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Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 295 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Mississippi during the 1960s: Skeeter, a southern society girl, returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives--and a small Mississippi town--upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen, Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up—to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories—and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly—and unwillingly—caught up in the changing times. (Walt Disney Pictures)


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 9, 2011
    100
    The Help isn't intended to be so much a movie about the ugliness of the era than an optimistic tale of what can spring from that kind of ugliness, about the ability of people to love one another even when they're surrounded by hatred. And on that level, The Help succeeds wonderfully, a warm and sweet song of hope.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 9, 2011
    80
    The Help definitely worked on me as a consummate tear-jerker with a terrific cast, and it's pretty much the summer's only decent Hollywood drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Aug 10, 2011
    75
    The Help will make you laugh, yes, but it can also break your heart. In the dog days of August moviegoing, that's a powerful recommendation.
  4. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Aug 12, 2011
    65
    Big hair, fine period frocks and interior design lend The Help a pleasingly retro look. Yet for someone who grew up in Mississippi, the director has little sense of place.
  5. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Aug 10, 2011
    60
    For every obvious turn The Help takes, there is Davis, the ideal counterweight.
  6. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Aug 10, 2011
    50
    The Help may be more interested in the moral at the end of the story than the story itself, but what saves the film from its meticulous one-dimensionality is that nuanced, deeply moving cast.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Aug 9, 2011
    25
    High school creative-writing-class ironies of all kinds abound in The Help.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 99
  2. Negative: 6 out of 99
  1. Aug 14, 2011
    10
    I just watched to movie this afternoon with a friend that had also read the book. We were both in high school during the early 60ths, but in CA. This movie and its content was so impressive. The theater goes applauded at the end. It deviates from the book only by not giving so much detail, but the message is there beautifully. Expand
  2. Apr 10, 2012
    10
    Sweet Black Angels

    Telling the story of the end of segregation in the American South through black maids in Jackson Miss. makes this film
    moving, personal and a tad superficial. Much has been made of the patronizing structure-a young white woman, Skeeter, leads the women to contribute to her book -showing the strong, stoic black women as incapable or unwilling to stand up for themselves. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer give stand out performances as the maids, and wring all the audience sympathy you could imagine. Of course, given that this is a feminist tale, all the men are bastards or invisible, most of the women on the right side of the argument are brave and wonderful, and the women on the wrong side, poor deluded fools. Allison Janey -of West Wing fame- plays Skeeter's mother - the only 3D character in the piece, a genuinely confused character, and is a core part of the story of redemption.

    This book and film is really about current US politics. The fight between right (Obama, the first Black President) and wrong (the same Southern fundamentalist racists we see today) is plain to the viewer, and like the historic 1960's battle, the audience is invited to support the right cause.

    I liked the film despite its flaws, as I was on the right side of the argument then, and I still am. By the way, though I lived in NY in the sixties, I had a black maid when my mother went back to work in 1961. My own saint, Annabelle (who looked just like Minny) was fired in 1964 for stealing money after drinking a bottle of whiskey she pilfered from our house. I loved her anyway.
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  3. Dec 21, 2012
    10
    I like it cause Emma is in it. Haha :D But I think its a great movie. Aight? So.. Yeah. A great movie. A must watch. I really need to watch this. ugh ^^ Expand
  4. Aug 15, 2011
    9
    A journalism graduate (Emma Stone) decides to write a book from the POV of black maids in her 60s Mississippi town. The story alternates between her upscale friends (who practice an embedded type of genteel racism) and the maids (who quietly suffer the indignities). The performances are all-around exceptional, but Viola Davis' subtle torment is a surefire award winner. The gorgeous period styling and assured direction also contribute to this Oscar magnet: a funny, warm and powerful cinematic classic. Expand
  5. Jan 28, 2012
    8
    Really good movie, great acting, really recommend it. In other news, I am pretty sure that in 40 years or less there will be a movie similar to this, maybe titled The Friends, but centred on gays. Humans never learn. Expand
  6. Jan 25, 2012
    7
    Pleasant film. Great work by Chastain, Spencer, and Spacek. Viola Davis is fine and Emma Stone is a bit boring. Adaption of the work for film is done well. Technical aspects are good. Expand
  7. Nov 1, 2011
    0
    this movie's too hard to understand..... i think that a movie shoud have Understandable Plot,Clear Motive, and a movie should also be entertaining.i think this movie looked more likely a documentary than a movie. Expand

See all 99 User Reviews

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