August: Osage County

Critics Consensus

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.

65%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 197

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,098
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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

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Cast

Meryl Streep
as Violet Weston
Julia Roberts
as Barbara Weston
Juliette Lewis
as Karen Weston
Ewan McGregor
as Bill Fordham
Abigail Breslin
as Jean Fordham
Margo Martindale
as Mattie Fae Aiken
Chris Cooper
as Charles Aiken
Benedict Cumberbatch
as Little Charles Aiken
Dermot Mulroney
as Steve Heidebrecht
Sam Shepard
as Beverly Weston
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News & Interviews for August: Osage County

Critic Reviews for August: Osage County

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (129) | Rotten (68)

  • This is a movie about crummy mummies in which everyone looks their age. That will strike many as a downer but I was left wanting more.

    Jan 24, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie version of Tracy Letts's award-winning Broadway stage play looks classy, but doesn't add up to anything very nourishing.

    Jan 23, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • This star-studded shout-off generates none of the heat and intensity of Tracy Letts' stage play.

    Jan 23, 2014 | Rating: 2/5
  • A sometimes wickedly funny but ultimately sour, loud, draining tale of one of the most dysfunctional families in modern American drama.

    Jan 21, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • This star-studded loopy melodrama is brash, foul-mouthed, self-consciously offensive, intermittently insightful and has a gaping hole where its heart should be.

    Jan 21, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 12, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for August: Osage County

  • Jan 31, 2017
    Meryl Streep stands out in a fantastic cast portraying a pretty dysfunctional family. Between moments of great tension and vileness between the members there are also very touching scenes. The plot has little function than to push those characters into the same room, from there on out it's a pleasure, albeit sometimes painful, to see them rub against each other. The well written interactions remain pretty memorable even days later.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2014
    August: Osage County is a heartbreaking account of the downfall of a family. Based on the play by Tracy Letts', the film is gripping and well-acted, but certainly not everyone's cup of tea. Rating: 71
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2014
    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.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2014
    While it borders, and eventually exceeds, in melodrama, August: Osage County is a film hard not to be impressed with. It's dark, cynical, funny in its own way, yet penetrating in its look at one dysfunctional family. It's a film that takes itself very seriously, yet backs it up with talent and a sort of fierceness about itself that keeps one ever engaged. The film revolves around the profoundly dysfunctional Weston family, a Oklahoma based intellectual family, but one riddled with secrets, prejudices, insecurities, and discord. When the male patriarch disappears, it leaves the restless, drug addicted, and deeply flawed Violet Weston, played by Meryl Streep, at the helm, let to deal with her estranged daughters. This all gives a very interesting look at family dynamics and intergenerational strife, and the ripple effects it has. Too often, family dramas never feel real, they're too sanitized, too clean, too polished. One cannot say that of the Weston's who seem all too relatable for many of us. It also serves as a powerful character study about addiction, and the role of substance abuse in troubled families. This is all anchored by an enormously talented ensemble cast, full of some of the most prolific actors of our time, with all of them turning out excellent performances. If there is to be a criticism of Osage County, it's certainly that its melodrama gets away from itself in the later act of the film. Things start to fall apart too easily, the dysfunction starts to feel contrived, and the actors are left to wallow in their own pity. The contrivance is not felt early on, however, making the last act the weakest. The film's huge ensemble cast was undoubtedly a bit too big, feeding a number of storylines that could otherwise be self contained. Still, the dialogue is rich, the characters well realized, and the commentary often poignant, making up for the later shortcomings. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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