The Help
The Help (2011)

The Help stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny-three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 6, 2011
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Critic Score: 76% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Though arguably guilty of glossing over its racial themes, The Help rises on the strength of its cast -- particularly Viola Davis, whose performance is powerful enough to carry the film on its own.

Cath Clarke
Time Out

Yes, it gets a bit sentimental. Yes, some 'Ya-Ya Sisterhood' friendship clichés creep in. Yes, it glosses history. But it's also heartfelt, hilarious and the cast is a dream-team topped by Viola Davis.

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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader

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

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

Taylor's palpably meandering sensibilities are exacerbated by an almost comically overlong running time...

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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

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

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Dana Stevens

The Help is a high-functioning tearjerker, but the catharsis it offers feels glib and insufficient, a Barbie Band-Aid on the still-raw wound of race relations in America.

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Louis Proyect

Lifetime Channel movie with paternalistic liberalism bordering on Paula Deen malignity.

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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

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.

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David Denby
New Yorker

[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.

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John Hanlon
Big Hollywood

A great story and a wonderful cast combine to make this drama a must-see.

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More reviews for The Help

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Jens S.
Well-intended but somewhat simplistic in its depiction of the problem. It doesn't exactly help that the performances vary from excellent to overacting.… More
Bruce Bruce
Okay, so here's the truth: I'm a middle-aged, white male... I didn't read the book and I assumed, based on the fact that this is a virtually an… More
Thomas Johnston
What a GREAT movie!! It inspires me to think one day 50 years from now people will see a movie with gay characters and say.... it was because of people like… More
Dan Schultz
A well-intentioned but overdone and overacted story concerning an aspiring writer (Emma Stone) who desires to write a book about maids, being that she was… More
Markus Robinson
The Help: Will somebody give Viola Davis an Academy Award already?! Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole Ashland Rated PG-13 for thematic material… More
Lanning : )
A beautiful story beautifully told. Actually, I think it was even worse for African Americans of the time. So it's a little Hollywoody, but still a… More