• R, 1 hr. 20 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Roman Polanski
    In Theaters:
    Dec 16, 2011 Limited
    On DVD:
    Mar 20, 2012
  • Sony Pictures Classics


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Carnage Reviews

Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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Brief, brutal and barmy.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

January 31, 2012
Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
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Where previously we felt as trapped in Polanski's apartments as his characters, in Carnage we only ever peek in through the window.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Original Score: 4.9/10

January 13, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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The actors seem to have fun, particularly Foster, working against type as the thoroughly unlikable Penelope. But "Carnage" isn't nearly as bloody as it thinks it is.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C+

January 13, 2012
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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What are supposed to be transgressive observations about the holy state of parenthood and matrimony instead come across as self-satisfied and shallow as the pieties Reza intends to puncture.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

January 13, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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If we grant that "Carnage" is a low-impact exercise in stripping away the social veneer, it's nonetheless brisk and enjoyable.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

January 13, 2012
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
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In real life, hyper-controlling metropolitan parents would not waste this much time on people they loathe.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

January 12, 2012
John Anderson
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The astonishing Waltz steals the picture, possibly because he's the one with a rational perspective (despite his telephonic obsessiveness): He sees the whole exercise as pointless. Ultimately, so do we.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 12, 2012
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Foster is particularly impressive in a stridently unattractive role, as the pinched, angry liberal who's orchestrated the meeting but doesn't get quite the apology she wants.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 12, 2012
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Skillfully acted by Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet, [it's a] compact verbal slugfest.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

January 12, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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An odd little chamber piece, "Carnage" plays out like a very tense meeting from which you can't wait to depart.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

January 12, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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You may recognize the arrogance and anxieties, the class resentments and domestic bile, from your PTA's most recent talent night. More likely, they're as close as the nearest mirror.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 12, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A brilliantly discomfiting comedy of frustration.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 12, 2012
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Think Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but then think fun.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 12, 2012
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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The entire point of Carnage is to poke fun at the fragile civility of the upper-middle class - they're all animals inside! - but how much more fun would this material have been if the story hadn't been about polite white people?

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.4

January 12, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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"Carnage" becomes a lesson in how to handle a willfully claustrophobic assignment with panache.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

January 12, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The point isn't the plot, it's the performances. Here four familiar actors seem ideally cast for their roles.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

January 12, 2012
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
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A film that makes its audience feel as trapped as its characters.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/5

December 29, 2011
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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Despite the efforts of an impressive cast, the film starts out stale and then just gets tedious.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

December 23, 2011
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Carnage is a comedy of claustrophobia and revealed truths, and Polanski knows both all too well.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

December 22, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir
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Seeing these four actors launching Reza's zingers at each other at high speed is pretty much worth the price of admission all by itself, and one thing you always know about Polanski is that he won't waste your time.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 16, 2011
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Amusing as some of this is, after a while I wanted out.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B-

December 16, 2011
Dana Stevens
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Even as you admire the film's construction, it's hard to shake the thought that a lot of talent got thrown away on the wrong project.

Full Review Source: Slate

December 16, 2011
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The film version of Carnage hasn't just lost God from its title, it's lost the laughs from the play that brought it life.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 2/4

December 16, 2011
William Goss
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Eventually, the characters - and the film - find their belligerent groove.

Full Review Source: Film.com

December 16, 2011
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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Tedious and self-congratulatory. Wears out its welcome after about a half hour.

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 16, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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If the original drama seemed designed to make patrons feel smarter than they were, its new director does the same favor for the playwright.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

December 16, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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While the talented quartet play these hypocritical sorts with finesse, the story grows tiresome, its cynical point made early and often.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 15, 2011
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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This kind of material is never going to warm anyone's heart, but done as well as it is here, this pitiless verbal farce can provide bleak satisfactions of its own.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 15, 2011
Alonso Duralde
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One of those instances where staying close to the enclosed action of the stage version is the perfect cinematic choice.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

December 15, 2011
Bob Mondello
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You're always aware that you're watching filmed theater.

Full Review Source: NPR

December 15, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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I was put off by the acting, or more properly by the spectacle of good actors dutifully following leaden direction, and equally by the writing, which is as thin as the veneer of civilization it purports to peel back.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 15, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Often very funny and bitingly incisive. Yet, like a visit to friends you don't really care for, you kind of can't wait to leave.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

December 15, 2011
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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As a portrait of anxious, status-conscious Brooklyn parents living in a chiaroscuro of self-righteousness and guilt, "Carnage" misses its mark badly.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

December 15, 2011
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
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Roman Polanski's agreeably, then gratuitously, nasty adaptation of Yasmina Reza's play God Of Carnage.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

December 15, 2011
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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Polanski has earned the right to pursue his career-long demons of confinement and anarchy even in a minor film like this. But Carnage is not the word for what he's perpetrated here. Minor irritation is more like it.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

December 14, 2011
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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No one makes sense in Reza's world of glittering mockery.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C+

December 14, 2011
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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Carnage is satisfied to be an absolutely virtuoso piece of cinema craft, and to give its excellent cast multiple opportunities to show off their comedic chops, which are considerable.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 4/5

December 14, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Scathing and funny and cynical about contemporary society and the hypocritical way we live now, Carnage may not be the dream movie I expected, but it has a dream cast of pure, unimpeachable ensemble perfection.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 3/4

December 14, 2011
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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The whole enterprise feels slight, not exactly undercooked so much as lavished with unearned commitment.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

December 13, 2011
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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Not even Polanski can find grit in its silly provocations.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

December 13, 2011
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
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Even as it successfully evokes the single location as a pressure cooker for heightened behavior, its take on the psychological and emotional side effects of such an airless situation never transcends the obvious.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 13, 2011
Mark Kennedy
Associated Press
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A nasty spat between two couples over the course of an evening may not sound like a fun flick, but like any act of carnage, it's hard to turn away.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 13, 2011
James Berardinelli
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Carnage suffers from a common problem that afflicts many stage-to-screen adaptations: too much artifice and contrivance.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 12, 2011
Justin Chang
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This acid-drenched four-hander never shakes off a mannered, hermetic feel that consistently betrays its theatrical origins.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 12, 2011
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Fast, furious and often funny.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

September 29, 2011
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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Snappy, nasty, deftly acted and perhaps the fastest paced film ever directed by a 78-year-old, this adaptation of Yasmina Reza's award-winning play God of Carnage fully delivers the laughs and savagery of the stage piece...

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

September 1, 2011
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