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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.

    Read Full Review

  • 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.

    Read Full Review

  • 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.

    Read Full Review

  • 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 true1

    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 false4

    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 false1

    Consumerism: One character drives a red Ferrari convertible.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    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.

Fan Reviews provided by


Excellent acting and cast - very dark and language throughout by shafferquad
I love Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts so I was really excited to see this movie. The acting and talent in the movie was superb but I didn't realize how dark, confrontational and how deeply it would portray a highly disfunctional family. The F word is used alot which caught me off guard since I wasn't expecting it for this type of movie. I hope someone from this cast gets an academy award for this movie.


One of the worst movies I have ever seen. by Edtheox
For the life of me, I cannot understand how people could think the acting was good. Maryl Streep overacts so much, I was embarrassed for her. The story is totally contrived, purely for shock value, to such an extent that people were laughing around me in the theater. Ever character had terrible issues, and then they started combining various family members to make even more terrible issues. It was total crap.


Another classic! by lisamiller4realestat
Great cast! Good story! Great acting! Loved it and would see it in the theater again!!! The whole audience laughed out loud quite a bit! Emotional roller coaster!!!


Story? by LGP
Lots of great acting work going on in August: Osage County, but what's the story? There were a bunch of reveals in the two hours, but at the end of it all, I couldn't see a story there.


Tough, tough movie... but great acting by AustinBuff
This is a brutal family epic, full of almost unbelievable dysfunctionality. But Meryl Streep deserved (should have gotten) the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as the bitter, drug-addled matriarch.


SoCalGal_TheMovie - fandango reviewer is misinformed by artchixx116
Just wanted to add that "SoCalGal_TheMovie" fandango reviewer wrote that Roger Ebert gave August Osage County a big thumbs down & so did she. I would LOVE to know how Mr. Ebert showed her his thumbs down from the grave -- seeing as how he passed away April 4, 2013 & the movie was released December 27th, 2013. Just a thought.


Painful by counterisk
Hard to imagine creating a story, play, movie where you absolutely hate every single character in the movie- well the Native American maid is faultless, but no one else has any redeeming traits, and I hated the movie and everyone in it, and it was torture to watch it to completion. would never see this movie again, or recommend it to anyone unless they wanted to induce vomiting. I think playing mentally challenged or despicable characters is not necessarily high quality acting, and not worthy of anyone winning an award for it. Winning awards would indicate that it is worthy of watching and implicitly tells others that they should watch , so they can view the masterful performances. You want masterful performances that are memorable and you'll want to watch over and over again, and recommend to others? I can give you a long list- and this movie isn't on it.


August: Osage County by jfeavearyear
Very interesting interchanges between the Mother and daughters and also between the Mother and her sister. The Father had taken the horror for so long he could only leave or commit suicide, he should have left a long time ago. the brother-in-law was the sane one in the movie. I saw the play on Broadway and the movie was better but don't go to Oklahoma in August!.


August: Osage County by Virginia304
I thought Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were superior actors! It's a disturbing movie about an extremely dysfunctional family. For me, it meant looking beyond the actions and words of the movie to the deeper issues/pain that each character lived with. It made me feel a desire to, in my own family, be a better listener with more understanding and compassion. I would not bring children to the movie unless they were mature enough to understand it with explanations from the parents.


Something for Every Dysfunctional Family! by ginsue
What starts out as a review of addiction and personality disorders morphs into a study of human behavior among those closest to all of us--family. Parts were warm, disgusting, sweet, irritating...running the gambit of emotion and leaving you with a tension knot in your stomach. Whether you see it in the theaters or at home On Demand or rent from Red Box or is worth it...but the cost is more than money, it is the many tears at your soul. Amazing cast and amazing acting!