User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 187
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  1. Sep 1, 2014
    3
    Caught up by one-too-many obstacles and loses sight of quality filmmaking. The premise is also vague--taking numerous turns, creating an unbelievable and indistinct piece of film.
  2. Jul 17, 2012
    7
    Oliver Stone applies his distinctive directorial style to a by-the-numbers drug plot. Two men (Taylor Kitsch & Aaron Johnson) are ying-yang partners in a pot enterprise: one is a hot-blooded vet and the other is the Buddhist business head. The only real twist: they share a girlfriend. Their lucrative business is challenged by a Mexican cartel that results in kidnapping, deception, murderOliver Stone applies his distinctive directorial style to a by-the-numbers drug plot. Two men (Taylor Kitsch & Aaron Johnson) are ying-yang partners in a pot enterprise: one is a hot-blooded vet and the other is the Buddhist business head. The only real twist: they share a girlfriend. Their lucrative business is challenged by a Mexican cartel that results in kidnapping, deception, murder and more. While there's nothing original here, Stone has given the film a muscular force that propels the action. There are a few violent or gruesome moments and some of his signature flashy flourishes, but nothing to make this film standout. The ending (which I hated) feels like it was tacked on after focus groups. But overall, it's brassy and full of fun performances. Expand
  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 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,The 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. Expand
  4. Nov 5, 2012
    3
    Savages, a film by Oliver Stone, tends to be so over the top, you begin to wonder how the actors all keep a straight face. This is a film that's cheese ball, but doesn't know it's cheese ball. Those are the worst kinds of movies.
  5. Mar 15, 2013
    7
    A fun stylish action film, Savages is a lot of fun. It's good to see Oliver Stone making a strong action movie again. The only thing that made this film an 8 was a weak ending.
  6. Jul 9, 2012
    7
    It's a wild ride of a movie with a bit of a cheat ending. Selma Hayek clearly steals the show, and she exposes Blake Lively as a relative lightweight. In fact, if I had to point to a single true negative about this film, it's Lively - or the director's focus on her. It would be like focusing on a cotton ball that rolls across the floor when there are so many other interesting elements toIt's a wild ride of a movie with a bit of a cheat ending. Selma Hayek clearly steals the show, and she exposes Blake Lively as a relative lightweight. In fact, if I had to point to a single true negative about this film, it's Lively - or the director's focus on her. It would be like focusing on a cotton ball that rolls across the floor when there are so many other interesting elements to the story. It's strange to say it, but Lively is actually a pretty solid actress, given a good role. She's certainly better in Gossip Girl. But the "look at me! I'm sexy! Everyone wants to have sex with me!" crap that this film serves up for her is just repellant. Expand
  7. Nov 29, 2012
    7
    This was a good movie but it was nowhere near the type of movie the previews led on. The trailers made it seem like almost a Taken style of movie but with a love triangle and drugs. Instead, it was a much slower style film. The acting was great and the politics and plot development was solid but I just was expecting a different vibe.
  8. Jan 24, 2013
    5
    It is the typical movie you do not know if you liked it or not.
  9. Jun 11, 2013
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. For some reason i really liked this film. It was catchy and it had great plot. The cast was fine and in general seemed to me like a great film I liked that thing in the end that it opposed two alternative endings. That was smart Expand
  10. Jul 6, 2012
    3
    Take away the violence, mostly gratuitous, the sex scenes, a lot of needless voice over and this 2 hour and 10 minute movie would be an hour shorter and faster. Oliver Stone is out to prove that all people are evil, in other words savages, and in his directing appears to be the most savage of all.

    The story takes place in Laguna Beach plus other areas of Southern California and North
    Take away the violence, mostly gratuitous, the sex scenes, a lot of needless voice over and this 2 hour and 10 minute movie would be an hour shorter and faster. Oliver Stone is out to prove that all people are evil, in other words savages, and in his directing appears to be the most savage of all.

