Box art for The Help

The Help

  • Rated PG13
  • HD and SD formats available

drama


The Help is an inspirational story about very different women in the 1960s South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project. Filled with poignancy and humor, The Help is a timeless story about the ability to create change.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    76%
  • Audience Score
    89%

common sense

ON for kids age 12
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
2 out of 5

Poignant, thought-provoking Civil Rights tale.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this emotionally intense adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's best-selling Civil Rights-era novel isn't likely to appeal to young kids but is a historically relevant drama that mature tweens and teens can see with their parents. The film not only teaches about segregation and the importance of racial equality, but it also shows how oppressed people have important stories to tell. The language is tame for a PG-13 movie except for the word "s--t," which is used several times, and one casual use of the "N" word by a bus driver. African Americans are referred to as "negro," and a grown-up restaurant worker is called "boy" by white patrons. There's no graphic violence, but a character is obviously physically abused by her husband, and a woman has a miscarriage, leaving her in a pool of her blood. Reflecting the '60s setting, almost everyone (even a pregnant woman) smokes cigarettes and drinks.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts African Americans' struggle for racial equality. How accurate do you think it is? How could you find out more about this part of history?
  • Are the characters realistic? Do you consider any of them to be stereotypes? If so, why?
  • Some have criticized Stockett's story for making a white character central to the Civil Rights movement. How is the movie sensitive to this issue? What did you learn about the South under Jim Crow laws?
  • For those who've read the book, how faithful is the movie adaptation? What changes did you like? What do you wish the director had included?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    76%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all The Help reviews
  • Audience

    89%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: 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, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fresh: "The Help" definitely worked on me as a consummate tear-jerker with a terrific cast, and it's pretty much the summer's only decent Hollywood drama.

- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rotten: 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, Thursday, August 11, 2011

Audience Reviews

5 stars

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 all-female cast, that this was some sort of chick flick. Boy, was I wrong! This is an incredible film that not only pays justice to the bestseller on which it's based (according to those who have read the book AND seen the film), but is phenomenally cast, with exceptional performances by Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard and Allison Janney. Veteran actresses Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson also deliver incredible performances. While Tyson's character is central to the storyline, her role comprises what seems to be a few, precious minutes of the 2:20 running time, she delivers, in my opinion, one of the most powerful and moving moments in the film...one in which she doesn't even utter a line (trust me, you'll know when you see it.) The Help also delivers some very funny moments and will make you laugh. I'll go so far as to say that this film and a few of its cast members will draw some Oscar nominations. I certainly think this takes Stone into a whole new level. The racial imbalances of 1963 are well illustrated in "The Help," and will, no doubt, underscore how far America has come,.Either way, this is a powerful movie that needs to be seen.. 5 stars . 4=20=13

- bbcfloridabound, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

5 stars

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 all-female cast, that this was some sort of chick flick. Boy, was I wrong! This is an incredible film that not only pays justice to the bestseller on which it's based (according to those who have read the book AND seen the film), but is phenomenally cast, with exceptional performances by Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard and Allison Janney. Veteran actresses Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson also deliver incredible performances. While Tyson's character is central to the storyline, her role comprises what seems to be a few, precious minutes of the 2:20 running time, she delivers, in my opinion, one of the most powerful and moving moments in the film...one in which she doesn't even utter a line (trust me, you'll know when you see it.) The Help also delivers some very funny moments and will make you laugh. I'll go so far as to say that this film and a few of its cast members will draw some Oscar nominations. I certainly think this takes Stone into a whole new level. The racial imbalances of 1963 are well illustrated in "The Help," and will, no doubt, underscore how far America has come,.Either way, this is a powerful movie that needs to be seen.. 5 stars . 4=20=13

- bbcfloridabound, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4 stars

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 powerfull statement about the plight of African Americans in the 60s redneck South.

- binky013, Saturday, March 9, 2013