Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: November 28, 2007
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 91 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
76
Mixed:
8
Negative:
7
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8
lasttimeisawJun 2, 2015
Tamara Jenkins' breakthrough indie drama-comedy THE SAVAGES, surprisingly captured 2 Oscar nominations back in 2008 , one for the unmistakably excellent Laura Linney and a BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY nomination for herself, so freshly coined asTamara Jenkins' breakthrough indie drama-comedy THE SAVAGES, surprisingly captured 2 Oscar nominations back in 2008 , one for the unmistakably excellent Laura Linney and a BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY nomination for herself, so freshly coined as an Oscar nominee and subsequently granted the membership of the academy , allegedly her next project should be on the horizon at any time, nevertheless, as a telling manifest of the shameful situation of female directors in the movie industry, 8 years has passed, we still have no news of Tamara’s follow-up to her excellent work, a life-affirming dissection of the worst-case scenario for (almost) every grown-up - how to fulfil our responsibility, when we must become the caretaker of our ageing parents during their last days.

keep reading my review on my blog, please google: cinema omnivore, thanks
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8
SpangleAug 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 theThe 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
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7
dierregiAug 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 andThe 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.
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7
Compi24Sep 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.
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7
ScraperDec 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 "movieA 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
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8
MichaelC.Feb 2, 2009
Painful to watch at times; sobering. Wonderfully acted. A terrific story.
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10
AdamV.Aug 27, 2008
One of my favorite movies..it's a comedy that actually has emotion..(which is something some of the film community lacks nowadays) ..Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman give tremendous preformences and their chemistry on the screen One of my favorite movies..it's a comedy that actually has emotion..(which is something some of the film community lacks nowadays) ..Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman give tremendous preformences and their chemistry on the screen just works...Philip Bosco is also a breath of fresh air as their hostile father put into a retirement home...i just love this movie Expand
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7
TonyB.Jul 19, 2008
It had several points to make and made them well. Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Philip Bosco were superb.
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8
WaltSMay 22, 2008
The first two-thirds or so of "The Savages" is mesmerizing. Unforgettable. The last third or so, Tamara Jenkins makes things too easy for herself, which ends up bringing the film a little back down to earth. Philip Bosco's performance The first two-thirds or so of "The Savages" is mesmerizing. Unforgettable. The last third or so, Tamara Jenkins makes things too easy for herself, which ends up bringing the film a little back down to earth. Philip Bosco's performance is one of the best that I have ever seen in my life. Highly recommended. Be sure to note that this is much more of a "drama" than a "comedy." Expand
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10
LineaL.May 7, 2008
I found it interesting that the film did not take the easy path of spelling out all the gory details of the father's abusive past. Rather, we experience the sometimes-stressed but enduring bond between brother and sister, and observe I found it interesting that the film did not take the easy path of spelling out all the gory details of the father's abusive past. Rather, we experience the sometimes-stressed but enduring bond between brother and sister, and observe that they retain enough humanity to (a) make their way in life and (b) find some mercy for their father despite everything. One complaint: Yet another crappy wig in a movie! What, Linney can't dye her hair brown for a few months? Expand
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9
ClintR.May 5, 2008
Given the subject matter this could've easily been a depressing affair, however, in Jenking delicate hands "Savages" makes for a warm, intricate journey into adulthood. Hoffman and Linney are absolutely superb. Great film!
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8
JayH.Apr 19, 2008
Exceptionally well acted by everyone in the cast. The writing is excellent and the direction is solid. Good score. A moving story, believably told. Excellent.
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8
FredericoA.Apr 14, 2008
What a great movie! The mood was absolutely top notch and I just cant love Seymour Hoffman more now. This is life .
