The Beaver Reviews

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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