Lila & Eve (2015) Poster

(2015)

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8/10
Underrated Drama
biont29 September 2015
I think it's a good movie. Beautifully made. The color, the feel, the pace. It doesn't get boring. And it's emotionally touching. The leading actress is just great. And Lopez, considering the substance of her character that you come to realize later during the film, I think plays adequately, though people don't find her convincing. But, that's what she's supposed to be, cause she's a doer. She's the driving force, "the man" of this movie, while Viola is more of "a lady", more tender, empathetic and so on. So, I don't really understand, why people put Lopez down - she's done her part well.

The story is interesting. Cause it's a story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. No Jason Statham or Tom Cruise to fix the problem here. Simple, fragile mother gets to fix her life - bring murderers or her son to justice. To me it was just interesting to watch. While my wife's eyes were constantly wet. Thank to Viola's amazing performance, mainly.
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8/10
A True Character Study
elisaforsgren25 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I thought the film was a brilliant character study of the effects of a tragic death has on the living. Perhaps some thought that the film was a bit far-reaching but that is what film is all about… to push the limits, stretch our minds and continue the "what if" story.

No doubt Viola Davis continues to impress with her amazing talent as a grieving mother willing to do anything to exact justice for her son's unnecessary death. Jennifer Lopez plays perfectly as the counter-part, cajoling her in further and deeper.

What do we see movies for? Entertainment? Perhaps to step outside of our world and into another for a couple of hours? Well this is barely 90 minutes but it was certainly satisfying. I felt the pain and anguish of a mother who had lost her child. I understood her angst. While I also understood very clearly that her vigilante pursuit came with a consequences that left another wake of grief albeit loosely justified but to what means?

While many were dissatisfied with the possible holes… I found the film to be refreshingly original, well written, great story line, plot and acting. Bravo! Those who gave this film a low rating have never tried to write anything other than a criticism, so take their opinion for what it is worth -- if you're wondering if you'll be entertained: yes. Watch it an enjoy it, it goes pretty deep… and in the end it will make you think, perhaps a little more.

Another possible wink to the far-reaching understanding of the long-standing and ludicrous death toll derived directly from our nation's continued efforts on the "war on drugs," it is possible to also see that if "drugs" were regulated and available… the crime and death would be far less.
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6/10
Lila And Eve.
freshclean-66-31860812 October 2015
While this film won't win an Academy Award or any other glamorous award for that matter, it is a good film. The cast, for the most part, is what makes it as good as it is. The emotion and drama that's displayed by Viola Davis' character is flawless. Viola Davis, as usual, gives a wonderful performance in this film along side Jennifer Lopez. Although Jennifer Lopez's performance isn't as high caliber as Viola Davis' they both made a great pair in this film. Not anything different or original, this film is about two women who seek out and take revenge on the men who murdered their sons, it's that simple, or is it. Fairly written with some drama and a nice plot twist this film is enough to be enjoyed.
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9/10
Two grieving mothers seek justice when the police can't cope
tgreenwood421 March 2015
Viola Davis delivers a strong performance in this roller coaster story of a single parent raising two sons, when one is inexplicably shot dead. Despite crippling grief she brings herself to pressure the detective assigned to the case, but to little avail. She then uses the few facts she has to find out on her own how and why this happened. Although almost driven mad with grief, she nevertheless exhibits considerable rationality, and courage, as she has to navigate in a world of street gangs and thugs. She meets Eve (Lopez) at a support group, who turns out to be a terrific ally in this foolhardy exploit. As a duo, these women are unstoppable. Viola shows remarkable range in this convincing portrait of a woman scorned and a mother who lost a good son to random violence. Jennifer delivers one of her best performances as her partner in a quest for justice. Also commendable is Shea Whigham as the not-so-clueless detective, who keeps tabs on these women and their possibly illegal exploits. This film has plenty of heart, suspense, and ultimately, wisdom.
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10/10
Important lesson for many whether grieving or not
lilladyytrill18 July 2015
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. Funny how these grieving mothers believe taking somebody else's life is going to take away the pain they feel for their own children. Apart from this, wonderful movie. It will probably receive many awful reviews, since many seem to believe Ms Lopez does some terrible acting and that Viola Davis is far too superior than her. Perhaps Lila and Eve will make you see her acting skills in a different way. Somewhat great plot twist. Nobody is the victim in this film, as nobody but nobody plays innocent. Everybody is doing something. It most likely isn't something award winning, but certainly something to see. It teaches an important lesson. 10 out of 10, not for the 'normal' spectacular reasons, but because it is its own kind of spectacular. As others say; 'A gem of a film'.
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10/10
Real life, real feelings
robinvankeer16 August 2015
I cried not because it's the saddest story of all time but because it's real. This movie makes you feel alive even tho a lot bad things happen. Jlo and Viola Davis fit together in a way nobody has ever experienced. You can feel the pain, the emotions, the struggles. I really think people should see this one because they make us aware of the good and the bad about losing someone. The only few things that bother me are the final scenes. They could've been more exiting and clearer so that we wouldn't have to figure out what happened exactly. That's why I didn't gave a 10/10. It amazed me how good and realistic a thriller movie could be. Beautiful movie, great actresses... WELL DONE !
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5/10
Gets better halfway
loevw13 December 2016
It's a touching and dramatic theme, and for that alone it has some merit and will appeal to some more than others. The movie feels a bit slow in the beginning, with the heavy drama, until it picks up about 40 minutes into it. Once I've made it that far, I became more interested and of course wanted to see how it ended. There was also a surprise that caught me off guard. Not the movie I'd save for the weekend, but it was satisfactory to watch overall. I thought that Viola and Jennifer did a good job.

