We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)



Critic Consensus: We Need to Talk About Kevin is a masterful blend of drama and horror, with fantastic performances across the board (Tilda Swinton especially, delivering one of her very best).

We Need to Talk About Kevin Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). 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. -- (C) Oscilloscopemore
Rating: R (for disturbing violence and behavior, some sexuality and language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Lionel Shriver, Rory Kinnear, Lynne Ramsay, Rory Stewart Kinnear
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 29, 2012
Box Office: $1.7M
Oscilloscope Pictures - Official Site


Ezra Miller
as Kevin (Teenager)
Jasper Newell
as Kevin (6-8 Years)
Rocky Duer
as Kevin (Toddler)
Polly Adams
as Mary Woolford
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for We Need to Talk About Kevin

Critic Reviews for We Need to Talk About Kevin

All Critics (188) | Top Critics (45)

It becomes a film about her [Swinton] scattered mind. That produces wonders from Swinton, but it ignores the plea in the title. What about Kevin? Kevin deserves so much more attention-indeed, he deserves being played by Tilda Swinton.

Full Review… | June 19, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

We're not supposed to talk about a lot of the ugly feelings Kevin stirs up, but maybe we need to.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

As a psychological study of a shattered mother struggling to make sense of a heinous crime carried out by her teenage son, it's endlessly fascinating.

Full Review… | June 2, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

A high school killing spree leads to a captivating examination of parenthood and the 'nature vs nurture' debate.

Full Review… | March 4, 2013
Concrete Playground

A real-world horror movie -- for parents.

Full Review… | December 31, 2012
Tribune News Service

It may not be a crowd-pleaser, but it's not every day we get an emotional powerhouse of a film done this well.

Full Review… | September 17, 2012

Audience Reviews for We Need to Talk About Kevin


A disturbing, emotionally devastating and terrifying drama that examines how evil in people can grow from the conditions in which they are raised - and Tilda Swinton is wonderful in an Oscar-deserving performance as a mother who doesn't know at all how to raise her son.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


A mother whose life is ruined by her son's violent act struggles to make sense of his actions and move on.
A slow and meandering film, Lynne Ramsay's contemplative drama asks many questions about parenthood, violence, and sociopathy but offers very few answers; for such high topics, one can't blame it for that. For example, we don't get easy answers like gratuitous child abuse or violent video games to saddle Kevin's behavior on.
The flashback moments of Kevin's early childhood are all unsettling, and while the multiple storylines don't always mesh to a consistent narrative, Ramsay succeeds in creating an oppressive and tense mood.
Overall, if you're tied to the traditional three-act narrative, this film isn't for you, but it is a strong character-based mediation.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Basically the Anti-Boyhood, this film hints at a horrible crime carried out by a teenage son and then tells us in flashbacks about his upbringing and the mother's coping with the tragedy. That's quite a demanding task for Swinton who aces her role in every aspect. She's the center of attention. While we get glimpses of Kevin's childhood and how things already went badly there, we're never told why or what exactly went wrong. In the end, his final act of violence is so unadulterated evil and shocking, that it feels like you have been watching a horror film all along. Of course the director was out for that, while refusing to give a comfortable explanation. But it also takes away some of the realism and leaves you so disturbed you're wondering what you've been watching for two hours. A film that is hard to love but should be viewed at least once. I bet some of the images will stay for a very long time.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

We Need to Talk About Kevin Quotes

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