We Need to Talk About Kevin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

We Need to Talk About Kevin Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2015
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.
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2013
GREAT acting. It is strange and dark the way the story is told, maybe too artsy at times... but I am happy I stuck with it to the end. Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller are very talented!
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2013
We Need to Talk about Kevin is a stunning piece of cinema that is brilliantly acted and directed. The film tells the story of Kevin, a disturbed antisocial teen, who has sadistic tendencies. As he grows older, his behavior becomes more intense, and disturbing. Director Lynne Ramsay crafts something truly unique here, and the film does move a bit slow, but there is always something going on to keep you involved. Tilda Swinton gives a great performance, but the actor who really impressed me was Ezra Miller in the role of Kevin. I though he brought something unique to the screen that made this film standout. This is a thoroughly engaging drama that is one of the finest films that I've seen in recent years. Some of the content is eerie, bone chilling, but that is elevated by a well written script and effective directing. This is a well thought drama that is sure to please viewers looking for something truly intense throughout. This film can easily be seen as a decent into madness for a Teen that is definitely not quite right. Films should definitely be more like this-a strong cast of talented actors and an engaging storyline is what cinema needs right now. The direction is immaculate and it is a hard, but always riveting movie from start to finish. We Need to Talk About Kevin is a remarkable drama that won't disappoint. Lynne Ramsay has crafted something truly original and unforgettable. The film is hard to watch, and will definitely make your viewing experience an unforgettable one. This is a film not to be missed if you enjoy complex dramatic works.
Super Reviewer
December 30, 2012
Way better than I expected. I found this quite complicated and I struggled to know who to sympathize with. To start with, I pitied the mother with her difficult son who she found it hard to bond with. I guess my view is a little different to most females on this, as it does make me angry that society push the idea that all women should be mothers, when it is clearly not true. Then, with the mothers second pregnancy, and the child she could bond with, my sympathy shifted a little, as I felt she should have learnt from the first one. Then I felt sorry for Kevin. However, Kevin's behavior is so awful, I felt he needed to take responsibly for his own actions. Yes, he had a crap mother. She did her best, but it was clearly inadequate. I also felt cross at the neighbors and sorry for them at the same time. Was the degree of Kevin's behavior all down to bad parenting? Really? For such a bad mother, she never totally abandoned Kevin.
This is really a controversial movie that I think will raise a lot of different emotions in different people. I think it is very well done. Just such a horrible sad situation which I believe is based on a true story?
The Gandiman
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2012
You have to praise "We Need To Talk About Kevin" for not wanting to go down the creepy kid horror movie route that so many recent films have gone down. By not cheapening the subject matter to a series of jolts and creepy scares it allows the film to try to be a thought-provoking film about the source of evil. What would compel a teenager to commit a murderous act - seemingly unprovoked.

"Kevin"'s protagonist is his mother - Eva Khatchadourian, played with tense (perhaps too tense) intensity by Tilda Swinton. The story follows her struggle to exist in the town where the crimes were committed. Despised by her fellow townsfolk who either mistreat her, ignore her or simply gawk at her, Eva has to find a way to co-exist and spends most of the film, in a heavy-handed moment of symbolism, unsuccessfully scraping red paint off of her house. The film flashes back and forth between her present day where she attempts to reintroduce herself into this society in which she's unwelcome while visiting her son in jail with her past where the story of Kevin and his childhood unfolds.

And this is where the film's problems begin to manifest themselves. The film doesn't seem to know what it wants to say so at the end, it leaves you saying too many conflicting thoughts. Kevin is portrayed from birth as irrationally hateful towards Eva - so is his behavior genetic? Eva is shown to be bitter toward having to raise Kevin (while is seen to be a nurturing mother later to their daughter), so is his behavior learned? Or is Kevin just pure evil? One sequence has baby Kevin crying at a high-pitch for hours in a row with Eva but when Dad comes home the child is OK. How would a baby know to show such a lack of connection to his mother unless it was naturally inclined to be that way? And he also shows to be a highly intelligent toddler for no apparent reason knowing when to deceive one parent while showing his true colors to the other?

