Carnage - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Carnage Reviews

Top Critic
David Elliott
San Diego Reader
February 4, 2015
The acting marathon is adroitly blocked and paced by Polanski and impeccably shot by Pawel Edelman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
January 31, 2012
Brief, brutal and barmy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
January 13, 2012
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 | Original Score: 4.9/10
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 13, 2012
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 | Original Score: C+
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 13, 2012
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 | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 13, 2012
If we grant that "Carnage" is a low-impact exercise in stripping away the social veneer, it's nonetheless brisk and enjoyable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
January 12, 2012
In real life, hyper-controlling metropolitan parents would not waste this much time on people they loathe.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
January 12, 2012
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 12, 2012
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.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
January 12, 2012
Skillfully acted by Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet, [it's a] compact verbal slugfest.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
January 12, 2012
An odd little chamber piece, "Carnage" plays out like a very tense meeting from which you can't wait to depart.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 12, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 12, 2012
A brilliantly discomfiting comedy of frustration.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 12, 2012
Think Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but then think fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 12, 2012
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 | Original Score: 2.4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 12, 2012
"Carnage" becomes a lesson in how to handle a willfully claustrophobic assignment with panache.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 12, 2012
The point isn't the plot, it's the performances. Here four familiar actors seem ideally cast for their roles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
December 29, 2011
A film that makes its audience feel as trapped as its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 23, 2011
Despite the efforts of an impressive cast, the film starts out stale and then just gets tedious.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 22, 2011
Carnage is a comedy of claustrophobia and revealed truths, and Polanski knows both all too well.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 16, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 16, 2011
Amusing as some of this is, after a while I wanted out.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 16, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 16, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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William Goss
Film.com
December 16, 2011
Eventually, the characters - and the film - find their belligerent groove.
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 16, 2011
Tedious and self-congratulatory. Wears out its welcome after about a half hour.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 16, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 15, 2011
While the talented quartet play these hypocritical sorts with finesse, the story grows tiresome, its cynical point made early and often.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 15, 2011
One of those instances where staying close to the enclosed action of the stage version is the perfect cinematic choice.
Top Critic
December 15, 2011
You're always aware that you're watching filmed theater.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 15, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 15, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 15, 2011
As a portrait of anxious, status-conscious Brooklyn parents living in a chiaroscuro of self-righteousness and guilt, "Carnage" misses its mark badly.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
December 15, 2011
Roman Polanski's agreeably, then gratuitously, nasty adaptation of Yasmina Reza's play God Of Carnage.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 14, 2011
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.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 14, 2011
No one makes sense in Reza's world of glittering mockery.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
December 14, 2011
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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 14, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 13, 2011
The whole enterprise feels slight, not exactly undercooked so much as lavished with unearned commitment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 13, 2011
Not even Polanski can find grit in its silly provocations.
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Karina Longworth
Village Voice
December 13, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Mark Kennedy
Associated Press
December 13, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 12, 2011
Carnage suffers from a common problem that afflicts many stage-to-screen adaptations: too much artifice and contrivance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Justin Chang
Variety
December 12, 2011
This acid-drenched four-hander never shakes off a mannered, hermetic feel that consistently betrays its theatrical origins.
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
October 2, 2011
Polanski's interest in the play makes sense, but the real star of the show is the casting director.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 29, 2011
Fast, furious and often funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
September 1, 2011
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...