Directed by Karen Leigh Hopkins
Miss Meadows is a school teacher with impeccable manners and grace. However, underneath the candy-sweet exterior hides a ruthless gun-toting vigilante who takes it upon herself to right the wrongs in the world by whatever means necessary. For Miss Meadows, bad behavior is simply unforgivable.
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★★★½ review by Noah Teuber on Letterboxd
"If a woman's tongue is her sword, just imagine what her body can do."
Miss Meadows has to be one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. Weird isn't necessarily bad though, and the premise- an elementary school teacher who has a double life as a vigilante- has me written all over it. I love stuff like that. And Katie Holmes as the title character? I was in from the beginning. Unfortunately, the final product isn't as fun as it could have been, ending up being just short of greatness.
The whole movie felt a bit reserved to me, which really is what hurts it the most. It seems like it knows what it wants to be, but it doesn't go all the way. There are brief moments of awesome, but then they go back to focusing on things that didn't need to be focused on so much. They even give Miss Meadows an understandable back story, but seem to sort of skim over it when what they really should have done is focus on it more and let this character be as crazy awesome as she could have been!
None of that can be blamed on Katie Holmes, however. She owns the wacky role of Miss Meadows and I loved watching her, laughing at how she says "Toot a' loo!" to say goodbye to everyone she meets and randomly tap dances down the street. I can't emphasis enough how strange this movie is. I can't help but not admire it.
In the end, I think the filmmakers really had something here, but failed to put it all to good use. Katie Holmes went all in, and it's a shame they didn't use everything they had to make something that could have been really great in a ridiculous sort of way. Instead it's just good, and that is all thanks to Katie Holmes's performance. I still had fun though, and I guess that's all that matters in the end.
★★★½ review by Rich Strahs on Letterboxd
After reading some of the reviews for this film I was expecting a horrible experience. Yes, the movie can kind of drag. However I found it to be an entertaining watch. Katie Holmes plays the Jeckyl and Hyde character almost too good. She is a vigilante off hours from work while always having a sunny disposition on life. It is almost creepy to see her shoot a man and then tap dance down the road. One thing this movie also does is showcase Katie Holmes' ability to emote via facial expressions. She might not be my favorite actress around but I cannot deny her ability. In another time she could have been on the silverscreen in black and white, slide cards in between scenes with a narrative and a pianist in the corner of the theater.
★★★½ review by Eli on Letterboxd
Katie Holmes' innocent look and demeanor definitely sealed this role for me. Her character fully believed that she was pure, and that's what justified her. It was also nice to see that the violence was never really gratuitous, although I do wish there had been more deaths. The film never explored exactly what her limit was.
I wish Miss Meadows was my substitute teacher.
★★★½ review by James Haves on Letterboxd
She's clean, she's proper, she's a pillar of the community, and she has perfect manners. She's also a gun-toting vigilante killer, bent on ridding her community of the criminals the legal system has failed to keep off the streets.
I'll be honest, the concept is completely what drew me in to this film. I saw it on a shelf and took a punt knowing nothing about it, and I'm glad I did. Miss Meadows is one of the most interesting vigilante films to come out in recent years.
What starts off as feeling somewhat light and comedic ends up being a rather interesting look into the broken psyche of our main protagonist, and what could have been a cute idea of a lead anti-heroine ends up being a dive into the idea of someone covering up their shattered mental state with a mission and way of life - in Miss Meadows' case, manners and vigilante justice.
All of the film hinges upon Katie Holmes' utterly committed titular performance, and it truly shines. It's truly a career best role for her, and showcases her real potential for similarly layered roles in the future.
Miss Meadows isn't perfect, as some of the characters could use some development, the ending felt like it needed more clarity, the score was a little on-the-nose, and the direction really felt like a first-timer, and the whole affair was shot rather blandly. Still, none of these is a deal-breaker, and the writing and Holmes' performance and the dense writing hold up even the slightly clunkier parts.
A truly underrated drama that deserves more attention, if only to prove how good of an actress Katie Holmes can be. I don't say this often, but I really would genuinely appreciate a second chapter in this story, if only to expand Miss Meadows' backstory and have some bigger and better storylines. Make it happen, Hollywood!
★★★½ review by Da_Bill on Letterboxd
This I really enjoyed. It does have its issues, with the lead feeling a bit too much like a caricature, but the story is certainly engaging and at less than 90 minutes it manages to keep good pacing, without feeling rushed. James Badge Dale and Katie Holmes both do decent jobs and the way in which the tone moves from sweet and innocent to dark and dangerous is nicely handled.
It's not an amazing film, it won't get anyone particularly excited, but it is certainly entertaining and engagin enough to keep you throughout the runtime.
I'd recommend it for a quiet night when you want something a little offbeat, but not overly complex.
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