User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 114
  2. Negative: 8 out of 114

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  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 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. Expand
  2. Jan 24, 2012
    10
    We Need to Talk About Kevin made myself speechless when the credits rolled. It was an absolutely a groundbreaking film and while watching throughout the whole film, I felt the actual depression of a mother thanks to the excellent performance by Tilda Swinton. We Need to Talk About Kevin is a film people should be talking about when I pass them. Right after the film was done, it was official. Kevin was one of the most unpleasant person I've seen on screen. Expand
  3. Dec 15, 2011
    10
    This is a "bad seed" movie that is done so intricately and thoughtfully that its impact stays with you for a good while. What I found interesting is that the filmmaker took a well-worn subject and played with it without making it a story of bad and good. The acting is excellent and, as a parent, it hit me on a deeper level about fears we have for our children, while exploring the frustration experienced when dealing with a child's problematic behavior or defects in a child's character. Expand
  4. Mar 21, 2012
    9
    One of my favourite films of 2011, a powerful psychlogical thriller with remarkable performances all around not only from the usual suspect Tilda Swindon who has consistently been great but even more from Ezra Miller who will tie your stomach in a knot and deliver a performance that will haunt you for a long long time.
  5. Mar 5, 2012
    9
    I can say with certainty that it is one of the best movies I've seen in my life, intrigue, that emotion, that torment movie that grabs you in finding out the paranoia of a Tilda Swinton gives an enviable and majestic interpretation. the only thing uncomfortable for me was the music, so else was perfect.
  6. May 15, 2012
    10
    This is one of the most disturbing films I think I've seen. Tilda Swinton tells the entire story through simple expression. There confusion, pain and loss and her face is etched with those emotions throughout the film. There isn't a performance from the four leads that isn't right on target. The cutting from Swinton's loneliness into the life that led up to the incident is a little confusing in the beginning but once your realize that something is terribly wrong here it works. The script is tight and doesn't tell all or attemtp to throw you off it just leads you throughout the story. One of the best films of 2011 and definitely the best performance by an actress. John C. Reilly once again proves he is one of the best character actors working today. Ramsay does a great job and even though it's difficult to watch this is one of those films where instead of saying "why the hell are they going in the basement" you allow Ramsay to open the door and push you through. Expand
  7. Feb 17, 2012
    9
    A powerful film that takes you inside the life of it's protaganist. The film build's intrigue through the sharp direction and the unbelievable performance by Tilda Swinton. Kevin delivers on multiple levels. The story is intriguing and suspenseful. The film also delivers symbolism that is very fitting for the film and makes a good movie into a great one.
  8. Jan 20, 2012
    10
    Tilda Swinton is breathlessly astounding. Contrary to what happens to other movies (like Drive), the silences and the artistic pieces suits the story pretty well. Unsettling and disturbing, I had a nightmare that my son had killed me poisoning my lunch.
  9. Dec 25, 2011
    9
    Certainly one of the year's best films. Ezra Miller deserves a nomination just like Tilda Swinton. Well adapted. Will glue you to the screen until the end. http://movienotesbook.blogspot.com/2011/12/we-need-to-talk-about-kevin-2011.html
  10. Sep 1, 2014
    9
    Despite difficult subject matter, the film is able to evoke tremendous emotion and feature one of the best performances of Tilda Swinton's career. We Need to Talk About Kevin is timeless in the dark world in which we live in. A must see!
  11. Jul 7, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Brilliant, disturbing, evocative. The performance by Swinton is amazing but nothing compared to Miller and especially Jasper Newell. The kid just conveys malice with every scene and the one scene where he's actually nice is the most tense because you expect something bad to happen. I'm not sure she created the monster but it's apparent to me she was complicit in developing it. Perfect performances all around. Miller (Afterschool) is a great talent and he manages to pull off being at once amazingly cute and friendly while you know there's something really frightening in there that only Swinton can see. There's at least one scene in this featuring Newell that will give you nightmares because it's just too realistic how this precocious kid uses his intelligence to manipulate. Can debate reality of the 'school shooting' but it's pretty much immaterial because it would've happened in some way or other. Super visually, acted to perfection, and will leave you with lots more questions than answers, one of the best films I've seen. Expand
  12. Jul 9, 2012
    9
    Lynne Ramsay is an up and coming director with a ton of talent. She captures We Need to Talk About Kevin so naturally that it doesn
  13. Mar 4, 2013
    9
    An eerie and eventually horrifying look at the devastating effect of a broken parent-child relationship. Like Tilda Swinton's performance, this film is subtly impressive until the climatic ending brings about the realisation of just how brilliant it was.
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 5 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Mar 24, 2012
    67
    Next to Swinton's excellent portrayal of a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown, the movie belongs to the two Kevins, young actors with matching arched eyebrows and sullen expressions.
  2. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Mar 22, 2012
    91
    Watching it isn't easy, but it is definitely worth having waited for.
  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.