The Human Stain Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: The story of Coleman Silk (Hopkins), a distinguished professor at a prestigious New England college whose professional life is shattered by allegations of racism and whose personal life is infected with cancer of a lie he has been living with for fifty years. (Miramax)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. The Human Stain has those qualities we often want but rarely see in our films: intelligence and ambition, decency and humanity, poetry and pity, fire and ice. Watch it and weep.
  2. 80
    Hopkins' beautifully detailed, deeply felt acting remains a joy to watch...But an even greater pleasure, at least for my money, is Kidman's dark turn as Faunia Farley.
  3. The best thing the movie has going for it is Kidman's performance.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    For all its shortcomings, The Human Stain is an honorable, sometimes moving attempt, better at evoking the poignancy of Silk's autumnal affair than exploring the moral ambiguities of his deception.
  5. 50
    All we are left with, in essence, is an unlikely love affair, performed by two actors so remorselessly skilled that, by the end, you can't see the love for the skill. [3 November 2003, p. 104]
  6. The movie is a disappointment -- not a stain on Benton's career as a serious and literate director, but only half the powerful drama it might have been.
  7. All in all, it's like a bachelor's apartment: a complete mess.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 6 out of 19
  1. FrankO
    Mar 25, 2009
    8
    This movie had surprising depth that I was not prepared for. Although the casting did seem out of place, I enjoyed the storyline, especially This movie had surprising depth that I was not prepared for. Although the casting did seem out of place, I enjoyed the storyline, especially Silk's dilemma regarding his family and passing as white. It was a surprise twist in the film and well worth the wait. Expand
  2. JoeS.
    Apr 27, 2006
    8
    Kidman and especially Ed Harris deliver world-class acting. Wanna see true acting skill? Watch Harris in this movie. The cinematography Kidman and especially Ed Harris deliver world-class acting. Wanna see true acting skill? Watch Harris in this movie. The cinematography almost pulls your heart out of your chest. The music -- especially at the end -- is very effective. Somehow this movie really has an emotional effect, even though the story itself is not that engaging. Expand
  3. TonyB.
    Dec 11, 2005
    6
    This is an interesting story told in a more than satisfactory way. Its structure, especially its use of flashbacks, is very effective. There This is an interesting story told in a more than satisfactory way. Its structure, especially its use of flashbacks, is very effective. There are a number of solid ideas here that are developed in a way that assumes the audience watching the film has the intelligence to appreciate them. The acting is first rate, as expected with this cast, but it's hard to believe that the Anthony Hopkins character is not Caucasian. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews