Box art for The Savages

The Savages

comedy, drama


Jon Savage and his sister Wendy don't get along too well and they would both prefer not to try. Growing up with an abusive and absentee father, neither one has any idea about how to live in a loving family unit.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    89%
  • Audience Score
    74%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
5 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5

Affecting adult drama has mature themes, content.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this mature, darkly funny drama about an estranged family isn't kid friendly. There's cursing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), an adulterous affair, frank talk about sex and death, smoking, and prescription drug use (pills stolen from a dead person, no less). All of that said, older teens and adults may find much to admire in this thought-provoking story, which approaches a harsh subject -- the impending death of a neglectful parent -- with a gentle-but-honest touch.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why so many movies are about dysfunctional families. What's the appeal of watching characters with messed-up lives and relationships? Families can also discuss what it's like to care for ailing parents. Are the siblings' choices admirable or do they make lots of mistakes?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    89%
    reviews counted: 1
    see all The Savages reviews
  • Audience

    74%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The Savages is a delightful movie -- the perfect companion piece (and antidote) to the year's other superb convalescent-dementia picture, Away From Her.

- David Edelstein, New York Magazine, Saturday, December 1, 2007

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Technically, this is a strong film, but technicality often doesn't cut it. What it lacks is a character. or characters, to whom we can attach ourselves. At the end, I didn't think that I got to know anybody, and the scenes to which I could connect were scenes for which I did all the work; that is I connected to Jon's monologue about the emotional manipulation of nursing homes because I've been in emotionally manipulating nursing homes, not because the film showed me the gruesome details that Jon and Lenny are privy to. Also, I wonder if the film bites off more that it can chew. It opens the doors of an abusive father/son relationship, a failed/failing playwright, a researcher wondering if his career is worthwhile, the "dying process" as hospice workers insensitively call it, and reconnecting with a long-lost relative. Each of these themes have had its own film, and the result of shoving all of those themes into this film creates a lack of focus and a feeling of uncomfortable detachment for the audience. That said, Hoffman, Linney, and Bosco are fantastic. These are actors at or near the top of their game, and I can only wish that the script would've given them a greater chance to shine.

- hunterjt13, Friday, November 12, 2010

3 stars

There are endless variations that can be done with the family drama, which is why I tend to like this kind of movie so much. The Savages brushes against death, possible child abuse, and their effects of those things on an elderly man and his two middleaged children. I say brushes, becaused the story never really delved into these issues as deeply as I hoped it would. Despite the fact that the plot seemed to chase its own tale a bit, I did enjoy the performances from Linney and Hoffman. The material wasn't amazing, but the two actors are so likeable that it made the movie better than it would have been, otherwise. I would have enjoyed a more focused narrative (and an ending that left more of an impression), but The Savages was still enjoyable enough for me to consider it "ok".

- lewiskendell, Monday, February 22, 2010

4 stars

I like Laura Linney Movies. A warm and touching Movie just like I expected.

- ScoopOnline, Friday, December 11, 2009