Beloved Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Based on Toni Morrison's acclaimed novel, this is the story of a runaway slave struggling to carve out a simple existence with her children in rural Ohio.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. Doesn't sanitize its tale of African American loss and survival -- the way Steven Spielberg's “The Color Purple'' did -- but delves deeply, heartbreakingly into an American tragedy.
  2. 88
    The film had a curious effect on me. I was sometimes confused about events as they happened, but all the pieces are there, and the film creates an emotional whole. It's more effective when it's complete than during the unfolding experience.
  3. 75
    What is surprising -- remarkable even -- is that Beloved arrives onscreen with a minimum of dull virtue, gagging uplift and slick Hollywood gloss.
  4. Winfrey's performance is full of stoic anger, and individual moments have ferocity and pull, yet you're always aware of them as moments.
  5. 50
    Though Beloved sags into repetition after two of its three hours, this beautiful movie is suffused with an intensity that holds our attention for the conclusion.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Demme is understandably reluctant to linger on the horrors of slavery, but it's a dramaturgical mistake. The quick, shocking flashbacks of Sethe's brutalization by her white masters don't do the job--they're horrific, but with a B movie luridness.
  7. 20
    Beloved has an almost gut-wrenching quality to it. But the same can't be said for the movie overall--it's a noble, ambitious failure, but a failure nonetheless.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. kinnithj
    Sep 15, 2009
    This is one of the most gripping and interesting films I've ever seen. its just so deep with its many metaphors and it really makes the viewer think. I watched the film then immediately bought the book and read it two times back-to-back. It is just that interesting! Expand
  2. May 6, 2011
    A harrowing drama-ghost story which serves as a metaphor for the ugliness of past sins still haunting the present. Truly disturbing film-making, full of grief and anguish that everyone tries to hide under the surface, but it all comes out in the end. Thandie Newton gave one of the best performances ever filmed, and the rest of the cast is nearly as riveting. This is a difficult film in a sense, but also very poetic and ultimately joyous. I highly recommend it. Collapse