Tilda Swinton again proves to be an amazing actress, but her hard portrayal of Eva makes the character's moments of tenderness seem out of character and placed there just to balance out the character's flaws instead of just letting the flaws live.

"Kevin" had some really nice moments especially the ending which is extremely believable and thought-provoking, it's a shame that the film didn't take that conclusion and make the actions leading up to it consistent with a character who would utter those thoughts. That would have focused "Kevin", made it extremely provocative and thoughful, and would have cut back on the creepy horror film conventions that the film seemed to want to shun in the first place.
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2012
The very beginning gives a hint that the director is attempting to offer something different. Unfortunately, I don't have a taste for that different artistic cinema. The pace with which the movie progresses & the screenplay (I haven't read the book the movie is based on as yet, nor do I intend to in the distant future) with fluctuating timeline didn't suit me. The casting too didn't seem appropriate. Specifically the teen Kevin didn't fit the role. The inability of most of the actors involved (mainly, the protagonists) to create any feelings for/against their characters is appalling. It fails to shake or shock, when needed. But the realistic portrayal worked for me. Exposing the dark side of humanity without involving supernatural elements (I was curious to know whether the movie reminded anyone else too of "Joshua", and am satisfied to learn that I was not the only one!!) is appreciable. If only the pace had been better, and it didn't have this artistic touch to it, it'd have worked even better for me. To each, their own. If you've managed to read my comment in its entirety, it won't be no drag for you to sit through. Of course, it doesn't imply enjoying either of them.
Super Reviewer
½ August 7, 2012
While it would be trite to make a joke about how we need to talk about this film right now, Lynne Ramsey‚(TM)s We Need to Talk About Kevin does need to be properly digested. First off, we should get something out of the way. Tilda Swinton is a national treasure. That is all we need to say about her. The world has sung her praises time and time again and I will not continue to do so here. We all know she is damn good, and surprise surprise, she is phenomenal here. So let‚(TM)s move on.
As the titled suggests, something is amiss with Kevin. While Kevin‚(TM)s problems are thoroughly probed and unfortunately played up to the hilt, the main story here revolves around the demons that plague Kevin‚(TM)s mother Eva (Swinton). Eva is an almost comically spiritless, self-loathing mother. The source of her disconsolation is of course her son, a hard-boiled psychopath who is responsible for the death of many of his fellow classmates. Whether she is suffering the ire of a victim‚(TM)s family, the casual oppression of a stranger‚(TM)s glare, or from her own cerebral affliction, Eva is unnervingly sympathetic.
After all, choosing to bring a child into this world a momentous gamble. Sure, one can nurture their child in a manner that may improve the chances of he/she having a promising future. But, in the end, you are just casting a line out into an ocean of elements that all have an immense capacity for shaping its fate. For reasons unknown, Kevin is adamant in his pursuit to bring more cruelty into this world. And while the actions of Eva and her son are worlds apart, Eva knows deep down that they were cut from the same cloth.
This sprawling character study is given focus by Ramsey‚(TM)s excellent direction. Every moment seems meticulously planned, subtly showing the likeness and shared culpability of both mother and son. Ramsey‚(TM)s visual knack also causes many scenes, already brimming with tension, to burst with outright terror. (There is a dinner scene that takes place in the aftermath of an ocular accident that will make you stir in your seat.)
The camerawork is gracefully disorienting, blending vignettes of past memories and the current, albeit hazy, moments that constitute Eva‚(TM)s reality. Ramsey‚(TM)s use of color is also startling, even if it is a bit overdone. With reoccurring scenes of Eva miserably basking in a cardinal glow, or the searing crimson alarm clock blinking 12:00 A.M and consequently reminding the viewer of the eternal hell that Eva has imprisoned herself in, the colors will get lodged into your mind.
Even the sound is penetrating. It soaks into your very core and excellently immerses the viewer into Eva‚(TM)s anxious, guilt-ridden state of being. Employing the musical stylings of artists such as Buddy Holly, Ramsey juxtaposes the idealism of these songs with the stark reality of a world that seems unremittingly focused on her implosion. All in all, Ramsey‚(TM)s direction is very impressive.
Unfortunately, the film‚(TM)s script doesn‚(TM)t keep up with the sharp direction. Although it is has been harped on by other critics, it is fair to point out how gallingly sinister the child is. I do understand that this is not an objective portrayal of Kevin. That the memories of Kevin are filtered through Eva‚(TM)s crippling concoction of misery & self-doubt. Unfortunately, the script‚(TM)s continual playing up of the psychopathic nature of Kevin can become quite jarring after awhile and often seems at odds with the heartbreaking study of one mother‚(TM)s lament for innocence lost. Especially since this takes up much of the second act of the film. There were many instances in which Kevin‚(TM)s retorts seemed so far-fetched, even for a distressed mind. I understand the need to show how the confluence of both of their personalities is what created this situation, but I just wish Kevin‚(TM)s character would have been treated with some of the same subtle care that Eva‚(TM)s was.
We Need to Talk About Kevin can best be likened to a quilt that has been soaked in blood. One that is masterfully weaved together even if some of its parts don‚(TM)t concord with the whole. The parts that do work however, driven primarily by an awe-inspiring performance from Swinton (I know, I know), are incredibly powerful.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2012
Lynne Ramsay's latest film is a tour de force of economy. There's not a single shot wasted. Brilliantly structured, incredibly taut with a shattering tension throughout. Not a moment goes by that isn't informing, telling the story, adding to the cumulative exploration of a dysfunctional mother- son relationship and its purgatorial fall-out. It's also a rather gentle film (dare I say it, a feminine film): the narrative is constantly split between past and present, the tone moving between all-pervasive paranoia, drudge and romance. The movement isn't jerky though, with regular pacing of the flashing back and forwards, meticulously edited cuts and a very clever original + co-opted soundtrack that often works in contrary motion to the tone, smoothing it out -- not to mention its tonal wonder by being grounded as a realistic drama, but with just the right amount of psychological horror peppered in.

