The Help Reviews

  • The movie isn't perfect; it sometimes shows its stitching. But mostly it's a stirring salute to subjugated women who hold their heads high.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • Save for Ms. Davis's, the performances are almost all overly broad, sometimes excruciatingly so, characterized by loud laughs, bugging eyes and pumping limbs.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Fans of the best-selling novel can rest easy: The warmly engaging book has been made into an equally affecting movie.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Both taste and perspective will inform whether viewers will find The Help a revelatory celebration of interracial healing and transcendence, or a patronizing portrait that trivializes those alliances by reducing them to melodrama and facile uplift.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • "The Help'' comes out on the losing end of the movies' social history. The best film roles three black women will have all year require one of them to clean Ron Howard's daughter's house. It's self-reinforcing movie imagery.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • We get a fairly typical Hollywood flattening of history, with powerful villains and disenfranchised heroes.

    Karina Longworth — Village Voice

  • While the book's minor -- but crucial -- details are often overlooked, the major themes are thrust on screen with forceful simplicity, as if Taylor doesn't trust us to understand the stakes.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • "The Help" takes us on a pop-cultural tour that savors the picturesque, and strengthens stereotypes it purports to shatter.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • A splendid entertainment -- a film that makes us for root for the good guys, hiss at the bad and convulse in laughter when good wreaks vengeance with a smile.

    Amy Biancolli — Houston Chronicle

  • There's something lived-in and genuine about this infectious melodrama.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • Thanks to a talented cast -- starting with leads Emma Stone, Viola Davis​ and Octavia Spencer​ -- the movie is often entertaining. But The Help should have been challenging too.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • Sounds kinda like Mississippi Burning meets Steel Magnolias, doesn't it?

    Glenn Kenny — MSN Movies

  • [The Help] is, in some ways, crude and obvious, but it opens up a broad new swath of experience on the screen, and parts of it are so moving and well acted that any objections to what's second-rate seem to matter less as the movie goes on.

    David Denby — New Yorker

  • I was drawn into the characters and quite moved, even though all the while I was aware it was a feel-good fable, a story that deals with pain but doesn't care to be that painful.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • "The Help" has Viola Davis going for it, and she is more than enough.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • As in many reductive period pieces, there are no real characters here, just archetypes, namely reactionary cretins and sensitive souls who anticipate modern attitudes.

    Ben Sachs — Chicago Reader

  • 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.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • "The Help" avoids the trap of recasting a story of black struggle into the story of a white savior.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Appalling, entertaining, touching and perhaps even a bit healing, The Help is an old-fashioned grand yarn of a film, the sort we rarely get these days.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • "The Help" is filled with good acting and better intentions.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

Top Movies