The Color Purple - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Color Purple Reviews

Page 1 of 421
October 4, 2017
While this adaptation of the much harsher novel does manipulate one's emotions rather shamelessly, it does it so well, it's forgivable. You can't fault the superb acting. Whoopi especially delivers one of the finest performances in the history of movies as Celie. Her range here is amazing.
September 27, 2017
Emotional film about a young woman who is forced to marry a brutal man. She becomes his slave and he regularly beats her. The years go by before she stands up for herself and flees to live the life she is owed. She returns to her childhood home and enjoys life with her friends. Powerful performances throughout especially whoopi goldberg. Enjoyed
August 13, 2017
How anybody thinks this Movie ought to have won an Academy award for best Movie, Whoopie Goldberg, Should have won an Academy Award for best Actress, Danny Glover should have won an Academy award for Best Actor, and
Shug by Actress Margaret Avery, should have won the best Supporting Actress.
Instead of Out of Africa by Robert Redford. This has to be the greatest movie of all time!!!!!
½ August 6, 2017
Even though is a little bit long, I hate when people discard a very powerful movie just because of its length. It makes you feel extremely sad and uncomfortable, yet satisfied. I love it from start to end.
½ May 27, 2017
1985 Steven Spielberg directed film.
Now at that time Spielberg had only directed (hugely successful) films in the main about fish with sharp teeth, aliens and 1930s archaeologists!
The Color Purple was perhaps his first seriius feature about a black community in the early twentieth century.
The film was notable not only for Spielbergs change in film directorial path but the screen debut of Whoopi Goldberg, the acting (yes acting) presence of Oprah Winfrey and other great performances from the likes of Danny Glover who I had only associated with the Lethal Weapon franchise.
The film is based on the novel by Alice Walker about a poor black community in particular the character of Celie (Oscar nominated Whoopi Goldberg).
Celie is a shy woman bullied by her mean husband Albert (Danny Glover) and long since split from her beloved sister and children (who were forcibly taken from her at birth).
Spielbergs first foray into more serious cinema is a success and would pave the way for the likes of Empire Of The Sun and Schindler's List perhaps his career zenith thus far which for such a successful director is no mean feat!
The film was also notable for being nominated for 11 Academy Awards and winning none! A record matched I believe.
Even so a good film none the less and one who's 150 minutes or so running time seems to fly.
May 20, 2017
Started out strong almost better than the book for me, middle was a little long and in desperate need of some editing. Great movie.
May 11, 2017
Good book, bad movie?
½ March 14, 2017
Like the practice of Buddhism that I've come to embrace, The Color Purple finds hope and good in all living things, even when they seem evil. It finds balance, similar cruelties and evils from all walks of life. We tend to think about movies dealing with race and prejudices solely about shaming evil white men as the enemy, and while there's no shortage of that in this film, and behaviors may stem from the inherent fear in that conflict, that's not where the essence of the drama is happening during the course of the film. It's internal, black men treating 'ugly' black women poorly, and black women treating each other poorly (Celie to Sophie and Shug to Celie at first). We see how things are passed on; Celie, conditioned to taking beatings, suggests to Harpo that he beat Sophia. And as I'll mention in a few paragraphs, Pop to Albert to Harpo. Devilish functions are passed along, finding new hosts with each generation, especially if wisdom beats the older ones (big 'if').

Some parts are a bit too loud and off tone, the childish parts of Spielberg's imagination in conflict with his attempt to make a more grown up film. Loud red and yellow spilling across the wall as the tray comes flying out. The absurd way all the 'white folk' crowd around Sophia, diminishing the effect of that horrible moment she's butted with a gun. The Harpo barroom brawl. One moment that seriously works is the end musical, Shug returning to her father yet again, the usual crowd at Harpo's following, all singing that glorious tune "Maybe God is Trying to Tell You Something."

The question is raised whether or not God is vain as Shug suggests God would want his beauty admired, and would be upset to find people not admiring the color purple [as they walk through fields of purple flowers, same as Celie and her sister used to]. We're coming full circle, at once two young girls walking through life's beauty innocently, just being, and now with wisdom, intellect, a deeper sense of appreciation for their position in this place and time. Sets up our forthcoming empathic mixed emotions we'll experience for Albert, moving us in inexplicable ways amidst the drama of Celie's family reunion.

Empathy for Albert as he gets older and can't take care of himself. His father pays him a visit and starts going on about how he needs a woman. But Albert has learned something, he hears this echoing in his head, attributing to a mentality which has led to his dependence and ultimately this. He wants his father out of there, he's tired of him filling his head up with these ideas. This is a theme that's reverberated earlier with Harpo, who was fine being a loving husband towards Sophia until his father got in his head. Once that happened, it was ping pong abuse before Sophia took off with the kids, and we can thank daddy Albert for giving the first push that a man needs to declare his dominance in a household. We see this generational echo and it speaks to our evolution as a species, what gets passed along and carried over into the future, for better or worse.

