlooked, film with an amazing ensemble cast.
  4. BrianI.
    Feb 2, 2009
    10
    Kudos to Kasi Lemmons, as she has created one of the finest African-American films of all time. Although this film features an all black Kudos to Kasi Lemmons, as she has created one of the finest African-American films of all time. Although this film features an all black cast, this is a universal story. The screenplay and direction were spectacular, and the acting was first-rate. We NEED more African-American films as complex and well-made as this feature. Expand

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