One thing that the movie didn't do so well is the relationship between characters. Of course it's expected that the focus should be on the mother, but their interactions with others would have more depth if they developed the other characters a bit more.
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7/10
Taut Vigilante Thriller That Comes Across as Better Than it Should Solely Because of Viola Davis' Mesmeric
DareDevilKid25 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Viola Davis is a formidable presence in "Lila & Eve", playing the grieving mother of a teenage son killed in a drive-by shooting by a drug gang. Lila's (Davis) grief is a pain that no parent should ever experience, and Davis plumbs the depths of that anguish in a stern, electrifying performance that transforms the film into something far beyond a mundane revenge thriller. While on the surface "Lila & Eve" resembles a grief-stricken mom picking up a gun and wreaking vengeance on the men responsible for her son's death, the movie has much more in mind than purveying violent thrills. "Lila & Eve" feels like Viola Davis' "Still Alice". In a just world, this deeply compassionate and politically relevant revenge fantasy would do for Davis what last year's Alzheimer's odyssey did for Julianne Moore: deliver a long overdue Oscar to one of the finest actresses of our generation.

Lila's grief is fueled not only by the fact her 18-year-old son, Stephon (Aml Ameen), has been shot down in the street, but also by the apathy displayed by the cops assigned the case. Coming at a time when "black lives matter" has become a national rallying cry, Lila's plight is particularly relevant as it portrays a situation in which the police form a task force to probe the slaying of a white cheerleader but the lead detective (Shea Whigham) on Stephon's case has trouble even remembering the young man's name.

Though the current #BlackLivesMatter movement rightly focuses on the lives cut short by police brutality, it has yet to bring the pandemic emotional devastation of communities losing their children en masse to mainstream consciousness. (This is in part due to how news institutions debate the guilt of each young black man after his death — a distraction from the individual and collective trauma such losses engender.) Though the fatal drive-by shooting that incites "Lila and Eve's" plan for vengeance has nothing to do with the police, it's the cops' eager willingness to dismiss 18-year-old Stephon's (Aml Ameen) death as just another unsolvable casualty in the drug-turf wars — and by extension his mother's desperate need for justice — that sets the fast-moving plot into motion. Almost a month after her older son's killing, Lila is unable to embrace the agenda of acceptance, forgiveness and baked goods of her grieving mothers' support group. She quickly gravitates toward the group's one other dissident, Eve (Jennifer Lopez, much deglamorized), who recognizes in her new friend the roiling but unexpressable blood- lust Stephon's death has begotten. The movie is at its most emotionally wrenching in scenes filmed in a support group for moms who have lost children to gang violence. It's there that Lila meets Eve and is urged by her new friend to avenge her son.

