The Color Purple

The Color Purple Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In rural Georgia during the first half of the 20th century, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) is married off to an abusive man (Danny Glover) after becoming pregnant by her own father. Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    Jun 2, 2016
    100
    To miss this film is to cheat yourself and your family of a memorable moviegoing experience.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 2, 2016
    100
    The affirmation at the end of the film is so joyous that this is one of the few movies in a long time that inspires tears of happiness, and earns them. The Color Purple is the year's best film.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Jun 2, 2016
    75
    Spielberg lacks his usual intuitive affinity for his story material; consequently the film is a bit clunky at times. There are some unfortunate slapstick comic relief sequences and a few of the characterizations are also much too broad and cartoonish.
  4. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Jun 2, 2016
    70
    Some parts of it are rapturous and stirring, others hugely improbable, and the film moves unpredictably from one mode to another. From another director, this might be fatally confusing, but Mr. Spielberg's showmanship is still with him. Although the combination of his sensibilities and Miss Walker's amounts to a colossal mismatch, Mr. Spielberg's ''Color Purple'' manages to have momentum, warmth and staying power all the same.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Jun 2, 2016
    70
    There are some great scenes and great performances in The Color Purple, but it is not a great film. Steven Spielberg’s turn at ‘serious’ filmmaking is marred in more than one place by overblown production that threatens to drown in its own emotions. But the characters created in Alice Walker’s novel are so vivid that even this doesn’t kill them off and there is still much to applaud (and cry about) here.
  6. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    Jun 2, 2016
    63
    What's wrong with The Color Purple - and nothing that's wrong with it keeps it from being a joy to watch - is what you'd expect of Spielberg: he chews on Alice Walker's hard edges until they're gummy. [21 Dec 1985]
  7. Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    Jun 2, 2016
    50
    This time out, Spielberg has chosen to put an antic disposition on, and with the single exception of casting, his almost every decision has been disastrous. He has prettified or coarsened; he has made comic scenes broadly slapstick and tiptoed over the story's crucial relationship. The result, alas, is the film purpled.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. R.L
    Jan 6, 2009
    10
    The Color Purple is a truly amazing film!
  2. Mar 4, 2011
    9
    Very good but depressing. All of the acting and directing was done very well. And yet, I don't care to ever sit through it again.
  3. Oct 15, 2013
    8
    The kind of film that makes you feel warm on the inside, "The Color Purple" is a true testament to the directorial versatility of StevenThe kind of film that makes you feel warm on the inside, "The Color Purple" is a true testament to the directorial versatility of Steven Spielberg, the acting talents of Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Danny Glover, and the true triumph of human spirit. Expand
  4. Mar 6, 2016
    8
    There are some great scenes and great performances in The Color Purple, but it is not a great film. Steven Spielberg’s turn at ‘serious’There are some great scenes and great performances in The Color Purple, but it is not a great film. Steven Spielberg’s turn at ‘serious’ filmmaking is marred in more than one place by overblown production that threatens to drown in its own emotions. But the characters created in Alice Walker’s novel are so vivid that even this doesn’t kill them off and there is still much to applaud (and cry about) here.

    Walker’s tale is the story of a black family’s growth and flowering over a 40-year period in the south starting around 1909. At the center of everything is Celie, who as a young girl gives birth to two children and is then married into a life of virtual servitude to a man she can refer to only as Mr (Danny Glover).

    Above all The Color Purple is a love story between Celie and her sister, Nettie, from whom she is separated at childhood, and, later in life, the blues singer Shug Avery.

    Saving grace of the film are the performances. As the adult Celie debuting Whoopi Goldberg uses her expressive face and joyous smile to register the character’s growth. Equally good is Glover who is a powerful screen presence.
    Expand

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