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August: Osage County (2013)

tomatometer

64

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 176
Fresh: 113 | Rotten: 63

The sheer amount of acting going on in August: Osage County threatens to overwhelm, but when the actors involved are as talented as Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, it's difficult to complain.

53

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 20

The sheer amount of acting going on in August: Osage County threatens to overwhelm, but when the actors involved are as talented as Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, it's difficult to complain.

audience

67

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 36,992

My Rating

Movie Info

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. Letts' play made its Broadway debut in December 2007 after premiering at Chicago's legendary Steppenwolf Theatre earlier that year. It continued with a successful international run. (c) Weinstein

R,

Drama, Comedy

Apr 8, 2014

$37.7M

The Weinstein Company - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (176) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (113) | Rotten (63)

A sometimes wickedly funny but ultimately sour, loud, draining tale of one of the most dysfunctional families in modern American drama.

January 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This star-studded loopy melodrama is brash, foul-mouthed, self-consciously offensive, intermittently insightful and has a gaping hole where its heart should be.

January 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

August: Osage County is all about the acting. That makes sense because the storyline doesn't offer much that could be considered new or remarkable.

January 12, 2014 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

August: Osage County is easier to watch on screen, and maybe for that we should be grateful. But there's also something to be said for sitting shell-shocked afterward, shaken and relieved to be free from witnessing more of this family's downfall.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although a couple of performances here may earn Oscar nominations, by the time you've sat through the wreckage, you're left with the sense that this really must have worked better onstage.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Letts loves manic people, twisted situations and barbed lines that cut with glee and he's disturbingly good at delivering all three.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nothing makes you feel better about your dysfunctional family at the holidays than watching a messed-up clan unravel on screen, only armed with better zingers and prettier faces. That describes this adaptation of Tracy Letts's star-studded drama.

September 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Yahoo! Movies
Yahoo! Movies

New Hollywood motto: Never act with kids, dogs or Streep--when she's in Mommie Dearest mode, that is.

June 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

It isn't so much a movie as it is a competitive act-off.

April 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Columbus Alive
Columbus Alive

It is easy to grow weary of these stories. But here is a movie that finds powerful relevance through its grotesque details.

April 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

It is kind of like a Shakespearean play without the swords, knives and blood on the stage, but there is a corpse.

March 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Every trivial remark amounts to a level of high art, the conversation as a whole resembling a skillfully composed symphony, just with insults, regrets and harmful jokes.

March 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

...attracted some Oscar attention, but not necessarily for the right people.

February 21, 2014 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

It's Tracy Letts' words that fuel the performances that make August: Osage County such a great, entertaining and exhausting watch.

February 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Instead of building to some tragic-comedic level of peak awfulness, August:Osage County lurches from revelation to revelation without coming together as anything more than a sloppy weekend where a lot of nasty crap goes down.

February 13, 2014 Full Review Source: The Vine
The Vine

Led by the magnificent Streep, the film takes a grounded play that ran for three and a half hours and compresses it into a two hour showcase of talent.

February 9, 2014 Full Review Source: MediaMikes
MediaMikes

Every actor is given their moment, just as every role is afforded a showpiece scene, but much of it feels like it's just going through the motions.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

The movie is wholly an actors' vehicle, and the cast is largely superb, though Mulroney, Breslin, and especially McGregor are underused.

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

The film's director, John Wells... is never able to escape from the theatrical origins of this over-heated drama, though lovers of the Edward Albee style of marital confrontation will doubtless revel in the melodrama

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Streep goes for it like Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but ratcheted up at least 467 times.

February 5, 2014 Full Review Source: The Spectator
The Spectator

Wells' cinematic strategy seems mostly to be a matter of preserving the source play, and Streep's mondo performance in particular, for posterity.

February 4, 2014 Full Review Source: SF Weekly
SF Weekly

The film's stage origins tell a little too obviously in places and the acting will seem overripe for some, but fans of Eugene O'Neil, Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee will surely find this rich slice of Midwestern Gothic to their taste.

February 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

The performances help to smooth out the rough spots and melodramatic detours, and there are plenty of powerful character-driven moments.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

It all comes across as risk-averse, over-baked and hollow.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

It is often hard to know if one is laughing at intentional jokes or bad writing, but the sheer couch-chewing craziness of the enterprise certainly sets it apart.

January 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

Absent the electricity of live-wire live performance, the play's paucity of depth becomes more obvious. What's left to carry the day are a nasty streak of black comedy and the redoubtable acting ensemble.

