“One Of The Best Movies About Depression That Don't Look Depressive At All.”
“As Silly As It Sounds, The Beaver Has Got To Be The Most Serious Film To Be Released All Year Thus Far, Where The Film Contains Actual Characters, Realistic Dialogue, And A Story That Really Gets You Thinking.”
“Depression Can Be Dangerous Without Help”
“Mel Gibson Gives The Performance Of His Career In Jodie Foster's Terrific Film.”
Mel Gibson looks like hell in The Beaver. That's a compliment.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
A promising story about a madman and his puppet fast becomes a trite tale of a father and son as the combustible Mr. Gibson is tamped down...
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Contrived, self-admiring and self-pitying, unfunny, burdened with a central performance which is unendurably conceited and charmless.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
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.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Despite some missteps, this film stands as a moving portrait of a husband and father who reclaims his will to live with the unlikely help of a hand puppet. And the main reason it's so moving? Mel Gibson.
Jen Chaney - Washington Post
It's unclear what about life or depression Foster and Killen are really saying. A movie about a man hiding behind a puppet is also a story about a movie hiding behind its star.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Mel's character isn't on Prozac, but the movie is -- a succession of bland camera setups, cued to a highly conventional score. Would that the direction were half as nutty as the script or as wacked-out as its star!
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
Though Kyle Killen's script becomes trite and predictable, Gibson delivers in an uncompromising way.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Delivers more than it promises-namely a performance that draws on exceptional skill as well as what one irresistibly takes to be the real-life anguish of a movie star whose own life has come to ruin.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
You won't be the only one anticipating a car-crash appeal in The Beaver , that eerie sensation of not being able to look away from catastrophe.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
The film is amusing, then melancholy, then weirdly funny, then not. It's a quiet, measured work.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
...the film has some bristling and moving scenes and certainly ends up being what you'd call a conversation starter.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
The movie's glumness is in synch with Foster's performances over the last decade: It's as if she's decided that acting is something you mature beyond. Which I suspect had a dampening effect on Gibson's performance.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
As director, Foster, working with Kyle Killen's screenplay, treats the goofy premise with a literal earnestness -- as a family drama about separation and reunion -- that seems all wrong. A little wit would have helped.
David Denby - New Yorker
"The Beaver" is almost successful, despite the premise of its screenplay, which I was simply unable to accept.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
This strange, uncertain picture can't be dismissed.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
This is often quite affecting for its portrait of midlife crisis and Gibson's personal investment in the role.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
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.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
If anyone can see past the suggestive title, the oddball premise and the controversial casting of this film, they might be surprised to find it surprisingly tolerable.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The acting throughout -- Foster, Lawrence, Yelchin -- is superb, and this may well be Gibson's finest performance, just as it's Foster's most balanced job of directing.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Gibson's performance as Walter Black ranks among the best of his career.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Whatever you think of Mr. Gibson, whatever he has lost, he still has talent, and here displays acting of power and resonance. It's a pleasure, for a change, to see the best side of his split personality at work.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
[Gibson] delivers a performance very few could pull off as a depressed father who begins communicating through a hand puppet, but Foster doesn't know how to manage it or navigate the script's seismic tonal shifts/
Andrew Barker - Variety
Even as Kyle Killen's script becomes ever more implausible and ultimately ridiculous, it's impossible to take your eyes off the screen when the tortured and ill-looking Gibson is center stage.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Gibson and the baggage he brings along with him on this regret and redemption tale make "The Beaver" an often moving and always disturbing film.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The entire cast delivers, but none more so than Gibson.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Navigates its tricky tone and subject matter in a sweet, memorable fashion.
Eric D. Snider - Film.com
I didn't want to read a word about The Beaver before seeing it, and I'm glad I went in "cold." It's a purposefully odd little film about mental illness and a broken family, made with care and obvious passion by Jodie Foster from a...
Leonard Maltin - indieWIRE
Gibson demonstrates a staunch commitment to his role as an emotionally damaged man driven to excise his troubles by speaking through the titular hand puppet, but the subdued tone brings him down to earth.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
Sure, there's lots of pretense but it's all the wrong kind -- just silliness posing as sensitivity pretending to be art.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
I don't know whether Gibson is Method-acting out of his own psychology or is just a brilliant mimic, but it's tough to resist the conclusion that this guy knows what it's like to look in the mirror and not quite recognize the person he sees there.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
If you continue to be fascinated by this talented, volatile, messed-up man, it's worth experiencing what may be Gibson's finest performance to date.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Less nutty and more moving than its premise suggests, Jodie Foster's on-target dramedy transcends its real-world baggage.