This is a film about a mother confronting motherhood across an overlapping three-act structure: before Kevin's birth, with Kevin, after Kevin's crime. Tilda Swinton is always great, but here she is absolutely masterful (perhaps her best performance ever) -- her selection of uncomprehending thousand yard stares far removed from the opaque look favored by many other actors working to this level. It helps that the three Kevin's who play the title role are all uniformly superb as well - hideous, sly, handsome.

It's the visuals that pulled me up and pressed me back down over and over. The opening 5 minutes or so are worth more than many hours of mediocre film making that I'm perfectly happy to sit through as a general rule in a cinema: the Boschian Tomatina fight, with the equivocal vision of a blissed out Eva buried in the blood red Sartrean-viscous filth is a particularly arresting opening statement. It's not an easy watch, although there is no sensationalism. It is, however, always poetic.

The only criticism holding We Need To Talk About Kevin back from being a flat out masterpiece is that Kevin is portrayed as being a little too evil. If the film were a straight horror film, then that would be fine, but I would argue that it isn't; therefore, the character teeters on being unrealistic. This is merely a small gripe. Overall, this film is an astonishing achievement -- a bold entry into the classic nature vs. nurture argument that is horrifying, thought-provoking and a disturbing encapsulation of the times we live in.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2012
Brutal and uncompromising, "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is one of the few movies to truly get under my skin. It's an unpleasant experience, but Tilda Swinton's dizzyingly depressing performance makes it hard to not be enthralled from beginning to end. There are a few irksome logical problems - since the movie is going for a realistic take on an evil child, one would expect some actions to be taken by a person in Swinton's position that are missing. Also, the film doesn't really explore the titular villain enough. We get a case study from the cold, unfortunate mother, while the more interesting character is only observed from a distance.
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2011
Although Swinton was great as the dazed Eva. Her incapability to connect with her son is sad, but not heartbreaking. I couldn't connect with Kevin or Eva, their characters are both so cold.

