Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 5 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 12, 2011
    60
    Even in the film's weaker stretches, the fierce presence of Tilda Swinton made it impossible to tear my eyes away.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 8, 2011
    60
    This is a mother's tale, and in Swinton's expert hands, Eva must ultimately deal with the fallout from an uncomfortable truth: She just never liked her kid.
  3. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Mar 22, 2012
    50
    Critics starved for thoughtful movies will often mistake the will for the deed. A serious film about an important subject seems like an important film, even if the effort falls far short of the target. So it is with We Need to Talk About Kevin.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 26, 2012
    50
    All the movie has, really, is Tilda Swinton acting up a storm, which is more than enough for some. For me, given what's up with the rest of the picture, it's not quite.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jan 14, 2012
    50
    It's a creepy and disturbing movie, but there's not a lot going on behind people's eyes. The soullessness lacks soul.
  6. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Dec 6, 2011
    50
    By treating Kevin's evil as a mystery to be solved, Ramsay only succeeds in making what was once allusive banal.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 146 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 40
  2. Negative: 6 out of 40
  1. Jan 21, 2012
    10
    Less a "Bad Seed" rehash than an indictment of contemporary parenting skills, "Kevin" made my skin crawl on many levels. The outer need forLess a "Bad Seed" rehash than an indictment of contemporary parenting skills, "Kevin" made my skin crawl on many levels. The outer need for perfection while the interior is crumbling, the idea that because a couple CAN have a child, they should, the unwillingness to actually TALK about Kevin... all of this leads to the creation of monster--but that creation is inevitable. Far smarter than most will give this film for, see it and watch it carefully. Until the final, horrific moments, is Kevin the monster, or are his parents? Who created whom? This is a chilling film guaranteed to haunt, and Swinton's performance is perfection. Understated and genuine, she is genius. Full Review »
  2. Mar 3, 2013
    8
    A movie where the horror has a purpose to expose the extent of a mother's love. The style is top-notch and the substance is unique. Did IA movie where the horror has a purpose to expose the extent of a mother's love. The style is top-notch and the substance is unique. Did I learn anything from it? Well, if I didn't know already, it'd show me an example of how mothers can forgive everything and always love their child, and that it's one of the true graces in life. Full Review »
  3. Jun 1, 2012
    5
    I found this film kind of a mess. Arty in its silences and temporal jumps, artless in its sledgehammer symbolism (an alternate title could beI found this film kind of a mess. Arty in its silences and temporal jumps, artless in its sledgehammer symbolism (an alternate title could be "We Need to Talk About Kevin's Intake of Food That Looks Like Blood and Body Parts"), the film asks much of viewers but doesn't reward our patience. Anyone who can't predict exactly what will happen--including the weapon and a rough body count--is in the next theater viewing a different movie; I kept watching because some of these "oops, wrong theater" folk wrote reviews in major papers, reviews promising a big surprise. Oh well. But yes, the acting is wonderful, and the nature/nurture question genuinely fascinating. With a stronger script and fewer pretensions, this film could have been truly compelling. Full Review »