Pictured: An amazing actor! Also pictured: J.Lo.

Lila & Eve helped me answer the age-old question, "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.

Support The Stranger

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.)

So okay, 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. recommended