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: August 10, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011
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Critic Score: 75% 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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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.

Sarah Marrs

It's worth seeing for the acting alone-Davis and Spencer are outstanding-but we should be asking ourselves the difficult questions the movie tries so hard to avoid.

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Leonard Maltin

If you lived through that time, it is incredible to contemplate how much has changed (and how much hasn't) over the years, not only in race relations but in attitudes toward women. That's part of the fascination of watching The Help, which...

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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Candice Frederick
Reel Talk Online

But aside from its substantial performances, The Help's completely uninteresting script caused the whole movie to be dead on arrival.

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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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Eleanor Ringel Cater
Saporta Report (Atlanta)

The Help hands us a slap on the wrist when a knee to the groin or a fist in the face is what's needed.

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More reviews for The Help

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Although Viola Davis offers a fantastic performance here, this disgusting melodrama is much more concerned about making you cry than saying anything meaningful,… 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
Tony Gandía
There's nothing particularly wrong with "The Help". Well acted, briskly shot with a story that is simply told without much complexity. But… 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
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