(2011)

Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The Help isn't intended to be so much a movie about the ugliness of the era than an optimistic tale of what can spring from that kind of ugliness, about the ability of people to love one another even when they're surrounded by hatred. And on that level, The Help succeeds wonderfully, a warm and sweet song of hope.
91
The Help has a saucy, humorous side.
88
A deeply touching human story filled with humor and heartbreak is rare in any movie season, especially summer. That's what makes The Help an exhilarating gift.
85
The "black maid" may be a cliché. But when was the last time we saw a story told from her point of view?
80
Laughter, which is ladled on thick as gravy, proves to be the secret ingredient - turning what should be a feel-bad movie about those troubled times into a heart-warming surprise.
75
Good story, great characters, a setting plucked from history - and a multiracial, multigenerational ensemble cast stacked with fabulous actresses. But the thing that makes The Help such a rousing crowd-pleaser is its generous helping of baked goods.
75
The Help sidesteps easy sentimentality. As the film's heart and soul, Davis and Spencer add vast reserves of depth and dignity to a crowd-pleasing tale.
75
Like its characters, it has its faults. But overall, it is a movie of imaginative sympathy that gets into the skin of its characters, into their hearts, and, ultimately, into ours.
70
Instead of plunging us into a racist past, however, The Help takes us on a pop-cultural tour that savors the picturesque, and strengthens stereotypes it purports to shatter.
65
Big hair, fine period frocks and interior design lend The Help a pleasingly retro look. Yet for someone who grew up in Mississippi, the director has little sense of place.
60
Taylor does capture the Jim Crow era and its anxieties well, but his characters tend toward the facile and his white heroine is too idealized.
40
Emma Stone, for example, is no one's idea of an ugly duckling. And though she offers a sincere effort, she never quite settles into the role of Skeeter.

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