    The story takes place in Laguna Beach plus other areas of Southern California and North Mexico, with some beautiful shots of the Laguna Beach coast. The film goes out to the desert for stunning vistas but people and gunfire keep on messing it up. It as if Oliver Stone is trying to make up for all the violence he couldn
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  11. Jan 19, 2013
    5
    A return to form for Stone's dark side,"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" and "World Trade Center" were almost insultingly faceless, a definite problem for a director whose best films exude righteous anger. "Savages" generates ruthless energy, a battle between good and evil, except that everyone in it is evil, and the momentum generated by the savagery doesn't compensate for a lack-lusterA return to form for Stone's dark side,"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" and "World Trade Center" were almost insultingly faceless, a definite problem for a director whose best films exude righteous anger. "Savages" generates ruthless energy, a battle between good and evil, except that everyone in it is evil, and the momentum generated by the savagery doesn't compensate for a lack-luster storyline.
    California dudes Ben and Chon (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) are dragged into a turf war with the expansion-minded Mexican cartel run by Salma Hayek's drug-war widow Elena, and her brutally amoral deputy, Lado (Benicio del Toro). The Mexicans regularly show their power by creating and disseminating videos documenting torture and lots and lots of beheadings. Eighty miles over the border, in Laguna Beach, Ben and Chon supply their ultra-potent, genetically engineered strains to legal medical dispensaries but make their real money illegally shipping out of state. The product and its profits fuel the boys' lifestyle of neo-hippie decadence, embodied by the business partners' enthusiastic bedroom sharing of poor little rich girl turned eco-friendly, hippie Ophelia (Blake Lively). Both sides consider the other to be "savages"-which we know because they say it aloud repeatedly just in case we didn't catch it already.
    Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partners with them. When the merciless head of the BC, Elena, and her brutal enforcer, Lado, underestimate the unbreakable bond among these three friends, Ben and Chon--with the reluctant, slippery assistance of a dirty DEA agent (John Travolta), wage a seemingly unwinnable war against the cartel. And so begins a series of increasingly vicious ploys and maneuvers in a high stakes, savage battle of wills. Honestly, not that bad but not that good either, resulting in complete indifference on this one. A talented cast that doesn't feel fully utilized and a story that's not all that compelling. Soul is something "Savages" lacks and feels hollow, not least because Kitsch and Johnson, who take on lead roles, register as blanks on-screen. In contrast, Hayek and del Toro, both sporting apparently intentionally terrible wigs, give over-the-top performances who command our interest while committing heinous acts, and setting a record for number of beheadings in a single film.
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  12. Jul 8, 2012
    7
    This was a very great movie all the way up to the frustrating ending. The acting was better than expected. Benicio Del Toro was fregen awesome and Blake Lively was hot, what more can you ask? Haha, but really the story was perfectly written with a engaging script and a perfect cast. This movie was suspenseful, it was funny, it was gruesome and in the end its exactly what you want in aThis was a very great movie all the way up to the frustrating ending. The acting was better than expected. Benicio Del Toro was fregen awesome and Blake Lively was hot, what more can you ask? Haha, but really the story was perfectly written with a engaging script and a perfect cast. This movie was suspenseful, it was funny, it was gruesome and in the end its exactly what you want in a film, great entertainment. If you don't like gruesome scenes or alot of smoking and drugs than stay away, but if you can deal with those and love a great story and a hell of an entertaining film with action, story and the whole nine yards then you'll love Savages, the only reason it isn't a 10 is because the ending bothered the crap out of me, theres nothing more frustrating than a movie ending with a good scene and then there like "but that isn't what really happened", and then it rewinds and gives you a different ending. It's frustrating and annoying, and it was definitely worth me negating 3 points. 7/10 Expand
  13. Nov 25, 2012
    7
    Surprisingly good effort from director Oliver Stone, in a territory that his fellow peers Martin Scorcesse is famous for: the crime drama. The younger casts are quite good, while both Hayek and Del Toro again showed us their acting chops. Typical of this genre, there's the usual ultra violence and gore. Too bad the ending felt tacked on. Otherwise, a pretty good crime flick.
  14. Jan 1, 2013
    5
    when I saw the trailer for this film was one of the ones I get excited to see in 2012, and I saw the 2/3 of the movie seemed good but not magnificent or memorable, compared to masterpieces like Traffic. But the end ..... blessed end! I dare say that between the 3 worse end was I seen in my **** life, that way to **** a movie.
  15. Dec 13, 2012
    6
    They remove Blake Lively's greatest asset by having her narrate. The villains make the movie while the ending nearly ruins it. A mixed bag if there ever was one, but it's entertaining.
