Tiger Eyes: movie review

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Tiger Eyes: movie review

Proof we need an alt-MPAA rating system—no one over 13 allowed—this Judy Blume adaptation is merely an insufferable YA lint trap, about a dadless teen (Willa Holland) moping around Santa Fe, bickering with her elders and dating a hunky-yet-jailbaiting Pueblo guy (Tatanka Means). Directed by Ma Blume’s little scooter Lawrence, mainly because she said so, this pubescent navel-gazer has only its star Holland (Brian De Palma’s stepdaughter) to recommend it, not for her acting but only for her undeniable corn-fed–Emmanuelle Béart looks. She’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick—but only by a small margin.

Follow Michael Atkinson on Twitter: AtkinsonZero

By: Michael Atkinson


Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday June 7 2013
Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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The reviewer of this film, Michael whatever, is either on another planet or has a really big chip on his/her/its shoulder. Or both.


I really, really enjoyed this. It is too bad that critics are so embittered and indulging their grudges and whatever other frustrations they may have by obscuring a film's merit by throwing everything else they can think of at anyone involved to take them down and seem more important or erudite. It's just a movie in the end - and I have no clue what Michael Atkinson, the reviewer, is carrying around with him that he felt the need to try to skewer this movie. At any rate, this movie is an alternative to the bad start to the summer by Hollywood. It is nice to have genuine feeling in movies. I think it's missing in most films these days. Even among good indies, the emotion is usually overwrought and unreal, even as good as something like The Master is - we see brilliant acting but it's so hard to relate to. At least with Blume's film there is a relatedness that the characters have with reality. It makes the film innocent in a way that most films can't seem to harness these days, even some of the better films. Tiger Eyes is unpretentious and absolutely for the unjaded and the light-hearted. If you go with your judgment and your film school arrogance and all of that, you'll come out unchanged. If you see what Blume is doing with the material, you'll come away with a more open heart.


Saw this last night. Really nice film. I think people are too jaded and too used to these ultra-mega blockbusters. There doesn't seem to be much room anymore in people's viewing habits for something simple and elegant like Judy Blume. I think Judy may be a writer from a bygone era. She had a lot to say for anyone who read her books growing up. It was important for young adults to know that someone knew what they were going through and was able to articulate it. It was reassuring, for boys and girls alike. Not surprising in the manic age of the Internet that people are slamming Tiger Eyes. I think as far as indie films, people were spoiled by Miramax and Sundance fare - and as far as Hollywood, there really is only one kind of film now - that big, roiling, testosterone kind of film. So that leaves gaps where decent films fall through. There is VOD and Netflix's growing influence, but it is so hard for films that are the awkward kid in class. We should maintain respect and room for films that don't have superheroes or wizards or Paul Giamatti, as fun as all of those things can be when we're in the mood for them. Blume wrote her books out of genuine love for her subjects and the characters she gave us. And the film, Tiger Eyes, has managed to reflect much of that love that was in Blume's books. As far as charges of nepotism, Kiefer Sutherland, MIchael Douglas, Liza Minnelli - there is a very long list of capable & talented people who are making great art who had famous parents. It doesn't matter. Having a hugely famous and talented parent should not make people so angry. It happens one way or another for people, regardless of connections or anything else. There are plenty of children of famous people who never get into the business or do anything like their parents did. It's irrelevant, really. Enjoy Tiger Eyes as a throwback to Blume's books. That's what it is. And for those of you who like Judy's books, this film is for you. A love letter to the underdogs and the downtrodden, in many ways.

Tom Tremont

This movie is a classic example of celebrity nepotism. I went back to read the book, Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes, and of course many of us had read her books as children and young adults, and what I realized is that Judy's writing was really never that great to begin with in much the same way that Stephanie Meyers' writing really isn't anything particularly literate. Of course, the Blume legacy is really not so much about flawed humanity as it is about bad choices - Judy's personal life is littered with elitist flotsam: two divorces, spoiled & dysfunctional offspring, and a grandchild caught up in a plea bargain over a rape in her summer home in Martha's Vineyard. More like the excesses of the Kennedy debacles than the humble characters Blume tries to bring to life in her books. The film of Tiger Eyes is as shallow and insipid as Blume's 1970's mainstream white privileged angst. Her books now read like daytime movies that were made to fill time on the programming schedule and their popularity now seems to be a testament to the power of a high-caliber publisher and agent rather than any real literary merit. Her whole career and waning influence should now be reassessed. One only has to look at the deep critical failure of her two adult books, "Wifey" and "Summer Sisters", to notice her lack of writing mojo. Tiger Eyes, the movie, is truly a reflection of Judy Blume and her strange & American success story - talking a lot...but not saying anything.

Mary SW

Wow. I also saw this film and COULD NOT disagree more with that nasty and clearly non-objective review. I literally had to go look up the writer to try to figure out why he would personally attack both Judy and Lawrence Blume in such a "nothing to do with the film" kind of way. It turns out the writer had a pilot he wrote for CBS that did not get picked up. Could there be some sort of resentment going on here? That review was so unnecessarily viscous! In one sentence he shows his resentment toward what he must see as nepotism...referring to Lawrence Blume in a disrespectful way and pointing out that Willa Holland's step-father is Brian De Palma's stepdaughter. What does that have to do with anything? This film is not for middle aged angry men. It's for young girls and women who love Judy Blume, who loved the book, and are not quite interested in Zombies who return to their homes to pick up their lives (the premise of his non-picked up pilot). If he is going to be a reviewer, at least he could review for the audience intended and leave his very obvious very person stuff out of it. The movie is sweet and moving and deals with grief in a way that shows there is hope. Wow, that sure sounds like it needed a slap-down review.

Tom Turlow

I saw this sweet movie at a festival and couldn't disagree more with the reviewer's cynical and nasty assessment of the film. It's a heartfelt, warm, wonderfully acted small drama that comes from a place of emotional honesty. Maybe this guy would prefer a vampire or two chomping on the girl's neck, or maybe he's just a bitter, wanna-be filmmaker himself. But he's dead wrong. Every fan of Judy Blume will probably like this movie and I have been recommending it to everyone. It's a refreshing alternative to all the supernatural, violent, ridiculous tent-pole fare that we'll be bombarded with all summer.