Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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Released 1997

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Movie Summary

Director:
Clint Eastwood
Released:
1997
Rating:
R

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a 1997 drama that surrounds the murder of a troublesome young man in Savannah, Georgia. The movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, begins when New York journalist John Kelso (John Cusack) goes to Savannah to do a Town and Country article on a Christmas party held by high-society antique dealer, Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey). After the party, Williams kills his violent employee Billy Hanson (Jude Law), who is later revealed to also be his gay lover. Hanson states that he did it in a case of self-defense and Kelso makes the decision to stay in Savannah to cover the events of the trial as they unfold. Kelso then finds himself developing a romantic interest with a local lady named Mandy while rigorously tracking the events that led up to the killing in the case and witnessing the eventual verdict. The film was based on the adaption of the novel of the same name written by John Berendt.

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Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    An outstanding lean film trapped in a fat film's body.

  • 60

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    Yet for all the film's hard work at capturing Savannah's spirit, there is seldom enough context to make these characters seem anything but adorably whimsical to excess.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Listless, disjointed and disconnected, this meandering two-hour, 32-minute exercise in futility will fascinate no one who doesn't have a blood relation among the cast or crew.

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Themes

Crime, Gay & Lesbian, Legal