The Beaver

2011 PG-13 1h 31m Blu-ray / DVD

The Beaver

2011 PG-13 1h 31m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Suffering from a severe case of depression, toy company CEO Walter Black begins using a beaver hand puppet to help him open up to his family. Jodie Foster directs and co-stars as Walter's wife in this dark comedy.
Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Cherry Jones, Anton Yelchin, Riley Thomas Stewart, Zachary Booth, Jennifer Lawrence, Kelly Coffield, Michael Rivera, Matt Lauer
Jodie Foster
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.40:1
English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2:40:1
English SDH
English: DTS 5.1 HD
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers. PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this movie about a troubled family (which stars Mel Gibson and was directed by Jodie Foster) is a very strange drama with some comedy elements; it's disturbing in many ways, and while some will find it appalling, others may find it inspiring. A despondent character attempts suicide, and there's a constant, simmering sense of discontent, as well as some moments of fighting and violence. Language includes "s--t," one "f--k," and other words; there's also some teen flirting and minor sex scenes between a husband and a wife. There's one intense scene of drinking, plus prescription drugs and a mention of a teen buying "weed."

Sexual Content

A husband and wife kiss and have sex in bed (nothing graphic is shown). Oral sex is implied, and the couple is also seen kissing through an opaque shower door. A teen couple flirts and kisses.


Characters argue from time to time, and there's a general mood of unease. A teen boy bashes his head against a wall in moments of despair. A couple of brief fight scenes: one in which a father accidentally hits his teen son, and one in which the main character fights with the beaver (i.e. himself), resulting in blood and bruises. The movie leads up to one intense scene, with some off-screen gore.


Language includes one "f--k" and several uses of "s--t," plus "goddamn," "hell," "douche," "turd," "balls," "ass," "crap," "bitch," and "Christ." Additionally the beaver uses British slang like "bloody hell," "bum," "sod," and "tart."

Social Behavior

Walter's behavior is both sad and appalling, and yet it's presented as both funny and entertaining for a large portion of the story, and many characters begin to accept his behavior based on its entertainment value alone. But it's a drastic means to an end, and Walter does eventually begin to work on the root of his problem. Meanwhile, his teen son also has some issues; he does pay for his transgressions (i.e. writing and selling black market papers for his fellow high school students), but everything seems to be solved by meeting the right girl.


Some Apple computers are on display.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The main character takes prescription drugs for his depression. In one scene, he gets falling-down drunk and tries to commit suicide. The mother is seen drinking wine with dinner. One teen character mentions buying "weed." There's a mention of "nicotine gum."

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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