Harriet (2019) Poster

(I) (2019)

User Reviews

Review this title
204 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Oh my God. Why?
dalefl6 November 2019
Look, nobody's questioning Harriet Tubman's contributions or her role in the history of the abolitionist movement. But, except for the names, this movie has about as much to do with actual history as Underdog does with rescuing war dogs. I have to wonder what would have happened to a black woman walking around in the slave holding south dressed like Hollywood's version of a pseudo Annie Oakley. The filmmakers had a golden opportunity here to get this right but chose to throw a bunch of candified, Hollywood cliches at it instead. That's not to say there weren't some emotional moments, but the real history and achievement of Harriet Tubman is emotional and soul stirring enough without burying it under 10 feet of Hollywood glitz in order to appeal to the superhero crowd. Boo. Hiss.
141 out of 178 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A dishonor to an amazing woman
meusvita3 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I attend a HBCU and have read, and studied, Harriet Tubman's life. I don't even know where to begin. There is no account of her ever standing with Union soldiers and pointing a gun. There are so many errors and what I saw on the screen was complete fiction. I wasn't expecting a documentary, of course, but the woman they portrayed lived a completely different life to everything I've been taught by professors who live and breathe African American history. Hollywood should be ashamed.
191 out of 248 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Straight up TRASH!
senegalstyle2 November 2019
WHY? How difficult is it to get first hand and historical accounts and stick to THAT SCRIPT? What on earth is to be gained by taking a larger than life figure, a real person and throwing in random people and events that never happened?

If you want to see a REAL MOVIE on Harriet Tubman, look at the Cicely Tyson version: A Woman Called Moses.
207 out of 282 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
We are reviewing this FILM, which is poor to mediocre, and not Harriet Tubman's life which was one profound heroic courage
random-7077828 October 2019
I wonder if the people giving this film a "nine" or "ten star" review or rating even saw this film? We are rating the film, not the person. If there is a botched and problem ridden film on da Vinci we don't rate the bad film highly because we like the person who is putative its subject.

Please. The scripting is insultingly lowbrow, almost patronizing. The acting talent has a good record in other productions but in this film is unrealized due to the other problems. There are quite a few ahistoric, frankly false, events in this film which are not needed and make the film more a less than credible hagiography as opposed to the plenty sufficient bravery, courage and strength of Tubman herself. Why maker her some kind of mythical comic book type character???? Is this the story about a real life hero, or about a graphic novel superwoman who people will just assume is fictional?

Lastly, I am not a religious believer. I am a confirmed atheist. But I find it troubling that Tubman's deep religious feelings and expression, whihc she used as the main, if not sole lens though which she saw the world, and which motivated her, is discounted.

