Up 520 this week

The Beaver (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  19 May 2011 (Germany)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 37,683 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 147 user | 270 critic | 40 from

A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 06 Mar 2011
a list of 25 titles
created 31 Mar 2011
a list of 38 titles
created 12 Sep 2011
a list of 31 titles
created 27 Mar 2013
a list of 33 titles
created 18 Oct 2013

Related Items

Search for "The Beaver" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Beaver (2011)

The Beaver (2011) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Beaver.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the death of his activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence.

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A career criminal nabbed by Mexican authorities is placed in a tough prison where he learns to survive with the help of a young boy.

Director: Adrian Grunberg
Stars: Mel Gibson, Kevin Hernandez, Daniel Giménez Cacho
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chuck wants to leave home but can't make the grade for boarding school. Then he finds out the disfigured recluse living nearby is an ex-teacher.

Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Mel Gibson, Nick Stahl, Margaret Whitton
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After an accident, a chauvenistic executive gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking.

Director: Nancy Meyers
Stars: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A dramatization of Lori Petty's teenage years spent in small town Iowa.

Director: Lori Petty
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javon Johnson, Sophi Bairley
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Director: Debra Granik
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Kathryn Vale (Lena Olin) is a reclusive ex-movie star with a dark secret and a daughter hoping to follow in her mother's movie-star footsteps. When Kathryn attempts to make a career ... See full summary »

Director: James Oakley
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Lena Olin, Dean Winters
Ransom (1996)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a rich man's son is kidnapped, he cooperates with the police at first but then tries a unique tactic against the criminals.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise, Rene Russo
Like Crazy (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

Director: Drake Doremus
Stars: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence
Payback I (1999)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Porter is shot by his wife and best friend and is left to die. When he survives he plots revenge.

Director: Brian Helgeland
Stars: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello
Garden Party (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

April (15) is running from one bad situation into another, hoping to find an answer that doesn't involve nudity, and falls in with a group of confused kids chasing their dreams. The black widow in the web is the sexy, pot-dealing Sally.

Director: Jason Freeland
Stars: Erik Smith, Tierra Abbott, Vinessa Shaw
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A drama with a two-tiered storyline concerning a mother and daughter who try to form a bond after the young woman's difficult childhood.

Director: Guillermo Arriaga
Stars: Charlize Theron, John Corbett, José María Yazpik


Cast overview, first billed only:
Vice President
Volunteer Dad
Skeptical Man
Norah's Mom
Elizabeth Kaledin ...


Walter Black ('Mel Gibson') is depressed and sleeps most of the day. It's driving his family crazy, and his wife Meredith (Jodie Foster) kicks him out. Walter starts carrying a beaver puppet and tries to commit suicide (unsuccessfully). He uses the puppet to talk to himself, trying to bolster his spirits, and is trying to rebuild his life. Through the beaver, the family begins to learn about Walter's history and problems, and as he continues rebuilding, the beaver shows us all a way to cope. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's here to save Walter's life.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some disturbing content, sexuality and language including a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

19 May 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Le complexe du castor  »

Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$107,577 (USA) (6 May 2011)


$958,319 (USA) (24 June 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jodie Foster approached originally Kristen Stewart for the role of Norah, remembering their experience in Panic Room (2002), but the actress was committed to the Twilight franchise. See more »


[first lines]
Walter Black: This is a picture of Walter Black, a hopelessly depressed individual. Somewhere inside him is a man who fell in love. Who started a family. Who ran a successful company. That man has gone missing. No matter what he's tried, and he's tried everything, Walter can't seem to bring him back. It's as if he's died, but hasn't had the good sense to take his body with him. So mostly what he does is sleep.
See more »


References Today (1952) See more »


Written by Ben L. Braun and Ian David Mackintosh
Performed by Mackintosh Braun
Courtesy of Chop Shop Records/Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Zync Music Group LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Mel Gibson turns in one the year's best performances!
7 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm sure everyone has heard of the problems that Mel Gibson has had recently. Hell, they probably know more about his personal life and what happened with him before they've even heard about this movie. That's a shame, because this is a pretty good movie. Granted, it's not anything groundbreaking --- but it is a fine drama about a man who tries to find himself before he loses himself completely. Some very good acting and directing (from Jodie Foster, no less) make this one worth watching.

Walter Black (Gibson) is suffering from depression. So bad, in fact, that his wife, Meredith (Foster, pulling double duty here) has to throw him out so as not to inflict his sickness on their kids: Porter (Yelchin) and Henry (Stewart). The depression isn't only affecting his home-life, it's also affecting his work as well. He's the CEO of a major toy company, courtesy of his father. The Vice President of the company (Cherry Jones) is more qualified, but Walter inherited the position after his father's death. While throwing away some boxes from the trunk of his car, he comes across a beaver puppet that someone tossed aside into a dumpster. He picks it up and takes it with him to the hotel where he plans to drink himself into a stupor and then hang himself. The next morning, Walter awakens to a gruff voice (his own, in fact, but with an English accent) and a puppet staring him in the face, known only as The Beaver. He informs Walter that he's there to save his life... and in the beginning, The Beaver does just that. While Walter finds new life and purpose again through The Beaver, his son Porter has his own little dilemma. Firstly, he writes term papers for fellow classmates for money and the class valedictorian, Norah (Lawrence) hires him to write her graduation speech and secondly, he's afraid he's turning into his father, so he writes down all the similarities as to not duplicate them, because he despises the man.

The Beaver does move a bit slow -- but then again, it's a serious movie about depression, I didn't expect car bombs and people getting pistol-whipped. Jodie Foster doesn't let us linger too long in one area before whisking us away to another story line -- it's a technique that allows us to follow a few different stories so we're not bored, so we don't count down the minutes till the end. I think she does a masterful job of telling the main story without it getting too silly and doesn't play the puppet for laughs. It would be a different story had she wanted to film a comedy, but she keeps everything in a nice balance with some serious storytelling with extremely light injections of humor.

The reason to watch The Beaver is Mel Gibson, I'm afraid. I think it's one of the most daring and boldest roles of his career. Had he not been a Hollywood asshat early on this year or the last part of last year, he just might be looking at an Academy Award nomination. He makes it seem that The Beaver does have his own personality and that it's a separate character altogether. He gives the film's best performances and it's also one of the year's greatest. Foster does just fine as his wife -- there's not much for her to do in front of the camera, but it's nice to see her all the same. Yelchin and Lawrence also crank out some good performances, but nothing particularly floored me with what they brought to the table.

I would have liked to see a bit more resolved by the movie's end, but it wasn't so left unopened that it made me made, either. Even if you have a problem with Mel and just can't stand the guy because of his off-screen antics, you should give this one a try. I'm not telling you to like the guy, because as I said before, things happen where we either like the person or not, no amazing performance is going to change my view about how I feel about a person, that's for sure. But... that being said... I challenge you to find a better performance by a lead actor this year so far.

More reviews at

Final Grade: B

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Just sthu all you Gibson haters serenity159
'It's big in Sweden' deathrattle
Gibson is brilliant thepillsr-1
Mel's beaver impression sounds like... chivers677
Anyone else get an American Beauty vibe from this??? johnnyhightest
Discuss The Beaver (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: