The Savages (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Savages2007

The Savages (2007)



Critic Consensus: Thanks to a tender, funny script from director Tamara Jenkins, and fine performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, this film delivers a nuanced, beautifully three-dimensional look at the struggles and comforts of family bonds.

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Movie Info

The last thing the two Savage siblings ever wanted to do was look back on their undeniably dysfunctional family legacy. Wendy is a self-medicating struggling East Village playwright, AKA a temp who spends her days applying for grants and stealing office supplies, dating her very married neighbor. Jon is an obsessive compulsive college professor writing obscure books on even more obscure subjects in Buffalo who still can't commit to his girlfriend after four years even though her cooking brings him tears of joy. Then, out of the blue, comes the call that changes everything. They're told that the father they have long feared and avoided, Lenny Savage, has lost his marbles. And, there is no one to help him but his kids. Now, as they put the middle of their already arrested lives on hold, Wendy and Jon must live together under one roof for the first time since childhood, soon rediscovering the eccentricities that drove each other crazy. Faced with complete upheaval and the ultimate sibling rivalry battle over how to handle their father's final days, they are forced to face the past and finally start to realize what adulthood, family and, most surprisingly, each other are really about.

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Laura Linney
as Wendy Savage
Philip Bosco
as Lenny Savage
David Zayas
as Eduardo
Tonye Patano
as Ms. Robinson
Guy Boyd
as Bill Lachman
Debra Monk
as Nancy Lachman
Rosemary Murphy
as Doris Metzger
Joan Jaffe
as Lizzie
Laura Palmer
as Real Estate Agent
Salem Ludwig
as Mr. Sperry
Sandy Daley
as Attendant
Sandra Daley
as Attendant
Jennifer Lim
as Manicurist
Cynthia Darlow
as Nurse No. 2
Carmen Roman
as Administrator
Nancy Lenehan
as Counselor
Michael Higgins
as Resident No. 1
Madeline Lee
as Resident No. 2
Tijuana Ricks
as Valley View Nurse
Erica Berg
as Woman in Parking Lot
Patti Karr
as Woman With Red Pillow
Johnny Bolton
as Father in Mall Lot
John Bolton
as Father in Mall Lot
Zoe Kazan
as Student
Tobin Tyler
as Valley View Nurse No. 2
Debbie Fuhrman
as Physical Therapist
Lili Liu
as Manicurist #2
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News & Interviews for The Savages

Critic Reviews for The Savages

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (54)

Linney and Hoffman are both terrific, and Jenkins's script is pointed and perceptive, but the film's arc is a little flat.

September 22, 2008 | Full Review…

While writer-director Tamara Jenkins (Slums of Beverly Hills) lets things get a little mushy towards the end, the film brilliantly portrays a difficult family moment made even more complicated by her characters' overweening narcissism.

May 1, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's billed as a comedy. You may or may not find much to laugh at.

February 7, 2008 | Full Review…

Jenkins' superlative work proves her first film was no fluke; let's hope it doesn't take another nine years to hear from her again.

February 1, 2008 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Jenkins' brushstrokes of her characters are too exacting to move us more than a lifelike painting of a basket of fruit. We can be awed at the techniques, but walk away empty.

January 29, 2008 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Jenkins's solemn comedy may be 389 jokes short of a Woody Allen classic, but there is a tenderness about these flawed heroes that is profoundly touching.

January 24, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Savages

Heartbreaking. A real film.

_kelly .King
_kelly .King

Super Reviewer


Sometimes dysfunctional families make us laugh, or even cry. This one could cause a slight depression. When the Savage siblings have to deal with their father in the beginning stages of dementia and see each other more often than they are comfortable with. Considering the names in the leading roles it's not very surprising that the acting is top notch. There are also a few very amusing parts, mostly the kind of humor that makes you feel ashamed for other's actions. But to the honest, the rest of the film is a little too bleak and depressing to really warrant a second look. The final frame redeems some of that impression, but overall I wondered what the creators were trying to tell us. Life is uncomfortable and then you die?

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


Even with a father with dementia, I could not connect with the story or the characters.

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

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