• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: May 25, 2014
  • Season #: 1
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 83
  2. Negative: 12 out of 83

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  1. May 25, 2014
    10
    Leave it ti HBO to produce the most important movie this year, The Normal Heart is brave, sweet and raw. Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts and Joe Mantello shine and deliver Oscar worthy performances. Taylor Kitsch, Jim parsons and Alfred Molina are amazing and will also fight for the Emmy´s, there are great supporting cast surprises like BD Wong, Danielle Ferland and Stephen Spinella.
  2. May 27, 2014
    8
    Wow. I am so glad HBO made this movie.

    This political gay love story about HIV/AIDS just gave me so much feels and I never expected that, mainly because of the feeling of losing someone you love the most to AIDS sucks really bad.

    The performances from the cast are surely Emmy worthy. My favorite has to be when Dr. Emma Brookner (played by Julia Roberts) shouts at the mayor of New
    York on how she is frustrated and insulted that he won’t even give money to fund for AIDS research. I will be really surprised if she isn’t even nominated for an Emmy.

    The story was great as well. I learned many things about the AIDS epidemic in the early 80s because of this movie. But there is one plot hole I noticed. If Felix Turner (played by Matt Bomer) has AIDS and he had sex with Ned Weeks (played by Mark Ruffalo), shouldn’t he be affected by it? Did Felix had AIDS after that? These questions weren’t answered.

    But, the directing and the cinematography is great as well. I am glad Ryan Murphy directed this, because he is a great director. Just give him a big budget and he will do it flawlessly.

    Overall, this HBO movie will surely teach the young generation about AIDS, touch the viewer’s hearts and meanwhile, grabbing the Emmy spotlight.
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  3. May 27, 2014
    10
    Great movie. Sad Heartbreaking and well acted. Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Matt Boomer hit the right note, and it all feels so REAL. Jim Parsons too had a great performance. Ryan Murphy succeeds to build a great, sad and touching story, without being too melodramatic.
    Loved it
  4. May 27, 2014
    9
    I'm not sure why Roberts or Ruffalo are getting so much flack -- this movie is an adaptation of a play that is largely polemical. You should expect lengthy monologues. I thought both brought a relentlessness and emotionality to their roles that the characters required. They weren't meant to be polished, Sorkin-esque banter -- they were supposed to be charged and shaky and uneven. That takes much more acting talent than the perfectly delivered speech.

