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Savages (2012)



Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 181
Fresh: 92 | Rotten: 89

It's undeniably messy, but Savages finds Oliver Stone returning to dark, fearlessly lurid form.


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 22

It's undeniably messy, but Savages finds Oliver Stone returning to dark, fearlessly lurid form.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 135,263

My Rating

Movie Info

Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben (Johnson), a peaceful and charitable Buddhist, and his closest friend Chon (Kitsch), a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary, run a lucrative, homegrown industry-raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia (Lively). Life is idyllic in their Southern California town...until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partners with them. When the merciless head of


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Shane Salerno, Don Winslow, Oliver Stone

Nov 13, 2012


Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (181) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (92) | Rotten (89) | DVD (3)

The film would have been so much more interesting if the two men had been identical twins played by the same actor-like Jeremy Irons in David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It all smacks of trying too hard to mask the absence of strong material.

September 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stone devotes considerable ingenuity to making atrocity appear as a terrifying kind of home movie, but "Savages" is no more than a summertime debauch.

July 23, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

These are neither good people nor interesting savages, and they're not worth caring about. Neither is the movie.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Observer | Comments (8)
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Savages points to a problem with gifted directors, which Stone is, like him or not: They can make a movie that aggravates, infuriates, falters even, but they can really make a movie.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comments (4)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Savages isn't about anything except flashily directed mayhem. In this nest of vipers, it's the slitheriest varieties that survive -- at least for a time.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comment (1)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A richly entertaining adaptation of Winslow's novel.

August 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

A well-told tale of power, corruption and uncivilized people who use violence and murder to achieve success.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

An unabashedly lurid sun-and-surf ménage-à-trois cum drug-running caper, with touches of Jacobean tragedy for good measure.

June 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Stone lights up a big fat one guaranteed to get you high anew on a filmmaker widely thought to have long lost his potency. And true to weed's notorious side effects, his stash is strong enough to obliterate the memory of drags like 'Alexander.'

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

compelling action scenes with momentum-killing dialogue digressions

April 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Amid all the violence and profanity, Oliver Stone reveals a begrudging respect for his damned characters.

February 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

Savages, however, finds a new low for this auteur. It's a trashy, repulsive little flick, so darned unwatchable that it's not even fun to rip the thing apart.

December 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Twitch

Well made and slickly made but amoral junk.

December 24, 2012
Eclipse Magazine

This is by no means Oliver Stone's best work. But it's his best work in well over a decade.

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source:

Veers way off course in its second act, becoming confusing and vague - indeed, stoned. But it all comes good in the end.

December 4, 2012 Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia)
ABC Radio (Australia)

Essentially stupid, but stylistically invigorating, like watching a genius muck about with finger paints like a child on a sugar high. And then it throws it back in your face.

November 5, 2012
Projection Booth

This film goes about as deep and dark as a summer high. Sure there are flashes of mexploitation fun, but ultimately it's just way too mellow, man.

October 21, 2012 Full Review Source: The Vine
The Vine

Savages reels you in but then doesn't finish the job.

October 21, 2012 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

Oliver Stone isn't known for making pretty films but ugly is something he does very well.

October 20, 2012 Full Review Source: The Mercury
The Mercury

A good piece of gritty, grown-up entertainment. One question, though - has Oliver Stone lost his movie mojo?

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

It's a dirty and messy firecracker of a film, but one that's directed with thrill and skill.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

Its energy has long deflated before an ending that will try the patience of even the most forgiving viewers. There's little to defend once Stone and company have so eagerly adopted the cheap twists of a latter day Shyamalan picture.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Trespass

Savages is a hot mess - beautiful actors and locations mixed with a plot that starts strong but ultimately turns into a snooze-fest. With a lead villain seemingly ripped from the cover of Cosmo magazine, Stone's latest flick savagely disappoints.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: MovieFIX

The messy insouciance wears a little thin, and by the time we get to the absurdity of the extended ending, enough is definitely enough.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Audience Reviews for Savages

Oliver Stone needs to stick to his documentaries, he's obviously lost the plot as far as his fictional features go. In Savages the established actors Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta and Salma Hayek do what they are supposed to and do what they do best, although I thought Demian Bichir was criminally underused. The new actors however never convince and I found it impossible to warm to them. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is likable but his character goes through too many changes to be convincing. I do not care for Blake Lively one little bit, so having her as the object of desire didn't bode well for me. The dialogue is appalling, some of the worst I've heard for a long time. "Just because I'm telling you this story doesn't mean I'm alive at the end of it. This could all be pre-recorded and I could be talking to you from the bottom of the ocean. Yeah, it's that kind of a story." Seriously, what the F? The terrible script is bad enough, throw in the worst cameo from Stone himself and I'm afraid my mind was made up. I disliked this film quite a bit.
November 12, 2013

Super Reviewer

Rather long, and rather involved...but I liked it. Definitely plenty of blood, sex, violence, and brutality. This IS an Oliver Stone movie, and his movies are not known for totally adhering to reality. This one included. Yes, some of the characters were somewhat over the top and exaggerated, but that's what Oliver Stone does. I am NOT a huge fan of his, but I think that he did a really good job on this one...
May 27, 2013

Super Reviewer

Salma Hayek is given a role that suits her (age-wise & acting-wise), but the lead actress was terrible. The two lead actors were about okay. The ending was nonsensical, although like many did, I didn't find the rest of the movie that incredible. A mediocre presentation by O.
May 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

Savages was a great thriller. I loved most of it. The actors are in a wide variety. I enjoyed that. There are some performances that were so, so and others that really stood out. The two male leads are drool worthy, but besides that, they did an awesome job in the movie. I love Taylor Kitsch and have bee a fan of his since his Friday Night Lights days. The ones who bothered me the most was Travolta and Hayek. I thought they both were over dramatic and cartoonish in their performance. Especially Travolta. Blake Lively is another one who bothered me. I have yet to see her in a role where she doesn't come off bored and uninterested. It's like she's just a pretty girl they put in the film to look at. She is forgetful and a boring actress who never brings any worth to the films she miraculously gets roles in. But besides those flaws, the film was actually pretty good. I thought it could have been tied up better at the end, but still a good film worth seeing.
April 18, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. O: It started here in paradise, Laguna Beach, where they say God parked himself on the seventh day, but they towed him on the eighth.
    – Submitted by Leon T (7 months ago)
    1. Chon: These people don't make deals; they're fucking Savages.
    – Submitted by Dan E (17 months ago)
    1. Chon: I've seen worse and I'd do worse to them.
    – Submitted by Dan E (17 months ago)
    1. Elena: If you wanna control somebody, take what they love.
    – Submitted by Antonio M (21 months ago)
    1. O: If you wanna control somebody, take what they love.
    – Submitted by ScubaSteve Walter M (22 months ago)
    1. Chon: Think of it like this, alright? You're already dead. You're dead from the moment you're born. If you can accept that, you can accept anything.
    – Submitted by ScubaSteve Walter M (22 months ago)
View all quotes (22)

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