John DeFore - Hollywood Reporter
With The Beaver, Gibson shows that for all his personal turmoil, he still may have a career in the twilight years.
David Germain - Associated Press
The Beaver is serious about portraying mental illness. And whatever your opinion about Gibson the man, so is Gibson the actor.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
If you can get past your feelings for the troubled Gibson, you get to watch a high-wire performance of the highest caliber.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Brilliant film by Jodie Foster, with Oscar-level performances.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
An emotional runaway of a film that carries neither the insight nor the uplift to make the weight of its dark journey worth it.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Mel Gibson's last hurrah
Roger Moore - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
A unique and thoughtful project that showcases a charming, as well as unconventional, character journey -- and one of Gibson's best roles to date.
Ben Kendrick - ScreenRant
- Sight and Sound
Leonard Maltin - ReelzChannel.com
The device of the beaver is a constant distraction from what is otherwise a compelling tale of a man and family in crisis.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
It's a bummer of a movie -- dark and at cross-purposes with both itself and any image do-over [Gibson] might be seeking.
Leah Rozen - The Wrap
Sthn trith ths skhnothetikh apopeira, h Jodie Foster akomh den exei piasei thn ennoia toy rakor, alla ayto einai to mikrotero ap' ta problhmata mias dramenti poy pairnei to thema ths katathlipshs arketa elafra, gia na thes na thn aytoktonhseis
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Moviegoers probably won't be interested in seeing Mel Gibson in an onscreen train wreck that reminds them so much of the mess he's made of his real life.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Put the puppet back into the dumpster.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Aside from having a title that turns me into a puerile, sniggering teenager every time I talk about it, The Beaver is a heartbreakingly good movie.
Tim Martain - The Mercury
Se maneja en el filo entre la comedia absurda y el drama lacrimogeno, una combinacion no siempre efectiva. Dentro de un buen elenco se destaca el intento de Mel Gibson por volver a los primeros planos.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
The Beaver makes for a creative portrayal of mental illness, and of family life around those who live in the dark, reaching a fine balance of drama and comedy.
Amy Killin - Cut Print Review
Amy Killin - Moviedex
Jodie Foster's The Beaver is a film about mental illness that, refreshingly, isn't like most films about mental illness.
William Kostakis - MovieFIX
Mel Gibson is quite wonderful as Walter and it's to Foster's credit that she is able to balance the serious with the bizarre so convincingly.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
The Beaver is one of the strangest and most inconsistent dramas in recent years.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
This is a wholly wasted opportunity for Gibson -- and a disappointing misfire from Foster.
Ed Gibbs - Sydney Morning Herald
It is a totally manufactured product, this film, completely free of sincerity and reality
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
There's a strong and positive sub-text to the story, offering a depth of understanding to an often considered subject that is taboo. But whether audiences will buy Gibson talking with the hand is another question
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
- National Post
A heartfelt and compassionate portrait of mental illness.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Jodie Foster invites us to laugh at this guy who talks through a puppet, then scolds us for doing so.
Stephen Himes - Film Snobs
The Beaver goes to elaborate lengths to sidestep any interesting conflicts or complex characters, instead opting for twee humour and saccharine life lessons.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
The Beaver sensitively deals with themes of mental illness, suicide and self-belief, plumbing some very dark nooks of the human psyche.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
Deftly handling the seriousness of its mental health issues, The Beaver is also often profoundly funny.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Foster's curious movie is at once a realisation of the kind of "risky" script that never gets made and an unwitting signifier of typical Hollywood contrivance.
Nicolas Rapold - Sight and Sound
It is the very essence of a misfire, a film so out of step with the times that I'm tempted to say Dick Cheney on a hunting trip couldn't have misfired more.
Jason Solomons - Observer [UK]
It is, by some distance, the best drama about family life this year - the sort of refreshingly-good film it would have been easy to think that nobody in Hollywood wanted to make any more.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Foster's direction is on the timid side but Gibson's performance manages to make a weird situation feel real and unexpectedly touching.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
The set-up sounds absurd, and parts of the movie are indeed funny peculiar, but overall Foster plays things straight and Gibson rewards her with a nakedly honest portrayal of a man who's hit rock bottom and is trying to clamber back to the light.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Not a good movie, but a brave one from a star in trouble.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
They seem like a real family, beaver puppet and all. And 'The Beaver' gives them the dignity they deserve in their troubled times.