The film is not a total loss, but Tubman deserves better, much better, as do contemporary audiences.
220 out of 332 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It saddens me
mymusicblocktv1 November 2019
It's a bit of an insult to African Americans being the story wasn't depicted clearly in the way it should've. Although Harriet is a hero it was played as a super hero movie . It took greatness and turned it into a joke. Cynthia's performance was corny as well as others
161 out of 246 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What a shame.
momsipadonly4 November 2019
For a movie that could have been steeped in actual history about an incredible woman they created a storyline that was complete rubbish ( fiction) and denied viewers insight into some of that most amazing things about this women. What a shame. I think people that loved this movie simply don't really know their history. The primary antagonist was a made up person to drive a fictional storyline.
66 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
If you're expecting a movie about the real Harriet Tubman, this isn't it. It's more like a Lifetime movie
Credemi2 November 2019
This has to be the biggest disappointment of 2019. Whenever a movie is made about historical figures, there's always some degree of fiction. However, they went above and beyond this to a degree that was ridiculous. They needlessly created primary characters that aren't part of the historical record . Also, some elements of the relationship between Harriet Tubman and the slave master were totally unbelievable.The acting was ok but, never reached the caliber that one would expect for this type of film. Finally, the cinematography wasn't that great. It was done in a way that made it seem like a Lifetime movie or something that should have gone straight to dvd instead of being in theaters.
115 out of 181 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ho Hum Harriet
ThomasBombadil18 September 2019
Putting aside the directing, editing and overall story line the films most egregious aspect may actually be the score. Think cheesy lifetime TV movie style of music. It is so terrible in fact it is actually distracting. This might actually be the only silver lining considering the sluggish pace of the film that also unfortunately only tells one part of Harriet Tubman's incredible life. It is unfortunate that it has taken Hollywood this long to make a film about Tubman; however, perhaps they should have waited a little longer to get it right.
138 out of 228 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
avielachazisrael3 November 2019
So Harriet was an actual person but the story cooked up was false....So tired of them mixing little truth with a lot of lies.
80 out of 130 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Taking artistic license to the Nth degree!
Jouford23 November 2019
Harriet Tubman was an extremely courageous and strong woman, who, during a toxic era In American history, risked her own life in order to help free other slaves. That's the true Harriet Tubman. The Harriet Tubman in this movie is more akin to Wonder Woman. It was a dreadful depiction of a woman who deserves to be remembered for what she actually did, not for this dreadful bucket of dog sick! Holly"woke" are really getting on my nerves now. Instead of padding out a decent and captivating story with some artistic license; in order to create an interesting movie, they're making things up as they go along, and adding a sprinkling of the truth ever now and again. It's like every movie has to contain an element of Marvel heroism. If you're interested in the actual history of this incredible woman, read Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom. If you want a load of old gash - watch the movie.
25 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
HISTORICALLY INCORRECT and a hit piece on true Black History
thefiyadept2 November 2019
Terribly inaccurate! This is a revisionist story which tries to make light of slavery and ONCE AGAIN makes the black man the bad guy. If you want truth, this is not for you! SHAMEFUL!
108 out of 186 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Believe it.....Harriet is fabricated garbage.
cminn669 November 2019
Who was this movie really made for? Possibly didn't want certain people/group to be offended by the subject matter. The actress and filmmakers claimed this is not a slave movie. If Harriet is not a slave movie, then what was slave Harriet running away from? Harriet Tubman's story is dramatic enough without adding fictional unreal characters. If Harriet Tubman has to be told, then please tell her story the way it happened. Harriet had a lifetime movie feel to it. The actress Cynthia Eviro didn't feel authentic to me in the role as Harriet Tubman. Oh well I had a free movie ticket so....
32 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Glad I Watched For Free
junkthemail-475692 November 2019
Trashhhhhh! Script was trash and so was the casting. I'm willing to bet that no one who is Ados wanted to touch this mess with a 10 ft pole. This film somehow managed to attack the character of blk men who should be victims of their circumstances created by Europeans, while glorifying or making massa a person with a conscious when we all know that the brute animals of that time had no conscious. I'm glad I didn't pay a dime to support this mess. Nope, never.
91 out of 167 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
keyslaurenl4 November 2019
This movie is based on all lies and not a representation for black slaves that is why the cast is not african american slave bloodline
42 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Harriet 2019 is disrespectful to Harriet Tubmans Legacy and American History
darkpolico9 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I really don't understand what most people was watching,but we must have been watching two different movies.I couldn't wait until it over.First of all,the lend CYNTHIA ERIVO was down right disrespectful to Black Americans-#ADOS(American Descendants Of Slavery) American Descendants Of Slaves.Focus Features LLC owned by Comcast through Universal Pictures,a division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal.Comcast put this movie out on the heals of ADOS fight for #Reparations,while at the same time Comcast is trying to dismantled the 1866 Civil Rights Act in the Byron Allen Racial Discrimination Lawsuit.This case doen't just affect black Americans-ADOS it affects other minorities as well.Now back to how terrible this movie was,as well as Cynthia's portrayer of Harriet,they made her look weak,this wasn't the Harriet we know and love.#HarrietDeservesBetter than this,she was an American Hero,not a superhero.Fictional takes should never be done when adressing American History especially pertaining to Chattel Slavery.The Bigger Long Character was pure fictional,done for MeToo Feminist.There was no black Slave Catchers during this period.The creators of this film helps reenforce negative stereotypes about black men,which isn't new for White Hollyweird to continue the social engineering and White Supremacy Propaganda dogma.Its also not surprising when Tools of White Supremacy write something like this without regards for accuracy of American History.This movie should be boycotted,its disrepectful to Harriet.They had Harriet passing out and singing throughout the whole damn movie.What happen to the Harriet who was a Spy for the Union?,why wasn't this put in there.Lastly,how long are we going to continue to support things blindingly without doing the research on the movie or political candidates etc beforehand? We are owned more than this,lets stop settling for less..#NotMyHarriet #ADOSRising
28 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I wanted to love it, but was disappointed
bandblawrw1 November 2019
I went in wanting to love it, ended up just waiting for it to be over. The best part to me was the closing scene and the written adlibs after. I really don't like disparaging works that show the history of Blacks in America, as our stories need to be told, but I was very disappointed. The lead did not evoke any compassion in me, and the villain was very unconvincing. Think about it, 12 Years a Slave and Django had you side-eyeing the actors that played the slave owners because they emoted so well. The lead villain, Gideon Brodess, God Bless him, didn't pull it off IMO. The fact that the best performances were the supporting cast, Leslie Odom as William Still, Clarke Peter as Harriet's father, Omar J. Dorsey (no spoilers as to role) and Henry Hunter Hall (no spoilers as to role) doesn't bode well for a film. Maybe the fact that they made Harriet 24, 25 instead of a mature woman? Maybe it was the dialogue that was written a bit "slick" for the time period? Maybe the inconsistencies with what was presented vs reality? Even Janelle Monae was just so so for me. Although I do not work in Hollywood, when there are that many failures within performances and only the veteran actors shine, it may be the director. I dunno, but I was disappointed. I would still support the film because we need Hollywood to know we want our stories heard/seen. Maybe if Viola Davis' project had gotten support, her version would have been better. She was going to star in and produce a biopic on Harriet Tubman for HBO, but it never happened. I would give it 5/10 stars.
37 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Revisionist Trash!
aprilwalton-276822 November 2019
This isn't an historical movie. It's propaganda of the worst kind. The Harriet lead was so bad I found myself being looked at in the theater due to busting out in laughter during some of her lines. As a history major I saw so many outright lies in this film that I'm surprised it's even labeled as a "documentary". The US seems to take a lot of liberties with historical facts & that is frightening. They're even trying to endure us to Hitler now. Lol. What in the world is going on in Hollyweird??
72 out of 139 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Harriet deserved better
AlsExGal28 November 2019
I hated this movie. There isn't an ounce of authenticity in and it was just so bland. It was a movie about a black person made for a white audience to feel warm and fuzzy with a superhero angle thrown in. At least it didn't have the white slave owner turn out to be a nice guy (and they sure came close).

