(2011)

Critic Reviews

60

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster from a script by fearless first-timer Kyle Killen, is operating on a plane far above multiplex formula. This flawed but heartfelt movie has the power to sneak up and floor you.
75
That this ambitious, if deeply odd, film is so compulsively watchable is a credit to Gibson's compelling performances, both as spiritless Walter and the Cockney-accented voice of the tireless title character.
75
The Beaver is at its core a classically Oedipal tale. While one son angles in all the wrong ways for his abject father's attention, another engages in a heroic struggle with his abusive bully of a dad.
75
This bizarre little movie is all over the place as drama - but genuinely compelling as a one-of-a-kind piece of public self-flagellation.
75
An often moving and always disturbing film. Little is explained, motivations aren't explored. We miss them, at times. It's still a film of power, wit and thought-provoking ideas, one well worth seeing.
70
Bizarre and belabored, yet grimly fascinating.
70
A risky bet that pays off solidly, Jodie Foster's much-delayed The Beaver survives its life/art parallels -- thanks to its star, Mel Gibson -- to deliver a hopeful portrait of mental illness that is quirky, serious and sensitive.
70
Foster's performance is crisp and forthright and surprisingly moving. There's something affecting about watching this disciplined, no-nonsense actress deliver her lines to a hand puppet - she's always game, if not exactly relaxed.
67
This is high-quality work from a professional (Gibson) who, news reports have suggested, has recently sunk to terrible lows in his nonprofessional life.
63
The story lacks honesty. For a film about the real problem of mental illness, it never feels authentic. Depression is not something neatly tied up. If this is meant as an allegory, it's vague and unconvincing.
60
Oddly engrossing, off-kilter drama.

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