January 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for August: Osage County

It's all fine until the deep dark secrets (so to speak) begin to come out. If only they were convincing enough. The tragedies keep on mounting, but it's hardly effective as I couldn't care enough for any of the characters. May have been better if they'd cared to execute the plot in a way that the twists and shocks felt genuine. Yet, for what it is, a single viewing shouldn't be fatal. In fact, I found it to be a relatively better means of time pass (apparently, for that once).
2.25 out of 5.
June 22, 2014
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

A quiet tragedy with a great cast. Why wasn't this one nominated for an Oscar? You must see this to see how good Meryl Streep is in it.
May 12, 2014
binky013

Super Reviewer

This is probably one of the first times that I truly noticed what happens to a film when you have a director who truly can't keep up with his cast. "August: Osage County" has a cast that is to die for - and they don't disappoint. But when the film itself is directed in a generic, uninteresting, unfocused fashion, it sometimes leaves the actors with too much responsibility to shoulder to make the material work.

"August: Osage County" is better when it sticks to its theater roots and stages scenes statically. An electric scene at the dinner table or intimate exchanges between sisters or mothers and daughters work better than the film's earlier expository scenes where the film attempts to take advantage of its cinematic scope and stage scenes in exteriors or in mobile locations. This gives the first half of the film a very messy feel and makes certain characters feel unrealized.

This is especially true with Meryl Streep's characterization of matriarch Violet Weston. Her first scene is an actor's showcase - she's druggy, sickly and irrational. She chews the scenery with abandon leaving the restrained Sam Shepard and understated Misty Upham looking like lost spectators.

Streep seems to be experimenting at the beginning of the film with what type of character she wants Violet to be. Is she crazy or is it really the drugs? Is she truly mean-spirited or just a victim of a cruel world? It's during that climactic dinner scene where Streep seems to get a firm hold on the character and for the rest of the film is magnificent and fully realized.

But if there's a standout among this talented group, it is surprisingly Julia Roberts who is amazing as eldest daughter Barbara Weston. Roberts lands her zingers better than most of the other cast members and also has her best moments with her facial reactions to her family's actions.

The rest of the cast is good as well, but the material doesn't give them much time to fully bring their characters full circle. Margo Martindale and Chris Cooper come closest but they are given more room to breathe, to introduce their characters and to make an impact. The rest of the cast arrives on scene, get dropped in the plot and are expected to make something stick. This is especially apparent with Benedict Cumberbatch who arrives as a crazy mess, yet you don't know if he is mentally unstable or, as the film seems to imply later, a victim of a verbally abusive mother.

Overall, "August: Osage County" is a film is only half effective. A large, talented cast thrown together in a house, given a Pulitzer-Prize winning theater script and told to ACT. They do that. But the result is a story that doesn't feel fully realized until halfway through.

And that is the true definition of a wasted opportunity.
April 10, 2014
The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

If you ever feel bad about or fed up with your family, watch this. If this doesn't make you feel better then I am so, so sorry.
March 16, 2014
vierasesine

Super Reviewer

    1. Barbara Weston: Holy shit that's Karen! You remember your Aunt Karen?
    2. Jean Fordham: Kinda.
    3. Barbara Weston: And that must be this year's man!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (19 days ago)
    1. Bill Fordham: You're so goddamn self-righteous, you know that?
    2. Barbara Weston: Surely you must have realized when you started porkin' Pippi Longstockin' that you were due for some self-righteousness, just a smudge of indignation on my part!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (19 days ago)
    1. Barbara Weston: Eat
    2. Violet Weston: I'm not hungry!
    3. Barbara Weston: Eat that fish!
    4. Bill Fordham: No!
    5. Barbara Weston: Eat that fish Bitch!
    – Submitted by Ryan A (2 months ago)
    1. Barbara Weston: I want you to know that you're not alone, if you need any help.
    2. Violet Weston: No... I don't need help...
    3. Barbara Weston: I-I wanna help...
    4. Violet Weston: I don't need your help.
    5. Barbara Weston: Mom...
    6. Violet Weston: I don't need your help. I have got myself... I know how this goes. Once all the talkin' is threw, people just go back to their own nonsenses. I know that so, don't worry about me. I will manage.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Violet Weston: That man! What I first fell in love with was his mystery. I thought it was sexy as hell! You knew that he was the smartest one in the room, then he'd just say somethin' and knock you out. He'd just stand there with a little smile on his face and not say a word. Sexy!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Violet Weston: Every woman needs make up. Don't let anyone tell you any different.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
View all quotes (44)

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