The score is distractingly bad. It's an overbearing and manipulative score, ripped straight from any Lifetime movie. Then there is the opening scene showing a group of slaves gathered in front of their white slavemaster and establishes the fact that the bad guy is bad. It felt so amateurish to me and the rest of the movie then proceeded to feel similarly amateurish, cliched and predictable. On her first trip south, Harriet has what is supposed to be an emotional reunion with her family, but it's a bunch of characters we've never met so the scene just doesn't work. There are just so many things like that.

It's such a shame because Harriet Tubman was such a heroic and interesting figure and her story is an important part of American history. I feel like this movie is getting a pass from the critics because of the material. I know I feel somewhat guilty writing a bad review merely because of the subject matter. Maybe what is needed is a Ken Burns style documentary so that the temptation to have cartoonishly cardboard baddies, scenes of singing Harriet, and heavily dramatized and fictional scenes for the sake of checking all of the 'Biopic Cliche' boxes can be resisted.
24 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disrespectful to Harriet's legacy
dorothealperkins2 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Cynthia Erivo is a Nigerian from possible slave traders. Us Americans suppose she is Igbo Diala. Not only that but she has made very disparaging and disrespectful remarks to black Americans. Referencing the entire racial group is ghetto and uneducated. She also has supported tweets calling black Americans AKATA meaning lost monkey. Cynthia Erivo is an enemy to black Americans and is trying to play one of a black freedom fighter. The irony is so canning that this could not have been an oversight by Production.

