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Savages (2012)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  6 July 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 99,128 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 267 user | 330 critic | 41 from

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


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?


Oliver Stone cast Taylor Kitsch after watching his performance in footage from Battleship (2012), which was still in post-production at the time. See more »


The headrests in Chon and Ben's Jeep disappear are reappear several times depending on the scene. They are missing when Dennis gets in to talk with them. Later in the desert ambush scene, they have been replaced. 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 »


References The Mummy (1932) See more »


Psycho Killer
Written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth
Performed by Bruce Lash
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A violent crime thriller that manages to entertain despite its flaws.
3 December 2013 | by (Mars) – See all my reviews

I got a kick out of reading the popular Hated It reviews about Savages. It's all very funny. It's the same with some other films that Oliver Stone made in recent years. But is Savages really that bad? In my opinion it's not that bad. It's a fine film actually. But its flaws can be irritating. When I began watching the film I wondered if I turned on a dirty movie. But no. That was just Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ophelia (Blake Lively) having their special time. Maybe it's not that special because later Ophelia has the same time with Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). I hope Stone included these scenes just to show that these three are very close. Fine. A little later though viewers are treated to what passes as a commercial promoting the use of marijuana. Fine. The three lead actors show little range throughout the film. But I didn't think that this was a problem because it keeps the film entertaining instead of too dramatic. It's entertaining but it's not easy to watch sometimes. It's a simplified, glossy, watered-down and often violent representation of the War on Drugs and Mexican drug dealing. The Mexican Drug War is still ongoing and several dozen thousand people have been killed because of it. For anyone who doesn't know I'll mention that the war is just a result of America's economic policies. So-called free trade drove millions of Mexicans out of work and into poverty and crime. On the other side of the world, in Afghanistan, the Americans and the British have deliberately increased opium production for export to neighboring countries, especially to Russia. Genocide as a result of drug use and drug trafficking is an old British trick that goes back centuries. It's an interesting topic but I don't pay much attention to it. Savages is kind of a peek inside, though it doesn't get into the seriousness of the issue. Even if Kitsch, Johnson, and Lively aren't sympathetic leads the film still has memorable performances from Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro and John Travolta. The screenplay by Shane Salerno, Don Winslow and Stone can be considered a cheat. It doesn't just raise a question mark at the very beginning of the film, which I didn't like. It also tarnishes the ending. I would have just preferred the upbeat version without the downbeat version. But, like I mentioned, it's an entertaining film that does have something to say. Its running time is a little over two hours, however the time goes by fast. For me Savages turned out to be an engaging film. Dan Mindel's appealing cinematography is a benefit too. I didn't think that I'd like it when I saw the trailer, but it's a well-directed crime thriller. I recommend it.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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