Critic Reviews



Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
A return to form for Stone's dark side, Savages generates ruthless energy and some, but not too much, humor.
At the confluence of altered states and state-sanctioned violence, this drug-fueled thriller is Stone's most successfully provocative picture since "JFK."
Savages is Oliver Stone doing what he should have done a long time ago: making a tricky, amoral, down-and-dirty crime thriller that's blessedly free of any social, topical, or political relevance.
The violence is graphic, the dialogue can be awfully arch and the style is often mannered, but this long, dense adventure takes surprising side trips into thoughtfulness, ruefulness, whimsy and romance. It's high-grade entertainment sustained by a buoyant spirit.
Stone relies on his leads to guide us into this hyper-charged inferno, and they fit his juiced-up approach like James Woods and Woody Harrelson did in Stone's equally hopped-up "Salvador" and "Natural Born Killers." He gets us high on what they're selling before it goes south.
Despite its excesses, Savage" is never unintentionally funny, just gritty and mean. The run time is more than two hours, yet it's also tight: no drag, no waste, no message.
Stone is also a director who has often felt that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, and his weakness for bloody excesses of all sorts undermines much of his good work. You might not think that a motion picture called Savages could be too violent, too savage, but you would be wrong.
Savages represents at least a partial resurrection of the director's more hallucinatory, violent, sexual and, in a word, savage side.
Stone's moralism, coupled with discreet but bloody beatings, shootouts and all manner of tawdry goings on, rings hollow. The picture is neither entertaining nor preachy - it is simply very loudly meh.
Savages comes off as director Oliver Stone trying to rekindle his "Natural Born Killers" mojo from 1994. But when the bigger-name stars show up here in cartoonish roles, things feel more silly than gritty.
Who knows if it was Del Toro's idea, or Stone's, but at a particularly crucial - and criminal - moment, as a very bad thing is about to occur, the actor twirls his mustache menacingly, like a Mexican Snidely Whiplash. Yes, Savages is that kind of story.
So. What part of this is boring? All of it.

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