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Parents' Guide to

The Savages

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Affecting adult drama has mature themes, content.

Movie R 2007 113 minutes
The Savages Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Tough to watch but very realistic

A film that is difficult to watch because it is too real. Laura Linney's character was the epitome of this for me. Her mannerisms, her excuses, just how her character moved in the world was hard to stomach. And her wig was distracting. But her character never seemed fake or over the top (unfortunately people really do act this way). Nothing I say could possibly add to the excellent performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman...obvio. But the real humdinger was Phillip Bosco's character who now at the end of his life is beholden to his estranged children. It is a rough ride that puts the mundane life or death questions in your face.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Left in the hands of actors less agile and able than Hoffman and Linney, Jon and Wendy easily could have been reduced to harshly drawn characters; thankfully, they rise to the occasion. Hoffman is aloof yet appealing, while Linney is anxious yet persevering. Bosco, too, communicates volumes without doing too much; asked what to do if he falls into a coma, he quickly moves from indignant to angry to deeply sad, his eyes the only real giveaway.

The Savages' power comes from its determination to skirt the maudlin despite its plainly sad narrative. Intense moments -- as when brother and sister ask their father what he'd like them to do in the event of his death -- are played for both dramatic and comic effect. It's a testament to Jenkins and her actors that the transitions go smoothly. Which makes The Savages a worthwhile (if mature) watch.

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