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
It isn't offensive, or antisemitic, or actionable, so there's some relief -- but it is very embarrassing.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Mel Gibson's off-screen exploits have lumbered him with some heavy baggage, so it's surprising to see him embrace that vulnerability in Jodie Foster's oddball comedy.
Stella Papamichael - Radio Times
Fitfully compelling, a welcome antidote to more formulaic Hollywood fare, and deserving of more than embarrassed sniggers.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
While there are too many carefully constructed moments in this film, it's a remarkably effective mixture of dark drama and absurd comedy. This is surprising because the premise is more than a little ridiculous.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
What we're left with is a daft premise and a damaged movie star desperately trying to endear himself to the audience. A bold but doomed effort.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
It's commendable to capture depression on film, but a talking rodent and a fallen star aren't the way to do so.
Lewis Bazley - Little White Lies
Somewhat tedious once the initial novelty of seeing Mel Gibson talk using a beaver puppet has worn off.
Catherine Bray - Film4
As the movie grows darker, and Walter becomes more dissociated from reality, Gibson convincingly depicts a man who'll have to crack all the way before he can heal.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Worth seeing for its terrific central performance from Mel Gibson, though it runs out of steam in the middle section and gets a little too bogged down in its less interesting, beaver-free sub-plot.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Beyond the initial idea, this is kid gloves filmmaking, when what we need is a bit more of the gloves-off stuff.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
From the pen newcomer Kyle Killen, creator of the brilliant, but instantaneously cancelled, Lone Star, it reeks of promise but vast inexperience, while Jodie Foster perhaps could have helmed the narrative better too.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
While using a comical device to explore a serious subject, Foster clearly wants to go darker and deeper, striving to draw parallels between the bonding of the kindred teens and Walter's increasingly disturbing psychotic split.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
A story that should be savagely funny and tauntingly surreal, at least for part of its arc, drifts into problem-of-the-week terrain.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
But curiosity over a Gibson screen return may make this a surprise box office climber - and a warm-up act for the greatly anticipated How I Spent My Summer Vacation ...
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
It never quite comes together in a satisfying way, but it's still a brave, strange, brain-stirring piece of filmmaking.
William Thomas - Empire Magazine
I'm still hoping for a sequel in which Jodie gives Mel a puppet cockerel.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
The Beaver is the best American release I have seen this year... easily.
David Poland - Movie City News
The film works thanks to the performance by Gibson. Despite his messy personal life laid bare on the Internet and tabloid headlines, he still has talent.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
...while it's probably not a movie everyone will want to see, is probably the best Hollywood movie of 2011 to date.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
No one can deny Gibbo delivers one of the most compelling performances of his career.
Matt Mueller - Total Film
...[The Beaver is] a better-than-expected drama containing one of Gibson's finest performances to date.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
The weird Mel Gibson movie no one wants to see is actually a strong psychological study from director Jodie Foster.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
The script, thank goodness, takes a left turn rather than heading straight for the Happily Ever Oprah uplifting conclusion we anticipate.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
For all his recent travails, Gibson remains a formidable film-maker (Apocalypto was a tour de force) and a strong screen presence. He is simply not right for his role here.
Geoffrey Macnab - Independent
The Beaver puts the focus back on Mel Gibson the actor, not the tabloid nightmare.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
It's still worth seeing, if only for Gibson's performance.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
The reason to see "The Beaver" ... is Gibson, who nails both roles in what feels like it's half-performance, half-therapy.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
A fairly uninvolving one-trick pony.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
In case you haven't heard, Mel Gibson has a new movie out, with a dumb title and even dumber premise. That's three reasons to not buy a ticket to The Beaver, but I'm guessing Gibson's polarizing presence is enough for most folks. It has been, so far.
Steve Persall - St. Petersburg Times
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Gibson knows a thing or two about lost, troubled souls, and watching him navigate around the edge of the abyss is fascinating.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
This could be a great swan song or the rebirth of a troubled yet talented actor. Either way, it's quite special.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
Flawed, but in an era of safe filmmaking with stories and characters tied in uniformly neat bows, The Beaver operates outside the box ... and then it kicks the box down the street.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Someone like Walter Black is bruised in the brain. Like The Beaver, such a state is complicated, aggravating, but definitely worth fighting to understand and accept.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Regardless of what you've read in the tabloids and have come to know about Mel Gibson off screen, on screen, he is still a man with many talents.
Mark Sells - The Reel Deal
It's basically Gibson's show, and he's thoroughly believable. ...Unfortunately, the parallel [seems] to have come from a different, inferior screenplay, resulting in half a good film ... or at least half an interesting one.