What I liked about it, is that this side of these sort of tragedy's usually remains under exposed. These parents are victims too, although they generally are held accountable for their kid's actions. But this boy is a textbook psycho/sociopath.

I can't believe that this sort of sh*t still happens.
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2011
Omg....This is one completely unsettling movie! Definitely more for people that enjoy a little bizarre in their films. Explores the inscrutability of sociopaths; most troubling is that they may just be born that way. Credit to the director for the ability to present very young children as sinister -- quite an accomplishment. This film was nominated for a BAFTA, and Tilda Swinton was nominated for a Golden Globe. I can see why. I'm not going to forget this one anytime soon.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ June 24, 2012
If you're contemplating having children, then We Need to Talk About Kevin may not be the movie for you at this moment. It takes a stab at the nature/nurture debate and proposes that some children are just born broken and beyond the reach of even the most dedicated parent. It's not exactly the cuddly message we get from most stories about the joys of parenting, but We Need to Talk About Kevin is a startling, provocative, and powerful portrait of grief, aggravation, and slowly dawning horror. Can even a mother love her monster?

Motherhood has not been the rewarding ventures as promised for Eva (Tilda Swinton). Kevin (Jasper Newell at a child; Ezra Miller as a teen) wails so incessantly as a baby that she seeks out the sweet sounds of a jackhammer to drown out her shrieking babe. Even as a toddler, she knows there's something just not right about her sullen, uncommunicative son. He seems to deprive her of any affection or attention she might find gratifying. Truly it seems much of Kevin's motivation in life is to humiliate and torment his mother. It starts with being deliberately unresponsive as a child, and turning on a dime when in the presence of his father, then to delayed toilet training because he seems to enjoy making his mother clean up his mess (metaphor?), to the unexplainable massacre at her son's hands. We Need to Talk About Kevin is an immersive experience, occasionally piling on how irredeemable Kevin is as a character. It also speaks to the unreliable nature of our shell-shocked point of view. It's a disquieting film to say the least but I found it riveting and compelling at every second, artfully exploring a form of grief and social isolation that few will ever be able to fully understand.

There's tremendous psychological detail to this nightmarish parenting tale, and it's those details that make the film feel eerily authentic and not exploitative. I found it fascinating to be drawn into this world, like I was watching an intimate, illustrated case study come alive. I found it very telling that after Eva accidentally injures her son I a fit of frustration, she apologizes but can only bring herself to do so under the shield of third person, saying, "Mommy shouldn't have done that," rather than, "I shouldn't have done that." And then when they get home, little Kevin unspools a perfectly believable story to cover-up what really happened. Even at six this kid is a shockingly adept liar, possibly because he's a budding sociopath. Horror movies have been bringing us little pint-sized terrors for decades, from Bad Seed to the Village of the Damned, but those wicked kids seem like child's play compared to Kevin, a startling, vacant child who is the scariest of the bunch exactly because he feels completely real. No Satanic imagery, glowing red eyes, or over-the-top associations needed; this is one messed up kid.

Watching this tumultuous and combative struggle for domination is equal turns compelling and terrifying. In many ways Eva adopts the role of Cassandra, the Greek figure cursed with visions of the future that nobody believed; Eva warns the people in her life that Kevin isn't right, that he's entirely capable of great evil, yet everyone ignores her dire warnings, and even Eva is culpable to some degree of enabling. Rather than discipline Kevin or stick to her principles, she passively accepts the situation and carries on with full knowledge that Kevin is going unchallenged. To everyone else he seems like a bright, helpful, normal teenage boy, which is why dear old dad (John C. Reilly) is so condescending and dismissive when Eva voices concern. Parenting is supposed to be instinctive, right? Eva feels like a failure, that this young soul has been steered to the dark side under her watch, and I think her hesitation to continue ringing alarm can be summed up by the fact that she's just exhausted, tired of fighting a fight that everyone else ignores. I think she may also be desperately hopeful that she can ride this out, that it's only a phase for her son, that somehow he'll grow up to be normal, loving child through some miracle, like a switch will be flipped. The only time Kevin ever shows his mother compassion is when she reads him a bedtime story involving archery, a hobby that would prove deadly.

