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


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The Help Reviews

Cath Clarke
Time Out
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Yes, it gets a bit sentimental. Yes, some 'Ya-Ya Sisterhood' friendship clichés creep in. Yes, it glosses history. But it's also heartfelt, hilarious and the cast is a dream-team topped by Viola Davis.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

October 25, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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"The Help" takes us on a pop-cultural tour that savors the picturesque, and strengthens stereotypes it purports to shatter.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

August 11, 2011
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Thanks to a talented cast -- starting with leads Emma Stone, Viola Davis​ and Octavia Spencer​ -- the movie is often entertaining. But The Help should have been challenging too.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 11, 2011
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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As in many reductive period pieces, there are no real characters here, just archetypes, namely reactionary cretins and sensitive souls who anticipate modern attitudes.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

August 11, 2011
Dana Stevens
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The Help is a high-functioning tearjerker, but the catharsis it offers feels glib and insufficient, a Barbie Band-Aid on the still-raw wound of race relations in America.

Full Review Source: Slate

August 11, 2011
David Denby
New Yorker
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[The Help] is, in some ways, crude and obvious, but it opens up a broad new swath of experience on the screen, and parts of it are so moving and well acted that any objections to what's second-rate seem to matter less as the movie goes on.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

August 10, 2011
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Appalling, entertaining, touching and perhaps even a bit healing, The Help is an old-fashioned grand yarn of a film, the sort we rarely get these days.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

August 10, 2011
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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A splendid entertainment -- a film that makes us for root for the good guys, hiss at the bad and convulse in laughter when good wreaks vengeance with a smile.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/5

August 10, 2011
Rafer Guzman
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The Help brings a chick-flick sensibility to a serious subject, which is more daring than it might sound. It's also incredibly refreshing.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 10, 2011
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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While the book's minor -- but crucial -- details are often overlooked, the major themes are thrust on screen with forceful simplicity, as if Taylor doesn't trust us to understand the stakes.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/5

August 10, 2011
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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The Help will make you laugh, yes, but it can also break your heart. In the dog days of August moviegoing, that's a powerful recommendation.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

August 10, 2011
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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The Help belongs to Viola Davis.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

August 10, 2011
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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Now comes the inevitable movie, which, in the hands of writer/director Tate Taylor, does a novel about injustice an injustice itself: It turns lite into featherweight.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

August 10, 2011
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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There's something lived-in and genuine about this infectious melodrama.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

August 10, 2011
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Shot like an inductee in the Hallmark Hall Of Fame, The Help covers an ugly era in superficial gloss that's only punctured by the particulars of Mississippi race law or hiring practices that are a mere hairsbreadth away from slavery.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: D+

August 10, 2011
William Goss
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While it may not always be subtle, it pulls off a rare feat of sincerity.

Full Review Source: Film.com

August 10, 2011
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The movie isn't perfect; it sometimes shows its stitching. But mostly it's a stirring salute to subjugated women who hold their heads high.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

August 10, 2011
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
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For every obvious turn The Help takes, there is Davis, the ideal counterweight.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

August 10, 2011
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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Mississippi's burning, but it's nothing a little race-transcending grrrl power won't cure.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

August 10, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir
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"The Help" definitely worked on me as a consummate tear-jerker with a terrific cast, and it's pretty much the summer's only decent Hollywood drama.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

August 10, 2011
Sara Stewart
New York Post
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Aims for "To Kill a Mockingbird" significance, but lands in "Steel Magnolias" territory.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 10, 2011
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Despite its subject matter, it's a carefully manicured, almost genteel piece of moviemaking. The film is paradoxically both rousing and lulling.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B-

August 9, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Fans of the best-selling novel can rest easy: The warmly engaging book has been made into an equally affecting movie.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Ella Taylor
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While my neighbor had used up her hankie supply by the end of the movie, I left dry-eyed and disappointed.

Full Review Source: NPR

August 9, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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I was drawn into the characters and quite moved, even though all the while I was aware it was a feel-good fable, a story that deals with pain but doesn't care to be that painful.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Like its characters, it has its faults. But overall, it is a movie of imaginative sympathy that gets into the skin of its characters, into their hearts, and, ultimately, into ours.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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Occasionally the sentimental sweep of the picture threatens to overwhelm, but Taylor manages to pull it back in time.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Meghan Keane
New York Observer
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The uneven racial terrain of the film likely won't stand in the way of multiple nominations for some truly outstanding performances throughout the movie.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

August 9, 2011
Karen D'Souza
San Jose Mercury News
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This is one shameless tear-jerker that earns its sniffles.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Both taste and perspective will inform whether viewers will find The Help a revelatory celebration of interracial healing and transcendence, or a patronizing portrait that trivializes those alliances by reducing them to melodrama and facile uplift.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/4

August 9, 2011
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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Laughter, which is ladled on thick as gravy, proves to be the secret ingredient -- turning what should be a feel-bad movie about those troubled times into a heart-warming surprise.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 9, 2011
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The Help is an exhilarating gift, a deeply touching human story filled with humor and heartbreak, and sublime performances from Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Co.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 9, 2011
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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"The Help" has Viola Davis going for it, and she is more than enough.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
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We get a fairly typical Hollywood flattening of history, with powerful villains and disenfranchised heroes.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 9, 2011
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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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 Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

August 9, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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When an important message is delivered through cardboard cutouts, it's akin to a Tyler Perry production of "Guess Who's Cooking the Dinner."

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 9, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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"The Help" avoids the trap of recasting a story of black struggle into the story of a white savior.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

August 9, 2011
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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"The Help'' comes out on the losing end of the movies' social history. The best film roles three black women will have all year require one of them to clean Ron Howard's daughter's house. It's self-reinforcing movie imagery.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 9, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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It's ... the black actresses who own this - as they should - and help lift it above well-intentioned melodrama.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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"The Help" is filled with good acting and better intentions.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

August 9, 2011
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Is the movie version of "The Help" better than the book? Yes, it is, primarily for one reason: The book doesn't have Viola Davis in it.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2011
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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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.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

August 8, 2011
Peter Debruge
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It serves as an enlightening and deeply affecting exercise in empathy for those who've never considered what life must have been like for African-Americans living with inequality a full century after the Emancipation Proclamation called an end to slavery.

Full Review Source: Variety

August 8, 2011
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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Sounds kinda like Mississippi Burning meets Steel Magnolias, doesn't it?

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 2.5/5

August 8, 2011
David Germain
Associated Press
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Stone, Davis and Spencer forge something quite beautiful, a sense of sisterhood and equality that unfolds with ease and grace, never feeling forced or untrue to their era and circumstances.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 8, 2011
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