Metascore
68

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

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 108 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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 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
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: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  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. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  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 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. Jun 24, 2012
    7
    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, 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
  6. Aug 18, 2012
    6
    Why do people do what they do? What makes people what they are? This film doesn't give an answer (nor does any other film) but it does give you a glimpse which makes this bleak film rather intriguing. The problem is that the Kevin character is one annoying sh*t (intentionaly so) which also makes watching this film a bit annoying but it ads to the creepy and uneasy feel this film has. It gives the impression it's building up to something (it does in a way) but at the end it still feels like there has to be something more, like something's missing that would make this good movie an instant classic... 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, 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 34 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Holiday Movie Preview: 23 Intriguing Films (and over 40 Others)

    Holiday Movie Preview: 23 Intriguing Films (and over 40 Others) Image
    Published: November 9, 2011
    The next two months will bring over 20 major releases and 50 smaller films to theaters near you. Find out which of those films are the most promising, and get a complete guide to all of the holiday season movies inside.