More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.63%
Worth A Look: 4.69%
Average: 20.31%
Pretty Bad: 14.06%
Total Crap45.31%

4 reviews, 40 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Trip to Greece, The by Peter Sobczynski

Night God by Jay Seaver

Alice (2019) by Jay Seaver

On a Magical Night (Chambre 212) by Jay Seaver

Driveways by Jay Seaver

Free Country by Jay Seaver

Deluge by Jay Seaver

Model Shop by Jay Seaver

Thousand Pieces of Gold by Jay Seaver

Lake Michigan Monster by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Beloved (1998)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Oprah Should Stick to Recommending Books"
3 stars

Beloved (** Ĺ) - I never thought that any movie could make me appreciate The English Patient - but thatís exactly what Beloved does with itís seemingly never-ending three-hour length. And my main problem with the film is not that I found it confusing (I didnít), not that it wasnít well-acted and directed (It was) but that it was emotionally uninvolving. I wasnít drawn into this story the way I wanted to be. I watched and walked out of this film with a resounding case of ďSo What?Ē

The problem then lies at the storyline and Iíll have to give spoilers to explain - so if you feel like seeing the movie - donít read on. Anyone will know shortly into the film what the big shocking secret of Setheís past is. Her house is haunted because of it at the beginning of the story and she deals with it and accepts the poltergeistís torture perhaps because she feels she deserves it and partly because she wishes to no longer run away from anything. After Paul D (Danny Glover) gets confrontational with the ghost, it goes away - but apparently comes back in the human form of an 18-year old woman, which would be the exact age of Setheís daughter. Now when Oprah sees this girl perched up in front of her house, she runs and relieves herself with the ferocity of a firehose as if sheís terrified. The girl identifies herself in a voice that sounds like a combo of E.T. and the devil in The Exorcist - by spelling out the name of Beloved - the name of Setheís daughter. But from here on out - Sethe treats her as just some ordinary stranger who eats like E.T. and talks like Jodie Foster in Nell. Itís not until she notices the giant scar on Belovedís neck that she comes to realize that sheís her daughter. Now, perhaps this scene is meant to show Oprahís belief that her daughter never really died, but thatís not how it plays. Now while I admit to not loving this film like our nationís critics and Iíll go out on a limb to call Toni Morrison a little contrived since Iíve read some of her works - I will admit to really liking the performances. Oprah Winfrey is going to get nominated, even without all of the shameless self-promotion sheís plastering around TV, calling this film her ďbabyĒ. Hey honey - Oprah - you didnít write it. Toni Morrison did. But all jokes aside - Oprah is quite convincing and the first kiss she has with Danny Glover is a wonderful moment just in the way that it is acted. Thandie Newton is also very good as Beloved even if her performance is quite borrowed from other better films. I kept waiting for a Buzz Kilman cameo - but apparently was denied. This is also a film that contains a lot of things that we, as an audience, donít really like to see, and get more squeamish about than in something like Saving Private Ryan (a three-hour film that does, in fact, pull us in emotionally) The film opens with a dog being thrown across the room by the ghost, having his eye hang out of his socket and his leg broken, shaking helplessly. We also the aforementioned firehose pissing scene, a womanís water breaking, breast milk being forcibly taken by white men, (prompting the line I keep hearing in my head - ďThey took my milkĒ), a lot of whip scars which the makeup people seemed to have a field day with, tons of crawling bugs, and Danny Gloverís ass. Sorry - just a little too much verite in my cinema.

This review is longer than most because for the most part I was really disappointed but at the same time glad that this film isnít going to be, in my opinion, one of the best of the year. Although it seems like a lock for numerous nominations, three hours does not necessarily make an emotionally draining film. Just a draining one, period. (Note: One of the best metaphors I can possibly come up with this film was summarized in what I saw walking into the film. As I walked towards the theater - an old woman was walking in by herself - carrying a soda and a large green pillow. She must be involved with the Boy Scouts in some way.)