  16. Jul 8, 2012
    5
    Stone sets up a interesting plot but then takes it absolutely nowhere. Once O is kidnapped, the story moves nowhere. I have never seen "dangerous "drug cartels" where the leader goes on her own to meet or where her daughter is basically unprotected. How more unrealistic could this be! Travolta character was typical. An important player but no major development in the story. The story justStone sets up a interesting plot but then takes it absolutely nowhere. Once O is kidnapped, the story moves nowhere. I have never seen "dangerous "drug cartels" where the leader goes on her own to meet or where her daughter is basically unprotected. How more unrealistic could this be! Travolta character was typical. An important player but no major development in the story. The story just was not plausible and it really dragged out. Also, why did it take over two hours to tell? I like a good long movie but this story could have been told in one hour at the max. The other thing that keeps disturbing me is the substitution of good story telling with graphic violence. Violence can add to a movie but it seems to be the focus too many times now. Another disappointing night out at the cinema. Expand
  17. May 4, 2014
    5
    This is a very different movie from Mr.Stone, it differs a lot from his usual patriotic films like Born On The Fourth Of July. It's a darker film and it gives solid performances from a well casted film. But the ending wasn't really my taste
  18. Dec 9, 2012
    0
    Wargasms? Are you kidding me man? I had to turn this film off. It's trying far too hard to be cool. Not gritty at all. Over the top in the extreme with the music, editing, even to the point of glamorizing the violence. Not a good idea to have a woman shot in the head followed by some cool music with a bunch of gangsters strutting along looking all bad!ass. This film might be trying to sayWargasms? Are you kidding me man? I had to turn this film off. It's trying far too hard to be cool. Not gritty at all. Over the top in the extreme with the music, editing, even to the point of glamorizing the violence. Not a good idea to have a woman shot in the head followed by some cool music with a bunch of gangsters strutting along looking all bad!ass. This film might be trying to say something good, who knows. I just couldn't hack the style. Ok so Scarface is over the top, but it had atmosphere, mood, and it was intense, The violence was necessary but not gratuitous for the sake of it. Expand
  19. Jul 16, 2012
    6
    In his reversion to graphic, unrelenting brutality and incendiary sensationalism--elements found in his frenetically charged "Natural Born Killers"--Oliver Stone celebrates a trio of non-heroes against the backdrop of the pot industry; everything is well, even an unconventional menage a trois, until the consequences of their homegrown operation take a pernicious turn. Mixing an overtlyIn his reversion to graphic, unrelenting brutality and incendiary sensationalism--elements found in his frenetically charged "Natural Born Killers"--Oliver Stone celebrates a trio of non-heroes against the backdrop of the pot industry; everything is well, even an unconventional menage a trois, until the consequences of their homegrown operation take a pernicious turn. Mixing an overtly expressed "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" love triangle with a ruthless ring of drug lords, Stone creates a flashy- meets-filthy-mess of a spectacle sure to satisfy fans of the summer caper, while too, alotting time on the soap box, pushing a political agenda--though not excessively--all while capturing the idiocy of current legislation. As for the characters themselves, it's the trio not mentioned that are the most effective; Del Toro, as Lado, is delightfully dark and chilling as the deranged assassin, a middle-aged, fatted, amorally disciplined Travolta is also worthy of mention, as he renders his best performance in years, delineating the greatly desperate family man, and arguably most entertaining of all is Hayek, the svelte Cleopatra-esque boss who avoids falling into camp thanks to her dexterous handle on the moral complexities that come from maintaining the facade of power on the outside with the melancholy ruefulness she holds privately behind closed doors. She nails the balance, and does so passionately. Though many will find "Savages" to be far too violent, and unwarrantably so, others voicing opposition in relation to its conclusion, all should be joyed to see Stone in his regular form: dauntless and headstrong. This, however, is not without noting the undeniable mess he creates and craftily "cleans up;" let's not deny, love him or hate him, Stone is one of the best in the business in that regard. At times taking the audience away from the film, (I'm sure I'm not the only one who was frustrated by Lively's intermittent narrative) "Savages" doesn't always immerse, as by the end of it all, one might question why they should care about the three uninterestingly woeful friends (Klitsch, Johnson, Lively). Further, "Savages," is energetic and entertaining, no question, but the closer the eye examines Stone's cunning skill for deception, and what lies beneath the elaborately stylish skirt he loftily casts, the more familiar this summer caper looks--the only difference being--this one has an eye for fashion. Expand
