Critic Reviews



Based on 7 critic reviews provided by
The affirmation at the end of the film is so joyous that this is one of the few movies in a long time that inspires tears of happiness, and earns them. The Color Purple is the year's best film.
To miss this film is to cheat yourself and your family of a memorable moviegoing experience.
Spielberg lacks his usual intuitive affinity for his story material; consequently the film is a bit clunky at times. There are some unfortunate slapstick comic relief sequences and a few of the characterizations are also much too broad and cartoonish.
Some parts of it are rapturous and stirring, others hugely improbable, and the film moves unpredictably from one mode to another. From another director, this might be fatally confusing, but Mr. Spielberg's showmanship is still with him. Although the combination of his sensibilities and Miss Walker's amounts to a colossal mismatch, Mr. Spielberg's ''Color Purple'' manages to have momentum, warmth and staying power all the same.
There are some great scenes and great performances in The Color Purple, but it is not a great film. Steven Spielberg’s turn at ‘serious’ filmmaking is marred in more than one place by overblown production that threatens to drown in its own emotions. But the characters created in Alice Walker’s novel are so vivid that even this doesn’t kill them off and there is still much to applaud (and cry about) here.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
What's wrong with The Color Purple - and nothing that's wrong with it keeps it from being a joy to watch - is what you'd expect of Spielberg: he chews on Alice Walker's hard edges until they're gummy. [21 Dec 1985]
This time out, Spielberg has chosen to put an antic disposition on, and with the single exception of casting, his almost every decision has been disastrous. He has prettified or coarsened; he has made comic scenes broadly slapstick and tiptoed over the story's crucial relationship. The result, alas, is the film purpled.

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