Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Blake Lively, John Travolta, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, Joel David Moore, Emile Hirsch, Uma Thurman
Release date: July 6

Once upon a time, filmmaker Oliver Stone directed brilliant and fearlessly edgy pics such as Platoon, JFK, and Natural Born Killers; in recent years, however, he’s been anything but prolific, occasionally returning to theaters with forgettable “event movies” like W. and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. So when news of Savages (based on a novel written by Don Winslow) first broke, the knee-jerk reaction was to expect the worse.

But then the film’s trailer debuted last month, and, wouldn’t you know it, Stone seems to be back on his genre shit. Looking all kinds of sordid and exploitative (both good things), Savages finds two free-living weed dealers (Taylor “John Carter” Kitsch and Aaron “Kick-Ass” Johnson) who take on a Mexican drug cartel (led by Salma Hayek) in order to rescue their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively).

For once, it doesn’t seem like Stone has any sort of political and social message agenda, a la damn near every movie he’s made. Savages just gives off dirty, unapologetic vibes, and we’re all for that.

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