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10
NickKApr 2, 2008
I adore this film. Brutal yet beautiful with some utterly hilarious moments, The Savages is deeply affecting in its unnerving honesty. I had tears running down my cheeks while also emitting some of the deepest belly laughs I've ever I adore this film. Brutal yet beautiful with some utterly hilarious moments, The Savages is deeply affecting in its unnerving honesty. I had tears running down my cheeks while also emitting some of the deepest belly laughs I've ever experienced in a cinema. I can't recommend it highly enough. Expand
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8
DavidS.Feb 27, 2008
Bound to be a good watch with two of America's most talented actors at work. It is essentially about the performers, but the story does have something to sat about life and death in the lightest and funniest of ways and there are some Bound to be a good watch with two of America's most talented actors at work. It is essentially about the performers, but the story does have something to sat about life and death in the lightest and funniest of ways and there are some true and funny moments. Expand
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7
KathleenK.Feb 24, 2008
Likely most enjoyed by those who've walked this walk; I'd hoped for more dark comedy, but many of the attempts fell flat, not sure why -- timing? editing? But fine performances, interesting plot line, real character development and Likely most enjoyed by those who've walked this walk; I'd hoped for more dark comedy, but many of the attempts fell flat, not sure why -- timing? editing? But fine performances, interesting plot line, real character development and realistic characters (except for the Dad's character, which was a little two dimensional). Expand
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9
ChadS.Feb 6, 2008
If Jon(Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and Wendy(Laura Linney) Savage weren't academics from opposite spectrums in the English profession, a harmless comment like, "Where is it?" pertaining to a couch obscured by clutter, would pass by If Jon(Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and Wendy(Laura Linney) Savage weren't academics from opposite spectrums in the English profession, a harmless comment like, "Where is it?" pertaining to a couch obscured by clutter, would pass by unnoticed. It would just simply be the case of a sister making an offhanded comment to her messy brother. But because they are, this remark is actually quite loaded. She's jealous. She helps move his books out of hostility. Wendy is a creative writer(she has a M.F.A.), while Jon has a background in comparative literature. An ordinary person may dabble in playwriting, but nobody(no sane person) dabbles in English theory; so it goes that Jon is the intellectual heavyweight. Jon may love his baby sister, but familial ties can only soften, not eliminate, his ostentatious disposition towards people on the other side of the English divide. Look closely at what Jon does in his classroom with that piece of chalk. He's effectively tearing Wendy's craft apart, limb from limb with a single flat line. In another scene, Wendy says, "It's like we don't exist," when she and Jon leave their father's retirement home. This remark, on a deeper level, refers to French literary critic Roland Barthes' essay, "Death of the Author", which encourages the reader to "separate a literary work from its creator in order to liberate it from interpretive tyranny." Applied to a film about angry children who blame their father(Phillip Bosco) for an array of dysfunctionalities, "The Savages" doesn't necessarily side with Jon and Wendy. Maybe a post-structuralist would tell the Savage children to get over themselves and grow up. Expand
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10
KatherineS.Jan 24, 2008
Awesome. Just great story telling. Also, don't be afraid to see it, it's not too sad.
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7
BillyS.Jan 22, 2008
Painfully honest and heartbreakingly real, The Savages is not a comedy, nor is it a black comedy but a beautifully acted drama with an occasional uncomfortable laugh. Linney and Hoffman portray the best screen bother/sister since Linney Painfully honest and heartbreakingly real, The Savages is not a comedy, nor is it a black comedy but a beautifully acted drama with an occasional uncomfortable laugh. Linney and Hoffman portray the best screen bother/sister since Linney worked the same magic with Mark Ruffalo in You Can Count On Me. Tamara Jenkins has written and directed a touching script without the usual sentimentality that usually gets these pictures made. After this and Away From Her, I wonder what Rob Reiner was thinking when he made Bucket List! Expand
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9
IanR.Jan 13, 2008
Two great actors, a fantastic script, tight narrative and no bullshit sentimentality: What's not to like?
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9
EvanS.Jan 9, 2008
The leads played their roles extremely well and even with the grit and misfortune among the characters (making for more than a few wince inducing moments) it felt real and the filmmaker gets the laughs honestly. With an ending that could be The leads played their roles extremely well and even with the grit and misfortune among the characters (making for more than a few wince inducing moments) it felt real and the filmmaker gets the laughs honestly. With an ending that could be perceived as sentimental and feel-good, it's most deserved. An amazing movie - it's hard to believe that an American filmmaker can do this. Expand
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8
NickG.Dec 28, 2007
Great acting. Great characters. It's a depressing story that anyone with elderly parents will unfortunately relate too. It's as entertaining as a movie about growing old, feeble, and terminal can be.
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10
danielwDec 22, 2007
Pitch-perfect screenplay, and three performances to die for. Though Hoffman and Linney have received a lot of well-deserved credit, Bosco, playing the father, is their equal in every scene they share. Not always an easy movie to watch, but Pitch-perfect screenplay, and three performances to die for. Though Hoffman and Linney have received a lot of well-deserved credit, Bosco, playing the father, is their equal in every scene they share. Not always an easy movie to watch, but the characters will linger with you well after the credits roll. Expand
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7
AlanS.Dec 10, 2007
An interesting exploration of the issues that arise from broken families and aging parents. While it was a "good" film I had a hard time totally losing myself in the story. It had the feel of a play that could have been done on stage in An interesting exploration of the issues that arise from broken families and aging parents. While it was a "good" film I had a hard time totally losing myself in the story. It had the feel of a play that could have been done on stage in limbo lightin...(read more)g. The characters are supposed to be smart and funny but a lot of the dialogue sounded like quirky snippets of "meaningful" or "sharp" quips you get in plays that are not written by Allen, Mamet or Miller. Well, maybe Mamet. PSH does his best "I can shuffle around, unshaven and deliver dialogue without moving my lips" work. And Linney looks better than ever doing the nervous bird bit. While the cast does fine work, I was a bit put off by the casting of almost every character. Having said all that, The Savages is a worthy entry into the "dysfunctional family-modern people who can't manage relationships" genre. Despite its problems, I laughed and cried. The eggs made me sad.... you'd have to see it to understand. Expand
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