We Need to Talk About Kevin Image
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

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  • Summary: We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her evil son. Tilda Swinton plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, We Need toWe Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her evil son. Tilda Swinton plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva's own culpability is measured against Kevin's innate evilness. (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 5 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 25, 2012
    100
    As a portrait of a deteriorating state of mind, We Need to Talk About Kevin is a masterful film.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Dec 8, 2011
    90
    Ramsey's film has its own strengths. We Need To Talk About Kevin doesn't just bring you to the outskirts of a parent's worst nightmare; this fever dream of guilt and loss takes you straight inside.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 13, 2012
    88
    Acting doesn't get much better than the subtly brilliant display put on by Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin.
  4. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 28, 2012
    70
    Ramsay seems to be seriously intent on probing the outer limits of a mother's love and forgiveness, but the boy (played by a trio of child actors) is so unremittingly evil that the movie begins to feel like a grotesque remake of that old John Ritter comedy "Problem Child" (1990).
  5. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 7, 2011
    67
    The movie is creepy, but it has no texture or depth. It's like "The Omen" directed by Miranda July.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Nov 30, 2011
    0
    This is the most unwatchable horror movie masquerading as social comment I have seen this year.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 38
  2. Negative: 5 out of 38
  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. Collapse
  2. 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,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
  3. 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
  4. Apr 1, 2012
    8
    An outstanding film albeit dark, disturbing and uncomfortable to watch. Enjoying this film is tough and unlikely - but being moved by it isAn 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
  5. Jan 5, 2016
    7
    WHAT I LIKED: It's a genuinely frightnening, scary tale of a confusing character who is explored incredibly well. The acting is all excellentWHAT 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.
    Expand
  6. Jan 25, 2012
    7
    It's a very good movie, but has some disappointing solutions to make it excellent. Unfortunately, too predictable, but definitely worthIt'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. Expand
  7. Dec 23, 2011
    0
    This film starts out on the premise that it will build into an exciting vehicle but in reality it is just attempting to spin it's wheels,This film starts out on the premise that it will build into an exciting vehicle but in reality it is just attempting to spin it's wheels, while in reality the clutch is blown and momentum never gained. After 40 minutes of watching I was sorely tempted to gouge my eyes out with the back end of a spoon! A pretentious, meandering failure that maybe only wine drinking arty emo's might enjoy. Woefully tedious performances that bear absolutely zero resemblance to reality make this film seriously B grade even though the budget was strong enough to lure 'professional' names. Avoid this film or I guarantee you will be disgustedly disappointed in yourself for not heeding this warning. Expand

See all 38 User Reviews

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