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The Beaver (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  19 May 2011 (Germany)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 38,089 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 147 user | 271 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

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



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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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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?


The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2008 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. 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 »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.111 (2011) See more »


Exit Music (for a Film)
Written by Thom Yorke (as Thomas Edward Yorke), Jonny Greenwood (as Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood), Ed O'Brien (as Edward John O'Brien), Colin Greenwood (as Colin Charles Greenwood) and Phil Selway (as Phillip James Selway)
Performed by Radiohead
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film and Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

A very emotional and enjoyable movie
10 May 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

People seem to forget that humans make mistakes, and that Mel Gibson has his shares of mistakes that I'm sure he is feeling bad about and trying to fix, but people are just so judgmental and non forgiving. the problem is, I'm sure that most of them had made similar mistakes in their lives, but are still going on about Gibson, sheesh !!

back to the movie, I was looking forward to it, because i think Mel Gibson is a really talented actor, and I gotta say, the movie did not disappoint me. the story as most of you might know from the trailers, is that Gibson's character suffers from depression, which has negative impact on him as well as on his family surrounding him. and just as things seem to be looking hopeless, he finds the Beaver, and with it, he finds his voice and his self. A simple yet effective story, executed in a very professional manner, it is a journey into healing and trying to beat that nasty depression. the characters are played to perfection, as Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, who also directs the film, deliver memorable performances.

It also tackles the family relations and how it is affected by the father's sickness and turmoil, about family supporting each other and an emotional father - son story.

Digging deep into Mel Gibson's character Psyche, and how he escapes his inner depression through the puppet, the beaver, is just so interesting. and they actually made the Beaver, the puppet itself so real, it appeared as a completely independent character, who was funny and at times even freighting. In summary, a highly recommended movie, great acting and a wonderful story. If you are one of those who are still obsessing about Gibson's mistakes, then just go watch Jumping the Broom.

74 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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