What unfolds is a stock-standard revenge-thriller that lacks vision and collapses under it's own exploitation. Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez are both quite good and their performances are certainly the least of the movie's problems, and so where it all comes undone, first and foremost, is with the script. The dialogue is mechanical and the film's structure is clanky. Marred by constant flashback sequences the impact of the story is diminished by constant reminders of family life and motherly love. Had director Charles Stone III taken a grittier and harsher approach to the aesthetic then perhaps this convention would have resonated more, but instead he has delivered a glossy-looking movie that feels more like a midday movie of the week.
Unfortunately I'm not able to discuss LILA & EVE's biggest fault, only to say that it employs an unnecessarily cliched and fatigued plot device that grinds the entire movie to a halt before its even had a chance to build momentum. It's a disappointing method of storytelling that is handled sloppily and is proven to only work when controlled by a skilled and accomplished filmmaker.
And so it is. LILA & EVE. Two decent performances and a handful of good ideas. Everything else is fodder. Thankfully it has been dumped onto Netflix following a brief VOD stint and so there's no sense of being ripped off. You can tempt it for yourself, but you have the luxury of switching off without loosing good coin.