    Thought the film itself was a powerful reminder of our shameful inaction and the social stigma that cost so many lives.
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  5. Jun 1, 2014
    9
    Excellent movie. Amazing actors. If you don't feel something after watching this film, you are dead inside. They did a great job exploring how different people who have the same goals, can have such a variety of viewpoints on the best way to get things done. I could feel their frustration. Everyone was incredible, but Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer were jaw dropping good.
  6. Jun 1, 2014
    10
    Heart wrenching experience. The film is a very sad commentary on one of the darkest periods of American history and how the governent's lack of action cost millions of lives. Kudos to Larry Kramer who wrote the play. The cast is amazing and Mark Ruffalo gives the best performance of his career.
  7. Jun 2, 2014
    10
    Straight guy who really liked the movie. Caught it on HBO Go. A little heavy in some parts but i gave it a ten because I really like the story and the education behind it, also i just thought it was a good movie, I recommend it to all!
  8. May 30, 2014
    9
    HBO nails it. this is one of the powerful films to bring out gay rights out in screen, and plus the AIDS issues as well. well acted, well scripted, this is one hell of a picture that one shouldn't at all miss.
  9. May 26, 2014
    1
    Let's be clear, the story of the inaction of the government during the AIDS crisis needs to be told. I am a gay man and I loved this play when I saw it on stage. However, the acting in this adaption is incredibly sub-par. I couldn't take it within 10 minutes of starting to watch. The supporting characters were alright but the actor that represented Larry Kramer (the male lead) delivered each line in a horrible monotone. Everytime he spoke I rolled my eyes and mocked his delivery. Julia Roberts was just as bad. I gave it a 1 as I'm sure many were unaware of this history (I lived through it) Expand
  10. Jun 5, 2014
    1
    I've never rated anything online, ever. I am a SAG and an AFTRA member. Both for over 20 years. I only took the time to create an account to be honest: this is "Diet Milk". The basis makes me want to say nicer things. But I've watched people die of AIDS. (Most of) The actors are wonderful. The story has been done, better and closer to the time of impact.
  11. Jun 21, 2014
    3
    Despite some good performances from Roberts, Ruffalo and Matt B... the movie falls flat. Yes - it's extremely emotional given the subject matter... and the cause in the fight against aids... so as a political and social statement for the gay community it succeeds, but as a film, it just doesn't jive. There's no real story arc here; we are too detached from some of the characters to feel anything; and ruffallo's charcter (larry kramer) is just too much of an angry fanatic to like. He alienates the members of GMHC, and he sort of alienated me from this film. Again, kudos to Murphy who did a great job with the material, to the cast (except for Taylor k) who did a great job, and to Pitt/Kramer for getting the film made! I think Philadelphia did a much better job at telling the story of the aids crisis - it gave us characters we could relate to and fall in love with... and the story had a place to go. Normal Heart fails in that respect - big time. Expand
  12. Sep 3, 2014
    8
    On the heels of another brilliantly moving film related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic, The Normal Heart is entirely original and just as emotional. Mark Ruffalo reaches his career-best with help from the multi-talented Julia Roberts. Ryan Murphy is impressive and proves to us all his worth in the industry.
  13. May 31, 2014
    2
    Medicore movie fell asleep through half of it, it has a target audience obviously and it will get good reviews based on being a gay movie, but if you took the gay out of this, its quite amateurish and full of kitsch and cheesy acting predictable acting.
  14. May 26, 2014
    4
    i lived through this era. it is important to remind people today how awful it was. that said, this adaptation disappointed. except for jim parson's performance, which was graceful, touching, and true, the acting was lousy. julia roberts' de-glamorizing was distracting. and she was so wrong for the role. there was a great movie here. wish it had been.
  15. Sep 27, 2014
    9
    The film is really raw. Great cast and a great story make this film a must view.
    It's a really drama-story of the gay community during the HIV discover
  16. Aug 26, 2014
    9
    An extremely powerful movie with a very moving ending. I do have a few minor issues with it but they are not worth bringing up. The cogent screenplay, the spectacular camera movements and powerhouse performances from Ruffalo, Roberts, Bomer and Parsons are all very impressive attributes. HBO has not just made one of the most important movies of the year, but also one of the best.
  17. Aug 30, 2014
    8
    I thought this would be worse, I expected some stellar turns by actors, a succession of tearjerking moments and vague if overall interesting drama, and for the first half hour it seemed it could go near there, so I was surprised to find drama, political and otherwise, was the star of this movie. Ned Weeks is a pain in the ass, but a necessary one, he's probably right about everything. He's got some very fine lines and there's a very solid scene when he confronts his brother; the monologue by Marcus, during the second half of the movie, is terrific. Weeks courting of felix is endearingly clumsy and very funny. It's to the director's credit that the dramatic qualities of the text surface naturally most of the time. The actors deserve some kind of ensemble prize, although Alfred Molina does go a little hammy for the last ten minutes or so, he doesn't cry good, and frankly, perhaps he shouldn't have cried at all, he's very fine for the rest of the movie, though. Anyway, it doesn't marr one bit the truthfulness and heartbreaking precision of the feelings portrayed by Bomer and Ruffalo in Ned and Felix's last scene together. Beyond all that, The Normal Heart, contains a moment of pure magic: there's a party related to a fundraising campaing in a disco, everybody is dancing to gloria Gaynor's I will survive and things like that and then, out of nowhere, comes the sound of a piano, just one, and a very large male chorus starts to sing The Man I Love, sounding almost a capella, all the guys are now dancing cheek to cheek, the scene ends when Ned and Felix go out and walk down some kind of peer with the New York landscape in the background, like an old Hollywood movie. Expand
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    May 27, 2014
    60
    Overscored and overwrought, The Normal Heart is a tough pill to swallow. The direction of Ryan Murphy (Glee) is piercingly staccato (and visually inconsistent). The tender moments don't resonate, and the fraught moments feel hysterical.
  2. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    May 27, 2014
    90
    Like Behind the Candelabra, its action isn’t measured in car chases and explosions. It’s charted in the lives it touches.
  3. 100
    The film has poetry and vitality, too, and its greatest virtue is that it seems not to give a damn if you approve of any of its creative choices as long as you connect with it emotionally and intellectually.