(1998)

Critic Reviews

57

Metascore

Based on 24 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Doesn't sanitize its tale of African American loss and survival -- the way Steven Spielberg's “The Color Purple'' did -- but delves deeply, heartbreakingly into an American tragedy.
90
Chicago Reader
This terrifyingly beautiful movie blends metaphor and stark social commentary to achieve a spontaneous grace.
88
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Jonathan Demme's potent adaptation of Morrison's novel may be substantial, but it is also engrossing, a movie that plays at times like a combination of “Gone With The Wind” and “The Exorcist.”
70
Beloved is ungainly and hard to follow at times, like the proverbial giant not quite sure how to best use its strength. But that power exists, present and undeniable, and once this film gets its bearings, the unsentimental fierceness of its vision brushes obstacles and quibbles from its path.
58
Entertainment Weekly
Winfrey's performance is full of stoic anger, and individual moments have ferocity and pull, yet you're always aware of them as moments.
50
Dallas Observer
Beloved tries to be an anthem of the spirit, and that's just about the most difficult--and unfilmable--thing you can attempt in the movies. Demme stretches things out to epic length, but what was really needed here was an epic imagination.
50
The dramatic payoff is a bit disappointing; the movie is often overwrought; and its sense of its own importance finally wears you down.
50
L.A. Weekly
Though Beloved sags into repetition after two of its three hours, this beautiful movie is suffused with an intensity that holds our attention for the conclusion.
40
Village Voice
Dutiful as it is, Jonathan Demme's Beloved doesn't succeed so much as it abides…it moves in leisurely fits and--unencumbered by style or narrative complexity--never loses its forward momentum.
30
Salon.com
When the movie isn't hitting us over the head, it's spooning out the material to us like broth to an invalid, drop by flavorless drop. The excruciating pace mirrors the sluggishness of Morrison's sonorous prose.

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