The film is told non-linearly as we observe the fragmented memory of Eva. We have to pick up the pieces of life much like Eva recovering from her son's destruction. It's interesting to discover the symbolic connections between scenes, the connective tissue binding the memories together, and director/co-writer Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher) does an exceptional job of filling in key details to enrich this woman's horrid life. The scenes don't seem to last long, but Ramsay and her team provide all the meaning and weight we need so that the scenes matter. There's a heavy amount of dread suffused into every scene in this movie, as the totality of events starts to become clear. The metaphors aren't subtle but they are effective. Prepare for a lot of red in the color palate: squashed tomatoes, strawberry jam, splattered paint across Eva's front porch as an act of vandalism. She spends the rest of the movie trying to clean away the red stains on her home (see what I mean about subtlety?). The splintered narrative also serves as a statement on Eva's frame of mind, trying to move forward but haunted by a tragedy that goes down to the marrow.

And of course all praise of the film needs to also be placed at he feet of versatile actress Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton). She's not given many lines of dialogue but what she is able to do to make her character feel fully lived-in is astonishing. There are so many different points of her life to play, from young exuberance to growing disdain to zombie-like pariah, and Swinton doesn't strike one false note. Even during her grief and guilt she doesn't go into hysterics. This is a woman that simply wants to waste away and be forgotten. Even when it looks like she might find some small measure of satisfaction or affection from another person, the movie sucker punches you. You realize that her son may be in jail but she's serving a sentence all her own. Swinton is heartbreaking and subtle and nuanced even when it appears she's simply staring off into space. You don't really want to be in this woman's head, and yet Swinton's performance puts us there, hence all of my analytical assessment above. She's a mixture of self-loathing, denial, bitterness, and penitence, and Swinton gives us telling glimpses of the storm below the surface. Her guilt is eating her away from the inside out. I'll go on record and say it's a crime that Swinton wasn't nominated for a Best Actress Oscar (I personally apologize for not nominating her for the PSP Silver Cines).

I feel the need to talk and talk about We Need to Talk About Kevin, to sing its despairing praises, to encourage lovers of challenging, complex, and emotionally devastating film to experience this exceptional movie. It's psychologically rich, bold, and revealing with even the smallest details to round out this hellish family scenario. It's not an easy tow hours to sit through, not by a long shot, but there are certain rewards for those who choose to wad through the darkness, Swinton's haunting performance among them. This is a difficult subject and it's produced a difficult film, but sometimes we need to be put in uncomfortable circumstances to get at a greater truth. What is the greater truth of the film? Maybe that parenting is really, when it's all said and done, a leap of faith, maybe that avoidance of hard decisions is no solution, and maybe that some people are just beyond redemption. A movie that makes you think? Somebody ought to talk about this one.

Nate's Grade: A
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2011
Chilling and disturbing and powerful and very worth watching.

Great Film! No, "We need to talk about Kevin" is NOT the feel-good movie of the year. In fact, it is a difficult film to watch. You should not go see this film if wanting to leave the theater with a smile on your face. However, as a character study, this film is one of the most affecting that I have seen in a long time, and if there is one actress who was robbed of an Oscar nomination, it is indeed Tilda Swinton, who is nothing short of brilliant. The overall impact of the film rides through peaks and troughs. With some sections brilliantly gripping and others making you wish away the remainder of the film. In general the film does carry a strong and unsettling momentum until the final credits.

