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Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York, Carnage centers on two pairs of parents one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the eveningSet in contemporary Brooklyn, New York, Carnage centers on two pairs of parents one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos. (Sony Pictures Classics)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jan 12, 2012
    88
    Think "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," but then think fun.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 30, 2011
    80
    Snappy, nasty, deftly acted and perhaps the fastest paced film ever directed by a 78-year-old, this adaptation of Yasmina Reza's award-winning play God of Carnage fully delivers the laughs and savagery of the stage piece.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 15, 2011
    75
    Is it entertainment? Is it satire? Is it art? It's probably a little of all three, and yet ultimately not quite enough of any.
  4. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Dec 14, 2011
    67
    By the time everyone in Carnage has revealed themselves, we're left not with flawed human beings, but with monsters of banality whose company represents a brutal form of punishment in itself.
  5. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Dec 29, 2011
    60
    If anything, Carnage does too little to adapt to the new medium, and the result is a film that makes its audience feel as trapped as its characters.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jan 12, 2012
    50
    The entire point of Carnage is to poke fun at the fragile civility of the upper-middle class - they're all animals inside! - but how much more fun would this material have been if the story hadn't been about polite white people?
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 15, 2011
    40
    At 78, Polanski has earned the right to pursue his career-long demons of confinement and anarchy even in a minor film like this. But Carnage is not the word for what he's perpetrated here. Minor irritation is more like it.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. 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 theA 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. Expand
  2. 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 byThe 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
  3. Dec 12, 2014
    9
    It may not have done much to differentiate itself from its stage counterpart, but Carnage is still a sharp and hilariously true satire thatIt may not have done much to differentiate itself from its stage counterpart, but Carnage is still a sharp and hilariously true satire that follows in the footsteps of Virgina Woolf and Abigail's Party whilst taking itself much less seriously than them. Expand
  4. Jun 26, 2012
    7
    Roman Polanski's Carnage is a well-made film adaptation of a stage play. The story involves two couples who agree to meet following a violentRoman Polanski's Carnage is a well-made film adaptation of a stage play. The story involves two couples who agree to meet following a violent interaction between their children. Before long both couples devolve into bickering monsters who are arguably worse than the kids. Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly star as Penelope and Michael Longstreet, and Kate Winslet and Christopher Waltz fill the roles of Nancy and Alan Cowan. In short the Cowan child hit the Longstreet child with a stick and broke two of his teeth, though the general consensus is that either couple could be in the other's position. Penelope is introduced as a do-gooder type, while Michael seems ill-fit for the formality of the occasion; Nancy wants to end the matters quickly, and Alan is content to condescend when not being interrupted by his cell. The film proceeds as a comedy of manners and lack thereof, and its success is dependent on the performances. Both Foster and Reilly are adequate, but Winslet and Waltz steal the show. There is nothing in Carnage to suggest that it has been altered or improved for cinematic treatment; indeed it could be a filmed play, which may turn off many a viewer. That said it was rather enjoyable for its documentation of seemingly decent people indulging in indecency. It provides its capable cast with some great scenes. Its humor is brittle and caustic, and its characters are recognizably human. Chances are experienced moviegoers will know whether or not they want to see Carnage; those who want to see it will likely enjoy it. Expand
  5. Dec 16, 2011
    7
    script, cast and especially powerful dialogues that make this movie amazing, this movie proves that you do not have a thousand extras andscript, cast and especially powerful dialogues that make this movie amazing, this movie proves that you do not have a thousand extras and actors to do something flashy and entertaining. Expand
  6. Aug 24, 2014
    6
    A film very clearly based off a successful stage play. Roman Polanski sits a quartet of incredibly talented actors in a room and observesA film very clearly based off a successful stage play. Roman Polanski sits a quartet of incredibly talented actors in a room and observes along with us. Expand
  7. Oct 9, 2012
    3
    Hoooooooly **** this movie was crazy. the characters are **** INSANE, its all just by a minor problem, you start to think that the directorHoooooooly **** this movie was crazy. the characters are **** INSANE, its all just by a minor problem, you start to think that the director was drunk when he had this idea,and the ending **** IT ALL!! Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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