The Human Stain
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For his first film since 1998's Twilight, acclaimed director Robert Benton helmed this tense drama written by Fatal Attraction co-scribe Nicholas Meyer and based on the novel of the same name by Philip Roth. Set in the late '90s at the height of the Clinton sex-scandal, The Human Stain stars Anthony Hopkins as Coleman Silk, a respected professor at a New England college who suddenly finds his life unraveling after a comment he makes about some African-American students is misinterpreted as a racial slur. As the scandal heats up, Nathan Zuckerman (Gary Sinise), a writer researching a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"One of those films that makes you say, 'That was powerful. Now what the hell was it about?'"
‑ David Edelstein, Slate
"The Human Stain takes a complex work of literary art and reduces it to tasteful melodrama."
‑ Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"So finely tooled that it feels like it ought to be bound in Morocco leather and placed on a display case in a department store for a last minute Christmas gift."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Both Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins are vastly miscast in Robert Benton's poor adaptation of Philip Roth's poignant novel, one of the few works about contempo academic battlefields."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"The film's frame groans in its attempt to contain such a complex story, and its actors ask us to accept implausible things... but it's ultimately rewarding."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"... solid but not great."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Works wonderfully as an actor's movie. The trouble is, that's the only way it works."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Flawed adaptation of Roth's novel isn't for kids."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"The acting is phenomenal (especially Harris), and the film will be a nice challenge for those in search of one."
‑ Bill Clark, FromTheBalcony
"A tricky adaptation of an unlikely novel that nevertheless goes almost as wrong as possible...prey to the most amateur varieties of structural and tonal errors."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"It is hard to buy what The Human Stain is peddling."
‑ Bill Muller, Arizona Republic
"The problem is that neither Kidman nor Hopkins seems to know what movie they are in."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Casting a stain."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
"One of the most underrated pictures of 2003."
‑ Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal
"...a potboiler disguised as a work of art."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
More reviews for The Human Stain on Rotten Tomatoes