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Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben (as Aaron Johnson)
Jana Banker ...
Candra Docherty ...
Bicycle Delivery Girl (as Nana Agyapong)
Jonathan Carr ...


In California, the former Navy SEAL Chon and his best friend, the peaceful botanist Ben, are successful entrepreneurs producing and dealing high-quality weed. Chon brought seeds from Afghanistan and Ben used his knowledge to develop the best marijuana in the country. Chon and Ben share the pothead lover Ophelia and she loves both of them since they complete each other - Chon is a powerful and strong lover and Ben is a sensible and loving lover. Their comfortable life changes when the Mexican Baja Cartel demands a partnership in their business. Chon and Ben refuse the deal and the leader of the cartel Elena sends her right-arm in America, Lado, to abduct Ophelia to press the American drug dealers. Chon and Ben ask the support of the dirty DEA Agent Dennis and get inside information to begin a secret war against the Baja Cartel to release Ophelia. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 July 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salvajes  »

Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,016,910 (USA) (6 July 2012)


$47,307,550 (USA) (31 August 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Garrett Hedlund and James Franco were considered to play Ben. See more »


When Elena and O are laying on the bed talking, Elena looks directly into the camera. See more »


[first lines]
O: [voice-over] Just because I'm telling you this story doesn't mean I'm alive at the end of it. This could all be pre-recorded and I could be talking to you from the bottom of the ocean. Yeah, it's that kind of a story. Because things just got so out of control.
See more »


Referenced in Midnight Screenings: The Worst Films of 2012 (2013) See more »


Romantic Theme
Written by Adam Peters
Performed by Adam Peters
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A well made film that shoots itself in the foot
29 August 2012 | by (Lexington, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Best friends Chon (Kitsch) and Ben (Johnson) are genius pot dealers in Laguna. One of them is more of a "save the universe" type guy and holds a degree in Business and Botany. Yes, pot heads in High Schools everywhere just rejoiced "It's a real thing!" and the other one, suffering from anger issues stemming from tours in Iraq takes care of the "beating the crap out of people when necessary" aspect. Oh yeah, they also share a girlfriend. (Awkward right?), her name is O (Lively). No really it is I swear. Anyways, moving on because we have to, these two guys have made some of the best pot known to man and have made millions from it. (Still can't find their own girlfriend though, just saying). Everything is going great as they take turns with their shared girlfriend (still weird) in their huge beach house when the Mexican drug cartel decides they want to be partners. This actually stands for "We own you now and you know you like it." Ben and Chon don't really feel like being De-decapitated so they decide to make a go of living in a jungle somewhere until Elena (Hayeck) the ruthless lady leader of the cartel has O kidnapped.

So are you over the fact that our two heroes share a girl yet? OK good, because I'm not either. This is one of those films that can only be enjoyed if you can let go of a few things. The whole film is narrated by O in her stoned and lazy version of her "OMG you guys I am so high right now" voice. She is a lot like her role in The Town only without the Boston accent. She is really annoying as a character and it's kind of hard to feel bad for her much less root for her. This is one of the things you have to let go of to enjoy the film. Ben and Chon worked well because they are the exact opposite to one another yet somehow have the respect for each-other to get along despite their constant different point of views. Kill everybody or run away. Ben was almost as annoying as O because he was always whining and psycho-analyzing everything. I found Chon to be my favorite of the three because he seemed to be the only one who just wanted to actually get things done and blow up some stuff while everyone else talked and talked some more.

Villains make films though and despite the awkwardness and UN-likability of some of the lead roles the bad guys were sinister, relentless and kind of funny at times. One interaction between Elena's ruthless right hand man Lado (Del Toro) and out for himself FBI agent Dennis (Travolta) in particular was tense and humorous at the same time. Travolta was surprisingly great in this film as he looked like his old self and I was pleased to see he had a larger part in the film than anticipated. Elena had a well written back story as well as the bad guys, while certainly crude enough to hate were interesting enough to steal the flick.

Savages UN-intentionally gives us no-one to root for and may even get on your nerves for a moment or two with its anything goes mentality. There is no doubt however, that it has some great action sequences, well written dialog (minus a few horrendous lines by O's character), strong acting by a strong cast and is an all-around well-made film all the way up until it's absolutely dreadful crash and burn of an ending. I won't give anything away here but let's just say this ending is a problem. It felt as though the Director had a decent ending for a good film but wanted some attention so badly that he was willing to ruin his own movie to do so. You don't always have to be edgy and cute. Sometimes playing things straight up is what's best.

65 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Did Blake Lively ruin it BanduDandu
This is the first great film I've seen with a HORRIBLE ENDING!! DukeTogo84
I'm sorry but I could not stand her narrating DFWTooThrowed
the ending isn't that bad... its just clint-taylor
Not as Savage as NBK goodlittlezombiecreep
el chavo del ocho aciago
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