• PG-13, 2 hr. 17 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Tate Taylor
    In Theaters:
    Aug 10, 2011 Wide
    On DVD:
    Dec 6, 2011
  • DreamWorks Studios

Critic Review - Wall Street Journal

"The Help" takes us on a pop-cultural tour that savors the picturesque, and strengthens stereotypes it purports to shatter.

August 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal | Comments (55)
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Comments

Lisa Chapman

Lisa Chapman

I don't know if you have ever lived in the Deep South, but as someone who has only been here for only 20-odd years, this movie not only lives up to the book (for maybe the first time in my memory), but gives you a scary taste of what actually happened. And, in the not-so-distant past. Say what you want from NYC, but this was real. And not pretty. And an important story for us to feel uncomfortable about and remember the ones who lived it and changed it. I hope these women get nominated for every award out there for telling this story.

Aug 11 - 08:25 PM

Cindy Moore Jones

Cindy Moore Jones

You're gay!

Aug 12 - 08:31 PM

Mike Koutelos

Mike Koutelos

Who gives a shit if she is? My God...

Aug 21 - 03:42 PM

Drew Ryan

Drew Ryan

Exactly.

Aug 27 - 02:07 PM

Jonathan S.

Jonathan Sicard

You're stupid! What the fuck is the point of your existence? Your parents obviously don't know what a condom is...

Sep 11 - 01:25 AM

Dita Kavyas McCarthy

Dita Kavyas McCarthy

As a white person who has lived in Mississippi since 1966 I would say this film was not very real. A Jackson, MS Junior Leaguer going against the entire white population to stand up for Blacks? I don't know when and where you lived but it did not happen, believe me. Even many of the details got it wrong... there is no way that a bookstore frequented by whites in Jackson Mississippi in the 1960s would have carried such a book... let alone place it prominently in its window. They would have been fire-bombed. Ever heard of Rabbi Nussbaum? His temple in Jackson was fire-bombed and burned down because he supported civil rights. come on...

Aug 21 - 06:15 PM

Lynne Scruggs

Lynne Scruggs

Critics have to sound this way. Ignore them and go see what you want and like it if you want.

Aug 22 - 01:06 AM

Jan Silverstrom-Elfman

Jan Silverstrom-Elfman

Couldn't agree more with Dita K and disagree more with Lisa C's review.

Thank you Dita for stating exactly what was wrong and weird about the movie. It rang so false! And it was as someone else mentioned here...cloying!

Aug 24 - 08:14 AM

FlickSaint

Amanda Morris

Dita, of course you're not going to agree with LIsa C... You're white!!! a white person's point of view is going to be different than a black person's cuz they experienced something totally different than you. lol. if you lived there during that time as well i;;m sure you contributed to the problem, and that's why you didn't like the movie... it made you look bad.

Sep 17 - 12:20 AM

Melissa Osburn Marhefka

Melissa Osburn Marhefka

Here here flicksaint

Mar 9 - 01:26 AM

Reg Cliff

Reg Cliff

Very Strange for a movie that seems directed at a female Audience, checking the Top Critics who like it or not the results are telling.

40 Critics (23 men, 17 women)
27 Liked it (67.5%)
13 Didn't

Of these top critics 81.82% of White Men Liked the film, while only 47.67% of White Women Like it.

So that means more that half of the white women Top Critics disliked the movie.

Anyone care to harbour a guess as to why the big differences?

Could it be because White Women are the bad guys in this movie?

Aug 12 - 09:56 AM

James Halls

James Halls

They were a victim of the time, era and ignorance.

Aug 12 - 11:38 AM

Gary Storch

Gary Storch

Those who disliked the movie are living in self denial. I lived it everyday as a youngster and I was part of the white community. Great movie! Tells it like it really was and still is!

Aug 13 - 09:44 AM

bedwards4321

Ben Edwards

One can understand a film, its source material, and its intentions and still dislike it. Denial has nothing to do with it and is another issue entirely.

Aug 14 - 03:46 PM

Steve Lauria

Steve Lauria

Wow Gary! You're so enlightened. You've got such great insight into humanity and the contemporary human condition! And you're white? Oh man, if only all white people could be like you. I'm so ashamed of myself. Do you have any extra "I'm white, but but it's okay because I'm one of the good ones" shirts?

Aug 15 - 09:11 PM

Ryan Steiner

Ryan Steiner

I approve this message.

Aug 19 - 08:05 PM

Vermin Jerky

Maryann E.

And what are you, Steve? A proud racist?

Aug 20 - 12:26 AM

Steve Lauria

Steve Lauria

aaaaaaaaaand there it is. the racist argument! how novel and credible!

Aug 20 - 12:43 PM

Terry Rejniak

Terry Rejniak

Steve, would you please explain to me how Gary`s comment offended you? Because I am really scratching my head over here. Where in the world did he deserve a reply like that? You are what`s wrong with this country from the looks of it.

Dec 7 - 12:29 AM

robhumanick

Rob Humanick

Probably because this movie is lame, and woman are generally more astute than men.

Aug 28 - 03:27 PM

Susana M.

S M

Maybe this movie is a lot less "lame" than all those "middle-aged guys doing stupid, childish things for over 2 hours" that guys seem to enjoy so much.

Sep 18 - 07:52 AM

Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith

maybe because the majority of them in the movie were portayed as cold-blooded bitches to the point where people were cheering for them to eat excrement...I dunno Reg...it's a tough one.

Feb 10 - 06:55 AM

James Halls

James Halls

I think you need to see this film again when you're in a better mood. It is a period piece by the way. All the proformances were powerful and real.

