Up 886 this week

The Human Stain (2003)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  31 October 2003 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 24,720 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 215 user | 123 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for 50 years.



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Birthday Girl (2001)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A thirtysomething bank clerk from St Albans has his small-town life exploded by the arrival of his Russian mail-order bride.

Director: Jez Butterworth
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Vincent Cassel, Ben Chaplin
Birth (2004)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young boy attempts to convince a woman that he is her dead husband reborn.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Lauren Bacall
Instinct (1999)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a noted anthropologist who left society to live in the jungle is imprisoned for murder, it's up to a young psychiatrist to get through to him.

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Donald Sutherland
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to investigate an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Turning her back on her wealthy, established family, Diane Arbus falls in love with Lionel Sweeney, an enigmatic mentor who introduces Arbus to the marginalized people who help her become one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century.

Director: Steven Shainberg
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Robert Downey Jr., Ty Burrell
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis
To Die For (1995)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Suzanne Stone is an aspiring TV personality who will do anything to be in the spotlight, including enlisting three teenagers to kill her husband.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix
Proof (2005)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students, who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister, who shows up to help settle his affairs.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis
Comedy | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

What does it take to become a Stepford wife, a woman perfect beyond belief? Ask the Stepford husbands, who've created this high-tech terrifying little town, in a very modern comedy-thriller.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American girl inherits a fortune and falls into a misguided relationship with a gentleman confidence artist whose true nature, including a barbed and covetous disposition, turns her life into a nightmare.

Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Barbara Hershey
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the year 1935, a teen named Billy Bathgate finds first love while becoming the protégé of fledgling gangster Dutch Schultz.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Loren Dean
Malice (1993)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A tale about a happily married couple who would like to have children. Tracy teaches art, Andy's a college dean. Things are never the same after she is taken to hospital and operated upon by Jed, a "know all" doctor.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman, Bill Pullman


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lizan Mitchell ...
Phyllis Newman ...
Iris Silk
Young Iris


The Human Stain is the story of Coleman Silk (Hopkins), a classics professor with a terrible secret that is about to shatter his life in a small New England town. When his affair with a young troubled janitor (Kidman) is uncovered, the secret Silk had harbored for over fifty years from his wife, his children and colleague, writer Nathan Zuckerman, fast explodes in a conflagration of devastating consequences. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled. Written by lakeshoreentertainment.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How far would you go to escape the past?

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |


Release Date:

31 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cloveski madez  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$839,170 (France) (31 October 2003)


$705,018 (Japan) (9 July 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Wentworth Miller, the casting agent did not believe that he was part-African American like the character Coleman Silk. Miller also told the casting agent about an incident at Princeton University. While he was a student there, he published an editorial cartoon in the campus newspaper that was misconstrued as a racial slur against Professor Cornel West. Silk has a similar situation in the film. Miller faxed family pictures and articles about the controversy to prove his story. West later attended the film's premiere and made up with Miller. See more »


When Coleman is looking in the dictionary for the definition of the word "Spooks" he turns to nearly the beginning of the book that couldn't possibly be the letter "S" See more »


Faunia Farley: You can't go out there, he's fuckin' crazy.
Coleman Silk: Yeah, so am I.
[picks up a baseball bat]
See more »


References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »


Embraceable You
Music by George Gershwin (as George)
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Teddy Wilson
Courtesy of San Juan Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

an engaging, charming film
25 November 2004 | by (london, england) – See all my reviews

The Human Stain is a film about an elderly retired middle-class university professor called Coleman (played by Anthony Hopkins) who begins a relationship with a troubled woman (played by Nicole Kidman) who leads a white-trash existence, and the effects it has on both of them. It also has the side plots (but very much intertwined) of the elderly man's friendship with a young writer (character name Zuckerman)and the young woman's ongoing troubles with her ex-husband.

I thought this was a lovely film - Anthony Hopkins is excellent and extremely convincing in this role, as were the characters of Farley (the ex-husband) & Zuckerman. The friendship particularly between Zuckerman and Coleman was extremely warm and charming. However, whilst Nicole Kidman's acting was very good, I remained unconvinced by the character that she played. Aside from this, I found the film extremely engaging and believable.

32 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How can the professor be white while his 2 parents are black? Kyrios_Chalakatevakis
A film about race and class, dominated by rich white actors SaDaTay
Critics should be eating Crow SidneySassy
Zuckerman's past dbogosian-1
Why did the girlfriend cried on the train? ionaradelima
Bizarre euronick61
Discuss The Human Stain (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: