Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures | Release Date: August 10, 2011
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 479 Ratings
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Positive:
405
Mixed:
46
Negative:
28
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5
TastyJamProjectJan 20, 2012
The Help is well intentioned. That doesn't make it any less racist in its (fictional) storyline based on the south in 1950's America, with the idea that only a white woman can help black women find their voice. The only reason to see thisThe Help is well intentioned. That doesn't make it any less racist in its (fictional) storyline based on the south in 1950's America, with the idea that only a white woman can help black women find their voice. The only reason to see this film is the talent put forward by the electrifying Viola Davis and the gutsy performance from Octavia Spencer. Other than that, there's not much here with substance, and the more horrific events of the 1950's seem to be glossed over. Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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6
heyitsmegrif4Dec 17, 2011
It is incredibly hard to sit through because you get so angry, but its incredible performances and comedy make up for it. I almost gave this movie a bad rating,but I give this movie 60% of a good movie.
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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5
SusanSAug 14, 2011
The Bottom Line: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer save this film from being a two-dimensional pat-on-the-back for non-racist white people in the 1960s. Every time the story gets a little too sappy and cut-and-dry, Davis' Aibilene returns toThe Bottom Line: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer save this film from being a two-dimensional pat-on-the-back for non-racist white people in the 1960s. Every time the story gets a little too sappy and cut-and-dry, Davis' Aibilene returns to the screen to bring a complexity to the film that I don't think actually exists in the original book. The film is wildly uneven, I think precisely because of the skilled, seasoned Black actresses' ability to create accurate complexity out of cardboard characters contrasting with much younger, less experienced white actresses unable to the same. In the end, it succumbs to its movie-long desire to tie a nice bow around a situation that, in 1964 in Jackson, Mississippi, was everything but harmonious. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
G-PhoneAug 16, 2011
This movie boils down to a feel good movie with some good acting. the acting and set locations and film methods save an otherwise LifeTime channel movie.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
RobinsNestJan 2, 2012
Amid much fanfare I reluctantly watched The Help. Unless it was a true story or based on such, the subject was uninteresting. Yet I gave this long film a shot. The idea of black women raising rich white children in the south, is not foreignAmid much fanfare I reluctantly watched The Help. Unless it was a true story or based on such, the subject was uninteresting. Yet I gave this long film a shot. The idea of black women raising rich white children in the south, is not foreign even to those of us in the north. At one time we had such a person but more a helper not a parent substitute. The characters seemed stock and what happens is rote. Some performances were very good especially by Ms Davis, Ms Spencer, and Ms Chastain. There are no surprises here. It seems to have struck a chord with women but it could not sustain my interest for 2.5 hours. In summary, some strong performances, mildly interesting subject, but mundane and too long. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
skanteaJan 9, 2012
"To Kill a Mockingbird" came out 50 years ago and the film (and most likely the novel) are far superior to this film in every way. It wouldn't be fair to compare this to such an obvious classic except for the fact that I keep hearing rumors"To Kill a Mockingbird" came out 50 years ago and the film (and most likely the novel) are far superior to this film in every way. It wouldn't be fair to compare this to such an obvious classic except for the fact that I keep hearing rumors of it being Oscar worthy. The classic film, of course, has the iconic 'white savior' played by Gregory Peck, but the character is portrayed as a complex man of pure ethics grappling with the issues of his time in a way that isn't clueless about his actions and understands full well the danger he's placing himself and his family in when he decides to cross the hard coded color lines. This Skeeter character is more concerned with advancing her career by being controversial than making real change. In short this film is a Disnified version of 1960's race relations, pretty to look at and light on meaning.
And if you haven't seen "To Kill a Mockingbird", do it ASAP. You'll be shocked at how it doesn't hesitate to challenge the audience. After all this time it still has the power to really make you think about Race and Class.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
EssenceOfSugarJul 22, 2012