The only black male character in the film is the villain. The white slave master saves Harriet Tubman at the end of the movie and she spears his life. The man who enslaved her gets to walk away free, No harm, the real Harriet would have shot him dead. This is a white feel good movie this is not historically correct at all. The made up white slave master character that is secretly in love with her, as if they were in some secret messed up BDSM love scene, was totally unnecessary. While the "sadistic LOvInG" slave master kills the convenient black bounty Hunter who wanted to kill Harriet. The creators of this sadistic slave fiction owe her descendants, Black Americans, an apology. Worst film of the year 1/10
74 out of 144 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great Movie
lcwater5 November 2019
I'm not understanding why so many people are hating on this movie. Show me a movie based on the life of a real person where the entire movie is 100% factual. I thought it did depict what I have read about Harriet Tubman in books, online, and what I actually read when I visited the Harriet Tubman museums/visitor center in Church Creek, MD, and Cambridge, MD. It was not poorly done. I loved it and highly recommend it!
71 out of 140 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not good very disappointed
vvvvvv-9666318 October 2019
The movie has no energy or life! very disappointing
101 out of 209 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Agenda based, historically inaccurate.
timcross-2359913 November 2019
The only redeeming feature of this piece of "cinema" is that a lot of money was spent to promote an anti, well watch the news.
20 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
DON'T believe the LIES about this film. This film is PHENOMENAL!
The_IndieFilmmaker2 November 2019
If you are thinking of going to see this film, please, PLEASE do not believe the negative lies about this film. This film is PHENOMENAL. There's no Harriet romancing any white masters, there's no sex scenes with Harriet and everything the film says Harriet did, Harriet actually did in reality. The reason why people are being negative about this film is to keep the masses from seeing this film BECAUSE of its message. They don't want you to see and know the message of this film, the message of this film being that both black and white people can work together, for equality and for freedom.

So i'm telling you, this film is WORTH the $24.50, you will not regret it. I KNOW it because I just came from seeing this film an hour ago tonight. GO SEE this film, it is POWERFUL.
81 out of 175 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Story and Good Acting
slsauls333 November 2019
I do not believe the movie was marketed as a documentary. It shows another version of the life and times of Harriet Tubman. I sat on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. It shows how American politicians were comfortable with white supremacy concepts. I welcome movies that do not fall into concepts of the slanted history we were taught in school.

The movie showed a hard life for Harriet, the slaves and freedmen at the time, but I believe they actually had it worse than what was depicted in the film.
57 out of 125 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sincere Tribute to the Real-Life Freedom Fighter Harriet Tubman
rannynm21 October 2019
Harriet is a sincere tribute to the real-life freedom fighter. Excellent performances and a developed story add layers of entertainment. Anyone interested in documentaries or the subject material must watch this. The story tells the heroic tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's most influential figures. The film recounts how her courage and intelligence freed hundreds of slaves and changed history as we know it.

Cynthia Erivo, as Harriet Tubman, brings out something award-worthy. This actress of Broadway fame launches her star potential to greater heights as she perfectly captures Tubman's appearance on top of her distinguishing characteristics. The film is truly a vehicle for Cynthia's many talents. Other cast members include Leslie Odom Jr. as William Still and Janelle Monae as Marie. While Odom Jr.'s role is relatively one-note as someone Tubman sends runaways to, Monae adds heart to Marie as she settles Tubman for city life. As the film progresses, a heartbreaking scene sticks its landing due to the dynamic between the two.

Kasi Lemmons aptly directs, as the story is told chronologically. However, the cinematography does leave a little bit more to be desired, as it lacks nuance and something of interest, during extended dialogue-heavy scenes. Due to this, I felt the runtime and was left desiring the thrilling rescues that follow. It is worth mentioning that you must be interested in American history, or else you will truly remain bored during its two-hour runtime. My favorite scene is Tubman's first escape, because a thrilling scene follows where Tubman jumps downstream into the river rather than get captured. It is truly a testament to Tubman's courage and agility.

The message of this film is that Tubman always stands for justice and treats even her opponents fairly; really everything Tubman stands for speaks truth in heroic qualities. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to violence, thematic content and language, including racial slurs.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.
76 out of 174 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed