The Help - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Help Reviews

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Francesca Steele
Sky Movies
October 26, 2011
A guaranteed tear-jerker that serves as a decent reminder of America's very own Apartheid, it's fine as a slice of history. As a story though, it's sadly underwhelming.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Belinda Hazleton
FILMINK (Australia)
September 2, 2011
It's a heartfelt effort and soundly performed, but it doesn't have the depth or nuance to sustain its long running time.
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
August 11, 2011
As in many reductive period pieces, there are no real characters here, just archetypes, namely reactionary cretins and sensitive souls who anticipate modern attitudes.
Anne Thompson
Thompson on Hollywood
August 12, 2011
Mainstream crowd pleaser The Help is a well-cast tearjerker set in a fake 60s Mississippi. Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer give Oscar-worthy performances.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Margot Harrison
Seven Days
August 19, 2011
It's camp for people who want to feel like they're seeing something educational and uplifting between the guffaws.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
August 9, 2011
While my neighbor had used up her hankie supply by the end of the movie, I left dry-eyed and disappointed.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
August 11, 2011
"The Help" takes us on a pop-cultural tour that savors the picturesque, and strengthens stereotypes it purports to shatter.
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
August 9, 2011
High school creative-writing-class ironies of all kinds abound in The Help.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Clay Cane
August 10, 2011
Davis is the Aretha Franklin of acting, but this is another clichéd civil rights film. There is a dash of 'The Long Walk Home' and a strong helping of 'Driving Miss Daisy.' 'The Help' wasn't impactful enough to be offensive.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
August 8, 2011
There are small moments in the film though that make you long for a movie that is not so deep-dish serious and self-conscious.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
August 10, 2011
Some adaptations find a fresh, cinematic way to convey a book's spirit but "The Help" doesn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
August 9, 2011
We get a fairly typical Hollywood flattening of history, with powerful villains and disenfranchised heroes.
John Hazelton
Screen International
August 11, 2011
The Help is a nicely cast but otherwise pedestrian adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's best-selling 2009 novel.
Margaret Pomeranz
At the Movies (Australia)
August 31, 2011
It irks me when a film deals with issues that are actually important in an unsubtle and sentimenalised way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
August 9, 2011
Save for Ms. Davis's, the performances are almost all overly broad, sometimes excruciatingly so, characterized by loud laughs, bugging eyes and pumping limbs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Brian Orndorf
August 12, 2011
It's not a particularly original story and not sold with much integrity. A few wonderful performances aside, The Help is a maddeningly distracted film, occasionally flirting with utter irresponsibility.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Prairie Miller
August 10, 2011
A 'she said, she said' array of gossipy catfights targeting snobby southern belles. But that lets the men off the hook, while locating the scourge of Jim Crow segregation almost entirely among these demonized upper crust desperate housewives womenfolk.
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
September 2, 2011
A chore to sit through. At 146 minutes long, there is absolutely no excusing the running time... a panoply of lazy bromides.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Sara Stewart
New York Post
August 10, 2011
Aims for "To Kill a Mockingbird" significance, but lands in "Steel Magnolias" territory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Rob Humanick
Projection Booth
August 28, 2011
As regressive as it is well meaning.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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