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August: Osage County

7/10
Comedy . Drama
 

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

 
Actors: Abigail Breslin , Juliette Lewis , Julianne Nicholson , Dermot Mulroney , Sam Shepard , Margo Martindale , Ewan McGregor , Chris Cooper , Julia Roberts , Meryl Streep
Directors: John Wells
Country: USA
Release: 2014-01-10
More Info:
  • Jamie S. Rich

    August: Osage County goes to some heavy places, upturning long-buried resentments and secrets. It can be a lot to take at times, but Letts’ knack for dark humor, and Streep’s flawless delivery of the same, allows for levity when the tale is at its most bleak.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    This two-ton prestige pic won’t win the hearts of highbrow critics or those averse to door-slamming, plate-smashing, top-of-the-lungs histrionics, but as a faithful filmed record of Letts’ play, one could have scarcely hoped for better.

    Variety Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    For those who appreciate fiery dialogue delivered by fine actors, August: Osage County is heaven-sent.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    There's a pervasive cruelty, a condescension toward common folks like the Westons that's frequently off-putting, even as we're laughing.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Neil Smith

    This classy adap of a much-garlanded stage play will appeal to discerning audiences who can tolerate unpleasant characters with potty mouths if they're played by Oscar winners.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Family dysfunction has seldom been as flamboyant—or notable for its performances and flow of language—as it is in this screen version of the Tracy Letts play.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    A vastly enjoyable theatrical banquet, if perhaps not a profound one, is served up in a bit of a rush here, as if they can't wait to get the next sitting in. But you certainly don't come away feeling hungry.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    August: Osage County is not for the timid or those who prefer family reunions without histrionics. This film is like a long day’s journey into another damn day.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    August: Osage County is all about the acting. That makes sense because the storyline doesn't offer much that could be considered new or remarkable.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    So, no, August: Osage County isn’t all that original, and sometimes it’s just a lot of yelling. But it does rouse itself to a powerful fury every so often, and Letts knows an audience’s dirty little secret: We love the bloodlust of a family feeding on itself.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    August: Osage County is easier to watch on screen, and maybe for that we should be grateful.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    If the boozy epic confrontations of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" or "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" are your definition of a good time, then this is the place to be.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Streep’s performance has been criticized for being too theatrical, but that’s off the mark: The character she’s playing is supposed to be theatrical. She’s a woman playing a part – the ravaged matriarch.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The movie is red meat for anyone who thrives on a certain brand of punchy, in-your-face emotional shock value. Yet the pull of what happens on screen came, for me, with a major qualification: I went with it, but I didn't totally buy it. The film is a contraption that spreads its darkness like whipped butter on a roll.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    The brilliant screenplay by Mr. Letts sets up the narrative story of the Weston clan in a carefully constructed series of episodes in which the family history is finally revealed. There’s great acting in every frame, but by the end of the ordeal, the viewer may be too exhausted to care.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    A distinctly uneven but imminently watchable theatrical showcase in which cinematic and stagy devices go head to head with no clear winner.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • David Rooney

    Wells directs the actors smoothly enough in individual scenes, but his work lacks the cohesiveness to really pull all the characters together and convey their shared past.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    It’s Roberts’ deepest, strongest, liveliest film work.

    Time Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    August: Osage County is the movie equivalent of Denny's Lumberjack Slam breakfast. If eggs, bacon, and toast aren't enough, throw in some ham, some sausage, pancakes, and hash browns. And then throw in more ham.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    The film feels claustrophobic at times, and stagy. It helps that the supporting cast is uniformly good.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The acting styles of Streep and Roberts, both Golden Globe nominees, don’t exactly mesh, but they’re a hoot.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Osage County does offer up one almost-heartbreaking moment. But it’s so icky that, like the rest of the film, you kind of want to wash it out of your mouth — with supermarket Merlot — rather than savor it.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    There is still enough venom spilled in August: Osage County to make this drama relatable to anyone who’s suffered through a wildly dysfunctional family dinner — and who hasn’t, especially at this time of year?

    New York Post Full Review
  • David Lee Dallas

    What works about the film can largely be attributed to the original text, which is full of cruel twists and savage blows that Tracy Letts wisely retains for the screen.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    If you enjoy improbable plot twists, overcooked dialogue and Hollywood legends champing on scenery, this adaptation is a highly entertaining slice of American Gothic.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    It takes a while to get going and never outstrips its theatrical origins but gets by on great actors working through meaty scenes. See it for Streep vs Redford alone.

    Empire Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Not, in other words, a happy story. It is not a story of redemption or healing or finding happiness amid the despair. It is about reaping what one sows. But, damn, those performances. Damn, that dialog. Damn, that's good stuff.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    If you embrace the overkill, you’ll enjoy it. But if extravagance isn’t your thing, move swiftly on to something lighter and more digestible.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    August: Osage County, however, bitterly funny in some places and numbingly earnest in others, is just too much Streep. But all is not lost. Some of her fellow actors are resourceful enough to reconstruct themselves after being obliterated.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    What ran more than three hours onstage now barely cracks two, and the cutting can be felt in the way the often gut-busting bad behavior is privileged over psychological credibility.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    It’s not so much a mangled movie as it is an unfulfilled, forgettable one: unnecessary for anyone who’s seen the play, yet sufficiently watered-down that newcomers won’t be able to tell what all the fuss was about.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Although a couple of performances here may earn Oscar nominations, by the time you’ve sat through the wreckage, you’re left with the sense that this really must have worked better onstage.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    August: Osage County is at times affecting (Cooper’s tender moment with Cumberbatch, who has slept through an important event, is especially so), but mostly it’s all about actors acting and never letting us forget they’re doing so.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    A sometimes wickedly funny but ultimately sour, loud, draining tale of one of the most dysfunctional families in modern American drama. And that’s saying a lot.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    See the play sometime. It cooks; the movie's more of a microwave reheat.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    In the all-star movie adaptation of August: Osage County, another play that holds the stage with fang and claw feels less momentous onscreen.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Laremy Legel

    What’s truly unnerving about the whole thing is how good certain scenes are, and how great a few of the performances come off, especially Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep – they’re doing amazing work, only it’s the equivalent of building a lovely home on a foundation of quicksand.

    Film.com Full Review
  • Kevin Jagernauth

    August: Osage County is a film of big, wild gestures, plate smashing, screaming and tears, but not nuance, and it all has the effect of leaving one deadened, not moved.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    August: Osage County is a mess, an overcooked movie-star stew that never quite coheres into a movie.

    Slate Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    August: Osage County falls into an uncanny valley between melodrama and camp, failing to achieve either heights of operatic feeling or flights of knowing parody. The jokes are too labored, too serious.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Despite the story's melodramatic contrivances the creation of characters we actually care about is beyond this film's capabilities.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    The cast is too big, the setting too obviously stagey, the issues too diffuse, the personalities too simple.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Catherine Shoard

    It's bracing, but it does feel closer to panto than melodrama, more exhausting than illuminating.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    August: Osage County was a three-hour play that felt like two hours. It has been made into a two-hour movie that feels like a month.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • David Denby

    As you watch, you don't think of the decline of American civilization; you think that these are good actors giving themselves a hell of a workout in a misbegotten movie. [6 Jan. 2014, p.72]

    The New Yorker Full Review
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