Parents' Guide to

The Help

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Poignant, thought-provoking civil rights tale.

Movie PG-13 2011 137 minutes
The Help Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 50 parent reviews

age 14+

Great historical movie

Really great historical movie that really makes you understand how the colored people felt and were treated back then. very interesting story line and it is very educational. Would really recommend this and the actors and actresses were fantastic. Appropriate for around ages 14 and up.
age 18+

If religious profanity bothers you, don't watch -

Seemed like it would be a good movie, but a few minutes in into it we turned it off due to religious profanity.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (50 ):
Kids say (116 ):

All of the performances are remarkable in this drama. On the surface, The Help looks like yet another civil rights story told from the perspective of an open-minded white character who acts as the catalyst for change. But director Tate Taylor is careful not to put an overwhelming spotlight on Skeeter at the expense of Aibileen (who narrates the drama) or Minny. Stone continues to solidify her stellar reputation with her understated performance as the ambitious but slightly misfit young writer. But the real revelations are Davis, who's such a nuanced actress that she can elicit a storm of emotions with her soul-piercing stare, and relative newcomer Spencer, who's not only playing the opinionated Minny but is her inspiration (she's a close friend of both the author and director). Both actresses are deserving of an Academy Award nominations.

There's not a flat note in the production, although special mention must be made of scene-stealers Bryce Dallas Howard and Jessica Chastain. Howard plays Hilly Holbrook, one of the meanest, most heartless villains this side of Cruella DeVil. She's the Junior League set's queen bee and is so racist that she wants a bill passed forcing white homes to have a separate bathroom for their black servants. Chastain, who wowed critics in The Tree of Life, lets loose as Minny's kind and charismatic employer, who's desperate for a friend. The Help is one of those perfect movies for parents and mature tweens/teens to see together. It sparks discussion, teaches a history lesson, and makes everyone think about how we treat others. And yes, don't forget the tissues. There will be weeping.

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