Oscilloscope Laboratories | Release Date: December 9, 2011
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 159 Ratings
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118
Mixed:
30
Negative:
11
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7
jimmytancrediJun 24, 2012
In We need to Talk About Kevin, Tilda Swinton delivers the best performance of her long career by portraying emotions nothing but unconventional. Swinton lent her image to a startled character, abandoned, lost by society and also, completelyIn We need to Talk About Kevin, Tilda Swinton delivers the best performance of her long career by portraying emotions nothing but unconventional. Swinton lent her image to a startled character, abandoned, lost by society and also, completely devoid of any influence on her son. Early on you can see Kevin is not a sweet innocent child. With an optimistic father sire, Kevin's bad behavior culminates in a brutal act. With grotesque expressions, Ezra Miller deserves much praise for a such remorseless act. From the direction till the soundtrack, We need to Talk About Kevin is a technically impeccable motion picture. It provides a unique experience for the viewer, provoking your imagination with a story of pure cruelty, however, close to current reality. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
mrniceMar 3, 2013
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 I learn anything from it? Well, if I didn't know already, it'd show me an example of how mothers canA 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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
MickeyJan 21, 2012
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, theyLess 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
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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10
IAmPhongNguyenJan 24, 2012
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 performanceWe 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
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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10
ErikTheRedDec 15, 2011
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 ofThis 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
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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9
nutterjrMar 21, 2012
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 stomachOne 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. Expand
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8
arnmanDec 19, 2011
A riveting performance by Tilda Swinton, soars above some of the arch characterization of the psychotic son and script flaws. The nightmare is matched perfectly by the compelling art house surreal film making. It's a story so uncomfortableA riveting performance by Tilda Swinton, soars above some of the arch characterization of the psychotic son and script flaws. The nightmare is matched perfectly by the compelling art house surreal film making. It's a story so uncomfortable to watch, but like some horrific accident on the freeway, you can't look away. Expand
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8
beelzie14Apr 1, 2012
An outstanding film albeit dark, disturbing and uncomfortable to watch. Enjoying this film is tough and unlikely - but being moved by it is undoubted. It flits back and forth along a timeline which extends over years but really encapsulatesAn outstanding film albeit dark, disturbing and uncomfortable to watch. Enjoying this film is tough and unlikely - but being moved by it is undoubted. It flits back and forth along a timeline which extends over years but really encapsulates the emotions (mostly that of hatred and despair) on display. Whilst at first it is difficult to comprehend exactly what is what, the film quickly begins to tie up the loose ends and places you directly in the centre of a maternal nightmare. Tilda Swinton is captivating in her performance whilst young Ezra Miller is haunting. Uncomfortable but essential viewing. Expand
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9
wishmasterMar 5, 2012
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 onlyI 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. Expand
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8
TokyochuchuJan 26, 2014
We Need to Talk About Kevin is a compelling drama horror. When I say horror, I really do mean horror. This film was unsettling in the extreme. But the nastiness is offset by great direction, tight performances and an inscrutable psychologicalWe Need to Talk About Kevin is a compelling drama horror. When I say horror, I really do mean horror. This film was unsettling in the extreme. But the nastiness is offset by great direction, tight performances and an inscrutable psychological study that offers no easy enlightenment (and sometimes frustration). But as the titular Kevin aptly observes at one point; "There is no point. That is the point." Expand
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10
NJWolfgangMay 15, 2012
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 aThis 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
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7
brajakumJan 25, 2012
It's a very good movie, but has some disappointing solutions to make it excellent. Unfortunately, too predictable, but definitely worth watching. I'm glad I did. And the fact that it still makes me think of it is a good recommendation.
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9
cabritaFeb 17, 2012
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 andA 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. Expand
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8
lahaineNov 22, 2012
We Need to Talk About Kevin is maddeningly brilliant film. It's a great blend of style and substance thanks to Lynne Ramsay, who directs the hell out of this movie. A mother's recap of the events leading up to her son's high school massacreWe Need to Talk About Kevin is maddeningly brilliant film. It's a great blend of style and substance thanks to Lynne Ramsay, who directs the hell out of this movie. A mother's recap of the events leading up to her son's high school massacre was very well executed on so many different levels. On one level; Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller did great work in their respective roles as mother (Eva) and son (Kevin). On another; the wildly structured, horror inspired screenplay and film editing were quite interesting. And on a final level, the subtle yet detailed sound mix placed the viewers right in the movie. This was simply a very good film. Expand
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10
BelmsherJan 20, 2012
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 meTilda 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. Expand
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9
aozetaDec 25, 2011
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
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8
StevenFFeb 11, 2013
Not much coverage surrounding this film, it had very convincing performances and a plot that would curl the greasiest of hairs, excellent and thought-provoking film, but downright disturbing.