The image of Shug walking towards the church as Celie's VO says she's more like honey and I was like a bee has stuck with me in the 12 or more years I haven't seen this film.

Train track to trailer wheel transition, very smooth. I hope she didn't really waste all those chocolate gold coins during some hallucination!

Montage, Celie reading Nettie's letters, seamless transitions. Looking at the sunset, seeing giraffes in silhouette; cut back and it's Albert and Harpo asking her to get them a cold drink. Sitting by the river, turns the other way, an elephant comes through the foliage. Celie sitting in church, which fades away as camera continues towards her reading letter; reverse angle, church is bulldozed by a company looking to build a 30 mile stretch of road through schools and churches, wrecking the society Nettie had previously mentioned was building.

Parallel montage between boys getting ceremoniously pierced and Celie prepping for a Sweeny Todd on Albert. Might've been too contrived for a purely cinematic moment, unnecessary as the cutting between Shug trying to stop her and Celie anticipating the act was enough. But I imagine in the book, this is probably another story from Nettie's letters that Spielberg and Mejes cleverly associated with the act of cutting and couldn't help but put their creative genius to action. I don't know that it adds any more tension or meaning, but it's kind of clever.

A reminder that Spielberg's best days were with the similar styled, and similar looking people, Allen Daviau (E.T., Empire of the Sun) and Dean Cudney (Hook, Jurassic Park). Daviau shot Color Purple and the use of full colors, vibrant palette, and painterly quality is ever present.
End shot of sisters playing their clapping game in silhouette of sunset as Albert walks past them in foreground.
March 2, 2017
I watched it long time ago, but today I have revisited the movie again. I must admit it is one of the best movies I have ever approached.
February 3, 2017
very powerful and moving one of the best dramas of our time.
½ October 29, 2016
Was ok . Liked the sly humour
½ October 3, 2016
The Color Purple is an extremely emotional movie with powerful performances from an amazing cast and brilliant direction from Steven Spielberg. The film is swiftly paced and has a perfect balance between emotion, suspense, and comedy that makes it very easy to sit through and get immersed into, even though there is a long run time.
September 25, 2016
I have never felt so much emotion in my heart while watching 'The Color Purple'. Whoopi Goldberg proves herself to be more than just an expressive comedic actress with the role that put her on the map for future stardom (and an Oscar win for 'Ghost'.) Steven Spielberg also is a master of his craft and has proved once again to be a great director that still churns out films to this day.
½ September 19, 2016
I know there are certain scenes of The Color Purple that I have seen in the past but this is probably the first time I watched it from start to finish. The film is a powerful piece about an abused woman who lives her entire life in submission to the men in her life, always longing for the innocent love she had for her sister before things transpired that tore them apart. Danny Glover made me hate him, which is something I never thought would be possible, so his performance was outstanding. Whoopi Goldberg is simply spectacular as well, because she is able to convincingly portray the range of emotional events that Celie goes through. Because of the time it came out, and an apparent attempt to make a movie for the masses, The Color Purple is a bit sanitized. They gloss over some of the darker moments, and only loosely imply a lesbian relationship. I, personally, don't think that weakens the message all that much but I could see some people feeling like it makes the film inauthentic. The movie is a hard watch even with the toned-down abuse. I was emotional more than once, and the ending wrecked me completely. That strong connection I had with the story is why I think it still holds up to this day. The film is also a visual masterpiece, with dozens of images that are iconic, and the music from Quincy Jones matched the tone well. The Color Purple is not the kind of film I'd watch all the time, but it is well-crafted and worth watching at least once.
½ September 12, 2016
I have seen this movie a few times and just caught it on TBS and decided to watch it again. This movie is beautiful. Filled with emotions from sadness, loss, anger, revenge, hope, love and happiness. The music fits so well in heightening the emotions. This movie has a lot of soul and if you don't like it I'm convinced you don't have one.
September 6, 2016
Since I was a little girl I have always loved this movie
August 31, 2016
This is a great film and arguably one of Spielberg's best films. I've heard a lot of people saying that this is an overly sentimental film, but I completely disagree.
August 6, 2016
10 out of 10:

Well acted and beautifully shot, The Color Purple delivers a sweet, poignant, and occasionally funny movie.
½ August 1, 2016
Much like Spielberg did with Jaws, this is a clinic in how to keep your audience engaged but off guard, countering the terrifying heaviness of the early 20th century black experience with beautifully whimsical visuals and surprisingly adept humor. Glover is terrifying, but the use of shadows and silhouettes reminds us that these people were shrouded in a history of such darkness, their oppression kept them from being their full selves. And I've said it before and I'll say it again: Oprah should act more.
July 14, 2016
Rich with emotion and stellar performances, this classic American portrait is a life journey that's solidly handled by Spielberg, but definitely not for the young.
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