The movie's familiar thriller aspects are nowhere near as compelling as the two women's angry rejection of the unbearable powerlessness they've been told isn't just their lot to bear, but the right way to respond to their grief. Lila needs to do something other than clean her house to regain a sense of control over her life, and being around the trigger-happy Eve is at least preferable to spending time with those who tell her to take comfort in the fact that she still has another child. "As if I'd had a son to spare," Lila hisses. Director Charles Stone III ("Drumline") and screenwriter Pat Gilfillan mine complexity from the two women's sorrow, as when the they justify murder with their own version of feminism.

Their first revenge killing is accidental if justified; Eve shoots a gangbanger just as he pulls out his own revolver. "He's somebody's child," stammers a shocked Lila, but she's all too susceptible to Eve's urgings that they threaten and kill their way up the local drug operation's hierarchy to figure out who exactly is responsible for Lila's son's death. When the two women eventually corner the kingpin (Chris Chalk) who ordered the hit on Stephon, he mocks Lila's pain by laying the blame for her son's death on her: "if she had been a better mother, her firstborn son would still be alive," he says. "Or maybe," he winks, "it's just society's fault." Whoever we should hold responsible, the film makes clear, culpability isn't as simple as whoever pulled the trigger.

Understated, naturalistic, gut-wrenching, and wholly real, Davis is spellbinding as a woman who surprises even herself by how much rage and darkness she has inside her. Lopez's character is the more challenging one in some senses, for the film's tonal consistency largely depends on Eve's temptress role. The supporting actress occasionally seems more like an id-fueled sprite than a real person, but a late twist satisfactorily reveals why Eve is so sociopathically unbothered by the murders they commit.

Though more conflicted about their killing spree, Lila too has her moral compass broken by anguish that affects her far more than she had realized was possible. The movie unexpectedly shades into the surreal as the two women unleash their wrath on a variety of gangsters, but through it all Davis' portrayal of a mother's pain, moving from hopelessness and despair to revenge and regret, gives the picture its impressive power. Though a standard-issue vigilante thriller on the surface, "Lila & Eve" is also a profound portrait of loss without recourse or justice, and thus an important depiction of a state in which too many people suffer today without much being done about it.
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9/10
Accurate portrayal of a mother's grief
hoxjennifer18 July 2015
Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez are an incredible team together. I'm surprised this movie didn't get more recognition - it certainly deserves it. Lila and Eve is about the story of two grieving mothers who want more than just comfort over the death of their children, but revenge. Lila, especially, learns not only about the grieving process but about herself and eventually how to accept what is and what is not within her control.

Without a doubt, JLo is stunning in this movie. I often forget how talented this lady is, as both a musician and an actor. This is probably her best performance yet. Viola Davis also gives an incredible and accurate portrayal of a grieving mother conflicted over the sudden murder of her son.

