Rated PG-13 · 146 minutes · 2011

There is much to admire in The Help, even though the message has been delivered repeatedly over the years. Movies about the Civil Rights Movement face the same hurdle that any other work of history or historical fiction does—namely, how to use what is well-known as a background for something else. In The Help, that something else is the evolution of a true friendship between a spirited young white reporter (Emma Stone) and the hired help of Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s. The key figure is Aibileen (Viola Davis), who begins to tell the reporter a story of race relations in the South from her point of view. It’s an exceedingly well-acted film, with Stone, Cicely Tyson, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer all capturing attention. But it’s Viola Davis’ moment, and she grabs it and does not let go.

See our full review: Mississippi in the '60s

Mississippi in the '60s

Fantastic acting puts 'The Help' over the top »

Official Site: thehelpmovie.com/#/splash
Director: Tate Taylor
Producer: Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, Mark Radcliffe, Tate Taylor, L. Dean Jones Jr., Nate Berkus, Jennifer Blum, John Norris, Mohamed Al Mazrouei and Jeff Skoll
Cast: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Ahna O'Reilly, Anna Camp, Cicely Tyson, Chris Lowell, Mike Vogel, Aunjanue Ellis and Mary Steenburgen


The Help


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Boise Weekly The Projector: Movies opening Friday, Aug. 12 Runaway brides, an accidental pizza delivery thief, the Glee kids on the big screen, getting along with the help, the final Final Destination and why we should never forget that chimps aren't human. It's all at the movies. 08/12/2011
Creative Loafing Atlanta Undercooked Southern tale could use some Help Kathryn Stockett's best-seller gets a draggy film adaptation by Curt Holman 08/10/2011
Charleston City Paper The Help has appeal, but struggles to balance its three leads The Help is a tale in which noble, downtrodden African-Americans in the still-segregated South, along with their forward-thinking white allies, do low-key battle with oppressive, vindictive racists. by Scott Renshaw 08/10/2011
5 more reviews...
Memphis Flyer The Women The big-screen adaptation of The Help is an actress showcase and truth-telling surprise. by Chris Herrington 08/11/2011
Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week The Change-Up, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help. 08/04/2011
The Coast Halifax Disappointing The Help Adaptation of Kathryn Stockett does disservice to black characters by Matt Semansky 08/11/2011
NUVO Ed reviews 'The Help' This well-acted '60s-era story presents the blatant racism of the period while keeping the crowd happy with Hallmark moments and comical situations. by Ed Johnson-Ott 08/10/2011

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