The actresses all had their own part to play in this sugar-coated brightly coloured drama, and I can certainly say for a fact that, for the time these people are living in, I thought it looked quite mawkish in terms of the good intentions ofThe actresses all had their own part to play in this sugar-coated brightly coloured drama, and I can certainly say for a fact that, for the time these people are living in, I thought it looked quite mawkish in terms of the good intentions of the few whites that helped the black servants. These actresses are incredibly talented, I'm not denying that, but that certainly does not dispute the fact that many of them had to act like they were probably living in a gingerbread house and wearing sweets, instead of living in normal houses surrounded by poverty and racism. Westernised? Yes. But fascinating? Of course. It's the interpretation that matters, but the people who made this film just didn't seem to get it quite right. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
FranzHcriticSep 14, 2014
A sappy melodrama, that emphasizes far too much than the light tone of the dialogue and characters can handle. For one thing, it was too cute, too much of the emotional side of race, so much that it made me almost queasy. The acting is eitherA sappy melodrama, that emphasizes far too much than the light tone of the dialogue and characters can handle. For one thing, it was too cute, too much of the emotional side of race, so much that it made me almost queasy. The acting is either at par or above par, depending on the character. Octavia Spencer is the light at the end of the tunnel; her vulgar,obstinate, and disdainful Minny has both comedy and drama thread into the character. Jessica Chastain is the lantern, with a cutesy and light-hearted role. That being said, Viola Davis, Emma Stone, and Bryce Dallas Howard are just a few matches. The film itself, is quite hard to see through sometimes. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
lahaineSep 4, 2011
The Help is a racially themed film that's probably a bit too pretty and crowd pleasing. Getting down to the gritty meat of the matter would have been a far more effective way of telling this story, rather than the fluffy-comedic style we get;The Help is a racially themed film that's probably a bit too pretty and crowd pleasing. Getting down to the gritty meat of the matter would have been a far more effective way of telling this story, rather than the fluffy-comedic style we get; sprinkled with instances of tears and drama. Despite this, its light tone made it quite entertaining and the instances of drama were natural and fluid. Its colourful cast shines, particularly Dallas Howard, Davis and (the adorable) Jessica Chastain. And the colourful character-serving costume designs shine as well. Comparing this flick to the Blind Side is an insult. Despite its light material, it dealt with the racial matter with a bit more depth rather than the blatant charity root (taken by the Blind side). This is an okay movie with a lot of personality but it could use a bit more heft. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
BelmsherSep 19, 2011
It let me down how much this movie pales in comparison to book, not that it doesn't happen often but in this particular case this is so blatantly true, since most of the emotional and clever pieces were left aside. Still I have to bow downIt let me down how much this movie pales in comparison to book, not that it doesn't happen often but in this particular case this is so blatantly true, since most of the emotional and clever pieces were left aside. Still I have to bow down before Viola Davis, whose performance is supreme. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
HallieSep 24, 2011
It wasn't as "amazing" as I was told but I did enjoy it! I didn't care for the ending. I need closure when watching a movie and you definitely don't get that. The acting was great.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
smijatovFeb 27, 2012
"The Help" has all the right ingredients: a moving story, excellent acting, serious drama, but also charming humour. Indeed, it manages to succeed on many fronts. While it surely does not bring anything new or revolutionary to the film world,"The Help" has all the right ingredients: a moving story, excellent acting, serious drama, but also charming humour. Indeed, it manages to succeed on many fronts. While it surely does not bring anything new or revolutionary to the film world, it is a definite feel-good film, despite its thematic. This, however, is one of its main problems too. It manages to diminish the civil rights movement to the easy-breasy work of good-willed white people, while taking away all agency from the African Americans. Yes, it is their story that is told, but it is only told due to the willingness and enlightenment of the white saviour woman, played by Stone. Yes, I agree with what many people have already pointed out, which is the emotional reality and believability that the actresses got to portray. This is hard to take away from the performers, despite of the problems of the film. The excellent performances by Davis, Spencer, and Chastain were spellbinding. It was very nice to see so many good African American actresses do truly beautiful work and be recognised for it. Technically, the film is very good, but the issues are in the actual story, but that is also the problem of the book. As I said before, the film does not offer anything new, anything daring, challenging, nothing we haven't seen before. While potentially being the most charming film of the year (if one ignores the racial implications), it is definitely not the best one. Nonetheless, it is certainly a good film, with amazing performances that are worth watching, and a story that will warm one's heart or make one very critical of America's view on race and its racialised past (and present)! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
jimmytancrediDec 20, 2011
The director Tate Taylor bet in simple stories in the design of the Crusades and that was his biggest hit, the film ended up making a decoy of both public as prizes, should appeal to all audiences, despite being a drama.