A beautiful drama. Beware there is a plot twist. I won't spoil it for anyone here, but it's not too hard to figure out when you get into the film.
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8/10
Conflicted but interested
dwattstiger5224 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The film may not work on every level but it allows the viewer to decide who is right and who is wrong - if either one even matters. Directed with a deft hand by Charles Stone III(Drumline) from a first time screenplay by Patrick Gilfillan. With strong performances by the entire cast, especially Viola Davis who is also one of the Producers. This movie is going to upset people, which is probably part of the intention. Vigilante violence, but substitute angry white males with angry black mothers. Are the actions believable - just - unacceptable? There are many twists that elevate this above the usual vigilante film: Do mothers have a right to avenge a child's death when the system of justice breaks down ; Are support groups, religion, family, sufficient to comfort those grieving over slain family members ; When bad folks are killed are their mothers any less deserving of sympathy? Some of the action may be hard to believe - Viola is an excellent shot and knows how to rig explosives!!! It's an entertaining, thought provoking film, which deserves better reviews than the critics are giving it.
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7/10
Worth watching movie
tomfsloan23 September 2018
Nice movie. I won't give away any spoilers here, but there were a couple of nice turns with J Lo and what happened at the end with women's group and the cop. There were several other movies this reminded me of, but I won't tell because it could spoil it for you. The acting was nice and impressive. There were a few slow scenes and the women tracking down of some of the hoods was a little too easy, but overall it was worth watching.
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10/10
Brilliant and Underrated
kgrv200025 June 2018
This is a great movie. Period. Acting of both actresses superb. Didn't see the plot twist coming which makes it great. Others may have issues with the actions and consequences and morality of the story but it's a movie, you're supposed to be entertained and that's exactly what you're gonna get; if it makes you think, that's a bonus, and that only means it really is a well-crafted movie.
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7/10
Role Reversal Revenge Story of a Grieving Mother Who Snaps
LeonLouisRicci16 October 2015
Solid Revenge Chick-Flick Starring the ever Intense Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez giving another Workmanlike Performance, an Underrated Actress Lopez usually brings Spunk and believability for aggressive Females Everywhere.

The Movie is a bit Different, in the Thelma and Louise (1991) tradition of Two Women Driven beyond sanity and into a World that is distinctively Not Their Own. After Her Son is Innocently Gun Downed in a Drive-By, Viola Davis' Grief Cannot Comfort Her loss and She Snaps into Action with the Help of Her "Sponsor" Lopez.

What happens is Cathartic and Violent and ends With a Twist or Two. Engaging, Entertaining, and Well Done. This is an Unknown, Little-Seen Indie that is Worth a Watch for the Topical Story and better than Average presentation of a Mother's Pain and Revenge.
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6/10
Not a bad movie but essentially a hard edge Lifetime movie that doesn't really appeal to everyone like it wants. I give this a B
cosmo_tiger23 July 2015
"Maybe we could help each other." Lila (Davis) is a loving mother who has just lost her son in a drive by shooting. She is frustrated at the lack of evidence as to who and why and is getting upset at the police who do not seem to be doing all they should. She joins a grieving mothers support group and meets Eve (Lopez) who has also lost a child. When she tells Lila they should track down the killer themselves things become violent, and Lila and Eve do all they can to avenge their lost children. This is a movie that started out with so much promise but began to become repetitive and lose its edge the longer it went on. The movie is still very good and worth seeing but the movie Death Sentence with Kevin Bacon was very similar, and I though much better. The biggest fault I have with this movie is that it was geared toward the Lifetime movie crowd but added enough to make it an R rating. The movie never really makes it out of the Lifetime feel and to me that hurt it. Overall, not a bad movie and worth seeing, but essentially a hard edge Lifetime movie that doesn't really appeal to everyone like it should. I give this a B.
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6/10
Worth watching
everlasting-6408916 February 2016
Was not sure what to expect from this movie but was pleasantly surprised. As mentioned before, it wont be up for Oscars but the main characters play their roles very well. It is rather dark and emotional but sadly does smack of the real world. Anyone with intellect will be able to separate the surrealism from the realism but the movie does grip you in a way that your curiosity to how it ends will get the better of you. There is a twist and trust me, even the movie addicts and experts among you, will find this a tough one to predict. For me, J-Lo plays one of her better roles in this movie. I feel her acting skills express maturity in this role and its pretty consistent. If you are a die hard fan of hers, you will like this movie.
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8/10
GET MY TINA ON.
nogodnomasters15 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Lila (Viola Davis) loses her son to a drive by shooting and joins a support group. Here she meets Eve (Jennifer Lopez) who asks the question, "If you could, would you?" With the police inept at getting the culprit, Lila and Eve turn vigilante.

