Box art for The Beaver

The Beaver

children & family


Walter, once a successful and happy family man, has hit rock bottom.But, in his darkest hour, he finds a rather unusual savior: a beaver hand-puppet that takes over Walter's life in an attempt to change things for the better.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    60%
  • Audience Score
    55%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
Violence
2 out of 5

Strange, serious drama is alternately inspiring, appalling.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie about a troubled family (which stars Mel Gibson and was directed by Jodie Foster) is a very strange drama with some comedy elements; it's disturbing in many ways, and while some will find it appalling, others may find it inspiring. A despondent character attempts suicide, and there's a constant, simmering sense of discontent, as well as some moments of fighting and violence. Language includes "s--t," one "f--k," and other words; there's also some teen flirting and minor sex scenes between a husband and a wife. There's one intense scene of drinking, plus prescription drugs and a mention of a teen buying "weed."

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays family relationships. Is this a typical movie family? Do the characters and their interactions seem believable? Relatable?
  • At the height of his depression, Walter drinks lots of alcohol. How does it affect him? What are the real-life consequences of drinking?
  • Did you find the beaver funny or disturbing? Does he help Walter, or does he send Walter down another wrong path?
  • What do you think the movie's ultimate take-away is? What audience is it intended to appeal to?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    60%
    reviews counted: 1
    see all The Beaver reviews
  • Audience

    55%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Sure, there's lots of pretense but it's all the wrong kind -- just silliness posing as sensitivity pretending to be art.

- Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, Friday, May 6, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Firmly directed by Jodie Foster and with a heartfelt performance by Gibson, this is an interesting drama about a depressed man suffering from schizophrenia and projecting part of his personality into a puppet. Even so, the script is unfocused and has an easy, sappy conclusion.

- blacksheepboy, Thursday, August 2, 2012

3 stars

Firmly directed by Jodie Foster and with a heartfelt performance by Gibson, this is an interesting drama about a depressed man suffering from schizophrenia and projecting part of his personality into a puppet. Even so, the script is unfocused and has an easy, sappy conclusion.

- blacksheepboy, Thursday, August 2, 2012

4 stars

Thanks to Foster's directing, there is a superb balance between a serious drama and a dark comedy. This makes 'The Beaver' both an enjoyable and emotional movie. Along with strong performances by Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, this film really does make you aware of how easily depression can have an impact on families. Overall 'The Beaver' shows that Foster still makes a promising director, along with Gibson still capable of having a strong leading role.

- samoriley, Tuesday, July 17, 2012