  20. Nov 17, 2012
    7
    "Savages" was a pretty entertaining violent drug cartel tale. I may be alone in stating that the all-star cast detracted from the tale because it lent a saccharin celebrity-fest tone to it. Again alone here, but I didn't like Salma Hayak in that role, she doesn't come across as ruthless, at all, she's too feminine and dainty, totally miscast. That role, along with most others, should've"Savages" was a pretty entertaining violent drug cartel tale. I may be alone in stating that the all-star cast detracted from the tale because it lent a saccharin celebrity-fest tone to it. Again alone here, but I didn't like Salma Hayak in that role, she doesn't come across as ruthless, at all, she's too feminine and dainty, totally miscast. That role, along with most others, should've gone to up and coming unknowns to give them a breakout film. I supposed Oliver Stone wanted his A-list buddies in it, so it's tainted for his personal choices. Otherwise, the storyline and pacing are good and you get several perspectives on savages throughout with an ironic twist just before credits roll. Expand
  21. Jan 20, 2014
    2
    This film is horrendous and I was very surprised when I read the director was Oliver Stone. The worst part of it is, of course, the plot: trite and dull, where the only new thing we haven't already seen a million times is the double ending, which is an utter mess, so much so that I don't even want to write about it.

    The acting is laughable, with the exception of Benicio del Toro who is,
    This film is horrendous and I was very surprised when I read the director was Oliver Stone. The worst part of it is, of course, the plot: trite and dull, where the only new thing we haven't already seen a million times is the double ending, which is an utter mess, so much so that I don't even want to write about it.

    The acting is laughable, with the exception of Benicio del Toro who is, as usual, great in this simple-minded, one-way character he was given.
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  22. Jul 29, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. the ones i wanted to die was the main characters they were totally ugly. Taylor's character is a sadist every torture scene he's smirking. Gosh i was hoping the shootout ending was what really happened. this is an unwatchable travesty Expand
  23. Jul 6, 2012
    6
    Two great performances by Selma and Benicio as really bad guys. They seem to have a great deal of fun with their parts. It's hard to care at all about the good guys, whose story is convoluted and not all that interesting. Blake Lively is hot, but her character thinks she is smarter than she is. Basically, the bad guys are really interesting and sadistic and the good guys are a littleTwo great performances by Selma and Benicio as really bad guys. They seem to have a great deal of fun with their parts. It's hard to care at all about the good guys, whose story is convoluted and not all that interesting. Blake Lively is hot, but her character thinks she is smarter than she is. Basically, the bad guys are really interesting and sadistic and the good guys are a little boring (one is an annoying tree hugger; the other is a vicious Iraqi vet), There is a buried legalization of weed story. But this is mostly about the implied torture porn angle. The bad guys make the movie entertaining. It is not as preachy and pedantic as Oliver Stone movies tend to be. Though, the movie would have been way better with more interesting protagonists. Expand
  24. Jul 6, 2012
    6
    Overall the movie was more good than bad. It achieved goal #1 of any movie: be entertaining. The story was a little slow to start, but once it got in the swing of things I was very interested to see what would happen next. The cast was good for the most part, but the story didn't really give much room for character development outside of maybe Salma Hayek's character. It had a veryOverall the movie was more good than bad. It achieved goal #1 of any movie: be entertaining. The story was a little slow to start, but once it got in the swing of things I was very interested to see what would happen next. The cast was good for the most part, but the story didn't really give much room for character development outside of maybe Salma Hayek's character. It had a very stylish look to it, and the vibrant colors gave it a trippy feel, which worked well considering the subject matter. Despite this, there were two things that really annoyed me about this movie, and that was Blake Lively's multiple voiceovers, and the horrible ending. Expand
  25. Aug 14, 2012
    7
    While Savages could have been a little more than what it was, it's still a fine piece of film-making. Some may find the violence distasteful, but the performances are what keeps the film going along.
  26. Apr 22, 2013
    8
    Oliver Stone has done a great job with this film. From the beginning to the end I was thoroughly entertained, particularly with Benico Del Toro.

