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
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
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

4 stars

A great movie that will make you laugh & cry

- dukeakasmudge, Thursday, October 22, 2009

4 stars

A simple, honest and moving drama with some great performances. Having cared for dying relatives, I could relate to it a lot. I liked the fact that without being preachy, it gives us the most important lessons of all, Don't give up and it will probably all be all right in the end. Loved the last scene, I think I'm going soft!

- SirPant, Thursday, October 1, 2009

3 stars

Some exquisitely beautiful scenes: Jon's gradual congratulations for Wendy while he's strapped to that back-aligner contraption; Jon yelling in the parking lot about how all the nursing home niceties prey on guilt; Wendy and Jimmy's short-lived friendship; Lenny turning down his hearing aid as Jon and Wendy bicker about how they're not like their father. It's good. It's darkly comedic. It's a movie I'd like to love, you know? But something about it throws me off. Perhaps it's the andante pacing. Perhaps it's the overabundant places in the script that are textbook definitions of how to split dialogue into different locations or withhold exposition from the audience. Perhaps it's the portrayal of a starving playwright's life that hits too close to home, yet somehow still closes with a random, happy ending.

- aliceinpunderland, Saturday, September 19, 2009