Adapted from the 2003 book of the same name,Tilda
Not much coverage surrounding this film, it had very convincing performances and a plot that would curl the greasiest of hairs, excellent and thought-provoking film, but downright disturbing.
Adapted from the 2003 book of the same name,Tilda Swinton puts in an Oscar worthy as mother Eva, who basically centres the film as we see a movie that is not of a linear nature, this help maintain the suspense and confusion as to what exactly her adolescent son Kevin had done.
Swinton's character is, in all regards, a wreck, her reluctance at taking an interest without showing fake signs of over-bearing clearly outline her regret at having children. She finds it difficult to communicate emotionally with Kevin, he often rebelled as a child, toilet training, etc. John C.Reilly puts in a more serious performance from what we are used to as Evas husband, Franklin, who continuously makes excuses for Kevin's behaviour, a particular scene involving a young Kevin attempting to blackmail his mother with the scar of broken arm that she caused, clarifies the troubles that the family face.
WNTTAK deals with the lasting effect of what having children may do to one's mental status, not necessarily the barbaric events in the conclusion of this excellent thriller, but a look at how a typical family can malfunction due to no steady relationship being present.
The performances are eerily spot on in this film, Ezra Miller is psychopathic and maniacal as Kevin, often coming across as a misunderstood individual, when the 'accidents' that occur throughout the film are brought to light, his sickly ushers at his mother but his puppy dog eyes to his father are particularly brilliant.
Reilly's character of the dad who doesn't see any wrong in Kevin, is sometimes infuriating, which is exactly what this film sets out to do.
But it is the performance of Swinton in particular that needs praised, she truly owns the screen each time she appears, her paranoid glances at her teenage son and her often blank expression in real time as the story is told from her flashbacks of family life.
Taking different time-frames worked brilliantly for this film, often the case of Eva reminiscing about her days before motherhood. Her constant fears about Kevin will no doubt keep you engrossed as to whether her concerns are indeed reality.
Gripping, disturbing, but certainly unmissable
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8
dj1982Dec 12, 2011
Even weeks after watching the movie, it lingers in my mind. Performances are exceptionally strong, direction has a vision, even though cutting between present-past in the film is somewhat distracting
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8
Tss5078Nov 8, 2016
Americans are fascinated with criminals, and most films about them either focus on the criminal or on the people who are trying to catch them. With the recent uptake in school shootings, the one element that is often overlooked is the parentsAmericans are fascinated with criminals, and most films about them either focus on the criminal or on the people who are trying to catch them. With the recent uptake in school shootings, the one element that is often overlooked is the parents and what, if any, their role is in all of this. That is the focus of award winning film, We Need To Talk About Kevin. Kevin (Ezra Miller) has always been an angry, troubled kid, brought up by an upper middle class family. Kevin had a loving family, everything he could ever want, but still orchestrated a horrific mass shooting at his school. Despite all evidence to the contrary, his mother (Tilda Swinton) can't help but think that somehow everything is her fault, and by and large the community agrees. This is far and away one of the strongest performances I've ever seen Tilda Swinton give, and that's saying a lot, because she has always been terrific. Watching this was almost difficult, as one could actually feel her pain and see in her eyes the emotional toll everything had taken on her. She did nothing wrong, but everyone from the press to the owner of the local grocery store, blames her for the actions of her son. The film flashes between before, during, and after the event to show the differences in the lives and personalities of the characters, in a way that I've never seen before, it was really ingenious. This film delves deeper into the heart of darkness and into the eyes of the unseen victims in one of the most powerful films I've seen in years. We Need To Talk About Kevin may even be too emotionally overwhelming for some, but by in large it is one of the hardest hitting and most realistic dramas you may ever find. Expand
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8
lasttimeisawMar 24, 2012
An almost full room audience in the Febiofest for Lynne Ramsayâ
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7
MottacriticMar 9, 2012
There were, for me, 2 key features of this film that define it. Firstly, the focus on the psychological impact of trying to bring up Kevin and then of the consequences of her actions as a mother are an intelligent way of approaching thisThere were, for me, 2 key features of this film that define it. Firstly, the focus on the psychological impact of trying to bring up Kevin and then of the consequences of her actions as a mother are an intelligent way of approaching this story. Complex emotions including guilt, horror, despair but also love are superbly brought out by Lynne Ramsay and Tilda Swinton. This is the power of the film. The child actors and Ezra Miller are excellent. The second key feature is the weakness of John C. Reilly's role: I like him as an actor, but this role is weak and out of kilter with the subtlety of the rest of the film in that he ignores obvious signs of Kevin's behaviour and its impact. A film of this quality demands that his role be more nuanced and show more signs of confusion/worry/disturbance at the way his family is developing. Overall the film is highly watchable and carried by a fine director and lead female actor - and you'll be thinking about it for some time to come. Expand
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9
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
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!
