The Normal Heart


The Normal Heart

Critics Consensus

Thanks to Emmy-worthy performances from a reputable cast, The Normal Heart is not only a powerful, heartbreaking drama, but also a vital document of events leading up to and through the early AIDS crisis.



Total Count: 50


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,138
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Movie Info

This drama tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. -- (C) HBO


Mark Ruffalo
as Ned Weeks
Matt Bomer
as Felix Turner
Taylor Kitsch
as Bruce Niles
Jim Parsons
as Tommy Boatwright
Julia Roberts
as Dr. Emma Brookner
Alfred Molina
as Ben Weeks
Joe Mantello
as Mickey Marcus
Denis O'Hare
as Hiram Keebler
Corey Stoll
as John Bruno
B.D. Wong
as Buzzy
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News & Interviews for The Normal Heart

Critic Reviews for The Normal Heart

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (3)

  • There is less reporting on poverty in America than on any other major societal issue. So it is with AIDS. That alone makes The Normal Heart an important film.

    May 29, 2014 | Full Review…
  • If anger and suffering were all there were to The Normal Heart, watching it would be torture. Luckily, it has heart to match its guts.

    May 29, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Matt Bomer is heartbreaking as a New York Times style reporter looking for love in a loveless city. His physical transformation is astonishing and agonizing.

    May 28, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Time, and rewrites, have softened some of the play's stridency. More important, the romance between Weeks (Ruffalo) and his lover, Felix (Bomer), is given a more prominent role as is Felix's death spiral, giving the story power both broad and intimate.

    May 28, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Moving, well acted and important for a generation who may be unfamiliar with the source material. But the TV version, also written by Kramer, doesn't have the emotional heft of the play.

    May 27, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Watch at your own risk, but to not watch the film - or more importantly, learn from it - is an even higher risk.

    May 26, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Normal Heart

  • Dec 21, 2014
    With wonderful performances from an excellent cast, this extremely important, heartbreaking and infuriating drama exposes the revolting indifference and intolerance of American authorities in the early years of the AIDS epidemics - something that cost the lives of a lot of gays.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2014
    Another one of the HBO dramas made for television, directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer, based on his own 1985 play of same name. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Jonathan Groff, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, and Julia Roberts. Impressive cast, I'll add! But, that is all I can say about it. Reading the positive review made me think if I had the wrong movie... but no, it was the right one, after checking it twice. Maybe the story which depicts the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City (among gay people) between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group, was simply not something I could connect? I do not know... all I know is that I just wanted it to finish as soon as possible. I watched it to the end, and I enjoyed most of the performances, but I could almost feel that even actors were not convinced that this is the right choice to represent the events which happened. Most of the movie is giving us a chance to know Weeks better, to see his public confrontations which are complete opposite from the calmer, more private strategies favoured by his associates, friends, and his lover Felix Turner (Bomer). After two hours of this you will no longer care about their differences of opinion or the arguments that threaten to undermine their shared goals. To me, this was unconvincingly trying to bring a part of the recent history which even gay people could not accept as such! It had heart, it had guts but it lacked a reason for me to watch and care for it!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2014
    A profoundly moving film (even if a bit awkward in transitioning from stage to screenplay). A remarkable performance by Ruffalo, of a caliber I have never seen from him before. A great performance from Roberts as well. For those under 30 years old, this is an effective way of communicating the desperation and fear of a time that should not be forgotten. Highly recommended.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2014
    It's an all star cast from Ryan Murphy with a strong performance from em even actors such as Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, they can show a strong performance and level up with their senior such as Mark Ruffalo, Alfred Molina, or Julia Roberts.. The issue for the story of this movie indeed very sensitive, but Murphy delivers it pretty well..
    Sanjaya & Super Reviewer

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