We have seen vigilante films before, but not typically involving someone who doesn't have a special training music montage. They kept this one "real." Good acting as one would expect from Viola Davis and cast. Somewhat formula.

Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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5/10
Viola Davis is superb as usual
onlyfools26 January 2019
I can't work out why the detectives failed in this film. Maybe their acting - it only seemed to become sincere in the last part. I think the quality was at fault - the sound wasn't as clear as it should have been.

Apart from that I really enjoyed this film. Both female leads were superb and totally believable. I liked the story too. Not so obvious and a good ending.
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A good thriller
Gordon-1130 July 2015
This film tells the story of a grieving woman who lost her son because of a shooting on the street. She attends a mothers' support group, where she finds support from another woman who lost her daughter.

"Lila & Eve" is quite a good thriller! Viola Davis is very good as a grieving mother. She makes her character very sympathetic and really connects with the viewers. Her grief is deep and hurting badly, but not overdone. Then a twist comes; I thought a twist would be coming as there are clues shattered around the film, but I thought it was something else. The ending is great and offers closure in a subtle manner. I enjoyed watching this thriller.
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7/10
So It Turns Out Jennifer Lopez Can Act...
vip-danii23 July 2015
To my own surprise, I have to say I was impressed with Jennifer Lopez's performance. Having seen most of her movies, I was convinced that she was one of the lousiest actresses around. I thought she was completely hopeless. She is so one-dimensional in all of her movies, that I was sure she is simply not capable of portraying anyone other than herself. So, compared to her other movies, this is, thus far, her finest performance, I think.

The movie is not perfect; I thought the whole story was a bit underdeveloped and rushed, but it's watchable. It is not exactly the quality I'd expect from a Hollywood thriller; it has the feel of a made-for-TV flick.

The twist was the highlight of the movie. Didn't see it coming. Nice one.

Worth a look. Like I said, it was interesting to discover that Jennifer Lopez is not entirely talentless after all.
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6/10
Foreseeable thriller, yet there's a hefty amount of personal conviction invested on Lila & Eve
quincytheodore18 July 2015
The morality of revenge has been used as theme in many occasions, Kevin Bacon and Jodie Foster have made similar works before. While it doesn't necessarily innovate crime genre, Lila & Eve works by displaying the intimate issue with strong performance. It's a story about two mothers seeking justice, yet ultimately absorbed by the vengeance in an attempt to cope with the overwhelming sadness.

Viola Davis as Lila is easily the best asset of the movie. She's completely believable as the grieving mother, often seen hurt and confused in highly sympathetic manner. She can draw audience interest and even suspense judgment as she dabbles in less savory acts. Since the movie almost entirely revolves around her trial, it's a boon to have a reliable lead.

Jennifer Lopez has a mixed record in acting. There are a couple of good movies when she delivered, but most of the material she worked were mismatches. The most advantage she has is she can appear to be not glamorous, as in Parker and The Boy Next Door. With Viola Davis, the chemistry is definitely present, she appears to be an integral part of Lila's story than just a guest star.

The movie is not without flaws though. It's hampered with a few crude developments. They can be a bit problematic, although not entirely jumping towards one-man-army action theme or overly bloody violence. Furthermore, the plot twist it tries to pull is predictable and it could've been more refined or subtle in its delivery.

Unfortunately, many elements of the movie are notoriously cliché. The vigilante thriller and the chasing cop aspect feel much too familiar. However, Lila & Eve has enough private sentiment to be emotionally engaging even though the cause might not be just.
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5/10
Fine acting by Viola Davis
phd_travel30 August 2015
This Lifetime movie is watchable if imperfect.

There are some things going for this mother's revenge thriller. Of course there are some unrealistic fantasy elements in the revenge sequences. It's not meant to be 100% realistic. It's laughable the way all the drug dealing baddies are dispatched. If you remember the Charles Bronson movies they all had this amusing ludicrous moments.

