Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. 88
    Most movie characters are like Greek gods and comic book heroes: We learn their roles and powers at the beginning of the story, and they never change. Here are complex, troubled, flawed people, brave enough to breathe deeply and take one more risk with their lives.
  2. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 6 out of 19
  1. FrankO
    Mar 25, 2009
    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. Full Review »
  2. JoeS.
    Apr 27, 2006
    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. Full Review »
  3. TonyB.
    Dec 11, 2005
    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. Full Review »