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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.43%
Worth A Look: 21.43%
Just Average: 7.14%
Pretty Crappy42.86%
Sucks: 17.14%

6 reviews, 34 user ratings

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Human Stain, The
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by Jay Seaver

"Some books just shouldn't become movies"
2 stars

The Human Stain doesn't really do much wrong, but I'm not sure I really see the point of it as a movie. It's got some terrific actors - really, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise seem to be overkill for their parts - and is nicely shot. But there's also no escaping that it was adapted from a book, one which was undoubtedly able to spend much more time on each of the characters.

Anthony Hopkins's character, Coleman Silk, gets the most time. He's an interesting choice for the character, for reasons I won't get into because I think I may have enjoyed the movie more had I not known his character's secret. After a hammy beginning, his performance settles down nicely. Nicole Kidman is also strong as Faunia Farely, the janitor forty years his junior that he falls for. Nothing wrong with Harris as Faunia's ex-husband or Sinese as Nathan Zuckerman, a writer friend of Silk's.

Much of the early part of the movie seems contrived, though - Silk loses his job for calling two students who haven't shown up to class "spooks". I guess I'm ignorant, but I have never heard of that being considered a racist term. The way in which he meets Zuckerman also defies belief. And even if I bought into Wentworth Miller playing the same character as Hopkins, only 55 years younger, he seems stilted, not like a real college kid at all.

The structure also seemed off. Sinise's character narrates as if it were a book, and indeed in the end speaks about the book - The Human Stain - he is writing. Which may have worked fine, in the book. In a film, though, it's an intrusive device

I can't quite recommend The Human Stain, the film. The book may well be a different story.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8284&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/02/04 15:20:37
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/03/15 Anne Mixed as far as talent goes, disjointed 3 stars
9/02/08 Shaun Wallner Boring not worth it! 1 stars
10/22/06 William Goss Self-indulgent awards bait that clumsily attempts literary scope. Unfulfilling. 2 stars
6/21/06 TB Too many flashback in the film=Dull 2 stars
6/18/06 chienne another film stuffed up by Kidman, when will they stop her making them? 1 stars
11/14/05 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Spook is a racist name. I'll forgive you for not knowing that. 4 stars
8/25/05 Indrid Cold Anthony Hopkins as an African American (!) is not as interesting as it sounds. 3 stars
5/16/05 m orwig spectacular performances 5 stars
3/06/05 ad sucks 1 stars
10/23/04 ODH Great ideas, but poor direction/storytelling and bad casting limit the film 3 stars
9/28/04 Harry D Anthony Hopkins make this one more than worthwhile. He is authentic. 4 stars
9/15/04 Terry McGuffage Why was she talking to a crow? This may actually be the worst movie I have ever seen. 1 stars
9/15/04 Doc Shock Boring. Unlikeable characters. 2 stars
8/09/04 ownerofdajoint best movie kidman has ever done see it for her..hopkins is regular excellent self also,,, 4 stars
8/03/04 Beth too long, too much of Kidman, and boring 2 stars
7/24/04 Kyle the cat great acting,good beginning,poor ending 4 stars
7/18/04 hollywood Hopkins miscast. No mystery, suspense at all. 2 stars
5/17/04 kasper absolute crap... boring, miscast and confusing 1 stars
3/25/04 rojo Genuine emotion in this movie, really liked it. 5 stars
1/26/04 Vladislava Vojnovic Screenwriters work! 4 stars
1/20/04 Betty White Hopkins is miscast, but still good in this masterful film. 5 stars
12/08/03 Lyn Superb movie, especially for those who believe in the universal law of cause and effect. 5 stars
12/07/03 Marcin very well done and perfect acting both of them(KIdman and Hopkins) making good feeling 5 stars
12/05/03 MacGregor A film for thoughtful people. Should win Oscar. Geezer R scenes are gross!! 5 stars
12/01/03 illconceivedplot I agree this film has some ragged edges, bizarre transitions, and implausible twists. 3 stars
11/27/03 atirupa great 5 stars
11/25/03 viewer Well acted well told story 4 stars
11/22/03 john interesting, good acting, Nocole Kidman yes in deedie 4 stars
11/13/03 gloria flashbacks are probably more worth seeing than performances by nicole and anthony 4 stars
11/06/03 Cameron Slick Not completely cohesive but with great acting and intrigue. 4 stars
11/05/03 Kooler What a snooze! Plus: gross old man sex. Yurg. 2 stars
11/03/03 nik anthony hopkins? wouldn't bill cosby have worked as well here? 1 stars
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  31-Oct-2003 (R)
  DVD: 12-Apr-2011



Directed by
  Robert Benton

Written by
  Nicholas Meyer

  Anthony Hopkins
  Nicole Kidman
  Ed Harris
  Gary Sinise
  Jacinda Barrett
  Ron Canada

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