"Would I watch Viola Davis in literally anything just because she's amazing?" The answer: "Yes. Yes, I would! Literally anything! (Except The Help.)" And yes, that includes Lila & Eve, in which Davis is wholly convincing as Lila, a woman whose son was killed in a drive-by. When the cops prove useless in solving the murder, Lila teams up with J.Lo to mete out some vigilante justice. In case that synopsis doesn't make it obvious: Lila & Eve is not going to get good reviews. The dialogue is terrible, and the whole thing seems confused as to whether it's a Thelma & Louise-type campout or a very self-serious cousin to The Wire. (It even stars Bubbles from The Wire as its only sympathetic cop.) Lila & Eve is basically a Lifetime movie with better production values, or Fight Club starring middle-aged ladies (an improvement, if you ask me). But Davis' performance just destroyed me. Also, this is a mainstream thriller that acknowledges the inner lives of women of color over the age of 40. In a filmmaking culture where movies often include less than a minute of dialogue from a non-white character—and where middle-aged women typically don't exist—that in itself is notable (94 min.).
Director: Charles Stone III
Producer: Sara Risher, Darrin Reed, Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Lisa Daly, Rob Sharenow, Tanya Lopez and Molly Thompson
Cast: Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez, Shea Whigham, Chris Chalk, Andre Royo, Aml Ameen, Yolonda Ross, Diarra Kilpatrick, Ron Caldwell and Michole Briana White