Viola Davis is a most effective actress and you feel her emotions of grief and depression. Jennifer Lopez in a non glam get up is competent - this is no JLo vehicle.

Overall worth one watch.
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Good movie with a twist
fallonmassey19 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I do have a possible spoiler, but only if you know the other film and make the connection.

Firstly, Jennifer Lopez has always been a decent actor, but she obviously has been getting better. She plays a very good supporting role here, not Oscar worthy, but very good.

Viola Davis masterfully plays her role showing the full range of her talents, and the script for the most part works.

I won't say what the twist is, but it's sort of a pseudo Fight Club scenario, and that's all I'll say.

Absolutely worth a look!
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7/10
Twist is good, Lopez lets it down
jtindahouse22 July 2015
The casting in 'Lila & Eve' seems very strange. Two female lead roles, one filled by a superb actress with two Academy Award nominations, and one filled by - well, Jennifer Lopez. It feels like Daniel Day-Lewis doing a film alongside Kevin Hart. Charlize Theron was originally cast in the role but had to drop out and it's easy to see why. The role simply wasn't big enough for her. It's a lead role, but it's also not in a way. Make no mistake the film belongs to Viola Davis and Lopez is simply there to give a film a bit of a kick, which you will understand once you've seen the film. The unfortunate thing though is that while her role may give the film a kick, her performance has the opposite effect. She comes across as a soap opera star and completely takes the audience away from the seriousness of any scene she's in.

Lopez aside however, it's not a bad film. Davis is great in the lead role and manages to cover up some clunky written dialogue. There's not a lot of creativity in the action scenes either, but at least they're plentiful and violent enough. Make no mistake, this is no chick-flick. The twist is well executed and adds a point or two to the film. Overall it's a surprisingly good watch.
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5/10
Mothers seeking Vengeance
ferguson-616 July 2015
Greetings again from the darkness. It's the era of angry cinematic women, and this time we get Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez as mothers who go on a rampage of violence to gain vengeance for the murders of their sons. In 1991 Thelma & Louise tried to teach abusive and pig-headed men a lesson, and now Lila & Eve face off against neighborhood gangbangers.

Director Charles Stone III is best known for Drumline (2002) and Mr 3000 (2004) and this high-stress thriller seems a departure for him, though he compensates with a talented cast. In addition to Ms. Davis and Ms. Lopez, we get detectives played by Shea Whigham and Andre Royo, and Michole Briana White as the leader of the support group.

Stories of vigilantism always skirt the line between gritty and far-fetched, and unfortunately this one leans a bit too far the wrong way. Watching these two women so easily track down their targets and then so effortlessly 'take care of business' is head-shaking when combined with the tricky plot twist. The side story focusing on the support group was actually the most interesting, as it provides a glimpse of the grieving process and psychological effects experienced by mothers of murdered sons. Even this part flies off the rails towards the end of the movie – though it was with the best intentions.

Jennifer Lopez at least seems to take some delight in her character … a role much less restrictive than that of Viola Davis, who is forced to play it straight and angry (and she is very adept at this). Mothers seeking vengeance is a cause I can support, but not more can be said about this film as the first rule of Fight Club …
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6/10
Slightly worth seeing because of the star power behind such a small movie.
subxerogravity20 July 2015
Not too surprising that Viola Davis gives a strong performance as a mother who has a very interesting nervous breakdown after her son's murder from a drive-by, and good for Jennifer Lopez who I can't remember the last time was in something really worth seeing. Her role as another grieving mother out for vengeance rather than justice was a turn in a different direction.

And the movie relies a lot on the strong performances of their star power. Though it acts like a mature version of Death wish, the movie is predicable like an action movie, and though I was expecting elements from the action genre, I was also expecting the movie to be a way better than a Made-for-TV cable movie starring an old TV star.

Maybe you should wait to see it on TV as well.
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