User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 112 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 112
  2. Negative: 5 out of 112

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  1. Apr 3, 2012
    10
    A pitch-black, hilarious upending of social conventions. The entire cast is exceptional and John C. Reilly is especially entertaining, and the script (based off of the French play "God of Carnage"), is whip-smart and Polanski's direction is as usual exceptional, (although he lets the film speak for itself, there isn't much here that would discern it from other great directors, he lets the acting and writing to the heavy lifting). Overall, this is an intelligent, hilarious film for an older audience. Expand
  2. Jan 7, 2012
    9
    This film was just hilarious. The only gripe I had was that it was too short. Each character: Foster, Winslet, Waltz, and Reilly were amazing. Yay for a movie that has excellent dialogue and doing more with less.
  3. Mar 3, 2012
    9
    The general premise of two couples meeting to discuss their sons doesn't really work as a feature film, let alone a feature film directed by Roman Polanski. However the general idea of the film as alluded to in the title is that even in the most civil of all surroundings, things can fall apart into absolute chaos and Polanski shows this thanks to some brilliant performances by all four actors (Jodie Foster, John C Reilly, Kate Winslet, Christophe Waltz) and some resourceful direction. The film works as a drama but at its heart it is a very dark comedy that is outrageously funny in the way it slowly destroys these four people. Waltz's antagonistic lawyer is married to Kate Winslets uptight investment banker and they are avoiding the fact that deep down they hate each other. Jodie Foster and John C Reilly are the more liberal couple but they too are burdened by problems which are only exacerbated by Waltz and Winslets presence. The whole film seems completely realistic aside from the eloquent play like dialogue with a decent amount of twists and turns to keep things trundling along. The film blends physical and spoken comedy really well with both Winslet and Waltz showing great skill at the physical gags. There are some pretty interesting themes during the film with the key one being everyone is unhappy about something, you just need to know how to exploit it. Fortunately Polanski and his skilled cast know exactly how leading to some unbearably funny moments. Even if they don't want to admit it, each character is a deeply horrible person and watching them attempt to avoid their baser instincts and put up a facade is absolutely delightful. In essence, Polanski has discovered a way to make watching couples fight through their issues in a very public and embarrassing way both entertaining and painfully funny, which is wonderful in comparison to reality where it is extremely uncomfortable Expand
  4. Dec 30, 2011
    9
    What an entertaining film! The 4 actors make the film good. It seems that they had fun making it too. For a movie that is set entirely in one apartment for 80 minutes, it's quite an achievement to keep the audience entertained throughout. I found myself laughing out loud a few times. At the end of the regular screening, a few people in the audience applauded.

    If I can be bold and rank the
    4 actors, I would rank as follow: 1. Christoph Waltz -- a very cool but hilarious performance. To me, it's not easy to play cool and calm but make us feel that he's the funniest guy.
    2. John C. Reilly -- he plays the every day ordinary husband to perfection.
    3. Jodie Foster -- she does neurotic well. 4. Kate Winslet -- she plays neurotic second to Jodie.
    Expand
  5. Jul 30, 2014
    10
    A realistic & deft study of a variety of real life human characters, skillfully acted out by the talented cast and masterfully directed by the legendary Polanksi.
  6. Apr 21, 2012
    9
    Before you watch this you should know that you're headed into a comedy, yes, but one that looks into the chaos of conflicting philosophies -new and old- as they try to grapple with modern expectations. It looks like this movie took some licks from reviewers who were expecting something with more flash and bangle. All the breadth of this great movie happens in your head, not in the scenery. Be ready to laugh AT the characters AT yourself and AT us (humans). Loved it. Expand
  7. Jun 9, 2013
    9
    Write out of the box I knew this movie was going to be a winner. With an intelligent, hilarious, and ruthless script not much could go wrong, especially when it is supported for 4 talented actors. It was unique and memorable, which counts a lot in my book.
  8. Apr 19, 2012
    10
    Carnage is an absolute blast! Sickeningly hilarious performances from the cast - including Kate Winslet who is perfectly pissed - as well as Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly who vie against each other with comedic perfection until the wicked end! Epically funny!
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    Jan 30, 2012
    80
    A quartet of pitch-perfect performances from a cast uniformly at its career best, together with a director on shockingly mischievous top form, this is a shot of pure, exhilarating cinematic malice. And if nothing else, it contains the most surprising puking sequence since Monsieur Creosote.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jan 14, 2012
    75
    When a man whose wife was killed by cultists invites us to laugh at life's absurdities, the particulars are almost incidental.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 14, 2012
    75
    Among them, Polanski's four-person cast boasts four Oscars and eight more nominations, so these are big-league actors who are capable of carrying a film such as this through its occasional miscalculations.