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August: Osage County Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Growling Ladies of Wrestling Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    Time Richard Corliss

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

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter 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.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal 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.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Variety 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.

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  • See all August: Osage County reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Affecting but exhausting dysfunctional-family drama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that August: Osage County is an intense drama about a dysfunctional family and the chaos that erupts in the wake of a suicide that triggers several difficult revelations. There are several bitter arguments as an Oklahoma family's deepest secrets are revealed, along with healthy doses of profanity (including "f--k" and "c--t"), drinking, and smoking. Adultery, incest, and attempted sexual assault are part of the overall story. The main character pops prescription pills like jelly beans and one middle-aged man smokes pot with a teenage girl.

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts family. Does any part of the story feel familiar to you? Do you notice anything about this fictional family that seems more or less realistic than other families in movies?
  • What is harder to endure: a movie packed with unrealistic gun violence or a film like this, full of family tension and bitterness? What kind of movie is more satisfying?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Families can sustain you, but they can also be so dysfunctional that they're not healthy. Secrets are destructive, and the truth usually comes out anyway.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The film's full of very angry characters coming to terms with the reasons for their anger, colliding with others in the process. Practically nobody comes across as any kind of role model in this film that centers on a bitter, drug-addicted matriarch of a highly dysfunctional family. A few characters try to do the right thing, but their motivations or methods are questionable.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Several intense arguments among family members, most instigated by cruel goading from their bitter matriarch. Some escalate into screaming fights and at one point the adult daughter tries to wrestle the mother to the ground to take a bottle of pills from her hands. A man is assaulted with a frying pan as he attempts to seduce a young teenage girl.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Several references to sexual relationships, including adultery and incest. A middle-aged man attempts to seduce a 14-year-old girl, isolating her and trying to kiss her. Three adult sisters have an entire conversation about the best term to use to refer to their mother's vagina.

  • language false3

    Language: Plenty of swearing all through the film, including "Goddamn," "s--t," "bitch," "c--t," "---hole," numerous variations of "f--k," and many other creative uses of profanity.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: One character drives a red Ferrari convertible.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A main character is addicted to prescription drugs and pops pills through much of the film. Her husband is a long-time alcoholic. Other characters smoke cigarettes and drink socially in several scenes. A middle-aged man discusses his desire to smoke pot and later shares a joint with a teenage girl. Several types of medications are mentioned by name, including Valium, OxyContin, Percoset, Dilaudid, Xanax and more.