Andy Klein - Brand X
The main problem with the film, competently but rather blandly directed by Foster, is that you can't believe this fairy tale for a moment.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
The refusal of Foster and screenwriter Kyle Killen to conform to familiar narrative rhythms makes The Beaver curiously intriguing.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
Off-screen Mel Gibson may be a deplorable human being, but he and The Beaver, a film honest about depression and lined with a certain bruised grace, are uniquely suited to one another.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
A flawed, erratic comedy-drama that nonetheless remains fascinating because of Gibson's frenziedly committed performance.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
It's a tough sell, but watching Gibson's character work through his depression is addictive.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
...contains moments of cinematic brilliance and insightful characterization but also occasions of wishful thinking bordering on the ludicrous.
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
When Meredith claims they used to be happy, and he responds that it's all a lie, we don't really know who to believe. And that vagueness makes it unclear who we're supposed to trust and what outcome will actually be a good thing for the characters.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
"The Beaver" isn't a perfect film, but it's challenging and original.
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The beaver puppet never comes off Gibson's hand and that, like its star has demonstrated in his more recent films, there's no redemption without some crucifixion-style pain.
Dave White - Movies.com
There are many scenes in which absurdist fiction intersects with fact that it's depressing and disturbing, yet Gibson's anguished performance is not only believablebut insightful and compelling.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Gibson again stares deeply into the abyss. The question is whether—after his public disgrace—anyone will want to go there with him.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
The storyline would appear trite and the message muddled even to someone who'd never heard the name Mel Gibson.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
If you're going ahead and make "The Beaver," and you need an actor to go convincingly off the deep end, you could do worse than Mel Gibson. But you might not do better.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
I respected The Beaver for having the conviction to treat mental illness seriously and without compromise. But did it have to be so maudlin, too?
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
What sounds like an odd, interesting experiment squanders its potential on boring life lessons and bland sincerity.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
There's not a single idea that gets full explored... [Foster's] ideas about how to visualise the themes and character beats of the story could hardly be more obvious, or leading,
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Completely overgrown with symbolic gestures.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky - Ebert Presents At The Movies
Admittedly, Gibson is very good as the deeply disturbed hero - particularly as he sits alone slugging vodka or mourning the loss of his family's love. But is this really acting? Is it even a performance?
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
In The Beaver, a stately family drama with a black comedy struggling to break free from within, Mel Gibson deploys a seemingly magical hand puppet -- plus more charm than he's allowed out in public in years.
Ella Taylor - NPR
I've rarely seen a movie about severe malcontents that ended on such a note of unearned uplift.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Settling for superficial sentimentality, it makes us feel sorry for the characters, especially Walter, but it doesn't enlighten or challenge us, which serious art should do.
David Roark - Christianity Today
Everyone is coming to see Gibson and Foster, but it's Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence who emerges as the superstar supporting player in the film.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
The figure of Gibson is immediately suspect and polarizing, and ultimately too much of a distraction from this fragile TV-style family story.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
The puppet works.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
An awkward, uneven amalgamation of drama and comedy with more cringe-inducing moments than laughter or poignancy, despite uniformly strong performances.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
It's possible Mel Gibson is *too* good and Foster was too willing to let the tone of Gibson's performance steer the tone of the movie, rather than the tone of Killen's script.
Dan Fienberg - HitFix
Foster commendably stretches beyond her comfort zone with The Beaver, but in the end the film's high-concept premise is at war with its conventional direction.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Let us begin by saying The Beaver is good enough to let you forget everything you think you know about Mel Gibson for 90 minutes.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
Dan Fienberg - Zap2it.com
the movie comes across as rather safe and sober, with misplaced attempts at humor.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
The movie comes across as rather safe and sober, with misplaced attempts at humor.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
While the film flirts with both darkness and narrative craziness, Foster is too buttoned-down a director to make this material crackle and pop the way it should.
Alonso Duralde - Movies.com
Foster almost brings it home with a playful tone that accentuates Gibson's batty performance, but one plot point nearly throws the poignancy of the story down the toilet.
Daniel Hubschman - Hollywood.com
None of this sounds as if it should work for a second as drama, so great credit goes to Foster and the cast for keeping the story small, quiet and often very moving.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The film is to be commended for addressing depression, but while Gibson's performance is always fascinating, a dual acting job without benefit of a screen double, the film suffers its own malaise when he's not on screen.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Jodie Foster's drama The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson as a depressed man who communicates via a hand puppet, is many things: admirably sincere, occasionally poignant, often trite and perversely wrong-headed.
