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Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Plagued by his own demons, Walter Black was once a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can't seem to get himself back on track... until a beaver hand puppet enters his life.(Summit Entertainment)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 5, 2011
    90
    I suppose the perfect ending to the chapter would be to report that The Beaver is a masterpiece. It isn't quite, but it does offer an astonishing and resonant performance by Gibson, who spends most of the movie playing two simultaneous characters, often in the same shot.
  2. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 6, 2011
    75
    This bizarre little movie is all over the place as drama - but genuinely compelling as a one-of-a-kind piece of public self-flagellation.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 19, 2011
    70
    Gibson's performance, at times subtle, at times showy and never less than remarkable, is what makes The Beaver worth seeing.
  4. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    May 5, 2011
    63
    In a triumph of cinema over celebrity gossip, The Beaver mostly makes us forget about Gibson's madman persona and simply draws us into the story that he and director Jodie Foster, who also plays Walter's wife, Meredith, want to tell.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 6, 2011
    60
    Oddly engrossing, off-kilter drama.
  6. 50
    Clearly, the screenplay is looking for some black comedy here, but Foster's direction is too earnest to locate it.
  7. 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.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  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 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. Expand
  2. May 8, 2011
    10
    Why isn't this movie playing in more theaters? I had to drive two hours just to see it but I must say the trip was worth it. Jodie Foster is an awesome director and actress. Her screen chemistry with Mel Gibson is undeniable as these two were both great in Maverick together as well. Expand
  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 preliminary Oscar buzz surrounding Mel's performance which is little surprise after seeing what he invested in this very unusual role. Expand
  4. Apr 2, 2012
    7
    The movie was good. Mel Gibson was a total psycho( like that was a surprise). Acting was quite good by everybody. It was a good indie movie that told a nice message in a weird way. Expand
  5. Oct 16, 2012
    6
    I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, but then again my expectations were not the highest. Initial ratings of this movie made it seem like it was going to be a boring ride through the mind of a depressed man, and instead i found a movie that was very well written up to certain points. Mel Gibson gives an extremely good performance that is believable and makes you generally care for him. His portraying of "the beaver" is above expectations for someone having to give his feelings through a puppet. The writing is great, but only to a certain point. The main characters raise from depression and the banter from the beaver is excellent, but the fall back gets sloppy. The problems with the eldest son seem forced, and his performance is overshadowed greatly by Mel Gibson. There is a point where i thought the story was coming to an end, but then a "shocking" point occurred to keep it going, but it was way too forced. It felt unnecessary, just a way to keep things going and make people think, but in the wrong way. I still found it a good movie, better than most stories about a depressed guy with a puppet...but Mel Gibson knocks it out of the park and his plight seems genuine until the writing gets forced. Go check it out, you might be shocked and actually like it. Expand
  6. Aug 7, 2011
    6
    The Beaver is strange, different and pretty complex. So complex that this film will go over a lot of people's heads. It tries to grab the charm of indie film however it never truly feels indie. The Beaver tries way to hard to grab ahold of deep means and because of this it falls short on my levels. Expand
  7. May 6, 2011
    0
    Piece of crud film due to casting Mel G. Sad that Jodie Foster cast such an idiot in what would be an otherwise good film. Mel is a total freak and anti-semite, who should never be in any film again. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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