Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
Watch On
  1. 83
    If you might wish the film got deeper under the skin of the characters, you also feel grateful for the fact that you'll never get closer to them than watching it.
  2. 75
    Money, madness, incest and murder! Just the recipe for a twisted mesmerizer of a movie, if it doesn't creep you out.
  3. It's still primarily a showcase and offbeat star vehicle for Moore. It's a bravura role and she brings it off with a chilling malevolence and a strange, disjointed vulnerability that almost, but not quite, makes her sympathetic.
  4. The film walks the fine line between exploitation and empathy to cast a chilly, memorable spell.
  5. Part of the film's failure to arouse real horror is the languid direction; not enough seems to be at stake emotionally.
  6. Reviewed by: Bernard Besserglik
    70
    U.S. viewers may be put off by its tangled sexual motifs and find its implied social critique a little close to the bone. But even Stateside, Julianne Moore, in her most challenging role in years, will win plaudits and attract mature audiences to a thoroughly absorbing and polished piece of work.
  7. Howard A. Rodman's script has a lot of juice, and the rhythms are so pregnant that the air vibrates with something, even if you're not sure what.
  8. Julianne Moore proves game for anything in this pitch-black true-crime reconstruction.
  9. The director, Tom Kalin, stages acid duels, but he should have provided more psychological structure. Though Moore, a great actress, turns fury into verbal music, we're never quite sure what's driving her.
  10. 67
    Savage Grace should have the force of Greek tragedy, but Kalin's chamber drama feels curiously stifling and flat, and Moore's volatile turn isn't enough to quicken its pulse.
  11. 63
    Living these lives, for these people, must have been sad and tedious, and so, inevitably, is their story, and it must be said, the film about it.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    A chilly inquest into very bad behavior, Savage Grace is presented to us like an entrée at a five-star French restaurant. It's decadence under glass.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. Oct 18, 2010
    2
    Who said that evil is banal? Banality is the problem with this film which is technically well-made and cast with mesmerizingWho said that evil is banal? Banality is the problem with this film which is technically well-made and cast with mesmerizing actors--especially the young ones; the son and the girlfriend and the son's lover. What motivates
    the mother? Why is her behavior so far off balance? Julianne Moore may have done better with a more filled out characterization. When the film began I immediately thought of a far more effective characterization of a borderline personality--Nancy in the film, "Sid and Nancy." And the film seriously underplays what has happened to the son--until the devasting finale. The real son, who this character was based on, in life, showed extreme behavioral signals, not just the enuie and lassitude we see here.
    Full Review »
  2. MichaelH
    Apr 11, 2009
    6
    Movie could've been great if not for several major flaws. Clocking in at around 90 minutes, it was way too short to instill any story Movie could've been great if not for several major flaws. Clocking in at around 90 minutes, it was way too short to instill any story and could've benefited from at least another half hour of development. The story is very disjoint and events and characters are forgotten as suddenly as they were introduced. The movie is basically just a series of powerful scenes, all independent of each other however. Julianne Moore also plays pretty much the same thing she always plays. Fairly disappointing. Full Review »
  3. JayH
    Sep 18, 2008
    6
    Julianne Moore is terrific as always, stylish, perhaps too much so. The art direction and costumes are great. The main problem with the film Julianne Moore is terrific as always, stylish, perhaps too much so. The art direction and costumes are great. The main problem with the film is that none of the characters are appealing. But, it's worth watching. Full Review »