The Beaver ★★½

The Beaver's best assets are its actors — Gibson, Foster, Anton Yelchin and a pre-Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence — who do fine work with the vulnerability of their hurting characters, even if they are ultimately undermined by the script's jarring back-tracking shortly after declaring that the sentiment "Everything will be OK" is a lie. With so much schizophrenia evident in its ideas, it's hardly surprising that The Beaver never credibly establishes its central conceit nor seems to have a handle on the overall psychology of its main character beyond what fits neatly within a safe movie formula. For his part, Gibson holds nothing back, and I would like to have seen the movie that his raw performance deserves.

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