    Ignore anyone who comments on the story being racist. They're seeing something which conflicts with their views and react negatively to protect themselves (Cognitive dissonance). It's just a film and shows both sides can be good and bad. It
    Oliver Stone has done a great job with this film. From the beginning to the end I was thoroughly entertained, particularly with Benico Del Toro.

    Ignore anyone who comments on the story being racist. They're seeing something which conflicts with their views and react negatively to protect themselves (Cognitive dissonance). It's just a film and shows both sides can be good and bad.

    It must be said the love triangle you'll witness is very believeable too. Whilst some may think this is odd or strange within their world and context it is plausible. Very progressive for a mainstream hollywood film!

    I highly recommend this to anyone. My friends went into it thinking it was going to be crap and left quite satisfied. Sit back and enjoy!
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  27. Dec 31, 2013
    0
    I kept waiting for it to get better. It doesn't... it gets worse. The final ending really sinks it. Could they make the female character more whiny? She is someone you can't identify with and yet they continue to have her narrate. This is an art film with mainstream violence thrown in to make it sell.
  28. Jul 7, 2012
    7
    Quite frankly, I am at loss for words. Not because the film didn't deliver enough content to speak of. Surely, enough people get shot, blown up, stabbed, beat senseless, raped, smacked around, set on fire, flagellated, and even spat on the face, to just mention a few. It's just that I feel completely unaffected.
    A case could be made for the fact that in modern times violence has become
    Quite frankly, I am at loss for words. Not because the film didn't deliver enough content to speak of. Surely, enough people get shot, blown up, stabbed, beat senseless, raped, smacked around, set on fire, flagellated, and even spat on the face, to just mention a few. It's just that I feel completely unaffected.
    A case could be made for the fact that in modern times violence has become daily bread in all media, and also having watched way too many movies at this point, I might have grown numb to all this violence. But then I think back to movies like Black Swan, or TV shows like Breaking Bad, where I definitely feel something. And it's not that I am making a case of those films being better than this one. It's just that I am at a loss for words, and I am not used to experiencing this in an Oliver Stone film.
    I am a big fan of this director's work. Not just his efforts commanding a picture, but also his writing, and most projects he's produced. I can count a large percentage of the Stone trademark holding a spot in my list of favorites.
    Perhaps it was the actors involved. No doubt they are fantastic to look at. But their performances, again, I am at a loss for words. However professional were their deliveries, I'm pretty sure any other competent dramatist could have done no less.
    Now, I'm sure some of you out there are saying, "Hey! how about Benicio!? He was great..." Yes. He was. But he was doing Benicio as Benicio does Benicio. So it's already built in in the expectation. I thought the idea was to give your fans something to be surprised by. You know, like Salma Hayek's performance. Now, there's some acting with balls. The problem is that she is the only strong delivery in the entire film, and no war is won by a single soldier.
    Which brings me to that narration by Blake Lively... Wow... I don't think we needed so much of it. The visuals gave plenty. Specially when she sounds like she is reading off a teleprompter. No heart into the words whatsoever. Next time. Just keep her in a bikini instead of kidnapped in a corner in a full dress. Get your money's worth when you are hiring a super hot lady.
    The plot was clearly intertwined with some skill. And, in fact, I noticed no less than three writers took credit on that script. They really had a go at it. It's just that, well, I'm at a loss for words... Maybe they should have called in that fourth writer to give us a better version of something we have seen fifty five times by now.
    By all means, go watch the film. You will probably like it. Contrary to what you might think reading these words, I did enjoy it. It is fun and will help you kill two hours plus with no problem. Just don't expect to remember it next week, or maybe even by tomorrow.
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  29. 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 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 theOliver 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. Expand
  30. Nov 25, 2012
    8
    This is just what the doctor ordered. A movie with an easy to understans story that has the momentum of a 1,000,000 ton train moving at 1,000,000 mph. It's a combination of modern filmaking and 70's pretentiousness. And that's great. This destroyed my theater made blues. Awesome.
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
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 21, 2012
    20
    Sadly, Savages plays up to Stone's worst tendencies: machismo, bombast and self-indulgence, and the factor that could conceivably have made this movie tolerable – humour – is off the menu.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.