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7
InductivistJun 16, 2012
The movie had a lot of the color red in it. I wonder if there is a message there... No, seriously, the film is just what I like: great actors, great characters--especially great villains--and an absorbing story. It's tough and unflinching.The movie had a lot of the color red in it. I wonder if there is a message there... No, seriously, the film is just what I like: great actors, great characters--especially great villains--and an absorbing story. It's tough and unflinching. One message is important: despite conventional wisdom, parents don't have that much control over how kids turn out. Having a child is rolling the dice--she could be a poet, she could be a fool. Expand
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8
Rex_richardsJun 8, 2012
For those of you who read the book - it's a good take on the story as it doesn't follow the same structure, but obviously the ending is more or less the same. The main actors are all very good indeed, and it is bleak and disturbing . YouFor those of you who read the book - it's a good take on the story as it doesn't follow the same structure, but obviously the ending is more or less the same. The main actors are all very good indeed, and it is bleak and disturbing . You might not like some of the characters etc, and I have seen people moaning on here, but compared to most movies this one has real impact and power. And it seems the meddling execs who tend to mess up most movies are pretty much absent. Expand
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10
afk4lifeJul 7, 2012
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
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9
BryceHooglandJul 9, 2012
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
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8
SpangleNov 10, 2015
We Need to Talk About Kevin is honestly bone chilling. An almost hypnotic experience, the film is told non-linearly and is honestly a jarring experience. The terrifying part is the realism and the accuracy with which all of the characters areWe Need to Talk About Kevin is honestly bone chilling. An almost hypnotic experience, the film is told non-linearly and is honestly a jarring experience. The terrifying part is the realism and the accuracy with which all of the characters are portrayed. Tilda Swinton is brilliant, Ezra Miller is great, and John C. Reilly is great as the enabling father. The first film I have seen from director Lynne Ramsay, this one virtually guarantees I will be checking out her other work. Brilliant direction on her part to really capture the mental anguish the actions of one kid can cause and the long lasting damage that comes with it. However, the film does a great job leading up to it and really building to the event that really provides a good context for the actions taken by Kevin and shows how it could have been prevented if somebody had done something. As a whole, We Need to Talk About Kevin is a great film that features stellar performances across the board and is a truly haunting experience in a way that most psychological thrillers can only dream. Expand
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9
LaGuertaMar 4, 2013
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 howAn 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. Expand
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7
BarneyOnMTJan 5, 2016
WHAT I LIKED: It's a genuinely frightnening, scary tale of a confusing character who is explored incredibly well. The acting is all excellent and it's nothing short of amazing during the truly thrilling third act
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Whilst
WHAT I LIKED: It's a genuinely frightnening, scary tale of a confusing character who is explored incredibly well. The acting is all excellent and it's nothing short of amazing during the truly thrilling third act
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Whilst building character and exploring meaning and the depths of character relationship is important, this film's first and second act take ages to get going thanks to continuos repition of pretentious metaphors and cinematography
VERDICT: The third act is incredible - if only the whole film was like that.
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