Beloved Reviews

  • Jun 25, 2020

    This film and its source material are so disturbing and markedly non-commercial, it's amazing this film was ever made. All credit goes to Oprah, who put her name and money behind it, ensuring Beloved was created by talented people with utmost respect for the novel, and not sanitized or dumbed down. The result is a truly weird, visceral and moving piece of art unlike anything else put to film. Of course it is not as good as the book; no film could ever live up to Toni Morrison's work, but I'm glad they tried. It's a great adaptation that complements the novel nicely. If you want literary flourish, read the book, and watch the film for the excellent cinematography, costumes, and acting. It is great to see talented people in these roles, including an unforgettable turn by Thandie Newton in the title role. I'm still not sure I liked what she did with the role, but I know I'll never forget it. Of course the film is not perfect; the more internal psychological parts of the novel are lost in adaptation, while the pacing starts out slow and abruptly speeds up in the second half. But this horror/historical fiction hybrid is captivating all the way through with some truly unforgettable moments. I don't even mind the run time because it is so entrancing to watch. To me this is a very remarkable film, the kind that was an inevitable flop because it was far too intense and strange for mainstream audiences in the 1990s, but is an important piece of filmmaking nonetheless. It was ahead of its time.

    This film and its source material are so disturbing and markedly non-commercial, it's amazing this film was ever made. All credit goes to Oprah, who put her name and money behind it, ensuring Beloved was created by talented people with utmost respect for the novel, and not sanitized or dumbed down. The result is a truly weird, visceral and moving piece of art unlike anything else put to film. Of course it is not as good as the book; no film could ever live up to Toni Morrison's work, but I'm glad they tried. It's a great adaptation that complements the novel nicely. If you want literary flourish, read the book, and watch the film for the excellent cinematography, costumes, and acting. It is great to see talented people in these roles, including an unforgettable turn by Thandie Newton in the title role. I'm still not sure I liked what she did with the role, but I know I'll never forget it. Of course the film is not perfect; the more internal psychological parts of the novel are lost in adaptation, while the pacing starts out slow and abruptly speeds up in the second half. But this horror/historical fiction hybrid is captivating all the way through with some truly unforgettable moments. I don't even mind the run time because it is so entrancing to watch. To me this is a very remarkable film, the kind that was an inevitable flop because it was far too intense and strange for mainstream audiences in the 1990s, but is an important piece of filmmaking nonetheless. It was ahead of its time.

  • Feb 28, 2020

    Story/Screenplay: (2.5/5) It's a ghost story, but more. While it may be unique, it was also loaded with head-scratching moments. Duration/Tempo: (1/5) At 2 hours and 52 minutes, it's a very, very long movie that felt longer. Pacing was too slow in too much of the movie. Cast & Crew: (3.5/5) Not a bad cast. Danny Glover stood out, but Oprah Winfrey and Kimberly Elise were fine as well. Summary: (2/5) Dramas don't have to be this slow. Painful.

    Story/Screenplay: (2.5/5) It's a ghost story, but more. While it may be unique, it was also loaded with head-scratching moments. Duration/Tempo: (1/5) At 2 hours and 52 minutes, it's a very, very long movie that felt longer. Pacing was too slow in too much of the movie. Cast & Crew: (3.5/5) Not a bad cast. Danny Glover stood out, but Oprah Winfrey and Kimberly Elise were fine as well. Summary: (2/5) Dramas don't have to be this slow. Painful.

  • Oct 22, 2019

    Awesome - but difficult to understand at times.

    Awesome - but difficult to understand at times.

  • Mar 03, 2019

    An unflinching, stylized portrayal of people haunted by history. In form and plot, it takes getting used to.

    An unflinching, stylized portrayal of people haunted by history. In form and plot, it takes getting used to.

  • Jun 28, 2017

    This is a sort of gothic horror tale. It was darkly beautiful and complex. I will admit to being confused at times, but the overall film is very powerful and moving. Worth seeing.

    This is a sort of gothic horror tale. It was darkly beautiful and complex. I will admit to being confused at times, but the overall film is very powerful and moving. Worth seeing.

  • Nov 17, 2016

    Oprah Winfrey's faithful adaptation of Toni Morrison's book of the same title depicting slavery as a vivid psychological horror is affectedly refined but powerfully acted.

    Oprah Winfrey's faithful adaptation of Toni Morrison's book of the same title depicting slavery as a vivid psychological horror is affectedly refined but powerfully acted.

  • May 05, 2016

    Former slave adopts girl in this weird and sometimes confusing drama.

    Former slave adopts girl in this weird and sometimes confusing drama.

  • Oct 04, 2015

    I read the book first, and this usually presents an issue. I'm guilty I guess of wanting the characters to look a little bit as the book describes them but that is minimal. My biggest issue with this movie is Beloved. The book portrays Beloved as a manipulative, character that is seductive. The movie portrays her as a slow mentally challenged ghost. I didn't like that. The way she spoke and acted as if she is retarded. She wasn't like that at all on the book. That ruined the movie for me.

    I read the book first, and this usually presents an issue. I'm guilty I guess of wanting the characters to look a little bit as the book describes them but that is minimal. My biggest issue with this movie is Beloved. The book portrays Beloved as a manipulative, character that is seductive. The movie portrays her as a slow mentally challenged ghost. I didn't like that. The way she spoke and acted as if she is retarded. She wasn't like that at all on the book. That ruined the movie for me.

  • Aug 23, 2015

    Poorly acted and even more poorly directed.

    Poorly acted and even more poorly directed.

  • Aug 13, 2015

    Excellent supernatural thriller steeped with African American history.

    Excellent supernatural thriller steeped with African American history.