Eva Khatchadourian is trying to piece together her life following the "incident". Once a successful travel writer, she is forced to take whatever job comes her way, which of late is as a clerk in a travel agency. She lives a solitary life as people who know about her situation openly shun her, even to the point of violent actions toward her. She, in turn, fosters that solitary life because of the incident, the aftermath of which has turned her into a meek and scared woman. That incident involved her son Kevin Khatchadourian, who is now approaching his eighteenth birthday. Eva and Kevin have always had a troubled relationship, even when he was an infant. Whatever troubles he saw, Franklin, Eva's complacent husband, just attributed it to Kevin being a typical boy. The incident may be seen by both Kevin and Eva as his ultimate act in defiance against his mother.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2012
A shattering, unnerving depiction of a monster human being (Ezra Miller) who goes on an inexplicable murder spree in his high school one day, and how his mother (Tilda Swinton) reflects on the warning signs she saw early but never acted on, and the treatment she receives from those affected by the tragedy. It is a film that falls under "not for everyone" territory, with Swinton showing that she can now be considered the queen of uncomfortable motion pictures (with this and the harrowing "The War Zone"). It is a brutal, often depressing movie, but one that is realistically, carefully plotted throughout. Without fine acting, this film would probably come across as repulsive melodrama or potentially offensive. However, Swinton is as good as they come, as she delivers another somber, utterly remarkable performance that anchors the film from beginning to end. Although there are sometimes when the film gets a little too in-your-face (the constant "red" color being pushed in your face, in a not too subtle fashion), as well as the gaping problem of the unknown occupation Swinton's home body husband (John C. Reilly) possesses in order to get such a gigantic house for his family to live in, it is still an important film to see. It sympathizes with the mothers of monsters and the helplessness they feel especially after a life-altering event, but it also has the balls to come down on them, as well as their family, for not recognizing the warning signs early enough and acting on them in a precise manner. For that, it gets an easy recommendation.
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2012
Kevin: You know, you can be kind of harsh sometimes.†

Well made, well acted, and the kid is genuinely creepy at the start and terrifying near the end. That's the best way to make a "creepy kid" film. It isn't necessarily important to show just how fucked up a kid is early on by showing him torturing animals, like they do in some films. I loved how Lynne Ramsey approached the young Kevin. He's just a little bastard that will do anything to hurt his mother, no matter how trivial or small; such as not rolling a ball back to her. Kevin is gradually built up through the memories of his depressed mother after the horrific events that took place later in his life.†

This is a film that is unsettling, but not in the way that I thought it would be. When this was described to me, I thought it sounded kind of Omenesque, or maybe like Orphan. In reality, this isn't a horror film, nor is it a thriller of any sort. There's no movie terror in the character of Kevin, but real life terror is all over this movie. Not only are we given a sociopath, but we also have to see the mothers(played really well by Tilda Swinton) life after the fact. She has to avoid people walking on the streets, people vandalize her home. Her life is a living nightmare. The film is much more about her feelings and her own guilt than it is about Kevin or what he did.†

We Need to Talk About Kevin may come off as overly artsy to those who go in expecting another standard "kid" horror movie. You must know that that type of film was not Ramsey's aspiration. She went for a very psychological look at the after effects and also showed how Kevin got to where he was near the end. On that level, she did a nearly perfect job. The young Kevin is extremely well written. All the tell tale signs of a sociopath are written all over him. How he stares, how he talks, and how he acts(especially the difference of how he acts with his mom to how he acts with his dad) show us how nuts this kid is.

I really like We Need to Talk About Kevin. It's well paced and just an incredibly well made and acted film. The cast is really good; Tilda Swinton in particular, but I always like John C. Reilly too. Another thing that makes this movie such a good watch is that I can almost guarantee it is not what you are expecting. When a film can surprise you in a good way; that is always a good sign.
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2012
Haunting, thrilling, and artistically flmed, Kevin features a flawless performance by Tilda Swinton. This is one of the best films I have seen recently.
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2011
We Need to Talk about Kevin is a study of the very nature of evil. A dissertation, if you will, on the factors that develop the personality of a human being. Can someone be born bad or is it learned? At the center is Tilda Swinton's performance. We feel sympathy, then outrage. At times we want to rebuke her but then we forgive her. The justification for these emotions is often brutally vague, even to ourselves. Yes, director Lynne Ramsey raises more questions than she answers, but that's the point. This is a drama ripe for discussion without clear cut solutions. She presents an interesting argument. The subject is sure to provoke a reaction and it's definitely one worth "talking about".
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