It exposed the
The director Tate Taylor bet in simple stories in the design of the Crusades and that was his biggest hit, the film ended up making a decoy of both public as prizes, should appeal to all audiences, despite being a drama.

It exposed the relationship of black women working as maids in the 60's, in Mississippi, in a clear time of racial segregation, to white households, some other stories of humiliation and misery, are reported by these women who had to be strong to endure so much suffering, to see it all on the perspective of our current reality, then becomes a bit shocking, and this is not even a movie or the most violent and crude about it, some passages will even invest in a tone comic, which becomes a relief, before so many sad looks.

The female cast of the film is marvelous, Viola Davis is a wonder, and it's my favorite for the Oscars, her work moves a lot and is very realistic, Octavia Spencer is another that seems lit, fully immersed in character, for sure will be remembered for this movie. Emma Stone, here, only confirms her "Star Quality", which had already shown long ago, showed that not only holds the cast of a movie studio, as she is still a great actress, who also gives a show in the drama, since we are more accustomed to see her doing comedy. Bryce Dallas Howard is ridiculous and overwrought, like a villain from a novel by Walcyr Carrasco. In this cast, the men characters are quite rifeless and do not make much difference onto, here the strength is the in women.

By all means most people will love the movie, and absolutely most critics will find several defects. Here's what I think: The film is pure cliché, especially in the final forty minutes and applies for a retrial very cheap sentiment to please the general public. There are quite a few points made in the film just to make the viewer feel good. But you know what? It worked very well. It has stirred and felt good. It was a very pleasant experience and I cheer up for the nomination for Best Supporting Actress, which I believe will eventually happen.
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6
cosmic_shameJan 3, 2012
A little too long. Fair editing and screenplay. Doesnt have new things to say. And a bad finale. Gets its power from three actresses (Spencer, Chastain, Davis).
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6
cabritaMar 7, 2012
A film that is well acted but it suffers from being cliched and already made in other films. Also the film is racist in it's potrayal of the whites in the 50s. overall a film that feels like it is lacking. It could be lacking in many areasA film that is well acted but it suffers from being cliched and already made in other films. Also the film is racist in it's potrayal of the whites in the 50s. overall a film that feels like it is lacking. It could be lacking in many areas but at the end when the credits are rolling one just feels that you watched a descent film that you will forget about as soon as you walk out of the theatre. Expand
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4
CameraBounceGodFeb 23, 2015
so emma stone is killed by the goblin why is she here? is it because a woman writer doesn't make sense.....?? but seriously I love how the starts as a fourth wall breach framing device with her looking into the camera as such... I feelso emma stone is killed by the goblin why is she here? is it because a woman writer doesn't make sense.....?? but seriously I love how the starts as a fourth wall breach framing device with her looking into the camera as such... I feel compelled to skip ahead. ..but i finally get tot see what ambrosia is....weird how i thought that the first maid might strangle her with the cord...no? wait is that Bryce dalla howard....and shes talking to gwen stacey from the new spider man but she was the previous gwen stacey....?is this a ritual or something....race disputes are always a cover up so im done on this movie.....its time to move on emma stone....and die in the clock tower. ..because the hotter gwen stacey's ass would blind us all for years....when hers isn't even a year Expand
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4
Meth-dudeMay 17, 2015
The performances were really good and the movie is true to what happened in this time.But,the movie is not entertaining and seems really long.Certainly not a bad movie but,it's certainly not a good movie.
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6
CinemaphileJul 29, 2016
One genre of film that begs comparison to its predecessors is the Southern Fried Roman à clef. Unlike most serialized fictional film fare, this genre is tied inextricably to the history of The South, which for bad or good, will always be aOne genre of film that begs comparison to its predecessors is the Southern Fried Roman à clef. Unlike most serialized fictional film fare, this genre is tied inextricably to the history of The South, which for bad or good, will always be a topic of debate. The cinematic adaptation of the best-selling novel The Help places it smack dab in the middle - pardon my patois - of the struggle for Civil Rights and in the company of other luminary films such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Fried Green Tomatoes.

The Help is told with the traditional female voice pioneered by Margaret Mitchell and subsequently revitalized by Alice Walker and Fannie Flagg. However, that strong female narration isn't enough to make The Help memorable. In the grand scheme of things, The Help will be as relevant or as memorable as Steel Magnolias, but unlike that vehicle for jerking tears and Oscar nominations, The Help lacks a stellar cast. Only Octavia Spencer shines, in part because she's the only character with any motivation. The rest of the cast pales in comparison to that of Fried Green Tomatoes, as the casting is very, very Hollywood. Emma Stone's Skeeter Phelan is cute as a bug, but unlike Scout Finch and Idgie Threadgoode, Skeeter is passive and one dimensional. Bryce Dallas Howard's Holly Holbrook is equally shallow, the obligatory protagonist mindlessly clinging to notions of class and superiority with a mustachio-twisting meanness that would make Snidely Whiplash roll his cartoon eyes. Sadly, aging icons Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson shine only in supporting roles, relegated to the wings.

The Help breaks no new ground, rehashing a similar plot found in The Long Walk Home, but failing to engage the viewer vicariously in the struggles of Jackson Mississippi's virtually indentured domestic servants. At no time do we feel that Minnie or Aibileen are in jeopardy. We see very little of the backlash of the Civil Rights Movements in The Help, as most of the action takes place in idyllic, affluent homes. The Help even lacks much of the characteristic Southern humor which made painful films such as The Color Purple and The Prince of Tides easier to digest. To make matters worse, The Help panders to those responsible for the social inequities of The South, sugar coating the darker elements of the era and assuaging the guilt of the audience.

Warts and all, The Help is entertaining, but not enlightening. I can't recommend it for the one of the top 10 slots in your Netflix or Redbox queue, wait for it to hit standard cable.
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