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Places in the Heart is a quiet character piece with grand ambitions that it more than fulfills, thanks to absorbing work from writer-director Robert Benton and a tremendous cast. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1935 rural Texas, recently widowed Edna Spaulding (Sally Field) struggles to survive with two small children, a farm to run and very little money in the bank -- not to mention a deadly tornado and the unwelcome presence of the Ku Klux Klan. Edna is aided by her beautician sister, Margaret (Lindsay Crouse) ; a blind boarder, Mr. Will (John Malkovich) ; and a would-be thief, Moze (Danny Glover), who decides to stick around to teach Edna how to plant and harvest cotton.

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Critic Reviews for Places in the Heart

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (4)

  • You must simply accept the flood of emotion and let it wash over you, because the tears are jerked by performances that are informed by intelligence and taste as well as emotional honesty.

    March 23, 2020 | Full Review…
  • I have no doubt that Robert Benton's Oscar-nominated Places In The Hear is a sincere film. But I find it pretty egregious just the same, covered with a thin layer of Hollywood treacle that consistently' prevents it packing the emotional punch intended.

    March 23, 2020 | Full Review…
  • [The] story has the fond hues and textures of instant nostalgia, cosily wrapped in the Sunday rituals of the film's leisurely start and outrageously sentimental finish.

    March 23, 2020 | Full Review…
  • This is Benton back to his best -- the writer of Bonnie and Clyde and director of Bod Company, who finds the beating heart of his country in the countryside.

    March 23, 2020 | Full Review…
  • For all its ingratiating certainties about human values, this rural drama has been pieced together with evident skill and care.

    March 23, 2020 | Full Review…
  • [Places in the Heart is] sweet, though not saccharine. If the sense of place is very strong here, it's because four generations of Bentons have lived in the town where the story happens and the movie was filmed.

    March 23, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Places in the Heart

  • May 02, 2018
    Not without some effective moments but Benton could have excised the tedious subplots and lost nothing. In fact he could have used that extra time to flesh out all three of his main characters.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 29, 2016
    'Places' is OK, but as much as it is supposed to be an uplifting movie about unlikely survival during the Depression, I found it depressing as in the end, it is only by luck and Moze that Edna survives - and next year, with neither Moze or luck on your side, she will lose the farm anyway.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2014
    A well polished pieces but sometimes these bits of drippiness weigh heavily on me. Just have to get me in the right mood to like this one more.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2011
    Places In The Heart was a good movie but it wasn't as good as I heard.I think the best thing about the movie was Sally Field's character & how she did everything she could to keep a roof over her & her family's head.Other then that, It was just OK
    Brody M Super Reviewer

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