Savage Grace 2007

Critics score:
38 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Savage Grace is content to glide along, and while its key performances are intelligent, none of the writing activates these real-life characters fully. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: In its frigid way, Savage Grace is potent: It makes incest a state of mind. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: Julianne Moore proves game for anything in this pitch-black true-crime reconstruction, where she stars as mercurial socialite Barbara Baekeland, wife of the taciturn heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune (virtuoso Stephen Dillane). Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Though the film looks elegant, with deceptively simple interiors creating an impression of great wealth, it feels remote. We're impressed by the work the actors are doing, yet the characters don't hold our interest. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: When in the presence of a woman like Barbara Baekeland -- and an actress like Moore -- lesser souls are doomed to wither. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Savage Grace contemplates passion without sampling it, though, and the film quickly becomes as remote as a magazine spread. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: For that particular someone, Savage Grace could be the perfect summer Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Given its subject matter, it's oddly vacuous -- it rarely takes hold emotionally even when its people hit bottom with a resounding thud. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Savage Grace has been shot with decadent cool creaminess, yet it's a rather slipshod movie. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Though the characters may be repellent, the film permits you to feel sympathy. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: While the Baekelands would be flattered to rank with Clytemnestra and Oedipus, they and the film are as shallow as martinis Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Howard Rodman's fine-tuned script and terrific acting across the board (Hugh Dancy is marvelous as a fashionable, well-manicured monster) makes Savage Grace a pleasure -- albeit a ghastly one -- to watch. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Grace may be based on a true story, but barely a moment in it feels real. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: The movie is based on a true story, but for all its outre set pieces it never rises above the level of pretentious trash. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Savage Grace is a film strictly for avant-garde festivals, at which even minimal exposition is at a premium. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Mother-son incest, adultery, full-frontal nudity, murder and suicide may not lure summer ostriches hellbent on burying their brains in entertainments as forgettable as Chinese menus, but what a haunting experience they'll miss. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Living these lives, for these people, must have been sad and tedious, and so, inevitably, is their story, and it must be said, the film about it. Read more

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle: It's a horror story, all right, but the reason for telling it remains unclear, and it seems like a waste of Kalin's evident talent. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: If ever there was a film to extinguish any envy of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, Savage Grace is it. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star: While the pace occasionally flags and there are times when we wonder where Kalin is leading us, he maintains a pervasive sense of dread and unease throughout that makes the chilling climax seem both shocking and inevitable. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

Melissa Anderson, Time Out: Read more

Jay Weissberg, Variety: A crushingly unsuccessful glimpse into the lives of the rich, peripatetic heirs of the Bakelite plastics fortune. Read more

Julia Wallace, Village Voice: The lurid plot, based on a very true story, isn't the problem here...stilted dialogue), and not nearly enough coaxing Moore out of her habit of clenching her face at the camera. Read more

Jim Ridley, Village Voice: A lip-smacking episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Depraved, designed more for train-wreck gawkery than psychological illumination. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: The movie just sloshes along in a heavy, slightly overdone way. Read more