‘Savages’ Reviews Are In: What the Critics Are Saying

Blake Lively on Savages
Star talks terrifying and awkward sex scenes!
Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson star in director Oliver Stone’s gritty new drama Savages, in theaters now, and the trio share the screen with heavy hitters like John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek.

Coming off box-office flops John Carter and Battleship, this movie is particularly crucial for Kitsch, 31, who is best known from Friday Night Lights.

So if The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t for you, is Savages worth your bucks at the box office?

What are the critics saying about the new film:

Variety enjoyed the movie overall, saying Stone “makes a largely welcome reappearance” with Savages:

Pungent, nasty and teeming with colorful crooked types, the writer-director’s most vibrant (and violent) work in some time is a bracingly sordid saga of two young hash growers, the Orange County princess they love and the vicious Mexican cartel they get entangled with; imagine “Jules and Jim” with bombs and beheadings and you’re halfway there.

The New York Times calls the film a half-great adaptation” of Don Winslow’s book. “Savages is a daylight noir, a western, a stoner buddy movie and a love story, which is to say that it is a bit of a mess,” said reviewer A.O. Scott, before adding: “But also a lot of fun.”

Savages received two stars from the Chicago Tribune, which points out that Benicio Del Toro is the “best of the show” but the film “has trouble making us care what happens to the beautiful people [Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson] at the center of the sun-baked fairy tale.”

However, the New York Daily News loved Blake and Taylor’s performances in particular, saying “Kitsch finally reverses a bad year” while “Lively follows through on the promise she showed in 2010’s The Town.”

In one of the harsher reviews, the Examiner found nothing redeeming about the film, aside from John Travolta:

At the end of the day, “Savages” was a disjointed mess as it was actively trying to be something it could never actually be and just got more nonsensical as the film went on with artificial plot twists and story devices that just had no business being there in the first place.

The Hollywood Reporter’s bottom line: “Oliver Stone hauls the guns and drugs out of his trunk for this brutal, stylish, yet not-all-there film of Don Winslow’s best-seller.”

As for the acting, THR breaks it down, saying that Kitsch comes off “reasonably well” but that Lively doesn’t live up to her name coming off “more slack than slacker.” The reviewer continued:

The trio seem rather junior league, the Triple-A team, where All-Stars are required. They’re not bad, just not good enough when they have to tangle with the unbridled likes of John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek as assorted cohorts and adversaries.

Are you seeing Savages this weekend? If you do, tweet Celebuzz and tell us what you think.

Watch our red carpet coverage from the Savages world premiere right here:

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE)
No changes are to be made to this player