Aug 12 - 11:37 AM

Amalgamate7

Norman Dostal

the movie doesn have lots of problems-some of the emotional scenes ring false-i did like it overall, but dont call it a masterpiece-it simply isnt true

Aug 12 - 12:03 PM

Gary Storch

Gary Storch

What more can I expect from the Wall Street Journal? Obviously out of touch with the real world.

Aug 13 - 09:42 AM

Solrac Aicrag

Solrac Aicrag

Who really cares.
It's a stupid waste of money like every movie.........

Aug 13 - 06:03 PM

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor

Then stop watching them.

Aug 17 - 03:02 PM

Jonathan S.

Jonathan Sicard

Dipshit.

Sep 11 - 01:28 AM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Only in Hollywood...

Aug 13 - 09:30 PM

Terry Miller

Terry Miller

This is not a stereotype situation. This is a depiction of the reason we have racial tensions and the facts that we won't acknowledge. Good comment @LisaC and typical comment that brings forth what I'm saying @Cindy Moore J!!

Aug 15 - 10:32 AM

Stephen H.

Stephen Hunt

Ha, Re-read your review, please! Where was this film savoring the picturesque? Was it when Aibileen was telling the story about her son's death or running home in the dark, fearing for her life? There was no "plunging into the racist past" because this movie is not Mississippi Burning. It is not primarily about 60s Mississippi. It is about three women and their friendship against the BACKDROP of 60s Mississippi. What did you want? Firehoses and German Shepherds? Also, you couldn't enjoy Octavia Spencer's character or performance because of your own misplaced, cracker guilt. Some black women talked like that, and still talk like that. Suggesting that it's "self-parody" brings your own social ignorance to light. This movie "... strengthens streotypes it purports to shatter."? You understand that you write for the Wall Street Journal, right? And that you described Viola Davis' character as a "Negro", right? Well, at least you capitalized it to show some respect. Keep breaking down the barriers of intolerance, Wall Street Journal. After all, you have had such a long-standing reputation for being the champion of the common man.

Aug 16 - 08:58 AM

Mike Koutelos

Mike Koutelos

100% true.

Aug 21 - 03:45 PM

Raul Magana

Raul Magana

So true.

Dec 10 - 10:32 AM

Erik Zarins

Erik Zarins

I Saw The Movie!! How The Hell is a Top Critic from the Wall Street Journal trash talk about one of the most touching films ever made since Schindler's List!! It is the MOST OUTSTANDING movie of our time!! It Will Win Best Motion Picture!! If it does! i expect a rewrite of this film you ignorent fool......and btw! i'm only 16! And try stepping into their shoes you yankee a$$hole! This is why the Wall Street Journal is filled with idiots that don't have a heart

Aug 17 - 07:29 PM

Terry Rejniak

Terry Rejniak

Erik I just loved your comment especially coming from a 16 year old. I am a middle aged white man and I feel the exact same way about this movie. It was AMAZING! Who could not like this movie? From the looks of it, it is white females who have a problem with it. I could only guess why, lol.

Dec 7 - 12:25 AM

Harry S.

Harry Schwarz

We know what the film is "trying" to say about what happened to black domestics in the South.But the film doesn't give us nearly enough reality. It's merely a "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" facade, uhder which blacks suffered physically(lynching) and mentally(feeling inferior due to the bullying). The power would have been enhanced by the truth , rather nice a nice polite story about race relations.

Aug 19 - 10:31 AM

Vermin Jerky

Maryann E.

What I want to know is why so many want the movie to be something it doesn't purport to be, something it wasn't meant to be, and something no one set out to make. Stories can be told on different levels. A story about the race relations between rich whites and the black people who have no better option than serving them is the story told, is it not? Did you want this served to you on a backdrop of lynchings and fire-hoses? If you want that movie, go make it yourself and stop criticizing this movie for not being the one you would've made.

Aug 20 - 12:38 AM

Brett Holden

Brett Holden

I think this may link to the wrong review or something. Because the review I just read was positive.

Aug 20 - 06:01 PM

Magda Elena

Magda Elena

@Brett H : The review is negative. Green means "do not go see it"

Aug 22 - 10:51 PM

Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith

I always wondered how that intricate system worked...thanks for clearing that mystery up.

Feb 10 - 06:46 AM

Drew Ryan

Drew Ryan

Eh... I didn't even read this review, but the only example I can think of is Minny loving "fried chicken." I found that a bit humorous during the movie.... but then again, why the hell can't anybody just like it?

Aug 27 - 02:08 PM

Ashton Cruz

Ashton Cruz

Wow, what a sourpuss, if I was you I would never eat another pie in my life. Oh wait, now I get it, you are a racist.

Aug 27 - 11:02 PM

Brandon W.

Brandon Whales

I hope the irony of that statement does not escape you

Feb 25 - 10:18 AM

Teddy Mukamal

Teddy Mukamal

check out my VIDEO of the FASHION in THE HELP
@ajmukamal

http://andrewmukamal.com/todayslook/todays-look-episode-37-fashion-in-film-the-help

Sep 1 - 09:55 AM

Carli Jarman

Carli Jarman

this film follows a very traditional pattern that stereotypes all racists as evil people. it's important to remember that a lot of good people were racist too...it was the norm back then.

Sep 8 - 01:49 PM

Facebook User

Facebook User

Solid movie. Well developed characters. Strong acting. Happy ending. The book being read by so many locals was a little difficult to believe, but all else made my wife and I pleased we spent our time and money enjoying this film.

Oct 10 - 02:41 PM

RashHunt

Rash Hunt (Matt X)

Americans are just the worst.

Dec 11 - 04:52 PM

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