A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lila & Eve is a revenge thriller about a grieving mother who takes the law into her own hands when her teenage son is killed in a drive-by shooting. It tackles tough issues -- including vigilante justice and the effectiveness of the criminal justice system -- while focusing on how tragedy can shatter a family. Several scenes featuring shootings that leave victims dead and dying, bleeding on the street. There's also a fair amount of swearing (mainly "bitch," "s--t," and "f--k), as well as some drinking, smoking, and prescription pill use.
What's the story?
After her teenage son is killed in a drive-by shooting, Lila (Viola Davis) is falling apart -- until she meets Eve (Jennifer Lopez) at a support group for grieving mothers. The two women help each other come to terms with their losses, and after realizing they can't expect any help from the police, they set out to find the drug dealers who were responsible for the murder ... and take matters into their own hands.
Is it any good?
LILA & EVE has a simple but compelling premise, and Davis is excellent as a mother at the end of her rope. We believe that she's about to fall off a cliff of despair, just as we see the love between the mother and her sons during flashback scenes. What's less believable is Lopez as an angry mother eager to encourage her new friend Lila to commit murder. Lopez doesn't carry her share of the dramatic weight, and the surprise plot twist at the end doesn't feel like much of a surprise. It's shocking to see the two women go up against hardened criminals and take them down in a series of gunfights that get more and more extreme. But it doesn't feel authentic. The movie drags on, slowly taking viewers on a trip that doesn't ultimately feel like it has much payoff.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Lila & Eve's violence. How does its impact compare to what you might see in a horror or action movie? Do you think different types of violence affect viewers differently?
What is the movie saying about revenge? Do the ends ever justify the means?
What do you think about Lila's relationship with Eve? How does Eve encourage Lila to expand her circle of retribution? Can either woman be considered a role model?
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