The Beaver

Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Jun 18, 2011
    60
    An awkward stew between "American Beauty" and "Harvey" that only touches a nerve at the eleventh hour.
  2. Reviewed by: William Thomas
    Jun 13, 2011
    60
    Don't expect the puppet to wisecrack - there's more pain here than in "The Passion Of The Christ." It never quite comes together in a satisfying way, but it's still a brave, strange, brain-stirring piece of filmmaking.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 6, 2011
    60
    Oddly engrossing, off-kilter drama.
  4. Reviewed by: David Fear
    May 3, 2011
    60
    Gibson simply turns his signature righteous rage into a crushing inward sorrow-Sad Max?-and Foster boldly plays everything straight, rendering her actor's unnerving turn to mania (and a pitch-black third act) with zero tongue-in-cheek.
  5. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 18, 2011
    50
    The Beaver plays like a thickly veiled confessional and plea for forgiveness. It's too creepy for comfort.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 12, 2011
    50
    The storyline would appear trite and the message muddled even to someone who'd never heard the name Mel Gibson.
  7. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 12, 2011
    50
    I respected The Beaver for having the conviction to treat mental illness seriously and without compromise. But did it have to be so maudlin, too?
  8. 50
    Clearly, the screenplay is looking for some black comedy here, but Foster's direction is too earnest to locate it.
  9. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 5, 2011
    50
    An emotional runaway of a film that carries neither the insight nor the uplift to make the weight of its dark journey worth it.
  10. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    May 5, 2011
    50
    Nasty, brutish and as cuddly as a crusty old sock fished out of a sewer, the beaver or the beav, as I like to think of him, owns the film.
  11. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    May 5, 2011
    50
    The most provocative thing about The Beaver is the adult-movie title. The film itself is alternately fascinating and dull, though mostly the latter.
  12. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 5, 2011
    50
    Foster commendably stretches beyond her comfort zone with The Beaver, but in the end the film's high-concept premise is at war with its conventional direction.
  13. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    May 3, 2011
    50
    Perhaps that's the problem. Mel's character isn't on Prozac, but the movie is-a succession of bland camera setups, cued to a highly conventional score. Would that the direction were half as nutty as the script or as wacked-out as its star!
  14. 50
    Gibson is better in the later scenes, when Walter tries to escape the Beaver's nefarious influence. And Gibson's never bad. It's just that we know how much is missing. As a raging nutcase, he's capable of so much more.
  15. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    May 2, 2011
    50
    The troubled actor delivers a performance very few could pull off as a depressed father who begins communicating through a hand puppet, but Foster doesn't know how to manage it or navigate the script's seismic tonal shifts, and ends up producing a film that's deeply strange, yet incapable of leaving an impression.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 6, 2011
    42
    Foster seems blinkered and tone-deaf to what's actually appearing onscreen.
  17. Reviewed by: David Denby
    May 2, 2011
    40
    As director, Foster, working with Kyle Killen's screenplay, treats the goofy premise with a literal earnestness-as a family drama about separation and reunion-that seems all wrong. A little wit would have helped.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32
  1. May 6, 2011
    10
    I've always known Mel Gibson was a talented actor but I had no idea to what degree until I saw this film. His portrayal of Walter Black isI've always known Mel Gibson was a talented actor but I had no idea to what degree until I saw this film. His portrayal of Walter Black is ineffably poignant and Oscar worthy in my humble opinion. Kudos to Jodie Foster for pulling off a film that took great courage to make. Full Review »
  2. May 6, 2011
    10
    Personally, I'm tired of all the hypocritical and gratuitous Mel Gibson bashing. I really enjoyed this film and highly recommend it to anyonePersonally, I'm tired of all the hypocritical and gratuitous Mel Gibson bashing. I really enjoyed this film and highly recommend it to anyone that is tired of the typical Hollywood fare. Full Review »
  3. May 6, 2011
    9
    I went to go see this movie because I'm a Jodie Foster fan but what really impressed me was Mel Gibson. There is already some preliminaryI went to go see this movie because I'm a Jodie Foster fan but what really impressed me was Mel Gibson. There is already some preliminary Oscar buzz surrounding Mel's performance which is little surprise after seeing what he invested in this very unusual role. Full Review »