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
too odd to sink your teeth into
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
An incongruous mix of fable and realism, giddiness and gloom, The Beaver gnaws off more than it can chew, but Mel Gibson's earnest performance and Jodie Foster's able direction shore up the dam.
Rex Roberts - Film Journal International
The remarkable marriage of actor and role turns out to be the best part of this overly tidy family portrait.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Gibson's best performance in years saves the picture from its inconsistency. Few other actors could ride out the bumps in plot while delivering a believable performance.
Tony Hicks - Contra Costa Times
Take away the titular gimmick, and the film would be a standard-issue family drama with nothing to set it apart from other oft-told tales of suburban ennui.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
What starts out as a harmless, if kind of goofy, exercise in radical psychotherapy takes a compelling dark turn in Jodie Foster's The Beaver.
Annlee Ellingson - Moving Pictures Magazine
This is a daring drama, a true risk for everyone involved that pays off with an emotionally rewarding piece about mental illness, family ties, and turning points.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
[VIDEO] Mel Gibson's cinematic mia culpa might not equate to a public apology to the countless people he's insulted over recent years.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
The redemption the movie most strongly suggests is Mel Gibson's own.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
The Beaver's simplistic resolution is a fitting one, considering how the movie, like its characters, evades the problem.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Gibson is powerful, touching in Foster's finely shaped, offbeat drama as a profoundly sad man trying to save himself. The haunting fictional portrait lingers beyond the film.
Caryn James - James on screenS
There maybe be a lot of talk about this being the return of "actor Mel," but The Beaver is also the return of director Foster.
Peter Paras - E! Online
While The Beaver starts with Gibson in What Women Want slapstick mode, it eventually goes to such exaggerated, extreme places that it becomes as much of a must-watch train-wreck as Gibson's own real-life situation.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
Foster has crept out on a limb here, showing us a grown-up human being who's in terrible pain, and for whom there are no easy answers.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Jodie Foster has created an uneven, inordinately peculiar film, one that oscillates unsuccessfully between edgy black comedy and Hollywood convention.
Eugenia Williamson - Boston Phoenix
...a character study of depression and mental illness that does not preach and says a lot about the human spirit, even though the star is a beaver.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Emotionally messy in all the right places. Bravely addresses the isolation of depression and the lack of easy answers when it comes to people with mental illness.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Is Gibson showing us the character or himself or some combination of the two? You decide. But whoever that is onscreen, it's the saddest man in the world.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Ventriloquism -- seeing and speaking through others -- is Foster's metaphor for the compassion that art ought to elicit, but that even the Hollywood community of "artists" has failed in making Gibson a pariah.
Armond White - New York Press
Neither as funny as you'd hope nor as serious or profound as it seems to think...half a good movie, until it takes a fatal wrong turn into solemnity and mawkishness.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Could it be that Foster, who has gone on the record as a loyal ally of Gibson's, made this small, poignant drama about depression and redemption as a gift of love to her friend?
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
Viewers will have to check cartloads of baggage upon entering Jodie Foster's courageous, crazy-as-a-loon character study about a man having a major midlife meltdown.
David Fear - Time Out New York
A quirky but emotionally affecting drama about depression, beaver medicine, and the miracles of love and transformation.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
If you take [Gibson's] performance on its own merits, it's one of the finest of his career; touching, terrifying and admirably understated throughout.
Chris Tilly - IGN Movies
Mel Gibson's passion is vanquished by his collaborators' retreat into boilerplate sentimentality.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
Despite its ambitious tonal sweep, The Beaver ends up feeling like pieces of a lot of different films, making it a movie that's more interesting than it is great.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Richard Roeper - ReelzChannel.com
It is a potent reminder of why jodie Foster should have made more movies by now. And it is a strong beginning for screenwriter Kyle Killen.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Mel Gibson's emotionally intense performance is the best element of Jodie Foster's disappointing family melodrama, a bland, earnest, shapeless film, marred by contrived ending.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
The Beaver is ironically salvaged by GIbson's complete performance, and the film's commitment to his character ensures that it will endure beyond the controversy, resonating in spite of itself.
David Ehrlich - Boxoffice Magazine
Jodie Foster shows as a director that you really can make a movie about anything if you do it right. I mean, a guy with a beaver puppet? Come on!
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
It's a lame joke, but it fits: I'm of two minds about The Beaver.
Matt Singer - IFC.com
A perfect match of artist and repertoire.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
[Mel Gibson] gives remarkable life to a man, and a film, in crisis.
William Goss - Cinematical