User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 85
  2. Negative: 7 out of 85

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  1. Sep 3, 2014
    Siblings' look at life, death, relationships and love. I never would have anticipated Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as an on-screen match, but they are!
  2. Aug 26, 2014
    The Savages is a very sad film to watch at times, but thankfully, tries to lighten up the mood at time with timely comedic elements. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are brilliant as the two Savage siblings tasked with dealing with the impending death of their father, with whom they had a distant and seemingly abusive relationship with. It is ultimately a beautiful look at family relationships and hardships faced by family throughout our lives. The film has a certain tenderness and heartfeltness that truly pulls you in and makes you feel one with the characters. It also does not hurt if you have had a loved one in this situation, as this film certainly hits home for many. While it is not a happy film, The Savages is a very good, even if depressing, film that really hits all of its marks. It is a very good family drama, comedy, and very poignant film concerning the reality of "rehab" clinics and nursing or retirement homes. As a whole, The Savages is bolstered by those elements, its great acting, and the great direction from Tamara Jenkins. Expand
  3. Aug 13, 2014
    The Savages is a tough movie. It deals with unpleasant themes such as mediocrity, failed relationships and taking care of aging relatives who did not do a good job at parenting. The results are excellent, thanks to the outstanding cast and script.

    It starts on a sarcastic note, with dad Lenny Savage (a great Philip Bosco) behaving badly in sunny Arizona. Lenny is an unpleasant old
    man, spending his retirement in a senior-only community. When his female companion dies suddenly, we learn that they were not married and that the house belonged to her. The woman's children want Lenny out ASAP, so his two estranged children, Wendy and Jon (equally great Linney and Seymour Hoffman) must come and take him back to the East Coast, where they live.

    Also due to their difficult childhood – only hinted at - Wendy and Jon have issues of their own, such as being unable to have healthy, long terms relationships. Wendy is involved in a dispassionate affair with a married man and Jon cannot commit to his long-term Polish girlfriend who must leave the US before being deported. The siblings have a strained relationship of their own, fed on the frustration of having both literary ambitions, but holding mundane jobs.

    The movie develops their relationship nicely, as the only metaphorical ray of sunshine in an otherwise frosty and desolate landscape. Despite the abuse they suffered at the hands of Lenny and a mother who just "left", they try to do their best to care for their hostile, demented dad, who does not show a shred of gratitude. The movie has a sort of melancholic humour and even manages to end with a much needed uplifting note. Definitely top-class film-making for discerning audiences.
  4. Sep 1, 2013
    While it may be a little too slow for some, "The Savages" nevertheless manages to present a heapload of dramatic ideas and thematically compelling subject matter throughout a worthwhile collage of heartfelt character interaction.
  5. Dec 9, 2011
    A dark, bleak look at dealing with an aging parent. Hoffman and Linny do their best with writing so charmless that it actually elevates them, or should I say affirms them at the head of their class in an acting world filled with "movie stars." The moments are more thought-provoking than funny. It's wintertime in Buffalo, NY and there isn't a ray of sunshine or a cookie to be eaten. The deck is seemingly so stacked that you have to laugh at the odds against our hero's tired, yet striving, souls. Expand
  6. Nov 26, 2011
    Hoffman was his usual fantastic self, and thats about it. Really dull, boring movie, worth it only for the rather witty theatre references. Avoid, unless you want to sleep

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. The Savages is terrific -- a movie of uncommon appreciation for the nature and nurture that go into making us who we are, a perfectly calibrated drama both compassionate and unsentimental.
  2. Reviewed by: Jamie Tipps
    The interaction between Hoffman and Linney makes following their characters from their winter of hard experience to a spring of renewed hope well worth the while.
  3. It is more sad-funny than funny-funny, but Jenkins has enough empathy and wit to realize that even the sad parts are, somehow, funny.