Savages

Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 41
  2. Negative: 7 out of 41
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  1. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Sep 1, 2012
    60
    Savages is punishing in places, but there are enough colourful characters and careening twists to make it worth the effort.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jul 5, 2012
    55
    Stone's moralism, coupled with discreet but bloody beatings, shootouts and all manner of tawdry goings on, rings hollow. The picture is neither entertaining nor preachy – it is simply very loudly meh.
  3. 50
    So why does Savages feel so calculated, cutesy, free of suspense and trashy only in the uninteresting sense? No doubt, Stone is trying... but it all feels more like flexing atrophied muscles rather than creating a believable experience.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 5, 2012
    50
    Savages comes off as director Oliver Stone trying to rekindle his "Natural Born Killers" mojo from 1994. But when the bigger-name stars show up here in cartoonish roles, things feel more silly than gritty.
  5. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 5, 2012
    50
    Who knows if it was Del Toro's idea, or Stone's, but at a particularly crucial - and criminal - moment, as a very bad thing is about to occur, the actor twirls his mustache menacingly, like a Mexican Snidely Whiplash. Yes, Savages is that kind of story.
  6. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jul 5, 2012
    50
    The true schism here, however, is between the brainless fun of the action plot and Stone's cheap exploitation of the cartels' real-life sadism.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 5, 2012
    50
    It's not as if Stone is above this sort of pulp. But as rejiggered for the movies, Savages has trouble making us care what happens to the beautiful people - the untouchables - at the center of the sun-baked fairy tale.
  8. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Jul 3, 2012
    50
    Soul is something Savages has in short supply, not least because Kitsch and Johnson register as blanks on-screen. In contrast, Hayek and del Toro, both sporting apparently intentionally terrible wigs, give big, scenery-chewing performances and earn our interest and empathy even while committing heinous acts.
  9. Reviewed by: William Thomas
    Sep 17, 2012
    40
    What could have been an effective excoriation of US drug policy and a proper look at the violence inherent in the trade is wasted on a simplistic thriller that offers very little, especially given who is behind the camera. Sorry if that harshes anyone's buzz.
  10. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jul 3, 2012
    40
    This time, Stone is just sloshing around in the shallow end. When John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro show up for extended, cartoonish dialogues, you'll wonder what year it is, and let out a sigh of relief that the moment is long gone.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 191 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 55
  2. Negative: 16 out of 55
  1. Jul 13, 2012
    0
    Steer clear of this movie - it is terrible. I love action/suspense thrillers and went to see Savages after seeing an overall positive scoreSteer clear of this movie - it is terrible. I love action/suspense thrillers and went to see Savages after seeing an overall positive score for it on Metacritic. I have no idea how Savages got a score of 62 - I would give it a 2 at best. Save your time, brain and money and see something else. Full Review »
  2. Jul 11, 2012
    9
    Oliver Stone is back in ruthless form in this in-depth exploration of the war on drugs, drug dealing, and the inner workings of Mexican drugOliver Stone is back in ruthless form in this in-depth exploration of the war on drugs, drug dealing, and the inner workings of Mexican drug cartels. As a viewer who has seen his previous work, I wondered if some of the influence of the Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran character was a reflection of Oliver Stone's Platoon and his own experiences in the vietnam war. The torture scenes echo the brutality of that earlier film, and push the limits of grotesquery. But nothing is over the top. As someone who has read articles and studied the war on drugs, everything in this film is realistic. The performances are amazing, a surprising Travolta is electrifying. This is his best work since Pulp Fiction. Del Toro once again humanizes a horrific and unique character and Hayek holds her own. The younger leads, Kitsch and Johnson are also exceptional, at times I found myself forgetting they were acting on screen. The only downside to this film was Blake Lively, who seems to be acting like less of a bimbo-airhead-california blonde and instead just acting like her normal self. Her skills aren't really up to par but that's not to say it wasn't an adequate job, but in a film with powerhouse performances from Travolta and Del Toro, it is noticeable. Overall, the film was an exceptional thrill ride and exploration of the war on drugs. It's got Stone's subtle metaphors and hints and the "surprise" ending is one of the best endings I've seen in years. A warning, though - the film is exceptionally violent and ruthless. Savage, actually. Full Review »
  3. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    The most stylish, thrilling and sexy Stone movie in ages. Savages a drug fuelled thriller in which Director Oliver Stone lives up to hisThe most stylish, thrilling and sexy Stone movie in ages. Savages a drug fuelled thriller in which Director Oliver Stone lives up to his filmmaking and gives us a story about Chon and Ben played the aero five Aaron Taylor Johnson and Taylor Kitsch. When their girl- Ophelia played by Pretty Little Lire's sexy Blake Lively gets kidnapped for their pot growing business by a Baja Drug Cartel, they get the odds to the evens. It may sound stupid but this is effective acting by Lado played by the one and only Bencio Del Toro and Elena played by Salma Hayek. Both actors are what that makes up Savages. Also Johnson gives a fine performance as Ben. In the end you are hallucinated by this thriller and the deep score that adds up to a fine masterpiece by Oliver Stone. Full Review »