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 02/15/00 15:51:21
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

7/27/09 DaBlackX The only people who didn't like this movie are racist white people. 5 stars
4/17/08 mommy man this movie is the bomb, if you don't like it, you must be white. 5 stars
10/14/07 TRD Great Performances-Too Long-Would be good w/out the dead "Beloved" demon part 2 stars
10/11/07 T.Baby Hard to follow but interesting enough to watch 4 stars
9/24/07 Mirella Nice review MissDelicateFlower! I felt guilty to feel the same way about Thandie Newton! 4 stars
10/30/05 millersxing Oumou Sangare's heart-stopping voice breathes into the lyrical prose and the performances. 5 stars
6/25/05 jacquie greatly disterbing in it's way of presenting visually 1 stars
9/26/04 John Q There is no other movie that made my eyes bleed more than Oprah Winfrey's "Beloved". 1 stars
3/24/04 Jaie Spencer The movie is a allegory about the middle passage, so there are disturbing scenes Grow up! 5 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Hugely underrated, misunderstood drama. Richards is especially good. 5 stars
11/25/03 Sean Thomas Even though I am black, I have to admit that this movie was absolutely horrible. 1 stars
11/22/03 adguy Bad...bad...bad. The negative should be buried with a stake through it's heart! 1 stars
10/20/03 JIMMY this film sucks 1 stars
6/06/03 Dog The most God-AWFUL , boring, sick piece of shit I have ever seen. 1 stars
3/17/03 Robbie Banfitch just my opinion 5 stars
3/09/03 Onyx Long and pointless. I want my money back. 1 stars
10/21/02 Steph Ok...watching oprah winfrey urinate is supposed to be 'deep'..? 1 stars
9/24/02 Charles Tatum Incredibly acted and downright frightening 5 stars
2/25/02 Butterbean Aimless piece of shit. This movie is as deep as "Pootie Tang". 1 stars
1/03/02 Andrew Carden The Worst Movie Of 1999. 1 stars
8/31/01 TLsmooth Oprah and TMC2 are the only two people in the world who enjoyed this shitburger. 1 stars
6/01/00 TERRIE SMITH Very slow, complex, disturbing, boring but worth one look 3 stars
12/25/99 Obi Wan WORSE MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!! I was beggin for a fire in there!! Kill Mr Pink! 1 stars
11/05/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster "Freedom of speech not only live's it ROCKS !, well Oprah You are shit at everything you do 1 stars
9/05/99 Weird Andy Crumby book(Nobel Prize my ass!). Worse flick. 1 stars
7/02/99 Sleeper My ma always say to find something nice to say.............I'll get back to you. 1 stars
6/28/99 Steve Bashakus These dumb motherfuckers shouldn't review what they can't understand. This movie is deep! 5 stars
3/25/99 Viral Messiah Sigh. Truly disappointing. 1 stars
12/10/98 Marion Davies Terrible movie! Boring, overly complex plot, poorly acted & directed, sappy, sacharine!! 2 stars
12/05/98 frank the watchman My little sisters diary was more interesting than this piece of shit movie 1 stars
12/04/98 N.Ana Good movie. This movie can and will disgust but has value. Naysayers open your eyes! 4 stars
11/24/98 Mr.Pink I had to admit that I loved it, see this!!! 5 stars
11/24/98 DrEvil The Pia Zadora syndrome strikes again: too much money for too little talent. 1 stars
11/11/98 James T. Montgomery This thing fucking sucked was horrible, Roots was better than this piece of shit. 1 stars
11/09/98 Spice So I walked out of the theater saying I paided to see that movie! 1 stars
11/05/98 Princess Oprah--excellent actress, worst producer in the world 1 stars
10/29/98 zenball give it up Oprah and stick to television 1 stars
10/21/98 grunter Convoluted and pretentious; Thandie Newton should receive a Razzie for Most Annoying Actor 1 stars
10/20/98 Milhouse Faqw Best Movie Of The Year. Don't believe the hype-this movie is wonderful. 5 stars
10/05/98 amie it is pretty bad, I saw a preview through the Oprah show. I didn't like this film at all. 2 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  16-Oct-1998 (R)


  06-May-1999 (PG)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast